I was talking with someone about my personal cosmology. And in the course of the discussion the topic shifted, tangentially, to specific methodology in meditation.
I said that in order to truly transcend the physical you need to be aware of it completely. I started by asking, “What do you feel right now?”
His answer was vague and imprecise. Not like someone ignorant of the concept but like someone who’s never thought about it.
So I asked, “Tell me what your foot feels right now.” And he looked at me like I was really far out on a limb.
I said, “I feel the fabric of my socks, the material of my shoe, the skin of my Big toe brushing against the toe next to it. I feel the edges of the nerve dead zone on that toe(caused by a infection in my leg that almost killed me), I feel the muscles of my foot and legs holding position against the pull of gravity. That’s what I feel right this second. That is all information that I am aware of and information that I am subconsciously paying attention to. Imagine that for your whole body. Every scrap of feeling is necessary to understand where you start from, so that you can feel the borders of your skin, so that you can connect outside yourself. If you don’t know where you start, you can’t know where you are going.”
We talked in that vein for awhile.
But it really effected me. In having to teach, I had to consciously think about and conceptualize something I do and take for granted. It’s how I am able to regulate pain, how I can feel physical bliss just by feeling the wind. How a single touch, kiss, look, can move me. In some cases, I can feel the physical connection of a look across the room, because I am aware of my body in that way.
And it really hit me, that this is a smart guy, someone who asks questions and looks for answers, and he has no frame of reference for what I am saying. It’s like trying to describe color to the color blind. They understand sight and seeing but their frame of reference is different.
Is that how most people walk through the world? I don’t know.