The practices

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The practices are concrete ways of applying the teachings.

This is the simplest and most radical practice. We develop a quality of presence which makes it possible to go deep within ourselves, to the root of our being. We learn to let ourselves be as we are, not to intervene, and stay silent inside, no matter what comes up. We remain attentive to the moment, relaxed and listening, without going into a hypnotic trance. During teaching workshops, meditations are sometimes guided so as to help us dive into the depth and silence of our true nature. No techniques are offered, since the point is to refrain from action and rest in oneself, in a state of total receptivity.

Sensation - Internal yoga *
Based on the Kashmiri Shaivist yogas and Qi Gong, the physical exercises are accessible and simple technically, since their aim is first and foremost to bring us back into contact with the reality of the body. Often this reality is simply a welter of resistances, reactions and fears which show themselves in a chronic state of tissue contraction. Energy circulation is blocked and the body becomes heavy and rigid. It loses its vibratory quality and its ability to radiate out into space. Such a conditioned body is unable to realize its non-separation from reality.
These explorations allow us to observe our tendency towards controlled and repetitive movement as it arises, as well as our tendency to force or limit our physical motions. They help us to recover a fluid, vibrant body in effortless harmony with the moment.
* Internal yoga is an active meditation in which body and mind enter into harmony. The burden of mental activity is set down and we enter into the pure experience of sensation. We are of one body with the present moment. This yoga makes it possible for us to integrate the teaching profoundly and concretely, and so transpose it into daily life.

When we become aware of the breath, both in the physical sense and on the level of energy, taking care we don’t start viewing it as a kind of control or performance, we can gradually clear out the resistances which disturb its harmony and breadth. Breath work has profound effects, dissolving mental activity, calming emotional agitation and facilitating return to the ground of being. Workshops commonly include simple explorations of breathing which can be applied in various situations of daily life.

Different kinds of walk, essentially as taught in Dao Yin Qi Gong and in La Gymnastique Sensorielle, are brought in for developing the perception and sensations of verticality, rooted-ness, balance and the linear axes. The various stages of walking are explored with awareness, because this fundamental action brings to light the way we move. Too often this is hurried and automatic.
In this dynamic meditation, we learn to harmonize breathing and walking so that the two form a single motion and the mind can rest in silence.

We observe everything that bothers us, in both sensation and thought, so as to become aware of the mental and emotional patterns that restrict us. As soon as we’re upset, even a little, we ask ourselves “What’s real? Am I sure of what I know or believe about this situation? Could reality be showing me the truth? Is my attachment to a belief generating suffering?” This isn’t a mental exercise. We question our emotional habits and our beliefs but we don’t let the dis-cursive mind reply — the answers come from deeper in our being. We have to be honest and brave for this practice. We’re prepared to question our certainties, even the most fundamental one, which is that we are individual entities. The practice has us living in a state of constant discovery, because we never consider anything to be certain or final.

The Practice of Stopping
All through the day there are spaces between things, empty of thought and action. We don’t pay attention to them because they are too elusive. The practice is to seize the invitation as it comes, not postpone it, and dive into these intervals of pure silence; to let ourselves fall into our own interior with no holding back. It requires great acuity and complete absence of hesi-tation. It’s like jumping off into space with absolute confidence. We let ourselves melt into the substance of the moment, to experience our unity with it in real time. This practice is very easy to bring into daily life, using environmental sounds as points of entry into the intervals.