Honor the Body

In the spring of 2012 two very significant changes came into our lives…

The first thing was that my son got a dog. We didn’t have a lot of advanced planning around this, so one day, suddenly there was a small and very adorable puppy in our house.

I had never lived with a dog before, although of course I’ve met plenty at other people’s houses. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what a dog looks like. More or less.

You can’t imagine how many things I learned, as we integrated this little creature (which very quickly became a bigger, and bigger, and bigger creature) into our lives.

The first thing I discovered was that the dog knew a lot more about how to take care of a dog than we did. It came equipped with a pretty good sense of when to eat, when and where to poop and pee (which seem to involve an endless amount of sniffing bushes and grass), when it was time to go to sleep, when it was time to play, when it was time to run, and in fact just about everything necessary for optimal doggy functionality.

The dog came fully equipped with a finely tuned guidance system on how to be a dog. Amazing, really!

I also quickly learned that this dog’s innate dogginess was not always perfectly aligned to how we like to live as humans. Pretty soon my son gave the dog a human name. He called the dog “Jack,” and then we had to teach him where we wanted him to poop, when to poop, when not to poop, where he was allowed to sit, where he was not allowed to sit, what he was allowed to chew on, and what he was not allowed to chew on. We decided when it was time to run, when it was time to lay down, and when it was time to go to sleep. And then we told him. None of this was part of his essential doggie nature. It was all really for our convenience.

The third thing I discovered about Jack was that he was more than delighted to fit in with our requests, in fact he was quite eager. He really wanted to learn to sit, and lay down, and do all kinds of tricks, especially if tasty goodies were provided as a result. He was, in fact, completely cooperative in the whole process of domestication.

The fourth thing I learned about Jack is that he has doggie feelings of his own: he gets happy, he gets sad, he gets disappointed, he gets excited, he gets curious, he enjoys approval, he doesn’t like to be ignored.

I could go on and on with all the lessons that Jack taught me about dogginess. But I also want to tell you about the other big thing that happened to me last spring, about a year ago.

Due to a variety of circumstances, my health had really gone down hill over a few years. This time last year I really had no energy left at all. I was dragging myself around. About the same time that Jack arrived, and I got to learn about dogginess, I also began to learn all sorts of things about another animal as well. During the last year, just as we got to know Jack, I have also learned a lot of things about this human body.

Today I’m in really great health. I’ve got back the energy of a 30-year-old, I bounce out of bed early every morning with enthusiasm, I sleep well at night. And I have plenty of energy during the day. There were some particular healers and modalities that helped me enormously along the way. But most of all I’ve learned to honor the body.

Just like Jack is a dog, so this body is also an animal. It is a “human.” It also knows a lot about how to take care of itself, it knows when to sleep, it knows when it wants to eat, how much it wants to eat, and what it wants to eat. It knows when it’s time to rest, and when it’s time to be active. Human bodies also get domesticated, and trained to fit in with agendas other than their own. The body learns what is required of it, and it is also quite happy to cooperate. It is also a happy friendly animal that wants to serve and to get along.

I have realized in the last year that an enormous amount of “dis-ease” that we all experience really boils down to stress. And stress is, more or less, simply the results of not honoring the body. In the last year I have learned about what it takes to develop a supportive, respectful, and joyful relationship with the body, so that it gets what it needs, and it fully supports what you want to do with your life.

This requires a fundamentally shifted relationship to understanding what a body is, what its needs are, what its rhythms are. It also means understanding who or what “you” are, that is in relationship with the body. Then we discover that “you” are really multidimensional. “You” exist as thoughts, and feelings, and beliefs. These may be flowing, or they may be stuck. And they affect the balance of this innocent animal very deeply, moment to moment to moment.

“You” also exist as the limitless field of pure consciousness, never born, never dying, and unchanging. To know this for real is called “awakening.” The depth and embodiment of this awakening also profoundly effects the health of the body.

Over the last months I have been able to share this transformed relationship to the human animal with many, many friends, students, and coaching clients. Now the transformation in the health of my body has becoming infectious. I’m realizing that we’re onto something here.

Please join me for a free tele-seminar on Saturday February, 16th at 10 AM Pacific time where I will be discussing many of the techniques and approaches I have found to be successful in transforming your relationship with your body. If you can’t make the call live, register anyway and you can listen to the replay.

Starting on March 2nd I will be offering a 21 day intensive online course on how to radically transform your relationship to the body. I have invited some extraordinary expert guests to share with you the delicate and ecstatic science of learning to be in a cooperative relationship with the human animal, and how to shake off a great deal of the “dis-ease” that is simply caused by poor communication between body, thoughts and consciousness. You can read more about it here.

To your health!

Arjuna

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6 Responses to “Honor the Body”

  1. Ále February 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm // Reply

    Arjuna!
    this is awesome! I’m happy you are well and love the article and the idea od the 21 day course on how to get to know ‘my human’ sounds great too.
    🙂
    Be Well!

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  2. Steven February 13, 2013 at 3:07 am // Reply

    The Zen Masters had it right:
    “Eat when hungry, sleep when tired.”

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  3. kitty February 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm // Reply

    What a wonderful article. It sounds like the addition of Jack into the family brought about more awareness. How cute he is. I find animals bless us so much.

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  4. Debi February 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm // Reply

    Love the article and looking forward to the tele-seminar. Pets are incredible creatures. And I believe God put them here for us to fully interact with and enjoy. I’m happy that you are having this experience with Jack. With blessings, all my best.

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  5. Hannah February 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm // Reply

    Hi Arjuna

    Thank you for your honest and playful article. I love it – and I love Jack!
    I have learned a lot during the last few years from my Zen Master Joya (a kind, sweet, wonderful cat) especially when she shows me her Yoga Asanas! Still forget from time to time the communication with my own dear animal body. Thank you for your reminder.

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  6. Katrin February 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm // Reply

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story! Reminded me a lot of “The Art of Racing the Rain” from Garth Stein 🙂

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