Embodiment Awareness Meditation Practice

When we begin to tune into the body, it is a realm of awakening. A field of awareness exist here, felt in a tangible and very real way, extremely powerful. We are awakening the fundamental insight that exists in the body. We normally experience our body through a lense of judgment, but here we set aside what we think our body is experiencing and dive into the naked non-conceptual experience of the body by directing our awareness to different parts of the body to explore what is true there. This is a discovery of a different kind of body and what we find within the body, is the most fundamental body experience that underlies everything we think or persise of feel and we can then enter this state when we reach this unconditional awareness in the body, we feel freedom! Not outside of the body but within it!

So this somatic practice begins in the body and uses this awareness as a gate to go even deeper in the body. Different then other schools of mediation, which may use an outer awareness to shift into a non-embodied state ultimately. With somatic practice we use this initial state of body centered awareness to go even deeper in the body without any desire to leave it , we give up any need or desire to cultivate a particular state of mind and we prioritize any experience of the body rather than the experience of the conscious meditator. When we do this, all kinds of doors open. Instead of you being the manager of the process we follow the lead and sensations of the body deeper and deeper into the body. Into peace and infinity. The body is the one and only gateway to be present to the entire universe.

When we speak of trauma, no one is free from all kinds of pain and torment that are called trauma and anxiety, from conception throughout our lives, so we say when you are not including the depth of your own emotional life in your mediation practice as part of your process you are using a huge amount of your psychic energy to keep all that under the surface at bay. Even when you seem to be resting in a state which feels clear. 80-90 % of your energy is being used to suppress this emotional body. The only way to be truly free is to be willing to open the door, the gate to all the unfinished experience, the parts of ourselves which have to exiled and put in the dungeon of the unconscious. Step by step, slowly, slowly. Here we make room for the arrival of the parts of ourselves that need to be healed. How? Connect with body, this is the only gateway to the emotional brain or the amygdala where trauma is stored. Then being so rooted in our body we make way for these parts of ourselves to surface.in a safe container. We rest in the body, in the Self and welcome these guests who come to visit, by welcoming them and allowing them in our awareness they then can integrate. We become bigger and more vast and completely grounded in the body. The joy that comes from being able to welcome the shadow side is immeasurable, not just free and open space but to be free to experience everything that we are.

This is not enlightenment or attaining any kind of steady consciousness state of bliss. This realization process with connecting to the infinite opening of the body and making room for all the experiences that arise from there, we come to a point that we see everything that comes up in our life, even these prisoners that arrive are bringing a gift and that is their own intelligence, their energy, their tenderness. And we begin to develop a state that everything that happens in our life allows us to be more loving and more vast and to appreciate life more which leads us to a point where life with this karma is a joyful sacred experience. Within life, finding freedom and joy where nothing is excluded. All of it brings us into the depth of appreciation of what it means to be human.

  1. Connecting with Source-We begin with 12 fold lower belly breathing. Between the navel and the perineum. In the midline of the body. So roughly try to feel that area of the body and imagine that you are breathing into it. As if you are directly breathing into the belly, visualizing this part of the body as a nostril, breath into that point and on the outbreath rest your attention on this place. Try this for a minute or two. ( this helps us to develop the awareness of what is happening in the m=inside of the body) So this round on the inbreath we are going to take a a medium to full breath into the lower belly and on the out breath we are going to empty empty empty squeeze down the lower belly imagine pulling it back towards your spine, and pull up from your anus and perineum as much as you can. We here work with the inner breath, the prana or chi. And at the end breath naturally. We are going to do 12 breaths or rounds of these. Your body will be the guide.

  2. Keep your attention in this part of the body and don’t allow it to rise up to the head. Your body will open up and allow deeper and more wide breathing. Put your awareness in your body and you might feel your body is very open? Feel that, and notice the more you feel your body the less thinking that is going on...Now notice space in your body, but almost like electricity, liquid light, through your limbs, torso, brightness or shimmering quality. Very visceral, feeling it not looking at it. If you begin thinking allow your thinking to settle into this feeling and let it all dissolved into it.

