Realization Process: Body-focused Meditation for Spiritual Awakening and Trauma Repair
1. What is Realization Process?
Realization Process is a body-focused pathway into spiritual awakening and psychological healing. It could loosely be defined as a form of nondual embodiment meditation which contains elements of transpersonal and relational therapy, as well as release techniques for traumas that are held in the body. Realization Process was formulated by Judith Blackstone, PhD, a clinical psychotherapist with a background in dance, somatic psychotherapy, and eastern spiritual disciplines.
2. What is “nondual embodiment meditation?”
Nondual is a term used to describe experiences wherein our most immediate sense of being feels unified, cohesive, fundamentally well, and at ease. This notion of nondual can reflect our sense of essential oneness (non-separateness) with other beings, with nature, and with the universe as a whole. Some may characterize this feeling of oneness as “feeling at one with the ground of being itself” (eastern religious contexts), or “feeling oneness with God” (western religious contexts).
Embodiment meditation refers to attunement and release practices which actively align with this inner source of fundamental cohesiveness and well-being. Even the word “inner” to describe the experience of unified consciousness is not entirely accurate. It can certainly be felt within our individual sense of self (“inner” with relation to our experience), though it can also be experienced as all around us (“outer” with relation to our local being). Being finer than air, the unified field of consciousness can also be experienced as underlying and pervading all space, energy, and objects in our environment, permeating our whole being and field of experience as one continuous space.
Embodiment meditation also means that we employ focusing methods which help us to live from and live as this space of unbroken stillness and transparency. Within Realization Process, this underlying source of oneness, stillness, and fundamental well-being is often referred to as fundamental consciousness.
3. What is fundamental consciousness?
Fundamental consciousness is the experience of a unified field of subtle transparency, stillness, alive presence, and perfect balance that at once pervades our sense of self and environment, and is also our primary dimension of being – our authentic self. When spiritual teachings talk about enlightenment or spiritual awakening, generally they are speaking about awakening to fundamental consciousness.
As to what fundamental consciousness is from a metaphysical point of view, I don’t claim to know, and since it is a subjective experience (perhaps our deepest subjective experience), it’s hard to prove what exactly it “is” from a western scientific point of view. The lens that I take for fundamental consciousness (and generally, any contemplative or spiritual experience) is therefore something I like to call the healing lens.
The healing lens simply means that we can know that something is useful, beneficial, or helpful to our psychological growth, spiritual maturation, and overall life-satisfaction, even if we don’t know what it is. If we apply the healing lens to fundamental consciousness, we can simply begin to apply nonduality to our psychological, relational and even physical healing – with metaphysical curiosities being of secondary interest.
With this approach, we can directly experience – and become acquainted with – fundamental consciousness as a primary healing resource. In addition to a sense of oneness and well-being, fundamental consciousness is spontaneously experienced as a domain of un-efforted and ever-present spiritual support, independent of our conscious will, acting as a still point throughout all of the movements of the conscious and unconscious mind. Additionally, we can directly experience this ground as our deepest self.
From the lens of a therapeutic “holding environment” or “safe space,” fundamental consciousness – once stabilized in our normal waking awareness – can be likened to a “portable safe space.” For this fact alone, fundamental consciousness is the primary, quintessential, and indispensable healing resource utilized in Realization Process.
4. How does Realization Process as a practice help us attune to fundamental consciousness?
Simply stated, we experience fundamental consciousness when we release our mental grip on our experience. This is inclusive of releasing somatic constrictions – our ingrained psychological patterns of organizing ourselves in relation to our environment (resulting from emotional wounds, traumas, and sociocultural conditioning). For this fact alone, psychological healing and maturation are necessary components of the spiritual awakening process.
The paradox of fundamental consciousness is twofold: 1) it is already there, and requires no effort on our part to establish its existence. With that said, 2) it does take practice to feel into and settle into. Realization Process helps with this releasing and settling into this subtle and profoundly healing experience.
5. How does bodywork help with realizing fundamental consciousness?
Realizing and embodying the process of spiritual awakening happens when we inhabit the body from deep within and rest into to the various qualities of fundamental consciousness (lucidity, love, power, etc.). We can use various centers in the body that as gateways into these qualities. For points of stress-related constrictions or holdings of emotional energy that are more pronounced, we can use specific release techniques to systematically focus into and release these holding patterns from deep within.
There are points within our body that relate to broader domains of our being, all of which are paramount in processes of psychological wholeness and spiritual maturity. For instance: we feel sexual and gender-related sensations in our pelvis, a sense of power and/or confidence local to our midsection, the feeling of love in our chest, our quality of voice or expression in our throat, and our sense of knowing (lucidity, clarity, intelligence) in the internal space of our head. These qualities are not abstract, but are rather felt senses that can be experienced and known directly – being essential aspects of our humanity.
There is also a channel that runs through the vertical core of the body (in Yoga: Sushumna; in Tibetan Buddhism, the central channel), which, when felt into, helps us enter into a sense of balance, vitality, deep well-being, and innate wholeness. Releasing from our subtle core vs. from only the surface of ourselves, is what ultimately leads to deeper and more profound absorptions into fundamental consciousness.
Further Reading: The Realization Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Embodied Spiritual Awakening, by Judith Blackstone (audio book and meditation program)