Friday, 10 March 2017

"Pendulation" - the Core of Somatic Practices

     “As you release tension in (successive parts of your body during somatic meditation), you are softening the boundary between the darkness of your body and the brightness of your conscious mind, between the limitless unconscious and the bounded conscious mind; in so doing, in a most gentle and natural way, you are also softening the barrier against feelings and experiences you may have been avoiding, denying, or repressing. 
     So it is that you may find various feelings, images, or memories coming up – if so, just welcome them. If they become a little too much, then relax and let the practice go for a while or for today; there is no rush. Assimilate what you need to and then, when you feel ready, return to the practice. 
     In Ten Points practice it is quite rare to run into anything that feels overwhelming, but it can happen. Accessing our larger, as-yet-undiscovered feeling life through the body is the safest of all ways to do it, but you do have to go gently and follow the guidance of your body; it will let you know how much is enough and how much is too much. 
     In fact, much trauma therapy is based on this very principle (Peter Levine's "pendulation"), of helping folks access difficult feeling through the body but in a gentle, step-by-step, gradual manner, moving a little forward into sensation, stepping a little back as needed, giving their conscious awareness plenty of time to become familiar with, assimilate, and integrate unconscious material.”

       Reginald A. Ray. "The Awakening Body. Somatic Meditation for Discovering Our Deepest Life." Shambhala, 2016.

What was once rigidly frozen can thaw, soften & ...

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