  3. We do another round of 12 fold lower belly breathing. Taking medium to full breaths in and out breath squashing everything down flat like a pancake. Allowing all this stale energy to exit the body fully. Be aware of what is happening in the body, even when you are focus in the belly notice what is going on in all parts of the body. If you like you can slow your breath down as you do this. And then just relax and breath naturally. Come straight to your body and let your attention or awareness come through the body and feel it bright and intense. Feel this feeling as fully as you can. Try to sense how steady this flow is, the brightness and energy it is in the body right now. How steady or monolithic it really is. This is the life force itself, the fundamental energy that arise out of the depths of our body, the infinite space that is the ground of our being and we feel it in our body.

  4. Bring you attention back to the lower belly and breath very gently into the very center of the belly. Notice what that feels like? Cool or fresh? On The inbreath...what do you feel? I want you to have the feeling of pulling apart anything that is in the lower belly and brushing it aside, even with our fingers, as you breath, pushing it all out and allowing this space and emptiness to be here in the center of the belly. This space is the primordial source, in the body it is the place which sources all the universe. Out of that space is this life force which fills us with this incredible steady bright and powerful flow in the body. The lower body is our source and our core. Young or old, healthy or sick, it is the very same force, and in all cases is the same. To breath into the lower belly is to find where our freedom truly lies in this human body of ours. We also find the incredible sense of joy as this sorce flows throughout body, alive and awake and intelligent and filled with power and creativity and love. This is always here, under every pain and suffering, all we need to do is tape into it. Through this practice we find we are shifting our algence from the left brain, judgemental life denying small self thinking mind, to the indestructible internal foundation of our being, our true life, true humanity. Breathing into the lower belly all things are complete and fulfilled. Then we can life from that place out into the world.

  5. Relaxing and breathing into the lower belly-touching eternity truely of our basic soma.

Practice #2

  1. Find a seated position, sitting straight with your spine erect. Get comfortable, and close your eyes or cast a downward gaze.

  2. Take a nice full breath and inhale, in through the nose and exhale through the nose. Surrendering to this moment. Just meeting yourself as you are right now. Resisting nothing.

  3. Allowing your breath to find it’s natural rhythm and notice what you notice, in the body, the sensations, feelings. Notice how your body responds to your breath, the movement and undulations. Notice what it’s like to be you right here and now.

  4. So were welcoming all parts of ourselves here, to be here with us completely. As you get a baseline for your experience right now, notice that your mind is also thinking, thats what the mind does, it thinks…

  5. Then becoming aware of your breath again, follow the inhale and exhale. Choosing to focus your awareness on this deeper place, and any time you notice your mind is thinking, label it as a though and come back to the breath.

  6. Notice where you are now...are you following your thoughts, your breath? Allow whatever that may be, to have space to do what it’s doing, welcoming these different aspects of you and navigating your inner world by choosing where you’d like to focus your attention.

  7. There is no right way to do this, or be with yourself or meditate. This is a time to explore what is occupying your attention adn to get curious about other aspects of yourself.

  8. Just noticing where are you know? Come back to body awareness and check in with what might be happening here now.

  9. Where do you want to live from? What do you believe? Allow the breath to expand the space around your thoughts, around your consciousness, widening you, opening you up for now paths of awareness and thoughts.

  10. Notice if there is any part of your experience that you are not welcoming right now. See if you can welcome and invite that part in here too. All emotions, physical sensations, thoughts….

  11. Taking another deep inhale all the way down into your belly and allow that to fill the legs and chest, pausing and then again inhaling as full and expansive as you can, letting you body grow into your breath. Allowing full deep breaths…

  12. One moment your full and wide and then next moment contraction, becoming small and tight. That is just what happens in life, as in the body, allowing yourself to be with both and recognition that both are so important.

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"Find the thread of your being and follow it as far as you can follow it. You will be led into places you would not choose to go that wind up being revelations that you didn't know were possible."
- Michael Meade


Holly Shabtai
Santa Fe, NM


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