Jane's writing of this morning reminded me of the four dignities of man, as seen by the Chinese. They are walking, standing, sitting, and lying. I give you an excerpt from a Sensory Awareness newsletter, where Charlotte Selver explains honoring everything with our inner attention, honoring walking, standing, sitting and lying.
Check it out at: http://www.sensoryawareness.org/pagesnews/04/fall04/wakingup.html
Honoring Everything With Our Inner Attention
Charlotte: When once you see—really see—somebody who has sensitivity, you can never miss it. I remember a Hindu dancer doing a temple dance. He was standing. He drank out of a cup. And then he sat down. That was all! I will never forget what happened to me while he was sitting down. He didn’t do anything else . . . nothing . . . and I suddenly realized what sitting means. Nothing else but this simple movement of coming to sitting. One felt that this man was absolutely there for it.
There was a real electric quality in it, . . . at the same time the greatest peace and the most beautiful movement you could imagine. The whole big auditorium of people were absolutely breathlessly following this one motion. He came to sitting and sat. There was a dead silence. Then a kind of tumult started. Everybody was delirious with excitement, and rushed forward, wanting to get near this dancer.
I don’t know whether any of you is so far as to feel what actually is happening in these classes. I give away the secret: it is to allow everything one does, really. We have chosen the most simple things which we do all the time, to feel out to which degree we honor everything with our inner attention.
We have this marvelous ability to sense, this wonderful equipment of sensing. And we don’t have to think about it; we have it all in us. Every person has gone through the stages of sitting, of standing. The discovery by a baby of standing is one of the most wonderful things to watch. How often he falls, how often he cannot come completely up. And in each time the same delight . . . and struggle. He is trying to get up until at last, when he is standing, he beams with delight. This satisfaction of arriving at something which is really ‘it’ is inborn in us. We feel it immediately when we come into the neighborhood of ‘it’. That’s ‘it’!
Now, what has impressed me so exceedingly with my teacher, Elsa Gindler, was that whatever she did she did fully. And whatever was being done was subject enough for her feeling it out and fulfilling it. Not thinking about it but actually permitting it to happen. For instance, Elsa Gindler would sit and turn a page in a book which was lying before her—without that she would pay any attention to it consciously, and the way she turned the page was one hundred percent. It was so beautiful to see. It was not what we usually call graceful. It was just ‘it’. She was fully in the moment, and when she let the page come to lying there you had the feeling that she took care of it—without thinking about it—in the same way in which she would take care of the most precious thing she had.
We cannot judge things, dividing them into two kinds: one which doesn’t concern me, doesn’t interest me, that goes without my paying attention to it. The others—the so-called higher things or deeper things—which I think are interesting, and devote myself to. When this judging gradually stops, and instead we would give each thing we do the same honor, then it would be quite different.
In Zen they say, “When I drink, I drink; when I’m angry, I’m angry; when I sit, I sit; when I sleep, I sleep.” You know? Undivided. Just it. And in this way I would like you to understand what we are doing here. In the moment in which the orchestra of the human being—our many-dimensionality—would give itself in a united way to action, then we would function. Who realizes that sensing has a right of its own? You can simply follow it.
I like always to speak about how ‘it’ wants to be. In other words, the message comes from inside without that you have any idea in your head about how it should be. For instance, when you are interested in a person, you don’t have to think about it—you feel it, you know? You don’t have to think about whether the water is cold or warm; you feel it. You don’t have to think about whether a situation is difficult or not, you feel it. So, is it possible to simply react immediately, spontaneously, to what’s happening? So that the whole living person is automatically reacting to what’s happening? Then it’s easy. Then it makes fun. Then you begin to trust your own sensations, and can simply follow your perceptions.