Consciousness affects physiology. If you vividly imagine eating a lemon, with its tartness, the spritz of juice as you bite into the lemon, the sensation of your lips and tongue on the yellow pulp, the tart lemon smell, you may notice yourself salivating. If you think angry thoughts, your heart beats faster and your blood pressure goes up. If you imagine yourself in a frightening situation, lets say giving a speech to a large group, you might feel your stomach flutter and your palms sweat. Our bodies are designed to respond to mental imagery.
Researchers in psychoneuroimmunology have begun to demonstrate the relationship between thought and immune system response. Mental factors help determine how our bodies respond to illness. Stress, for instance, is known to suppress the immune response. Conversely, hope, joy and expectation of healing are associated with improved immune response.
If thought has power to affect our health, then it behooves us to practice thinking in a way that enhances our health. The following meditation may help you to direct your mind towards healing and wholeness.
Find a comfortable position where you can relax. This may be sitting or lying down. Loosen any tight clothing, so that you won’t feel constricted. Take a few slow deep breaths. Let the air out slowly, and let it come back in naturally as it wants to. Your breathing is unrushed and unforced. Remind yourself to relax. Scan your body for tension and where you find it, invite your muscles to let it go and just relax. Take your time. Breathe like this, calmly and comfortably for a few minutes, or longer if you like. Let go of any distracting thoughts you might have. Just be with your body and your breath.
Now sense the shape of your body. See if you can become aware of the boundary between your physical body and the space around it. You may feel pressure where your body meets the surface that supports it. You may feel the movement of air or heat or coolness on the surface of your skin. You may feel the touch of fabric against your skin. You may perceive other body sensations that tell you where your body is.
Notice, now the sensations inside your body as you continue to breathe comfortably and relax. You may feel tingling or pulsing in parts of your body. You may have sensations of warmth or coolness. Notice what is happening inside you.
Create in your mind an image of your whole body where it is right now. See in your mind the shape and volume of your physical form.
Now recognize that your body is made up of innumerable tiny living cells. These cells make up every living part of you. They form your skin, your bones, your muscles, your organs, your brain and nervous system. From top to bottom, inside and out, you are living as the coordinated process of this vastly complex intelligent system. These cells each have their function. When your system is in balance, each cell knows what to do. The cells and the organic systems they compose support you as a living being. As your cellular body does its life work, the individual cells take in energy. They use it to carry on their life processes. Oxygen is combusted. Fluids are moved. Food is digested. Nerve cells fire in rhythmic patterns. Muscles are empowered. You move, or don’t move as the need arises.
Visualize all this activity as energy in your body. See this energy as light. Your body glows as each of your innumerable cells performs its function. Whether your cells are busy or at rest, they pulse with energy. Imagine that while you are having this quiet time, the pulsing is calm and harmonious.
Now think of all this inner light as consciousness. Your body is an intelligent system. It knows how to continue doing what it is doing and it knows how to respond to differing circumstances. It knows how to nourish itself, to heal itself, to become more or less active in response to the environment. All the enormous complexity of you as a living system is maintained by the activity of consciousness. It may be happening below the level of your awareness, but consciousness is the mover in you as a physical body.
Now, use your mind to enhance and harmonize the life processes happening in your body. Imagine that all is well with your body. See in your mind this conscious energy body in its perfect, whole and complete form. You are filled with light. You are filled with consciousness. You are calm. All your body systems are in a harmonious balance of wellness. Your inner healing system knows how to protect you. Your mind and body are at peace, so all systems are able to work unimpeded by emotional confusion. Affirm now that your body is intelligent. It is capable of sustaining your miraculous life. It has the wisdom at the cellular level to heal disease and create a balanced state of wellness. This mental picture you are forming of your body in its perfect state is like a template for your cellular intelligence to follow. You are your cells. You are your body. You are your consciousness, both above and below the level of awareness. Hold in your mind the image of your body in a perfect state of health. Invite your body to attune to that image.
As you return to your daily activities, carry this image of your light body, your consciousness body with you. Calm yourself often and invite your body/mind to fulfill your image of perfect health.