Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The era of embodiment

From an interview with Cynthia Bourgeault:

Renate: Yesterday, at your evening in Westminster Cathedral, you’ve said that this era is about embodiment. Can you say more about that?

Cynthia: Exactly, this era is about embodiment. It’s true. As we talked about earlier in this conversation, for about 2500 years part of what’s called “first axial consciousness” really depicted the World as flawed and depicted the spiritual path as getting out of the body and the body was seen to be the seat of sinful self will, the seat of delusion, the seat of coarseness. And everything was depicted as, you know, we were in a cave and we had to leave the cave and go to the light. So most spiritual practices were built on some variation of either gaining mastery over the body or even mortifying the body, but we’re in the body for a good reason. And the body is our profound vessel of truth and spiritual exploration. And so coming more and more in the end of the last century and into this has been a renewed appreciation of the goodness and wisdom of the body.

Renate: Also in the Church?

Cynthia: It’s getting into the Church but it’s getting into the Church by the backdoor not the front door. It’s getting into the Church because I think, a lot of the people in the congregations who are now getting old are realising that they need to do yoga to keep their bodies in shape and if they’re gonna sit on the meditation cushion they now have to bend their legs so it’s getting in through the portal of wellness. I think it’s still in most Christian Churches, if you look at how are services actually conducted, you might as well check your body in in the cloakroom when you go in because the worship is always pitched in your head. You sit in a pew and you listen and you say words…period. But there are now beginning to be more formats for embodied participation in wisdom schools and even in meditation when it’s done properly. We’re beginning to see more and more that we need to embody because the body actually reads spiritual gestures, recognises wisdom and coherence way better than the mind does.

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