Deepak Chopra, MDHealth Blog - Wellness


Ask Deepak: Body Guidance

Published on 2009-02-18 by Deepak Chopra, MD


Question:
I was listening to an audio recording of yours ( a series with you and Wayne Dyer) and you were talking about body knowledge and how it comes down to comfort and discomfort.  The conversation was around listening to the body and if something’s uncomfortable look at what I can do to move towards comfort.  it is a simple concept, but then I think about in my own spiritual practice (I work in Toltec Shamanism) and how we intentional go towards the discomfort in order to move through.  I know I am interpreting what you’re saying through my own filters, but it almost sounds like avoiding discomfort.  If I think about my own life, and I’m sure many people can relate to this, and a situation such as visiting my parents.  Lots of discomfort!  Do I then avoid visiting them and choose instead to sit out in nature or go run off to Mexico (which I do choose often!).  In my spiritual practices, I would look at the discomfort and go sit in it for a while..choosing to sit in he discomfort in order to move through it, to understand it.  I believe there’s even a Chinese proverb about the only way to conquer the dragon is to become one with it.  So, perhaps you can clarify for me what you were speaking about and how this relates to my question?

Answer:
The practice of listening to your body for guidance is not advocating avoidance of discomfort, although I can understand your confusion. Tuning in to your body wisdom is a way of gaining information or guidance that bypasses your complicated ego mind with its endless rationalizations and counterarguments. It allows you to get a simple response to the question “will this be a beneficial thing for me?” If you are quiet and settled and pose the question, your body will give you a response that is either a “yes,” through a sense of comfort or ease, or a “no” through a response of discomfort. The technique is simply a way to directly tap into your inner guidance.

The process you are describing of using what is uncomfortable in your life as a signal for where to direct your healing energy is a different practice with a different purpose. It still uses the body’s intelligence as a guide, but the question is different “where do I need to correct an imbalance” and the practice involves staying with the discomfort instead of running away from it as a means of staying on point with the process instead of getting distracted.

Even though the two practices use the body’s signals in different ways, they are not contradictory because they are accomplishing different objectives.
Love,
Deepak


The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.