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Namah Journal

The body

To Touch Matter

Arul Dev


This article is about making a tiny conscious exploration into one aspect, that we see explored by both Mother and Sri Aurobindo, — to touch matter in the very substance of our body at the realm of the physical or the subtle physical. To make this exploration we will take a few quotes from Mother’s Agenda and Mother’s Log. We will do this exploration in a very concrete and tangible way. As you read this article, you will find a few practices shared. Kindly do the practices as you read and see what opens up for you. As a few individuals learn to touch matter, perhaps within our bodies, in the rocks, in the crystals, in the mineral kingdom, within the earth, etc. it could make a leap of progress within the entire humanity.

Connecting to our body

“’Evil’ is something that has been added to enable us to touch Matter (1).”

We will begin with this intriguing quote by the Mother. Let us explore how to touch the matter within our body. We can then explore what could be this role of ‘evil’ hinted by Mother.

The key question is, how do we actually connect to our body and stay within to touch its matter at depth? For most of us, even as we connect to our body, our commentating mind begins to comment more. We often lose connection with our body and dart within into an emotion or sensation or we get flung outside of us, pursuing something else that is more captivating. Perhaps this could be because we have not yet discovered the golden treasures that lie within the matter or substance of our body. Our proposition is we can act in the world in a more centred and creative way by actually being in touch with the matter of our body. This could take us towards a life of New Creation.

Some of the ways in which practitioners of Integral Yoga are exploring to touch the matter of their body are through:

• Natural breath
• Awareness with inner senses
• Discovering the pure matter at depth
• Experiencing cells touching each other
• Connecting to our subtle physical
• Connecting to the subtle physical of Masters

We will begin to explore these methods in this article and continue deeper in future articles.

The subtle physical is the realm near matter that is far more fluid and responsive to the Divine touch. Whatever Divine qualities are soaked within the subtle physical, it then shares its qualities and substance to the physical matter. The subtle physical is both within our bodies and around it, in the world of matter in the world and in the depth of substance of our earth too.

What is matter?

It is the result of the descent of the supramental substance into Matter. Only this substance —what it has put into physical Matter — could have made it possible. It is a new ferment. From the material standpoint, it removes from physical Matter its tamas, the heaviness of its unconsciousness, and from the psychological standpoint, its ignorance and its falsehood (2).”

We need to train ourselves to detect matter and touch it within our body. When we place our awareness within a body part we see what is present there with our inner vision. Some images will pop up on its own. We may see some colours or feel some energy. We may also feel some sensations like contraction, expansion, tingling, pain, joy, pleasure, freedom or some movements. With more awareness we can detect the light present within our body, some parts will have more and some parts less. We could detect qualities like power, joy, delight, beauty, love, silence, etc. Both on the surface or the depth of any body part, we would get some pulsations and vibrations. Through these methods we get familiar with the body and its inner terrains.

Yet we may miss actually connecting with the substance of matter. To discover and actually touch matter we need to also learn to shift our awareness into the substance part of our body. We may perhaps need to keep reminding ourselves that it is in the matter that the Divine is descending into directly, perhaps because matter can hold the Divine the best. We will explore how to tune into this process through some short inner practices in this article. This can support us to become receptive instruments of the New Creation.

We need to train ourselves, as in our body awareness many of us miss bringing attention to the substance part of our body. Any part of the body and its flesh and organs has matter. The cells have a mass and volume, which gives weight to the body. This is what we are referring to as the matter of our body. When we touch a stone, it feels different from touching water. A stone is more solid and we can feel its matter even with our hands if we learn to actually connect in a very material way with the stone. When we place our fingers within water we can feel its flow. If we flip into the substance part there will be a substance dimension to the water too. If we are really aware, in air too there is a substance component, which is why sometimes the breeze feels dense and sometimes light.

When we move our awareness within our body, we need to learn to move our awareness into the mass or volume or weight of the cells. Even if we relax our body a bit we will feel a certain weight of the body’s substance. Sometimes when people do yoga the lightness part of the body is emphasised. The weight or density of the body too is to be honoured, to be able to touch matter and perhaps start feeling its divinity. The inner practice here is to move into the body and feel or see its mass, density, weight or substance. We can then discover a few practices that we can do, seated within the substance of our body that will support us to discover its divinity.

