Inner Pilgrimage (Part II)

 

As we collectively weather the whirlwind of change, overwhelming or unprocessed emotions may be felt as physical symptoms in the body. By establishing regular practices to listen inside, one develops a way to center- to connect, ground, move, release, or transform trapped or frozen emotions and energy.

In Chinese Medicine, unprocessed emotions which manifest as mysterious physical symptoms speak to the realm of the po spirits. The po are connected to one’s animal instincts, physical sensation, and subconscious material. They are related to the physical embodiment of spirit- the corporeal soul- and are connected to the metal element. The po are the yin aspect of spirit, live in the lungs, and circulate between the lungs and large intestine. When healthy, the po anchor the yang aspects of spirit and extract what is of value from our life experiences. There are many ways to nourish the po- though feeding the senses, movement practices, conscious breathing, engaging with nature, spending time with animals.

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Inner Pilgrimage (Part I)

 

”Within my body are all the sacred places of the world, and the most profound pilgrimage I can ever make is within my own body.”

Saraha

 

Just as life speaks to us through the senses and nature, the body speaks to us through sensation and symptom. Learning to understand and appreciate the language of the body comes through a fine tuning of the inner ear and senses to hear the truth speaking from deep within. There is a certain kind of poetry expressed in symptoms- a distilled, clear and creative flow of felt experience, symbolism, and metaphor that encompasses more than words alone. It is the language of the soul speaking from ancient archetypal wisdom that can open us to a whole new world- one that is rich with its own mythology of meaning and support.

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Following Threads

 

“We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea. Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.”

Paul Tillich

 

Life is in continuous conversation with us through our senses. There is much to learn from plant, human, animal, bird, reptile, sea beings, insect, mineral, the elements, stars, and planets. Indigenous peoples from every corner of the world have lived in ways that attune to nature’s messages and rhythms through ceremony, medicinal practices, spiritual practices, rites of passage, and daily living.

When opening to life in this way, one finds an endless source of wisdom and support. Answers to difficult questions may show up through the flight pattern of osprey, an interaction with seal, an understanding that comes though bare feet in the sand, the sound of the wind rustling the grass, the silence of a night sky. Wisdom can also come through dreams or images which are ways in which our soul speaks to us, revealing archetypal themes which guide and mirror where we are working.

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