Internal vs. External Perception

Recently I have been asking students to place their feet with their eyes closed, using their inner eye and internal perception to place their feet parallel and hip width apart. Then I ask them to open their eyes and look to see where their feet actually are in space.

This is a simple way to play with balancing our internal and external perception, or with calibrating what we feel or think is going on with what is actually going on. Are there other ways that we can play with balancing internal and external perception? Is it always the external view with our actual eyes that is the standard or is the internal view with our inner eye sometimes the standard? Is internal or external perception more important? Or does it depend on the situation?

Whatever your answers are to the above questions, I think it is valuable to do simple exercises on the mat that help your inner and outer eyes converse with each other. This way when a situation comes up in real life where your inner and outer eyes appear to be in disagreement, you have already been practicing this skill of balancing or calibrating your internal and external perception. Time on the mat is an opportunity to practice life. The stakes are low, the tasks rather simple compared to the complexity of real life. Take advantage of this opportunity so that real life feels ever more stable and easeful.

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