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Mindful : April 2019
hearing assisting her with reclaiming some degree of external control over the positioning of her body and its ability to vocal- ize, but all her movements have to be carried out with extreme deliberateness and conscious attention. All the same, “there is this specific, organically based, feeling of disembodied- ness, which remains as severe, and uncanny, as the day she first felt it.” Unlike those who are paralyzed by transections high up in the spinal cord and who also lose proprioception, “Christina, though ‘bodi- less,’ is up and about.” Make no mistake about it. Just as the loss of know- ing who you are in suffer- ers of Alzheimer’s disease is in no way some kind of shortcut to selflessness, the loss of this proprioceptive mooring is not liberating in any sense of the word. It is not enlightenment, nor a dissolving of ego, nor the letting go of an over- wrought attachment to the body. It is a pathological, utterly destructive process that robs the individual of what Sacks calls “the start and basis of all knowledge and certainty,” quoting the philosopher Ludwig Witt- genstein. We have no words to describe the feelings we might be left with in the face of such a loss because the loss of the felt sense of the body, especially when the body can still move, is inconceivable to us. FROM OBLIVION TO BODY AWARENESS “Those aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and famil- iarity. (One is unable to notice something because it is always before one’s eyes.) The real foundations of his enquiry do not strike a man at all.” These are Wittgenstein’s words, with which Sacks opens his story about that “sixth sense” we so don’t know we have, so much is it in evidence, namely the felt sense of the body in space. It is so allied with our physicality, our physical “presence,” our sense of the body as proper to us and therefore as our own, that we fail to notice it or appre- ciate its centrality in our construction of the world and who we (think we) are. When we practice the body scan, our awareness includes that very sense of proprioception that Sacks is describing and that → WHEN AWARENESS EMBRACES THE SENSES IT ENLIVENS THEM. “I longed for a heart-centered bridge between the spirit of mindfulness and the pragmatism of coaching. I found it at Mindfulness Coaching School, where this synergy is embodied. Working with Ann-Marie and the faculty is a multi-dimensional journey. Much more than coaching, it’s an awakening for you and your clients.” your clients.” – Annalisa Corti Business Consultant & MCS Student Coach, Italy Register online or call us at +1.505.906.6700 Join mindfulness practitioners from around the world for lively and contemplative online classes. For coaches and non-coaches alike. Visit our website for classes, playshops, talks, guided meditations, and more! www.MindfulnessCoachingSchool.com Mindfulness Coaching School April 2019 mindful 69