If still our mind is curious as to why do we need to explore matter to touch its divinity, we can read the quote below of The Mother for our mind to chew on:

“It is likely that the greatest resistance will be in the most conscious beings due to a lack of mental receptivity, due to the mind itself which wants things to continue (as Sri Aurobindo has written) according to its own mode of ignorance. So-called inert matter is much more easily responsive, much more — it does not resist (3).”

Matter is a Source

While we connect to the Divine in the heights of the Above or within the Cave of our Hearts, it is now perhaps possible to connect to the Divine in the depth of each cell of our body. From what we learn from the Mother’s sharing it is now easier for matter to receive the Divine.

We are reminded again by Her quote:

“It means that the supreme height touches the most material matter, without any intermediary (4).”
It would be now easier to access the Divine in matter’s depth within our body and also in the core of the sacred earth. The ease of how this could emerge for all of us is perhaps due to the work that the Masters did in their physical body, are continuing to do in their subtle physical realm and a few others who are working this out in their own body in current times.

When we read descriptions of Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s work on their body, they become pointers of light for us. At the same time, we should not think that the transformation would happen exactly as has been written or that the body’s transformation could be difficult for us as it was for the pioneers. Much more work on our collective body has been going on, which are not recorded in the texts. The Masters are doing this work from the subtle physical realm after they moved on from their physical bodies. These new insights need to gathered directly now by learning to connect to the subtle physical of the Masters from the depth of substance of our bodies.

We will receive clues directly within our body, even bypassing our mind. When we do the work in our own body or when we are guiding others, suddenly we become aware of some simple and subtle ways of connecting to the depth of the cells of our body. Our awareness then meets the substance at the depth of our body, to co-participate in the transformation and allow the golden goodness to spread across all the cells of our body. While the even spread could be an unfolding future for many of us, touching the Divine in the depth of our body cells has never been as simple as it is now.

Simple Practices

We will now share a few practices that we can explore together. We can do these individually, in pairs or in small groups who are united by an aspiration to discover the subtle substance. Some of these emerged for the author while reading Mother’s Agenda and some have been learnt from others who are exploring this path. Some of these just emerged as the body’s own guidance, when practitioners in the retreats and workshops were exploring the depth of substance. Let us take a final quote by the Mother to understand the phenomenon of condensation of the Divine in Matter and against this backdrop let us explore our practices.

“And then, it was surrounded by various dark sheaths, a very dark purple which is the color of protection. A sparkling light was entering into it — it kept entering, but without making any holes. It passed right through everything, through the purple — through everything. It passed through and entered inside, where there were sparklings of every color, like a cascade. There are always these cascades of force —similar to a cascading stream whose waters neither flow on nor disappear, but accumulate: an accumulation of energies, a condensation. And they accumulate without taking up any more space through a kind of compression. And inside, it’s moving, vibrating, vibrating, vibrating, it keeps coming and coming — you don’t know where it comes from, but it keeps coming and accumulating. 

“It was a force with a sparkling white light at its center, the light which is the force of the Divine Mother, and as soon as it was well packed and concentrated inside, or condensed, it took on all the colors — vibrations of every color ... Like a materialisation — these colors were like a materialization of the Divine Force when it enters matter. (Just as matter is a condensation of energy, well, this seemed to be a condensation of Divine Force. That’s really the impression it gave) (5).”

When you read this if you feel a sense of truth in this, it simply means that even if our conscious mind does not understand this process fully, our cells know this process at some level. Our cells perhaps even know how to recognise past energies, condensed and locked in our substance, and open them to the Divine Source. They could then guide us to receive this condensing Divine Light and Force in the very matter of our body. We need to prepare our bodies to receive this condensed form of the Divine and also to be able to recognise the growth of this at the depth of our body cells.

Practice 1: Become aware of sensations
When you connect to your body how do you know that you are actually touching your body? Place your hands on some part of your body and wait. You are sensing the body not just from your mind, but allow your hands to connect and feel the body. After some time or even instantly, sensations open up. First these are tiny sensations and then they become a lot of sensations that open up. This is evidence that we have actually contacted the body. While beginning any inner body work, it is always good to begin with awareness of the sensations.

Sensations can look and feel like tingling, heat, warmth, movements, constrictions, expansiveness, pain, pressure, etc. They could be present in one location or could be a horizontal, vertical or diagonal movement.

