Embodiment

Strategies for Living More Fully, Awakening, And Breaking Free of the Past

Everything we do revolves around one premise: how to orchestrate the most dramatic breakthroughs within the shortest timeframes possible. We are obsessed with it. 

At a glance, I can tell where you are abound up in your body and mind, and we set to work within minutes. I'm sometimes guilty of flying through the formalities to get down to the deep work. I hope that is ok with you... time is precious. 

I've gathered much of my understanding of life and consciousness through an awakening experience that occurred a decade ago, and that has been nourished by other experiences that followed. I don't go about to convince anyone of my worldview conceptually, as that has severe limitations. We can't live by concepts. We live by experiences. And so I set about to develop a system in order to demonstrate the experiences that have enriched my life by a thousand times. 

We are Stories (a meditation on transcending the stories that keep us stuck)

We are walking constellations of stories. Most of these stories are inaccurate, misunderstood, or the opposite of what is real. They are woven into our cells, our tissues, our organs. They reflect in our voice, our words, our actions, our posture. Our entire life becomes the 'singing of a familiar song.' We sing it in various keys, and in various styles, however it is the same song. 

Over the years, I've learned to see the stories that people carry in their bodies. This is not esoteric knowledge. It just requires tuning into another layer of reality. The collapse that is indicative of the early childhood trauma, the anger toward the father, the sexual betrayal, the broken heart. At a glance these things can be seen. 

Physical Trauma as Emotional Healing. Case study of a 'broken heart' manifesting as a bruised sternum.

One interpretation: The core wound manifested as a physical trauma, because that was what it took to compel him to work on it… physical pain. The true wound was a broken heart. Healing one heals the other, and vice versa.

Seeing the World Through New Eyes

After I witnessed her whole body clench and vibrate (the signs of trauma releasing from the tissues), her face went through every season. It darkened, it clenched, it lightened, there were tears, gasps, a smirk. In the aftermath, the familiar peace descended. The loop had been resolved. 

As she opened her eyes, they were shades lighter. She was gazing out into the backyard, blinking and rubbing her eyes. 

What is it, I asked? What do you notice? 

The leaves on that maple are extraordinarily red, she whispered. I thought I was hallucinating. They almost seem too red.  I think I just wasn’t seeing them before.

Case Study: Healing Feminine Wounds: Reclaiming Trust in the Masculine

As an intellectual practice, forgiveness is a slippery concept. 

The mouth lies constantly. The mind convinces itself of outrageous fictions. It doesn't matter how scandalous or absurd the story is when mind is the judge, jury, and executioner. It's a rigged game.

The body never lies. A skilled practitioner can see and touch issues that the client isn’t even aware of, and guide them into that awareness. It’s like holding up a mirror to the vast, ineffable ‘self.’ 

Our goal isn’t to merely reconnect the leg. Reconnecting the leg awakens the pelvis and all of the digestive and sexual organs. Our goal is awakening; enhancing aliveness. Our goal is expanding intimacy, and deepening love. 

Later that night, she goes home and makes love to her partner in an embodied way, for the first time in her life. As she relays it to me, her eyes are ablaze. She hadn’t known what was possible before. Now she’s opened a whole new frontier… the waning art of rising to the touch with a fullness, and touching in the same way. 

In a world full of vacant stares, empty promises, and detached bodies, the final frontier isn’t the bottom of the ocean or the depths of space… it’s the body, and the consciousness trickling or surging through us all in this and every moment. 

The Spine and The Inevitability of Healing

Like the entire body intelligence, the spine is brilliantly engineered. The perfect balance between mobility and protection; flexibility and durability. With the elegance of form that rivals anything we've seen. 

The spine is modeled in a graceful natural curve. No one vertebrae touches another. They are buffered by fluid mediums. We float and are fluid in our bodies, and our bones float with us. Even the bones are said to be 31% water (though I don’t trust those sorts of numbers, generally). 

Sometimes, an unnatural twist occurs in the spine. A minor twist, or one so extreme that a diagnosis is required. Scoliosis, for instance. This twist can occur as organs and viscera tighten due to congestion and/or deterioration from a corrosive diet, acidic thought patterns, or it can occur in reaction to a mental pattern. I worked with a client once who viewed her sexual fantasies as ‘twisted’, and this manifested as a physical twist. The body is, after all, an embodiment of our beliefs. As I straightened her torso physically, tears flowed. She just couldn't believe that the way I had positioned her was straight. She'd felt 'twisted. I showed her the mirror, and more tears flowed, wetting her cheeks and shoulders. 

Case Study: How An Unconscious Judgement Created a Lifelong Shoulder Pain

As I was working on a client’s shoulder, by simply rotating it slowly, he kept noticing an inner voice chiding him. You’re worthless, it was saying. Pathetic. I saw it in his face so clearly that I could almost hear the voice. 

