On my way to the meeting, I passed by a beauty salon. Few yards and one more. I wondered, has there been an explosion of beauty salons. A series of questions ran through my mind. Will I go to the salon to look better than what I think I look? Does it mean I am unhappy with how I look? I became conscious of some parts my looks that I was not happy about.
Keeping aside the topic of beauty salons what became more important for me was to understand what can I do about these parts of my body that I was not happy about. Can that be the topic for our meeting today?
“We will do a Guided Experience of Protector of life”
I was aware of the technique of Guided Experience. In this, one of us read a story and all others with closed eyes, follow the story. The story is in first person and we imagine ourselves as that person. Thus, when it was told that I am leaning from 20th floor, I imagined as if I am leaning and to that extent got the feeling related with that. In between, there were pauses allowing time to imagine more about that specific stage of the story.
“I am floating on my back in a lagoon. The water feels very pleasant, and effortlessly looking on either side, I discover that I can see the bottom through the crystalline water.
The experience started and we started following the lines imaging the scenario.
“The sky is a brilliant blue. Close by, washed by the waters of the sea, is a beach of soft, almost white sand that forms a quiet inlet without waves…..
“I decide to turn over and begin to swim with smooth strokes until I reach the beach, where I slowly emerge from the water.
“On my right I discover the entrance to a cave with a stream of clear water flowing nearby. As I approach the cave, I see a woman standing inside. A crown of flowers adorns her head and I can see her beautiful eyes, but I cannot tell her age. Yet behind her face, which radiates kindness and understanding, I sense there lies a great wisdom. As I gaze at her, all of nature falls silent.
“I am the Protector of Life,” she says. Hesitantly I answer that I do not understand what she means. At this moment a fawn approaches and licks her hand.
She invites me sit on the sand facing a smooth rock wall. “Breathe gently, and tell me what you see.” I begin to breathe slowly and deeply, and immediately a clear image of the ocean appears before me on the rock. As I breathe in, the waves roll onto the beach. As I breathe out, the waves recede.
Then she tells me, “Everything in your body is rhythm and beauty. So many times you have despised your body, without comprehending this marvelous instrument you have for expressing yourself in the world.” At this moment many scenes from my life begin to appear on the rock wall—I see myself feeling shame, fear, and horror about certain aspects of my body. These images follow one after another.
Then she adds, “Even in sickness and old age, your body will be like a faithful dog that accompanies you until the final moment. Do not despise your body when it cannot fulfill all your whims. Meanwhile make it strong and healthy. Take care of your body so that it can serve you well. Follow the opinions of only those who are wise. I who have passed through all the ages know well that the idea of beauty is ever-changing. If you do not regard your body as your closest friend, it will become sad and ill—therefore you must accept it completely. It is your instrument for expressing yourself in the world.
“I want you to see now the part of your body that is weakest and least healthy.” At once the image of this part of my body appears.
The Protector of Life rests her hand on this area, and I feel a life-giving warmth. I sense waves of energy expanding in this area, and I experience a profound acceptance of my body, just as it is.
“Take care of your body, following only the opinions of those who are wise, and do not harm it with illnesses that exist only in your imagination. Now go, filled with vitality and at peace with yourself.”
Upon emerging from the grotto, strengthened and healthy, I drink the crystalline water of the stream and feel completely renewed.
The sun and the wind caress my body as I cross the white sand toward the lagoon. When I reach the water, for an instant I glimpse in the depths the kind reflection of the Protector of Life.
As I enter the water, I give thanks within myself for my body, this marvelous instrument I have received from nature. …
With this the story ended and we shared our experiences. Some of us could visualise the whole story, some of us had distraction in between. Some of us could clearly identify the parts of the body but still couldn’t accept and some of us including me could accept them fully. All of us had a nice feeling at the end.
A new recognition of the vitality of my body and a gentle acceptance of it as it is. A crucial learning as a step ahead in my journey to become better human being.