Practice 2: Drop your awareness into your body
Keep your awareness on the surface of any body part and allow sensations to open up. Now move your awareness within that part of your body you are practising on — say go within 10 percent and 20 percent and then even more till you touch depth.

Practice 3: Be conscious with your inner senses
When we move within our body, whatever is present we see with our inner sight, we sense with our felt sense, we could hear a sound like an OM, Hmmm or Silence or even get a taste in our tongue.

Practice 4: Detect movement of breath within body
With your awareness now within the body, detect how your breath flows. In some regions the flow will be smooth. In some regions, the flow will be restricted. Wait within your body parts in different regions of the surface to depth and aspire to feel the flow of the breath. Slowly the full breath reveals itself. This helps in easing out of stuck energies or even illness in any part of our body. Being with the natural breath within specific and all body parts also supports the body to return to its natural nourished state.

Practice 5: Detect energy, emotions and memory impressions embedded within the body
Connect to the body and become aware of the sensations, to ensure we are actually connecting with the body. Slowly drop deeper and deeper within different parts of the body. In each part as you drop in, see with your inner eye and feel what is there with your inner sensing. You will slowly detect some colours like ash, dark, white, yellow, etc. Your own inner sensing will tell you if these are nourishing qualities present within your body or if these are spent energies just locked in — sometimes ours and sometimes others. Some see visually and some feel these emotions or energies present. If you stay in each region of your body, gradually the emotions, sensations, pains, memory imprints, thoughts, faces of people, images of places you have been with pop up. These all represent what is stored within the body as impressions. These could be nourishing or limiting. Stay within each region of your body and when you notice that these are just spent stuff locked in the cells, bring a quiet aspiration. Request the cells, ‘You no longer need to hold on to these. You can release them to the Divine above so that they can get transformed’. Requesting this we just wait there with the cells and see what unfolds. When there is a release and a freeing-up you will see or feel the evidence of this in your inner senses. Your body increasingly becomes free to hold the healing or Divine light, energy and even substance of the New Creation.

Practice 6: Vibrations and Pulsation
As you move within your body, you will also detect vibrations and pulsations that are continuous. First you will find it only in some parts of the body. Then if we learn to listen quietly we start becoming aware of a world of vibrations and pulsations going on. This will be like the cricket insect sounds in the night, which is there ever present and vast spread. Paying attention to these vibrations and pulsations by itself heals us. These help in opening our body to our awareness and prepares the body to receive the Divine.

Practice 7: Connecting to the Substance of our body
When we pay attention to the mass, density, weight, solidity or weight of the body, we flip our awareness into the substance or matter part. This is a breakthrough by itself. Staying here we need to do the remaining practices. It is in the substance and density of our body that it is now simplest to invoke the Divine.

Practice 8: Request cells to turn to Divine
When you start observing the cells with your inner senses you will start getting a sense of whether they are primarily interacting with the world, connected to the cave of your heart, connected to the sacred core of earth or open to the above. Interactions with the world will include those with other human beings, animals, birds, nature, environment and vital beings. All these have nourishing and limiting elements. The human soul and body are sought after as deep treasures for all of existence. The truth is that wherever there is light all of existence wishes to connect to it. Our soul and body hold great capacity for light. So sometimes nature and all in creation could lean towards anyone who starts holding light. However, each member of the creation needs to find their own light by turning to the Divine. So unconsciously, many a time we could be carrying the imprints of others when they are connected or are connecting to us.

It is at the cell level that we are trying to transform this osmosis nature of our cells where they are constantly drawing energy from the world and throwing our energy outwards. This leads to mutual entanglements. We can connect to our cells and request them to go beyond current nature and request them to open directly to the Divine above or the Divine at the golden depth of the earth or the Divine in the cave of our heart for nourishment. When we wait with this aspiration with the cells of our body we will feel a shift as verified by our inner senses. There will be some release or freeing-up, followed by qualities of the Divine, like light, joy, power, flow, harmony, beauty, bliss, peace, silence, etc., increasing within the cells

Practice 9: Touch the Depth
Now whichever part of your body you are exploring, shift your attention within the matter or substance part of body. Turn your awareness into the depth of the cell aiming at its very core with your inner senses. You have to drop in or travel inwards within your body to do this. You can even turn your awareness within the cells to face its own depth. You hold an aspiration that you want to discover the pure matter in each part of the body which is free from all entanglements. The moment you touch pure matter you will know with your inner senses. You will feel a sense of touching something profound or sacred. This part of the substance will be lit with some qualities of the Divine and these will be present even if there are surface turmoils or challenges.

