The Instinctive Center
Creating an Internal Lighthouse

The Instinctive Center, the Body Center, the Gut Center is critical to our capacity to self-observe our emotional and psychological patterns. As my teacher would say, “If you learn to sense your body you create an internal lighthouse of observation in which you can sense and feel the arising of your reactive patterns more easily and objectively. Learn to sense and inhabit your body and you will create a look- out post that is grounded and real, that you can touch and feel, that is less likely to be obscured by the workings of your lightning-quick emotional reactions, and your helter-skelter, adrenalized monkey mind. You will have built something internal that has stasis. When the high winds of your emotional states begin to blow, when your imagination plays technicolor movies through your mind screen, you will have a place you can anchor your attention, to hold on to while the torrent of emotional reaction cuts through you. It will keep you here and now, in your body. Without this you will blow here and there, unable to discern what is real, true, or fantastical. Sense your body, Michael, as often as possible, as if your life depends on it…because IT DOES.” Then, grinning that Yoda-like grin, blue eyes dancing with curiosity and mischievousness, he finishes with, “Sometimes the simplest practices carry the most potency. Try it and discover if it is true. Well first, try to remember to do it. And don’t work for results or for special states, or any of the highfalutin spiritual baloney that is sold in the spiritual marketplace of spiritual materialism. Just do it. At its best it will help you to stay grounded and real, right-sized. And if you happen to experience some glamorous essence state that is so widely advertised today, let go of it as soon as possible–it’s just a state, nothing more–and return to the grounded, unglamorous moment, where real change can occur.” 

A Sensing Practice

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