Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I cherish my time in Ashram life. It is a time where I get to let go of the outside worldly demands and routine and focus all my attention on something greater than myself. My time in Amma's Ashram, Amritapuri, has proven again to be an important step along my path.

My first visit 4 years ago was purely to take care of my son. We were graciously supported by our community in Sacramento to see what was possible in working with some of the the emotional and developmental issues that were a result of his Cerebral Palsey diagnosis. I knew that I wanted to see what else could unlock the deep patterns of disconnect I was having with him. Our days at this time were spent calming down from long episodes of tatrums and sometimes violent fits. There were times he was hurting himself and even me. The neurologists said that an option could be medication, but in my heart I wanted to see what being in front of a Mahatma might do.

What I learned from this journey was that a lot of his issues were related to his nervous system feeling like it needed to defend itself all the time. Through the grace of Amma and the simplicity of Ashram life his body slowly began to unwind. I was able to spend my time massaging his body and being attentive to the patterns. The scripts and triggers began to fade away. The episodes came less frequent and their time shortened. I will never forget the day he allowed me to really hold him in my lap and look into his eyes. We were sitting in front of Amma giving darshan and his body finally softened into me for longer than a few seconds. From this moment, I deeply believed that there is so much the body is capable of. It requires patience and focused attention. It is not about perfection, because the reality is my son will always have Cerbral Palsey. Yet, he is much more able to work with his 'issues' then the 'issues' controling him.

I have named these blogs 'The Body's Tapestry' because as I continue to work with others, I hear and witness the story the body in holding. It is more than the words the person says about their expereince of living. It is the the unspoken ways the body shares its story. I believe my son has taught me that healing comes when the body is able to slow down and deeply release what it is has been protecting itself from. My deepening in understanding from Neuropsychological perspective has supported this witnessing as well.

As I begin to write these stories down, my hope is that you will be inspired to take a longer look at what your body is offering you. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother talk about the 3 aspects of Man. These are the Mental Body-thoughts, the Vital body-sensations and the Physical body-the cells. When using these Enlighten Teachers perspective, I believe most of us in the West get caught in the Vital body. We get caught in the sensations as pain and discomfort for example. Here is where one gets attached to a duality of good/bad. If we are to move past this realm of duality, where there is deeper and complete healing, I believe coming into the cellular Physical body is necessary. In more general yogic philosophy, one must move past a desire or preference to what is moving through the body. The opportunity is to witness what is moving through. This witnessing with a Neutral mind is the practice to relax into what is, to allow the sensation to move through the body. When we attach to what is moving through, this is when we come into suffering and to where illness begins to take hold in the cells.

So this is a bit of my perspective that I have integrated by being with a beloved teacher like Amma and witnessing the many courageous and powerful bodies that my hands have touched. I again hope that you will be inspired to take a deeper look into what is unfolding for you along your healing journey. Please know that I without any doubt trust the body and what it has to teach each of us. I hold utmost reverance for the vessel that holds you here on the planet at this time. May you continue to find your path along this journey. I look forward to sharing more through this cyber venue. Oh, technology!

Deep Respect and love Padma