Here you are reading a blog on a computer—
Are you in your body?
Stop reading for a moment just to check.
What did you discover?
If you are like most people, you may have found that you are craned forward, that you are barely aware that you even have a body, that your feet seem very far away (a sign that you are totally in your head), and that energetically you are being sucked into the computer.
Hold it right here.
Take your hands away from the keyboard, just for now. Later we will focus on writing on the computer while being in your body. For now, put one hand on your chest, one on your lower body. Experiment with looking away from this message, finding yourself, your bones, your weight, your inner space, and then looking back without losing yourself.
Can you read this sentence while also feeling your own body’s internal sensations?
Practice before moving on. As you begin reading again, how quickly do you lose track of your own body and “disappear” into the text that you are following?
This may take some time and repetition, but it is well worth the rewards of physical health and extended insight that only comes from being in your body.
Can you feel your feet? Try doing a “Qi smear,” using your hands to cover your face, and then slide down from your face, down the whole front of your body, encouraging the Qi that may tend to pool up in your head to flow evenly all the way down your legs to your feet. Feel your feet communicating with the common ground on this earth that connects you to all beings with whom you share conscious space through your computer. Take full responsibility for sending forth the message, through your feet, that nobody needs to become disembodied in order to participate in the cyber-world.
Can you feel your full weight? Are you trusting your chair? How much are you trusting your chair? Most people on the computer go totally butt-numb. It’s worth taking extra time with this. Trust more. Be the embodied transmission for all the people whose lives you touch through the computer to trust their chair. On a me-first basis, give us the fullest possible invitation.
Are you breathing? How are you breathing—now that I’ve mentioned it and you’re aware of your breathing, see if you can open and allow yourself to “be breathed,” a state of discovering what your body chooses to do with breath when you give over to it in relaxed freedom, in your belly and in your chest.
How’s your back body, and especially the back of your head? Too often, we suffer from a disconnect between mind and heart that is caused by having the neck craned forward while peering at the computer screen. Try turning your head back and forth a few times from the back, i.e. turn your face to the left by turning the back of your head to the right. Then turn your face to the right by turning the back of your head to the left.
Just for contrast, turn your head by moving your face left and right—then go back to using the muscles in the back of your head and neck to turn up and down, side to side. Can you feel the whole line of musculature connecting the back of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your heart, all working together? If so, you are in alignment between head and heart (when you are standing up, you can feel for this alignment all the way down to your tailbone).
Breathe. Breathe. Be breathed, all the way down to the belly. Now—what does it mean to be in your heart, on the computer, fully embodied, able to access all of yourself with no sacrifice of wholeness, while reading this?
And can you stay with this wholeness of heart embodied, even as you turn from this article to other tasks and engagements on your computer, including reading and writing emails?
What practices will you put into place in order to remind yourself, when you lose your embodiment while on the computer?
Might I suggest that all reading and writing on the computer be an opportunity to be reminded of our practice? I am considering beginning and ending every single email from now on with the words “On the computer, in my body.” I suggest that we take on the practice, and take it seriously, both for the sake of our own well-being and also as a form of basic politeness to others. I believe that those of us who have not made a practice of being fully embodied while reading and writing email will be amazed to discover how much richer it feels to read an email from someone who was fully embodied and in their heart while that email was written.
I know that many people think it’s not possible to do heart transmission through email. I beg to differ. Sure, if you are just a floating head while you write, not much comes across but thin words and disconnected ideation. No matter how fascinating, there’s no richness to it.
Please accept my invitation to take the time to practice embodiment and heart space while on the computer. Please feel free to experiment with just how embodied you can be while writing even a short note. Just how much can we open and allow ourselves to fill completely from beyond ourselves, anchored even more deeply in our own bodies, as we allow ourselves to transmit from the heart, in an email? Effortlessly! Let’s see how much we can enjoy this.
In this town, it’s polite to be on the computer, in your body. It’s a gift to us all.
For more in-depth practice being at home in your body while online, join me at a Whole Heart Connection workshop.
For more discussion of topics like this one, find us on my Perennial Medicine discussion listserv (all are welcome).