The Buddha woke up to some profound truth. He had deep insights into the impermanence of everything and discovered that nothing just exists on its own, everything leans into something else.
Our meditationpractise enables us to see that there is no fixed identity, that there is no separate self which exists independently of anything else.
Nowadys mindfulness becomes a quite popular practice in the western society. The word “mindfulness” comes from the pali word “Sati”, which means “mind”. There seems to be some confusion around this term, since we might easily think, that the practice has to do more with the mind than with the body. In fact, even though the buddhist teachings invite us clearly to look into our body, through being with sensations, feeling the breath in our nostrils or our belly, the tendency goes to look into the mind. But in fact, mindfulness is a really embodied practice.
Rather than translating “Sati” as “mind”, it is sometimes translated as “remembering” and invites us to remember our way home. The word remembering can lead us to the word membrane. Remembering our way home with and through the membranes.
A deep embodied experience, is feeling the body from within the body, connecting to the tissue from our cells. Embodiment is a dance between cells, breath, earth and space.
The term “Yoniso anasikara” refers in the buddhist texts to “right attention”. It is often translated as “attention rooted in reality”. The Pali word Yoniso means “to the womb,” “birthplace” or “origin”. The practice of embodiment could be as well called “embellyment”. Right attention is an embodied – or embellied – experience.
It is an experience of BEING. If we are embodied, deeply connected to the fluidity in our body, coming from the bellyspace, being free and relaxed in the feet, the legs, the pelvic floor, we move through the world with a space of presence and connectedness.
Connected to others
Rather than living from a place of separation, protecting ourselves and our space constantly, we can come from a place of interconnectedness.
To enter into a state of relaxation and inhabit our body one needs to have a well regulated nervous system. Engaging in the formal practice of embodiment, as an invitation for individual, intuitive movement, it requires slowing down. Radically and honestly slowing down. It can take as long as it does for you to inhabit f.e. the space between the heart and the lungs. Get familiar with the juiciness and the fluidity of the diaphragm and the lungs surrounding the heart space and to really sink into the tissue here.
A feeling in every muscle
On the way of inhabiting our body, maybe through more outgoing intuitive movement, maybe from resting in the movement of the whole body breathing on the body of the earth or just cuddling into the natural movement of the pelvic floor, we will eventually meet emotions coming through. There is a saying “The issues are in our tissues”. Or as Wilhelm Reich put it about 80 years ago : A feeling in every muscle.
The being in our body, listening to our body with our body can opens us up to a state of clear presence and peace. A deep allowance comes through of letting our stuff just be there. We feel the contracted tissue as f.e. restlessness moves through. Rather than holding on to it we may try micro-movements, experiment with the breath or surrender litarally to the earth/the ground by engaging in movements of pushing away from (ground, someone else, wall, our own bodyparts) or pulling towrds something, letting gravity pull us down. Those movements are familiar for us since we have been in our mothers womb and it can be deeply reveiling to inhabite our body with movements, which are with us since millions of years of evolution. Crawling, cuddling in, being on all forth, making animal sounds for example, crawling…
Our cellular wisdom is aware of the relationship between our body and the world. The practice of embodiment is a way home. It’s a possibility of finding our way back into belonging. Belonging to everything. It’s a completely new way of being in the world. A way to freedom from our habitual body and mind movement.
Co – Regulation
As we are embodied and dive deeper into the practice, we may want to look into ways of co-regulation. What supports me in my way home, into interconnectedness, into oneness? Being in a group may show us our own patterns of defending and closing off, of putting myself up or down or judging others. That’s what separates us from ourselves and others. Here we need our wakefulness.
How would it be to allow contact? To risk something? How much can I let go of my defendant-patterns and what if I stay open to physical contact with another human being? What happens if this back of mine is leaning against someone elses back for quite some time? If I really allow my tissue to sink into someone elses tissue? And if we invite slowing down and space?
Our body knows the way. It knows that we are this one big body. The practice of embodiment is an invitation to regain our sense of belonging and to inhabit this world from a place of understanding and care. It’s a journey with no goal.