There is a story about an indigenous driving a visitor for days amid the African vastness, suddenly stopping the car, getting out, and laying down on the ground. The visitor, not knowing what to make out of it asks the driver when he gets back to the car, what was he doing laying down on the ground for no apparent reason. “Oh”, the indigenous replied casually “I was just letting my soul catch up with my body”.
Having the body and soul not too far from each other is fundamental for our well being, as the indigenous instinctively knew (also laying on the ground, but that is for another discussion).Sometimes though the body goes too fast and we become a soulless body. Other times the soul would leave the body behind (while we are still physically alive…) and we would be disembodied soul. Neither is good news, and can manifest in sickness and/or depression.
This is what a retreat is for. Sometimes we need to step out of the world as we think we know it, and check in with our body and soul, see where they are in relations to one another. We don’t have to go no-where really to do so, but we do have to take ourselves out of our everyday life business for a while. It can be that we go for a few hours on a hiking trip in nature, or dedicate a morning to meditation and reflection, making sure we are not destructed by our phones and electronics. I would suggest that you do it on a regular basis, once a week if you can, make a physical commitment, put it on your scheduled if that what you need to make it happen.
People would report, even after 2 hours of being out in the woods, that they feel refreshed, more grounded, more in tune with the world around them, also more sensitive and receptive. I don’t think it would be relevant to label these experiences as good or bad, nor do I think anyone should set up a goal to feel one way (we humans can do some unbelievable things with our brilliant minds…)however, this is the best we can do with language to express some of the experiences of the soul and the body walking hand in hand.
Coming back from a weekend meditation retreat, I’d like to offer one expression of my own experience. When my body and soul are catching up with each other briefly, I feel more oriented. Again, not saying whether it’s good or bad, I do know it is healthy for both my body(that is so achy from long sits) and soul(ordered perfectly raw this morning).