The Body, the Breath, and the Heart

glass baubles at Chihuly Museum, Seattle

If we are in the business of defining, describing and insisting that we know ourselves in a conceptual sense, then the mystery, the shimmering beauty of our individual existence is lost. Attending to and not labeling is a return to the exotic, erotic and mysterious. It gives room for something to happen which cannot happen as long as the conceptual overlay remains intact. The initial goal of a meeting with another human being in this context is to move that person beyond the issue, which is the conceptual overlay, to the feeling that lies underneath it. Sometimes such a movement is experienced as a very modest shift and at other times it is recognized as being deep and crucial.

It is very important for that someone, if at all possible, to be oriented toward that place, that edge where the meaning drops off and the energy is experienced instead. This can’t become a pressure toward performance, however. We know the goal, but we surrender control at the same time. We know where we want to go, but we also are aware that we may not get there. No one is under the gun.

The beauty of a human being in the context of this work is that we have a body. Therefore, we know how to get beyond the anecdote. The process always involves the body.

The body is more subtle and complex than we perceive it to be. What we see ordinarily is merely a visible fragment of the entire form. There are delicate and subtle levels underneath our common view of the body. The gross, visible form is a habit body. The physical mass, the veins, the nerves, the more visible formations, the organs, for instance, operate in habitual ways. This physical body is surrounded by or weaved within subtler formations, subtler bodies – the feeling body, the gift body, the individuating body – names don’t really matter.

Breath is the integrative link between the visible habit body and the interwoven, unseen subtle bodies. It is also the link with the life current itself. If a person is going to feel something other than a projection of the mind and the constraints of the habit body, it is necessary to enter into a conscious relationship to the breath. The breathing is crucial.

The physical heart is the visible end of a series of subtle membranes and instruments which are involved with the giving and receiving of love energies. The passageways through which these love energies pass is the subtle body formations. Through the heart of each subtle body, energy pours in and when its vibratory tone reaches the physical heart, it is felt there as warmth or understanding.

Each of the subtle passageways are seeking to be in alignment with the physical form. The habit body is the final receiver of the love transmission.But there is an invisible passage which comes prior to the felt experience in the physical body.

As a result of the stress from all forms of violence, as imperceptible as they may be at various points across our lives, and as a result of other kinds of trauma, there is a disorganization in the relationship between the subtle energetic bodies and the gross physical form. Our work as healers is

to begins a process in which the hearts, the passageways, of the subtle energetic system are linked harmoniously to the physical form.

A feeling is an experience of the vibratory movement within the subtle body as love passes through it. If those passageways are in a harmonic alignment with the visible body, then love, bliss, creativity, intimacy will be experienced. If there is a lack of coordination between these elements then the passage of that same energy will be felt as something else.

If the habit body has been used largely to defend against the wounds in the subtle bodies then there is a habit to break. With most people such a habit exists. It is the habit of tensing the gross receiver, the visible membrane so that the feelings are dulled, distorted or don’t even seem to exist at all. That distortion is love in the form of pain. Only love is moving through the passageway. Only love is being received. But because of disharmonies, distresses in the passageways themselves and in the receiving membrane, love is perceived as something else.

Sometimes a person can have the energy trapped in a subtle passageway. The passageway can be crushed, scarred and mostly closed. We may experience in sitting with such a person that there is something deep about them, something spacious, but also a sense they they are not here. A contradiction exists between the way this person presents themselves and the sense of them underneath that presentation.

Sometimes there is a congestion in one of the passageways. The movement of energy is held back. Such blocks create a disharmony throughout the system. It cannot be identified as having an effect in only one place. The human being is an integrated, bio-cosmic receiver & amplifier. The idea of specific consequences in specific locations is not exactly an accurate portrayal.

The human being cannot be fragmented. One can’t say the effect of a block is here, but not elsewhere. If its here then it’s everywhere. This is the wholeness of the human receiver. Any imbalance is an imbalance in the entire ecosphere and not in one place within that sphere.

A readjustment of any part of the ecosphere has an impact on all the other parts. If we readjust the physical form, the entire system is moved toward greater balance. What we feel in the habit body is symptomatic of a distortion in the entire ecosphere.

The restoration of balance to the human ecosphere is the purpose of therapy or healing work in general. Such a shift toward balance can begin even when the focus is on one area of the whole. We are attempting to assisting in the restoration of our ecosystem so that it may receive and give love in one cycle.

Excerpt from the audio The Body: Bio-Cosmic Amplifier
Copyright 1993: Estate of Stephen Robbins Schwartz

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