Practice 10: Knead Matter
Place your hands on the surface of a part of your body. First just be aware of sensations to ensure you are actually connecting with the body. Then move your attention to the substance part of your body. With your hands bring the cells of a body part together, almost as if you are condensing the cells together. Your hand can do this only to some extent. Then with your awareness hug the cells of your body together till you get a sense that the cells are actually touching each other. If you wait there with your awareness, open to the Divine above, some light or subtle colour or any one quality of the Divine will enhance in the point or space where cells meet. Let go and allow the cells to relax, thus spreading out whatever goodness was enhanced at the meeting place of cells. Repeat this condensing and letting go action a few times, aspiring that you want to allow the cells to touch each other. You will experience a sense of love and union at the level of the cells. This kneads matter, making it more open to receive the Divine and its qualities.

This condensing and letting go process, where the cells are brought together and feel their love and union, enhances the divine qualities in matter. At the subtle physical level, it also increases the subtle substance. We detect the subtle substance through its shine, radiance, capacity to hold light or subtle colours. From the writings in Mother’s Agenda, we understand that Mother was attempting to bridge the subtle physical with the physical. We can now make our explorations to discover how we can also do this and what evolution unfolds in our body through this fusion.

Let us now come back to the first quote we began this article with:

“’Evil’ is something that has been added to enable us to touch Matter (1).”

We do not know exactly what Mother meant by evil here. We can ask Her and certainly She will guide us. For now, since we are on a sunlit path where suffering is not the goal but rather the vision is to hold the Divine joy, light and love within our bodies, we can take the presence of entanglements or spent energies or illness or vital entanglements as falsehood and thus as evil. All these are there because we have not given the connection of pure matter and the divinity within to all our body parts. Thus they get entangled. Either we need to give the connection of the Divine above, or the Divine in the golden core of the earth or the Divine in the cave of our heart to all cells of our body. Or in each part of our body we can support it to touch the pure matter that lies in its depth, where divinity is acting or present in matter. In whichever body parts we are able to do this there is only the Divine. In specific body parts where we have not touched Divinity there could be entanglements or pains present. We don’t take them as a problem but as guides. In a way these cells that are holding the limiting energies or pains are welcoming us to come into them, to do these practices and give them the touch of Divinity.

Concluding pointers

Even though this process has been shown as ten tiny practices, this is just one practice. We learn to connect, drop within the body, request the body cells to open up to the Divine above, release any entanglements, touch the pure substance at depth, bring the cells together to feel their love and union and continue to wait till the Divine Light, Force, Joy, Power and Delight descend into our body. The entire process is seen and felt by our inner senses. While doing these processes, our inner senses by themselves will evolve, which will give us a greater capacity to do these practices. Once a few cells start receiving the Divine touch, ask the other cells of our body to observe this. Say, if the cells in the knee are connecting to their depth and the cells in the shoulder are entangled by holding something, inwardly connect these cells across distance and request the cells to touch each other. Our cells have the greatest capacity to heal each other and they do it in an inner sensorial and vibratory way. Our thinking mind has less role in this. We just need to learn to be with the cells and explore these processes.

Slowly we can learn to stay within the substance and density of our bodies and do our regular activities and work. We can read our favourite book, say Savitri, by connecting to the depth of our body. We can cook, do our exercises, write a proposal and have a conversation with someone while alongside connecting to the depth of substance of our body. We will then be able to engage with life in a whole new way.


1. The Mother, Mother’s Log 1950-1973, Institut de Recherches Évolutives (English translation), p. 117.

2. The Mother. Mother’s Agenda, Volume I. Paris: Institut de Recherches Évolutives; (English translation) 1979, p. 165.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid., p. 232.

5. Ibid., p. 390-91.

Arul Dev, based in Chennai, author of two books, ‘The Flame Within’ and ‘Into Great Depth of Your Being’, is Founder CEO of People First Consultants, a 28-year HR firm.

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The body


Natural breath



The Mother


Mother’s Agenda


Connect to your body



Body cells




The Mother