Body watching and remembering

 

In the form of bodywork I am doing, they say watch with the body, and allow the body to remember.

When I look at this for myself, I find that the experience may be that the body watches and remembers, but something else is going on. It is those visual, kinesthetic and tactile thoughts that registers and remembers the form, the ones similar to our body image and images of extent and continuity. They often operate outside of attention, although can certainly be noticed as they happen, with a little bit of practice. (For instance simple labeling practice.)

While watching and giving a sequence, these non-verbal thoughts can be supported to a certain extent by discursive/verbal thoughts, for instance by consciously remembering. But they are often more readily available to surface when these other thoughts are more quiet, or focused on counting the breath, or bringing attention to the weight of the body or the breath.

As I often find when I explore how they talk about these things, the way they express it is somewhat vague and poetic and focuses more at gestalts and medium level holons. The beauty of this is that it meets people where they are, if they have not explored these things before, and allows people to explore and discover the details of it themselves. The drawback is that these gestalts may be taken as more real than they really are.

Additional note: I notice how “watching with the body” for me, right now, means allow attention to include your own body as you watch the sequence being demonstrated. And this in turn activate the kinesthetic (visual+movement+sensation) thoughts, the thoughts mimicking a felt-sense moving and quality of movement, which makes it easier for a remembrance of the sequence to surface when I do it on my own.

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