... cosmic wise
Here’s the note I typed into my phone with this little letter in mind:
Body where we are in space on earth, mind to where we are in the cosmos… fascia helps the body work out where we are in space here and through the body (carrere) you get to the mind (can’t intellectualise you have to do)
Pockets of infinity
It made sense at the time! Let’s see if I can work out what I meant …
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Thanks to endless minor but irritating injuries, I’ve been seeing a wonderful acupuncturist (Aina at Tao Medicine, just off Raya Kerobokan) for a few weeks. Although the problems seem disparate — one sore wrist, one sore shoulder, sore back ribs, one sore knee—they all seem to stem from one origin: the scar from when I had an ovarian cyst aged around 10 or 11.
This week the acupuncturist really worked on the scar tissue. Afterwards, during yoga practice, I noticed so much more space in so many places internally. I kept thinking of these new spaces as “pockets of infinity” as I moved and breathed—which is a nice name for a book, which I probably will never write, so go ahead and take it if you like, it’s all yours.
Then I saw this post, about fascia and scar tissue:
Have a click through properly to the post, and swipe to see the picture of the fascia, artery, and nerve. I’ve never had neurokinetic therapy, but interestingly the approach (and I’m sure others too) prioritizes scars and their surrounding fascial distortions. Why? “Because the fascia is the skeleton for the sensory nerves, and sensory nerves tell the brain where we are in space. Loss of that feedback compromises the brain's ability to communicate properly with that part of the body. Dysfunction and pain arise from there.”
Fascia has in the past few decades started to be explored as “a metasystem, connecting and influencing all other systems, a concept with the potential to change our core understanding of human physiology” (see more here). Meanwhile, this interesting piece notes, “putting the attention in the fascial system allows the body to be sensed and moved as a singular connected whole. This awareness gives greater access to the ‘in between’ spaces, allows us to tone the organs, and gives us greater access to a sense of mechanical expansion and contraction.”
“There’s no point doing it intellectually,” he cites S. N. Goenka as saying in a recording played before meditation. “There’s no point reading books on Buddhism. That’s like reading a menu over and over instead of eating… The only tool you have to reach reality, the only raft you have to make the crossing, is your body.”
I like to think that yoga helps you map your body in space—i.e., learning where you physically are in relation to the world, and also how each part of the body relates to the others (hindered, therefore, when your body isn’t quite sending the right signals to your brain). At the same time, insofar as it is a meditative practice itself (and not just preparing you for meditation) it helps you map your mind in time—i.e., in the present, and not the past or the future.
I wonder now, too, more about the manipulation of fascia, whether through external measures like acupuncture, bodywork, or even just yoga, and how it has the potential to transform awareness of the internal. Those “pockets of infinity” were fleeting perceptions of universes within (let’s assume each universe goes on for infinity—the jury is still out on this), a simultaneous untethering from the world but also a more tightly bound interconnectedness to it all.
And you can’t just think it. You’ve got to use your body.
Better Call Saul. Loved Breaking Bad years ago, but only getting to this now after all the buzz surrounding Season 6. I love how Bob Odenkirk looks so very ordinary yet manages to, well, act.
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki.
Inside? Outside? What is the difference and how can you tell? When a sound enters your body through your ears and merges with your mind, what happens to it? Is it still a sound then, or has it become something else? When you eat a wing or an egg or a drumstick, at what point is it no longer a chicken? When you read these words on a page, what happens to them, when they become you?
'I'm Sixty And I Wasted My Whole Life!' I love Heather Havrilesky’s advice column.
Looking after these dumped and rescued maybe three-week-old as yet nameless furballs. Super-sharp claws, super-miaowy miaows, and super-good climbers—watch out world.
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