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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Leaping an Abyss or Upholstering a Rut? + The Body Listens…..

If you look around our house, you will find several piles that look like this…

It is our current queue of inspiration. Erin just heard last week that kinesthetic learners pile rather than file. We both felt well validated…

One book that has been in several piles around the house recently (we have a few copies) is Philip Shepherd’s New Self, New World. We first heard of Philip’s work through a wonderful interview he did with The Sun magazine (you can read it here.) Immediately, there was a resonance. He was sniffing down the same trail of embodiment and unfolding that we have been following, and offering it with such a unique and eloquent perspective, drawing on myths, etymology and cultural history along with his profound personal practice of inquiry and reflection.

Here is a piece from his recent blog post, “The Fiction That Creates Our Reality.” Please read it slowly, as there is much to unpack in these words…

“When you are encouraged to “listen to your body” you are being tacitly advised that you are divided from it as though by a wall, and that it would be prudent once in a while to put your ear to that wall to find out what’s happening on the other side. The metaphor also completely obscures the fact that the real ‘listener’ in this scenario is the body: your body ‘listens’ non-stop. Every doubt and decision, every bit of confusion, every single insight you experience is heard by the body and understood and made real there.

Our fictional idea of the body also shows up in the well-intentioned warnings about the mind/body split we suffer from, and the schism between them that needs healing. In this case, the fiction is on full display. Simply put, there is no such thing as a body without a mind. The phenomenon just doesn’t exist, unless you are talking about a corpse. You can’t remove mind from body – there would be almost nothing left. The body has an autonomous brain in the belly that perceives, thinks, decides, acts and remembers entirely on its own. The body also has the heart – so dense with neurological tissue that it qualifies as a third brain. And more than that, as neuroscientist Candace Pert helped establish, neuropeptides – dubbed “the molecules of thought” – suffuse the body, carrying a stream of information among its cells.

So our idea that the mind exists independent of our body, or can somehow be separated from it, is dangerously misleading. It turns the body into a thing. It deafens us to its intelligence. It renders us oblivious to the ways in which the body’s intelligence registers and integrates our conscious and unconscious thinking; and being oblivious of that, we lose the skill of surrendering to its deep, wordless intelligence and coming into harmony with it. But we lose more than that: we also lose our sense of all the ways in which the body listens to the world around us. “

We are very much looking forward to Philip’s visit to Salt Lake in June, and there are still some spots open for his weekend workshop “Radical Wholeness.”

Wishing you the joy in a bouquet of dandelions….

Here is a sweet Easter poem from James Broughton

“Easter Exultet”

Shake out your qualms.
Shake up your dreams.
Deepen your roots.
Extend your branches.
Trust deep water
and head for the open,
even if your vision
shipwrecks you.
Quit your addiction
to sneer and complain.
Open a lookout.
Dance on a brink.
Run with your wildfire.
You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.
Not dawdling.
Not doubting.
Intrepid all the way
Walk toward clarity.
At every crossroad
Be prepared
to bump into wonder.
Only love prevails.
En route to disaster
insist on canticles.
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane.
Nothing perishes;
nothing survives;
everything transforms!
Honeymoon with Big Joy!

Our favorite line from this poem:

You are closer to glory leaping an abyss than upholstering a rut.

To your leaping!

Best,
Carl

p.s.  We still have a few spaces for The Basics Of Back Care, but it will fill, so please reserve your spot if you would like to attend.  Coming up May 3rd. We can’t wait!

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