Things took a very unexpected turn recently (in the last 7 weeks), chiefly due to acute pain coming from a 'pinched nerve' (herniated disc) in the neck. It's the sort of thing one wouldn't wish on one's worst enemy. My left arm was virtually useless, and there's no position (sitting, standing, sleeping, etc.) that feels comfortable at all. Most people that have the misfortune to experience this (in the neck or lower back) usually take pain killers like candies, in order to stop going completely insane. One normally just has to "wait it out", especially without resorting to harmful NSAIDs etc., or surgical intervention.
Anyhow, it seemed to be an ideal time to explore (or re-explore) BODY AWARENESS. An area, which on reflection, I had seriously 'left behind' a while ago, in favour of pretty much always hanging out in open awareness or witness mode. I can certainly predict that my days of hanging out in 'no body' mode are over for the next while.
As it happened, with acute pain, and the total non-functioning of my body (in terms of movement), I found myself drawn to exploring:
- The Alexander Technique
- Mindfulness of sensations
- Gurdjieff Work (around body awareness, and the Moving Centre + Emotional Centre)
- Self-inquiry (around pain, and "I" identity with pain)
These were also supplemented by medical attention (doctors, Chiropractic (which caused more issues), Osteopathy (very helpful), etc.), and a good regime of natural supplements.
After 7 weeks, things started returning to 'normal' in terms of body functionality. My Osteopath was rather surprised at the rate of recovery, and commented that most people with this injury took between 6 weeks and 6 months.
Of the above, I found Alexander Technique (through lessons with a teacher) to be highly beneficial, insightful and completely outside any prior ideas I had related to what it was. It also fits in perfectly with any number of 'spiritual systems', even though the focus is purely physical (or educational). The ideas of 'inhibiting automatic habits', 'pausing', adjusting, bringing parts into awareness and unity, etc. all fit perfectly with Gurdjieff Work as well.
Seven weeks of intense pain and disability was a humbling, but truly fresh experience. "Life" never ceases to surprise, instruct, and lead.. often to places unexpected.
Over the next while, I'll be re-exploring some basic "Self-Observation" and Body Awareness ideas through the blog and on my other accounts.