Self Sensing & The Morning Prayer

Who remembers self sensing?   

This may sound strange, but everyday I’m grateful for my “schooling” in one particular way: I appreciate my psychological freedom, profoundly. I’m so grateful that I escaped while still healthy and able, not young, exactly, but not old. Still able to assert independence, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Recently I was mulling over how school’s instruction to practice “self sensing” every morning and recite a scripted “morning prayer” infiltrated the most intimate and legitimately private part of my life. Self sensing, school told us, was the practice of scanning our bodies, head to toe, upon waking up. Once finished with the body, expand the scan: the bed, the room, the house, your street, neighborhood, town … until you felt yourself rising above the globe, into the great wide open. I achieved this nirvana once. Most of the time, I fell right back to sleep — perhaps because I’d became sleep deprived by the contrived stress and demands of a cult.

Anyway, eventually school added the morning prayer … once the nirvana entered, we were to say: Good morning, God. How can I serve you today … and then lie there waiting for our answer from “God”. That one never worked for me and I soon threw in the towel. Mid to late cult tenure, I got fed up with “school’s” presence in my bedroom, first thing in the morning. “Fuck it, I’m sleeping.” It was a small, personal, rebellion — however I can say that not being sleep deprived really helps with clear thinking.

Anyway, among the many reports we gave in the hollow halls, we’d often report on how the self sensing/morning prayer thing was going. Mostly, I opted out, knowing better at that point not to admit my failure. It would surely be followed by a slew of “you must not be trying hard enough” messaging from the cast and crew. I let others pontificate on their amazing experiences and the wisdom gleaned from above!

Now that I’m out, I’m struck by a few things: 1) how I allowed indoctrination into my day-to-day, only-life-things. 2) I can’t remember the justification, motivation for these exercises offered by our “teachers. 3) how grateful I am that — in my most personal moments — if I pray, or if I meditate, or if I take time to notice the world beyond me, it’s internally motivated, not fed to me by a cult con.

I am wondering what others remember and experienced with self sensing and the morning prayer … so, if you feel inclined to share, would love to hear from you!