When we are centered, life flows so naturally and smoothly that we can easily forget that we are centered. However, the importance of centeredness becomes more obvious when we are out of center. The discomforts and struggles that we encounter when we lose our center make it so clear how valuable it is to live and to operate from one’s inner center. The previous page shows three examples of the endless number of ways that centering in the hara remedies common and uncommon troubles in life. On this page I will focus on the centerline. This aspect of centering refines numerous facets of inner balance. In the Integral Presence training we cover the following elements.
1) Exploring the centerline: this is an energetic initiation to install an inner reference of the centerline. It is interesting to know about centering yet it is far more important to have an experiential basis inside of us to have a true impact. The motto for all my classes is theory in-forms; experience trans-forms.
2) Correction deviation 1: sometimes the centerline is in front of the middle line. This is when we run ahead of ourselves and don’t respect the right timing, the proper dosage of effort, and the natural rhythms of things. Our body and mind become tensed while our choices and actions provoke more resistance than anything else. From an energetic perspective, we literally stand in our own way. By bringing the centerline back into the middle, our body, mind, and soul rediscover their optimal pace and effort for fruitful action and rewarding efficiency.
3) Correction deviation 2: sometimes the centerline is behind the middle line. As a consequence, we are running behind ourselves. It appears as if we lost control over our own lives or that our life is being dominated by outside forces or people. As we bring, in this case, the centerline back into the middle, we actually show up fully (again) in our own life. We take ownership of our life and it is a joy to do so. The sense of freedom that arises from this self-responsibility is delightful and the resourcefulness that we re-discover is beyond expectation. You run your life instead of your life running you.
4) Correction deviation 3 & 4: sometimes the centerline veers of to the side, left or right. In those moments we literally live besides ourselves. Even though we step up fully into our lives in a non-forceful way, because of this centerline deviation our actions, choices, and attitudes, or simply our way of being, are provoking unpleasant echos in our projects and relationships. Sometimes the left deviation can be associated with issues in the maternal lineage or overidentification with the yin/feminine/receptive aspect of the creative principle while the right deviation can be associated with issues in the paternal lineage or overidentification with the yang/masculine/directive aspect of the creative principle. In element 7 and element 9 of Integral Presence we address these particular issues in-depth. Although it can be very powerful and life-transforming to implement this symbolism in re-alignment, this symbolism is NOT applicable systematically. There are also side deviations that are simply habitual, situational, energetical, or physical.
5) Connecting the centerline with the hara center. It is with this experiential skill that we bring the best of two resources together: the balanced and centered inner strength of the hara while giving it the most fruitful direction by joining it with the centerline.
6) Establishing inner energetic alignment by awakening the centerline has a direct influence on the physical alignment of our spine. The centerline helps the physical body to reconnect with its innate cellular intelligence. We will combine this inner awakening with a mindfulness body scan on all the vertebrae. Some people consider this exercise as a subtle osteopathic session from inside out because the spine tends to migrate back into its healthy alignment. On top of that does the energetic centerline support a physical verticality in the body that emerges from within. With this vital underpin, sitting or walking up straight is not a forceful discipline but a relaxed dignity instead.
7) There is a direct correlation between the centerline and one’s personal, social and universal integrity. This is too large a topic to expand upon in this class. I just mention it as an implicit benefit from the practice.
8) Psychological integration – 1: reason – will – emotion. Our i) reasoning capacity, our ii) will power, and our iii) emotions are three essential faculties in our psyche. When these three mind faculties align harmoniously we function at the summon of our personal aptitude. However, sometimes our ideas may disagree with our desires or once in a while, our emotions may haze the clarity of our mind. On those occasions, connecting the centerline with the hara is a powerful reflex to bring these three faculties back into coherence. Psychological integration is the 5th element of Integral Presence, so you find more information on that page. Yet I mention it here as an implicit yet powerful benefit from the centering practice.
9) Psychological integration – 2 : having a backbone. Besides the energetic support of the physical spine, the centerline and the hara are also psycho-energetic building blocks for a psychological backbone. In general, a backbone is a symbol of strength in character, a resistance to be used or taken for granted, and a firm commitment to uphold one’s decisions and commitments. As Lao Tzu reminds us “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” However, the psychological quality of the centerline does not resemble the mental self-boost that you may find sometimes in articles about assertiveness. It is a rather calm confidence in your deeper being that you know through direct experience. The knowing who you are is not a profile, nor a biography or a reputation. It is an immediate present-moment awareness of the eternal core essence.
10) Walking with the centerline… In the Mindfulness+ class 4/4, we learned that balance is a dynamic movement and not a static fixing point (listen to the smilefulness mediation). Likewise simply ? walking is a permanent shifting of balance from one leg to the other. I invite you to take a moment to explore how walking with centerline awareness feels like.