The body is an amazing vehicle for bringing us into the present moment. It is the great equalizer of our humanity, bringing us to our knees at times to get our attention. It is quite easy to reside solely in our thinking mind while through the simple act of bringing our attention into our felt body experience, we become present in the here and now – the place where our life actually is.

Obviously we need our minds. On the mundane level, we need our mind to plan, organize, and communicate information. Inspired Ideas, visions and inventions also come through our minds. And yet most of the time, what moves through our mind is repetitive, fear-based thinking – trying to figure out ways to solve our perceived problems, problems that ‘cannot, in Albert Einstein’s words, be solved from the same level of consciousness that created them.’

The words, ILLUMINATED EMBODIMENT are deeply inspiring my mind and imagination at the moment. It seems to me that part of the shift in consciousness we are collectively experiencing is that we are moving from a thought-based reality to a heart-based one. A heart-based reality is an embodied reality, one that teaches us how to use the power of our own compassionate awareness to clarify and transform the fearful, shadowy aspects of our being.

The body is in many ways, the vast unexplored terrain of our being, one that is continuing calling us to discover its gifts – through transforming our shadow at a elemental level. Even, perhaps especially, when we are experiencing physical or emotional pain, our bodies innate
wisdom is simply asking for our attention, our acknowledgement, and revealing the need for compassionate presence with whatever is arising.

In dealing with a chronic cough/lung condition, my body has insisted that I become very still and surrendered to what is present in my body. Having tried every remedy, it is only when I sit quietly that I sense the essence of what this condition is asking of me – to simply be willing, without an agenda to ‘get rid of it’, to be in a surrendered openness with my physical experience. We all experience the body in one way or another as the ultimate teacher of surrender.

The primary resistance I experience to being present, particularly with intense sensations and emotions, are beliefs such as ‘it’s too painful, its overwhelming,’ or ‘something is wrong and needs to fixed’. It takes courage and commitment to trust the power of staying present, to trust
that it is presence itself that is the healing force – whether the particular condition shifts or not.

I recently had the honor of speaking to Adyashanti on this subject and this is what he shared: ‘Be very still with intense emotions, and let them play out in your physiology. Our bodies are natural purification machines, able to process anything that we allow ourselves to fully feel. After
all it is just elemental energy, that ultimately leads you back to the heart.’

The simple act of bringing our attention away from thought and into our felt physical experience, activates an illuminated embodiment that clarifies and heals. It literally wakes up the cellular intelligence of the body, bringing new possibilities for self-expression. Presence in the body awakens our true human potential and our capacity for greater compassion and trust, and all the universal principles we work with in Partner Yoga practices.

Accessing and activating illuminated embodiment is the deeper possibility of Partner Yoga practices. Whenever we fully embodied and consciously connecting, whether to human, animal or the elemental forces of Nature herself, we are exponentially amplifying the energy of presence.

This is the true gift of illuminated embodiment. Transformation at the cellular level of our being.