Whole body awareness revisited

So yesterday and today, my intent was “whole body awareness” during zazen. Back to the drawing board, so to speak, following my teacher’s instructions.

Whole body awareness can be construed as awareness of the whole body and awareness with the whole body. And both — at the same time! And probably much  much more.

I take this instruction to mean expand awareness. Go wide. Go deep. Go broad. Extend awareness.

And include the body in awareness — this is not a purely mental exercise.

And keep it as whole as I can. All of a piece. Bring awareness to the foreground. Let attention to anything less than the whole recede to background.

Easier said than done. Still, a willingness to allow as much awareness into my consciousness as possible is worthy! It is worthy! Step back and allow!

Today I noticed opening my hearing to all sounds, external and internal, and the silence in which sounds float, and letting the sounds and the silence in which they arise fill and flow through my body.

Today I noticed the physical sensations of my physical body sitting on the zafu.

Interestingly, today was one of the most pain-free days I’ve had. Early on I felt some tightness in my left SI joint, with curiosity about it. Did it have a strong message for me today? No.

After a long while of sitting, I felt aching at the back of my hips, and 30 seconds later the bell rang.  


I am still curious about that experience I had a week or so ago, of the me-shaped hole. I felt energy all around my body, pressing on me, yet I sensed my body as being light, full of space.

It was a different way of perceiving myself in relation to the space around me. Usually, I’m heavy and the air-space around me is light.

Was I discovering that my habitual ways of thinking of “me” are just habit, not truth? Was some nimble, flexible part of my body-mind system at work here, leading me somewhere, showing me something?

I liked it. And, it was whole body awareness.


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