Eckhart Tolle is well known for his preaching about living in the present moment. But there is one other practice that Tolle discusses in most of his books and talks which has somehow not gotten the kind of reception it should have received. And that practice is the practice of ‘inner body awareness’.
Outer body versus the inner body
Most of us spend loads of time and energy to keep our outer body looking good and attractive. We try to eat healthy, hit the gym, go for jogs, spend money on cosmetics, keep ourselves well groomed and spend hours in front of the mirror, making sure we look good to the outer world. Even though there is nothing wrong with that, what’s odd is that we hardly spend even 1% of our time getting in touch with our inner body!
The reason for this is many. For one, no one teaches us how to get in touch with our inner body. And secondly, we don’t seem to have a reason why one would want to do that?
Intelligence in our inner body
There are millions of processes that run every single second in our inner body that keep us alive. And all of these processes are happening on their own without our conscious attention. This is because there is a deeper intelligence within us that is seamlessly running all of these processes.
As a small example, there are over 100 trillion cells that make up our physical body, and every single cell goes through over 10,000 chemical reactions every single second. There’s over 3.2 billion nucleic acids that make up the genes in every single cell. This is something that is impossible for our minds to even fathom.
Without a doubt, there is massive intelligence present in our body. And the gateway to getting in touch with this intelligence is inner body awareness.
So what is inner body awareness?
Simply put, inner body awareness involves feeling your body from within. This might sound like a strange or woo-woo concept to many but that’s only because they have never giving it a try and wonder how exactly to do it? But just like everything else in life, things seem difficult at first but if you keep practising, they start to make sense.
The following is a simple breathing exercise you can do to start getting in touch with your inner body:
Sit comfortably and become conscious of your breathing. As you inhale, feel the cool air caressing the insides of your nostrils and touching the back of your throat as it glides into your lungs through your windpipe. Hold your breath for a few seconds and consciously feel this air inside you, expanding your lungs and diaphragm. Feel the air leaving your lungs and the warm air caressing the insides of your nostrils as you exhale. Repeat consciously breathing this way for as many breaths as you feel comfortable.
This exercise will give you a glimpse of what it is to feel your body from within and will serve as a starting point to further awareness. You can now take this awareness to feel other parts of your body. For example, consciously feel your heart beating or consciously feel the emotions your body is experiencing.
If you want to explore further, here’s a complete body awareness exercise that you can do.
Eckhart Tolle quotes on inner body awareness
Here is a collection of quotes by Eckhart Tolle on body awareness taken from his various talks on this topic and from his book ‘The Power of Now’.
“Through the inner body, you are forever one with God.”
“Do not turn your attention elsewhere in your search for the truth, for it is nowhere else to be found but within your body.”
“The body you can see and touch is only a thin illusory veil, underneath it lies the invisible inner body, the doorway into being, into life unmanifested. Through the inner body, you are inseparably connected to this unmanifested one life.”
“The key is to be in a state of permanent connectedness with your inner body, to feel it at all times, this will rapidly deepen and transform your life.”
“The more consciousness you direct into the inner body, the higher its vibrational frequency becomes. At this higher energy level, negativity cannot affect you anymore and you tend to attract new circumstances that reflect this higher frequency.”
“If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the now, you won’t lose yourself in the external world and you won’t lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions will still be there to some extent but they won’t take you over.”
“Feel your whole body from within as a single field of energy.”
“The art of inner body awareness will develop into a completely new way of living, a state of permanent connectedness with being and will add a depth to your life that you have never known before.”
“It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body, no matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore.”
“When you focus within and feel the inner body, you immediately become still and present as you are withdrawing consciousness from your mind. If a response is required in that situation, it will come up from this deeper level.”
“Just as the sun is infinitely brighter than a candle flame, there is infinitely more intelligence in being than in your mind.”
“As long as you are in contact with your inner body, you are like a tree that is deeply rooted in the earth.”
“Your inner body is the source from which consciousness emanates like light emanates from the sun. Awareness of the inner body is consciousness remembering its origin and returning to its source.”
“Feeling will get you closer to the truth of who you are than thinking.”
“The more consciousness you bring into the body, the stronger the immune system becomes. It is as if every cell awakens and rejoices. The body loves your attention. It is also a potent form of self healing.”
“Most illnesses creep in when you are not present in the body, if the master is not present in the house all kinds of shady characters will take up residence there, when you inhabit the body, it will be hard for unwanted guests to enter.”
“In addition the your physical immune system, your psychic immune system is enhanced as well which protects you from the negative mental-emotional force fields of others which are highly contagious.”
“If you are finding it hard to get in touch with the inner body, it is usually easier to focus on your breathing first. Conscious breathing will gradually put you in touch with your body. Breath into your body and feel your abdomen expanding and contracting with each inhalation and exhalation.”