Lesson 1, Topic 3
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Joy: A Body Practice

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Joy: A Body Practice

Introduction

The intelligence in our bodies shows up each day for us in ways that are actually astounding. Most of the time, our bodies fight infections; regulate our heart rate; and digest our food — all without a whole lot of help from us. We can free our body’s intelligence to inform our emotional life with this same kind of ease by offering some intentional focus.

 

As we know, our body holds many keys to our overall well-being. This spiritual practice guides us from tension and numbness to the aliveness and joy that are available to us when we pause and cultivate this embodied wisdom within.

 

Sequence

Gently close your eyes. Can you feel your eyes relax into a softness? Your eyelids simply work for you—like a curtain is being pulled down to close out your visual field.
Bring your attention to the top of your head and sense the spot at the very tip of your crown. Can you sense that spot? Drop your awareness into your head and allow your mind to become spacious–like a soft cloud.
PAUSE
Travel down your body to your heart. Allow your heart to become tender. You may want to allow your breath to touch your heart —picturing a gentle breeze of warm air coming into your heart to increase the expanse of your heart space. Just breathe in and out of your heart space with something that feels like care and tenderness—coming to you and going out from you.
PAUSE
Now drop into your body fully. You may want to feel your feet on the floor and sense the strength in your feet—in your toes-in your ankles and heels. You feel grounded in your feet and your entire body feels relaxed and alert. You trust your body and what it does for you.
PAUSE
Now ask yourself: When have I felt physically joyful? Allow for your response to arise into your awareness. When have I felt physically joyful?
PAUSE
When did your body come alive with joy? Maybe when you laughed with a friend; or when you swam in the ocean; or when you held your grandchild? What did this sensation feel like in your body? Where in your body? Quality of energy? Alone or with others? Capture that moment. Sense it now.
PAUSE
Ask yourself—trusting the response—How can I get more of that?
PAUSE
How can I get more of that?
PAUSE
Let’s sit with these words that Jesus said—and feel these words in our body:
Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.
. . . that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.”
PAUSE
Maybe you want to talk with Jesus about your question: How can I get more of that joy?!
PAUSE
May you cultivate joy . . . that your joy may be full.