Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Play of Curiosity

As promised, here is the next blog post in this series! Enjoy.

 

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I’ve been using something very basic to my existence, in journeying with myself and with clients[1]. It’s something that never goes away, regardless of what I’m thinking about or how I’m feeling. It happens when I’m sleeping, or while awake, and when I’m eating. In fact, it happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Simply stated, if I’m alive, it’s happening. It could be any number of things, but maybe you’ve guessed what I have in mind: Breathing.

 

Yeah, that’s it. It’s no big deal. Except that it is, because inside breath is a mysterious land. Visiting this land is worth your time, because it can lead to curiosity, wonderment, and magic. In going into such places, the world can become that much more playful, and who doesn’t enjoy a little more play?!

 

There are many ways to connect with curiosity, but I like to use breath as a vehicle. I like putting attention on breath, because in doing so it automatically connects me into my body, which is an even vaster playground. So to begin with, bring some attention just to the actual act of breathing. Notice how the body does this movement every day, all day, without being reminded; it’s kind of taken for granted, in many ways. It’s doing it right now! Your body is literally being breathed, as you read these words. Don’t take my word for it, stop reading and check it out! Breathing is pretty much taken care of, at some very base level, so give yourself a chance to revel in that, to really take it in.

 

As you connect with how the body is taken care of in this way, notice how that feels. Are there any signs of playfulness? Any curiosity? Or some lightness in this exploration and consideration? If not, that’s fine. Not everyone is going to find breathing interesting, or curious. If you can’t find any curiosity in breathing, can you find it anywhere? Do a search of your life- a rainbow? Your child’s smile? The scent of a flower, the feeling of the sun on your skin? If you can feel even a slight twinge of mystery and curiosity, continue to play with me. cropped-IMG_2913.jpg

 

Stay with the curiosity that you noticed, and hold that in your attention. We’re about to do a study on breathing! It’s like we’re in science class to do an experiment, only you are the subject and the observer! All you need to do is close your eyes, and with that curiosity that you pinpointed earlier, bring your attention to your nostrils. Then, as breath comes in and out of your nostrils, notice your nose hairs. YES! Your nose hairs! I don’t know when the last time you noticed your nose hairs was, but for me it’s always a great source of entertainment. Maybe it’s just me, but nose hairs evoke a very distinct sensation for me as air passes through the nostrils. Tune right into that, with your curiosity. Do a little study on what that is like. You don’t have to stay there too long… stay there as long as you like. Next bring attention and curiosity into the throat, for as long as you’d like. And then bring the study of attention to the chest area.

 

There is a whole lot of playground surface area in the chest! As the breathing continues to happen, which it always does, bring your attention right to that chest area. You might feel all sorts of sensations, and the mind might want to butt in with commentary and labels and judgments about all sorts of things. No worries. Notice those thoughts, and then bring the attention right back into breathing, noticing as the chest moves with each breath. For added experimentation, put a hand on the chest, and notice what that sensation is like. Watch and feel as the hand moves, all by itself, with the breathing. Remember that this is for science! So keep your curiosity hat on, as you connect with the hand, the chest, and breathing. You might notice temperatures, constrictions, openings, pleasant feelings, negative feelings, emotions, and so on. All of those things are welcome here. Just like in an unbiased science study, whatever shows up is absolutely perfect! There are no problems in this study, just data to notice and the experience of breathing to pay attention to.

 

The next part of the study will take place in the belly region. You can keep one hand on the chest and the other on the lower belly, or just have one hand on the lower belly. As breathing continues to happen (as it always does), feel the hand on the belly move as breathing happens. Continue this experiment, noticing thoughts and different sensations coming in, maybe images too. Letting them all be there as best you can, keep bringing your attention back to the breathing, and back to the hand. Take some time to keep all your focus on the simple movements of breathing and the hand rising and falling. Stick with that for as long as you’re able to.

 

From here, the options are fully available to you. You can notice how breathing influences other body areas or other sensations: maybe the shoulders, or the hips, the face, the mouth, the legs, your knee caps, and so on. The body is a vast playground, and it is limitless as far as opportunities for play and experimentation of attention.

 

You can end your experiment here, or you can take it to new levels: Open your eyes, still connecting to the curiosity and playfulness. Look around your room, extending that same curiosity. If you notice stressful sensations come into the body, and the curiosity fade, feel free to close your eyes to reconnect with the curiosity. Take your time. When you’re curious, open your eyes again, and take another look around. If you’re having situations or thoughts come into your mind, stay connected to the curiosity as best you can, extending it to your thoughts. Notice the levels of curiosity, knowing that at any moment you can close your eyes, and reconnect with a hand on the chest or belly, as the body breathes.

