Image by Speedy McVroom
Narrated by Marie T. Russell.
“Go sit in your cell
and your cell will teach you
~Ascribed to one of the Desert Fathers,
Christian monks in the Scetes Desert of Egypt
Life, by its very nature is … alive! Because it is alive, it is not just responding in a set, mechanical way, but rather it is responsive to what is needed and helpful and useful.
Cells might be considered as an archetypal template for life. They are the smallest unit of life. Once they are given a job, a function, they take on an identity and leap into the cell community as participants in life.
The noble cells of your body can rest, take stock of the situation, and create solutions to problems. They can transform. They use creative solutions. In addition to their versatility, what makes the cells of the body so successful is their ability to cooperate! Sounds like we should be taking classes from them.
Getting Down To The Cells
Yes, we can get all the way down to the cells. In fact, anything that you are doing or thinking is also, in some way, going on in the cells, no? It’s already happening, and you can learn to shift into states of awareness in which you can be co-creative and engaged with what’s already going on!
A woman I know got to the bone cells, and what most surprised her is that they were doing their “bone cell thing” independently of what she thought or said or did. We might say, the bone cells already know what to do! Thankfully so!
Everything ultimately is a pattern of energy in expression. The manifest form, if you travel into it, is made of smaller parts, the smaller parts are made of even smaller parts, and so on, until you get down to a level where there is only the sensation of something like vibrancy itself arising from the emptiness.
The expression of the energy of a substance running at a certain rate is solid, at another rate it’s liquid, and at another it’s a gas. Every known substance has its parameters, temperature, rate and rhythm, and how it behaves under different circumstances.
Similarly, different types of cells in the body have their own “signature” pattern of color, movement, speed, sound, or energetic frequency. Muscle cells have a different kind of pattern than bone cells. And they “feel” different than bone cells in some kind of subjective way.
The cells are working along with their own programming, and if you are suffering from an illness, you might find a sense of unease or disturbance when you get there. How do we work with that? Breathe to it! Experience it as it comes to you and be with it!
Become it! Be responsive. Just keep breathing. Stay curious and simply wonder how to engage the experience fully, looking for clues. It seems counter-intuitive to “become the disease,” but you may have a sense that you will find the road to healing mysteriously revealed to you by doing just that. Whatever you can imagine, opens possibilities that can birth into physical reality.
Seeing the Cellular Picture
Now because I have worked in health care, I have had to study such things as biology and anatomy and physiology. So, I have seen the pictures of cells in textbooks and under the microscope. However, the first time I “saw” the cell membrane in Cell Meditation, I was quite moved. It was much more dynamic than I had imagined, and beautiful!
A few years later, I was delighted to see a photo of a cell membrane taken with the use of an electron microscope. I was excited to have my vision corroborated. A couple of times I have had something like this happen, a beautiful confirmation.
Once I got to a structure in my body that somehow, I identified as a virus. It was very resistant to being in relationship with the other cells. In fact, it felt very “other,” or foreign to me. And, it was quite a rascal!
A few weeks later, I went to pick up a friend at a doctor’s appointment. While I was in the waiting room, waiting for her, I picked up a magazine, and there on the cover was a picture of the virus I’d seen, taken under an electron microscope!
Sometimes (actually, most of the time), I’ve noticed that the “cellular picture” comes as a metaphor. For example, one patient I work with has some problems with her cholesterol levels, and when she went in, she described to me some pipes. As her description became more vivid and dynamic, I realized she was in the cardiovascular system, working on the plaque on the wall of blood vessels that needed some attention.
Other times, some people I’ve worked with have gone into the structure of the cell. There is a kind of geometry with shapes, color, movement, and vibrancy. Participating in the harmony and beauty of this underlying pattern is an experience of great delight.
The Inner Experience
I know people who have a disciplined Qigong practice. Qigong is a centuries-old system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, spirituality, and martial arts training. Through a focused use of their whole bodies, people who practice this discipline learn a sense of rhythm and flow of movement that brings harmony to the body and peace to the mind. These very people bring their Qigong practice into the cells, where they sense a micro-movement at a more subtle level of inner experience.
When a cell within a tissue, within an organ is not functioning well, there is a subjective experience that something is “off.” The people who have this practice become very good at moving their awareness within and entering into the on-going dialogue with their embodied selves. They practice inner Qigong “re-minding” the cells of their innate rhythm and harmony.
And! The potential that lies within you may astound you! The cells of the body are quite versatile, noble, and capable of transformation (just like you are)! Stem cells are cells that haven’t been programmed yet for a specific job.
* * * * *
We become aware that the cells turn over and that some cells can become any other cell.
A cell can go into neutral entropy. It can transform.
It becomes the new cell.
Breathe with it and allow it to have the experience of itself
as a new cell with itself.
Then let it have the experience of the Whole.
* * * * *
Barry offers us a wonderful breathing meditation for our liver.
Become aware of the liver cell.
Breathe to it.
Become aware of the experience of your liver cell.
Let the liver cell experience that you are there.
Let the liver cell experience itself as itself.
Open the panorama.
Let the liver cell experience itself as part of the community of liver cells.
Now let the community experience itself as a community.
And now let the community of liver cells experience their part of the larger community of the Whole Body.
©2021 by Barry Grundland & Patricia Kay. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Findhorn Press,
an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl, www.innertraditons.com.
Cell Level Meditation: The Healing Power in the Smallest Unit of Life
by Barry Grundland, M.D. and Patricia Kay, M.A.
In this simple guide, Patricia Kay, MA, and Barry Grundland, MD, give you the tools to connect with the wisdom and intelligence of your cells and work with them to heal. They offer sample meditations to help you connect with specific cells, such as your liver or lung cells, yet emphasize that you should use the Cell Level Meditation technique to follow your intuition and discover the cells that are inviting you in. Sharing their own and others’ experiences, from both experienced meditators and those who had never meditated before, they validate experiences you are likely to have and inspire you with stories of profound healings from serious illness such as cancer as well as other ailments and everyday stresses.
The authors explain how during Cell Level Meditation, you may have a vision or an insight, or some inner experience of shape, color, movement, sounds, or smells. You may also feel a shift in your physical body. By bringing breath into these experiences and staying present with them, you open up to a new level of communication within yourself and discover your unique way of bringing harmony and healing to your life.
Guided to be an active participant in your healing, engaging many levels of your inner experience, you are led to a new level of mind-body coherence.
For more info and/or to order this book, click here. (2nd edition)
About the Authors
BARRY GRUNDLAND, M.D. (1933-2016), was a psychiatrist who specialized in psychoneuroimmunology (mind-body healing).
For more than 40 years, he worked with people as a true healer with incredible insight and compassion. Cell Level Meditation was his life’s work. The meditations offered above were created by him.
PATRICIA KAY, M.A., CCH, CSD, is a homeopath, teacher, writer, and retired midwife. She studied Cell Level Meditation with Barry for 15 years and currently works as a spiritual director, guiding people to bring mind, body, and spirit into alignment using his teaching.
Visit her website at patricia-kay.com/