Don’t be afraid to touch yourself.

When you physically touch parts of your own body, there is no line between what’s touching and what’s being touched. It is so understood within us that every part of our body is a part of ourselves; we don’t need to be reminded that our hands are extensions of our arms, our feet extensions of our legs, our heads are connected to our necks, etc.

Each time you touch any part of yourself, you are aware of the part that is being touched AND the part of you that is doing the touching. You touch your nose with the tip of your finger and you feel sensation from two points of view: how your nose feels on your finger tip, as well as how your finger tip feels on your nose. Also, no matter what’s being touched or doing the touching, you feel an overall touching of YOU. YOU are being touched, and YOU are doing the touching.  It’s close and comfortable, even more so than a lover’s touch.

So touch yourself. Do it. Clasp your hands together. First, treat it like you’re using the right hand to feel the left hand; let most of your touching-sense intake come from your right hand, let the right hand tell the story of how the left hand feels. Let your right hand feel all the different characteristics of your left hand; the lines, the hairs, the warmth/cold of the left hand’s skin… all of it. Let the right hand be the storyteller, the record-keeper, the Observer of the left hand. Now switch it around and do the same with the opposite hands. Take mental/sensory notes of the different sensations.  Then let both sides tell the Story, feel them together as one, let the line disappear.

Now reach out your dominant hand and touch the things around you. Place your hand on the wall, plant your feet firmly on the ground, pick something up off the table in front of you and turn it around in your hands. Do this like you are touching yourself, with the same warmth and understanding that these things are merely extensions of you, all parts of your physical body.

At first, simply take in the sensations of the thing itself. Use your dominant hand to take in all the characteristics; the hard/softness, the texture, etc. Now allow yourself to extend. Extend the feeling of your physical body to accommodate the thing you are touching. Allow it to be another part of your body, so much so that there is no question. Fill yourself with it.  Do it until the lines of distinction disappear.

Touch a flat hand to a table surface; feel all the characteristics of it, but also see it as an extension of your physical body – feel the size and sturdiness of it, as if you yourself were made of the same materials. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, feel the connection between your feet and the floor.  First feel your feet, then feel your shoes like they’re just part of your feet, then feel them connect to the floor, allow the floor to be just an extension of your feet. Now take in the entire floor throughout the room; let your feet – your body – extend out to the entire room. Place a firm flat hand to the wall, and let the entire structure of the room become your skin.  Go even further, let all the stuff and things in the room become an extension of your body, your many limbs and organs; the tables, the chairs, the dishes, the dust bunnies, the dirty clothes on the floor, the mustard stain on the carpet.  All of it.

Now let your body become the SPACE in the room, let the air and light be an extension of you. Let all the sounds and smells become part of your actual body, as if they are all originating from YOU.  Breathe that Space in deeply, feel the walls of the room expand as your lungs expand.  Exhale fully and let your shoulders relax, feel the room settle back into itself just as you are settling into yourself.

Now go outside, and let yourself extend over everything and everyone you see, for as far as you can see. Touch things. Touch people. Interact with the world around you, as if it’s all just an extension of your body, as if it’s YOU. Not just you on the inside, but you on the outside. You PHYSICALLY. Feel yourself extend over miles and miles, feel all the different parts of you now. Even other people, other bodies; see them as if their body is just another part of your body, another one of your limbs, more of your skin. Especially the SPACE around you; allow it to become a part of you, see the space between things. Let the glorious pockets of Nothing that surround you become living and breathing, and be the one to give it that life and breath, just as you yourself are alive and breathing.

There is no line between you and the world around you, they are One and the same. Nothing is ever truly lost, everything is accessible, doable, tangible. It’s all right there at the edge of your fingertips, because it’s literally at your fingertips. Everything around you is an actual, physical extension of YOU. Do not be afraid to reach out and touch yourself.

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