When I first started reading and practicing meditation on my own, I was under the impression that it had very little to do with connecting with my physical body and everything to do with connecting with my mind. In fact, when I reflect back upon my practice during that time, I realize how ungrounded it was. In a way I was connecting with all the ideas behind the teachings but they were not actually entering deep enough.
It was only after meeting and studying with my late teacher Catherine Jetsun-Yeshe Rathbun, that the teachings started to become more integrated. She had a wonderful way of communicating the teachings in a direct and simple way but she also introduced to me the importance of establishing good contact with one’s body. She would always involve some kind of mindful movement, yoga, and/or massage in her classes and she continually encouraged me to take up more body-centered practices. It has been only after her passing that I have been able to fulfill some of her body-oriented instructions and I have come to believe that grounding one’s meditation practice within the body can help the insights and practices deepen and become more integrated.
Recently I came across a wonderful interview with 4 senior meditation teachers on “Starting with Your Body”. Reggie Ray, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Cyndi Lee and Philip Moffat each discuss the importance of including the body in several ways. I hope sharing it will help you to realize that meditation practice should not remain “only in your head”.
Have a listen and let me know what you think!