I narrowed in on the motion, and it seemed something like a throwing motion, the arm over the head, arcing down. Is that familiar? I asked. It seems to me like throwing something. As I said that, he saw a vague image that slowly came into focus… it was the laces of a football, lamely wobbling through the air. This shoulder pain had plagued him since high school. 

And then it came to him; the origin story of the condition. Time stopped. 

Disease Burrows in the Unknown Places; the 'cure' Is to Radically Increase Presence; Healing.

Disease burrows in the unknown places. It’s a fiction that relies on other fictions; a fragmentation that requires seeing only pieces, at the expense of the whole.

The ‘cure’ for this fiction is always to flood the darkness with light, and to fill the unknown with presence.

Where you are most ‘absent,’ that is where a disease is most likely to take root. (Most people are most ‘absent’ in their lower half, and particularly in the pelvic / gut region, the seat of most disease).

How your use of language can keep you from healing, and the transformational anatomy of bones

On the healing journey, be careful about the language you use about your ailment, because that is a clue about how the mind is functioning. 

‘My back is killing me.’ Your back is not killing you. It has been supporting you for a lifetime. It is sending out signals so you change your life path. If you don’t listen, it will send out stronger signals, like small waves before the tidal wave. Let it know that you’re listening. Find out what it needs. 

Can a bone ‘need’? Bones are consciousness. As alive as any other part of you. The plastic skeleton we grow up learning from is not anywhere near reality. Since ancient times, bones have been infused with divine meanings, and many of these have been corroborated by more radical osteopaths. 

Case Study: Finding your Feet Means the World Changes

I had a client who, during our conversations, kept hiding her feet. Especially when we broached difficult topics. As I questioned her, she eventually confessed. 

‘I hate my feet. They are so masculine. They remind me of my father’s.’ 

So she never wore sandals, and took great lengths to hide her feet. So, hiding her feet was a way to hide from me, and the world. Hating her feet was a way to hate her father. 

Deepening Intimacy by tuning into the Rhythms of Life

Our skulls literally expand and contract at the sutures. This opening and closing happens approximately 10 times per minute. The motion only covers fraction of a millimeter, but we can learn to hone in on it and use it for our own unfolding. It can be a powerful tool for cultivating presence, and its beauty lies in its simplicity.

Tuning into this rhythm on ourselves, the rhythm of life, is the most profound sorcery, however it’s easier at first to feel it on another. The cranial tide swims through the entire physiology, but it’s perhaps most accessible at the skull. If presence is the origin of wisdom, the cranial tide, along with the breath, is the pathway to presence.

How Touching into your Essence Fundamentally Shifts Behavior.

Habits can be changed by force, but it is not an effective approach. There is a lot of friction, and therefore a lot of wasted energy. It is easier to change behaviors through a fundamental shift in the nature of being, which shifts the perspective, which shifts the reality. 

How the Budden Process Works (Somatic Breakthrough Delivery); With Esoteric Anatomy of the Skull

While the benefits the Budden Process work are often very clear, the mechanics can be mysterious. 

They are a mystery in part because we are working with consciousness, and consciousness is, almost by definition, a mystery. Many spiritual traditions that are based in mindfulness practices are studies of consciousness. We don't study it much in our culture. Scientists call it 'the hard problem.' For one thing, how does one observe oneself objectively, when even the most minute particles of matter seem influenced by the observer?

Certain principles show up again and again in Budden Process sessions. So we can use these to deepen our understanding. 

Soften the Belly; Meet the Moment, the Lover, the Ocean with your Whole Self 

Soften the belly in interactions with the lover. Soften the belly in interactions with the ‘enemy’. Soften the belly in interactions with the crushing ocean or the dark forest. Something interesting happens… they soften too, as if on cue. 

Your softening impacts the ocean, not because the ocean compromises her fierceness, (that would be to give up her nature), but because her fierceness was a projection of yours; and now the two of you are free meet in an entirely new world. Now her vastness and serenity can surface (projections of yours). 

Investing in personal evolution or enhanced consciousness

Consciousness is eroded not by experiences, but by the reaction to experiences. Have you seen a really luminous child devolve after a series of traumas or setbacks to become a bitter, angry, depressed adult?

We become masterful at seeding our devolution: through the over-use of pharmaceuticals; by ingesting non-foods over decades; by indulging in destructive practices of all kinds; by indulging disempowering thought patterns over a lifetime. The list goes on. 

What happened to the child, so full of light?

The value of embodiment (And how I found my legs again)

Currently, in our culture, there is little value placed on 'embodiment.' That is not entirely surprising. For one thing, it is difficult to commodify, and thus valued less. It takes in-depth exploration, in a culture that values quick satisfaction. Also, I think embodiment as a way of being is a dangerous prospect, because an embodied person is difficult to control.