Faculty 5: Anatomical Assessment

"The body is the soul's house and home, whose ribs the laths are and whose flesh the loam." - Robert Herrick

The Ribs

"Engage the Ribs" 

When we employ a m.indful a.ction p.lan our ribs can expand and contract in the direction of our needs…

RIBS: R.eality I.s B.reath S.oluble

Why would our Seeker care about “Engaging the Ribs”? The incentive lives in a fancy little word: “Qualia”. Ever wondered if we all experience things like color, emotion, texture and taste for example in the same way? Qualia is a word coined by Philosophers to talk about the ineffable details of subjective experience.

Even though science and technology can measure many objective parts of our existence there are other parts that are too nebulous to prove in finite terms. And our Seeker – the personification of curiosity will never be fully sated given the unavoidable space between these kinds of questions and their slippery answers. In these gaps – gauntlets of elaborate scavenger hunts coil around the lure of “knowing” – and just as we place the final puzzle piece and reach in to grab our shiny prize- the whole image dissipates like a mirage in a cloud of dust. But we know to be true things like dawn and dusk so the coveted crossover lingers like a golden temple in the fog and so our journey continues towards the threshold.

In the gap that permeates the mind + body equation, however, we can find a bridge that connects a network of integration between the known and the unknown. By observing the breath, we needn’t travel far to find proof that there exists a dynamic interplay between the seen and unseen. Our breath translates paradox over 20,000 times a day — inhaling, receiving – fullness, exhaling, releasing- emptiness. The spaces between the breath give direct contact to the mystery unfolding — and questions of qualia crystallize accessibly with each expansion and contraction of the ribcage.

In this light, when we engage the ribs — we touch the cyclical rise and fall of reality. The oscillation of intercostals, costal cartilage, tubercles and the 12 ribs with breath is like a seeker’s salve illuminating the space within. The bony landmarks serve as a pointer to truth — a way to scratch the existential itch so pervasive in the qualia query. As formlessness moves form and form moves formlessness, we know at our core center– we are fully alive at both ends of the continuum.

And while this may not feel exactly the same way for you as it does for me– we share the same design mechanism: ribs expand we inspire, ribs contract we expire…. and in the moments that we feel alone– and wonder does anyone breath the world like I do? Well, yes — in fact they do!

Model: 12 Pairs of Ribs, Manubrium of Sternum, Xiphoid Process, Floating Ribs, False Ribs, True ribs

Marker: End points of floating ribs

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