 

The body is your playground. Use breath and curiosity to explore and play. There are no right or wrong ways to do it. Experiment in any way you care to. You can do this any time: the first thing you do when you wake up, before you go to sleep, when you are starting to feel anxious, depressed, or when you’re wanting to engage in a compulsive or addictive activity. Utilize this play of curiosity and see what you notice. Please let me know what it’s like for you, and how your study goes- I’d love to hear about your experiences[2]!

 

[1] Join me September 28th for the next embodied mediation https://www.facebook.com/events/700975529972645/?fref=ts or http://www.integrativehealingnow.com/events.html

[2] I have many guided meditations for sale which employ the use of curious exploration. For more information, please email me at llmeuser@me.com. I also facilitate 50-60 minute embodied meditations on skype 2 scheduled times a month, plus spontaneous/unplanned facilitations. Please email me if you’d like to be notified of spontaneous meditations. For the current schedule, please visit here: http://integrativehealingnow.com/events.html

The playground of senseless magic

I watched/felt a wave of sensations arise this morning. I observed the mind try to give meaning to this wave- X content/story, then Y content. None of the content stuck, and I kept coming back to the sensations, inviting them all to be there – receiving them all, not even knowing what that meant. The wave came, with all that it carried, and it left, with all that it carried. I didn’t need to understand or rationalize any of it. When this happens I get to experience myself as a human being, who experiences sensations, who doesn’t need to understand or figure out any of it. The result is that I am not dragged down into the depths of drama and deficiency stories. There is ease, curiosity, and a gentleness that does not have the usual violence that is often coupled with fantastical story telling. Labels and stories are often put upon sensations as a way to distract myself from feeling them. The stories and labels, when believed, make the sensations a problem – something to get rid of. The mind has something to sink its teeth into, and off I go, into drama/deficiency. When I feel them without the stories, there is just energy. IMG_3681I Without deferring to content/stories, meaning making isn’t needed or useful. Without delegating to content, rationality loses its importance. Sensations and feelings loose their bad boy reputations, and I can stop trying to hide from them, avoid them, or pretend they aren’t there. I can rest in the land of senseless magic, where all is accepted and control is irrelevant.

For those interested in exploring the land of senseless magic, two events are coming up with might interest you. (1) This coming Sunday at 10am EST I will be facilitating an hour of rest in the REST Room on skype. For $10, you’ll be guided through an embodied meditation. Sign up here!  (2) In mid October (and then again in November) I will be offering an Embodiment Deepening Course. Please email me at llmeuser@me.com with any questions. Coming soon will be the next installment of my blog series life as an experiment. Last week I wrote about agendas, and next week I will be posting about the play of curiosity. Look for it!

Embodiment Deepening Course!

Why do I feel great while meditating, but awful while engaged in life? Why is living a struggle? Why is feeling a sensation so difficult? How can I make peace with the body? Why is it so easy to go “up and out” as opposed to “in and down”? Why am I experiencing such difficulty post-awakening? What does it mean to “be in the body”? Why is it so easy to be in “oneness” but I have such a hard time in life? What is this thing I keep hearing about- embodiment?

Embodiment is about being in this body, fully, in the present. In the Embodiment Deeping Course we’ll be journeying together to explore those and other questions. We’ll be taking an honest look at what is moving through this thing called life, in that which you’re housed in—the body. We’ll be engaging with it, and in it. We’ll be inquiring into all the thoughts, images, sensations—and taking a look at what seems true, and then experiencing what’s actually true. Particularly important, we’ll be spending a lot of time exploring the bodily sensations and energies that arise.

This course will use the Living Inquiries and guided rest/practices to explore whatever your experiences are- depression, anxiety, compulsions, identification, body contractions, debilitating thoughts and/or memories and more. You will get to experience the different inquiries first hand, and be able to learn self-inquiry as well.

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As Scott Kiloby said recently “Are you ready to throw out all of the glamorizing of the future as a promised land and to really be here in the now in a way that is curious more than anything else? Just curious and open, not seeking to end being human, but opening into being even more human (bold mine)?”

Let’s explore embodiment, in all its vastness! Contact Lisa for more information: llmeuser@me.com

What: An online Living Inquiries Deepening course with Senior Facilitator /Trainer Lisa Meuser

When:  November 2, 9, and 16: Sundays 7-9 pm EST.

(If you cannot make the dates or times, please let me know and we’ll try to work something out.)

Where: Skype

Cost: $425

Included: 3x two hour group skype calls. Six individual sessions: four with me and two with other Certified facilitators. A copy of Scott Kiloby’s ebook, Living Relationship. A private Facebook group for support and discussion. Email communication with me.

*Deepening courses are a pre-requisite for Living Inquiries facilitator training.

For more information about me, visit my blog, where I write almost exclusively about embodiment,  or visit my website