I teach meditation. But I sometimes feel the need to call it embodied meditation. The thing is that most people who want to learn meditation with me share the same story. They meditate with friends or other teachers. They meditate for healing. Or for gratitude, for a better world, for peace, for being relaxed, for opening their chakras or even in order to control their thoughts.
Meditation is seen in the entire world as a tool to empty our mind. Supposedly, sport is for the body. And meditation is for the mind. Is that the only option?
An embodied meditation
When I work with clients, I always insist on the fact that meditation is not for the mind and that if you want to actually go further than just practicing a bit of relaxation, you have to make a step back and feel the world on the level of the sensations, through your body. Through the space in which sensations arise.
Because of that, the meditation I share with people is an extremely embodied experience. When I talk about Stillness or Silence, I talk about a tactile experience of Stillness. It is not a concept, not a label. And that’s the reason why I keep on getting the same feedback:
Why an embodied meditation?
First thing: our attention is not directed towards thoughts. Not towards the sensation on our skin. The accent is placed on the space in which the sensation appears. I will try to make that point clear: I do not ask my clients to feel the sensation of the wind on their cheeks, I ask them to tell me what a cheek feels like.
I ask them to tell me how many legs they have. Not based on what they think they know, but based on what they feel. I get them to make a step back. I do not ask them to welcome fear. This is way too cheesy. But I ask them to describe me how fear feels and where does it lie in their bodies.
Do you get it? When you work as an osteopath and you think you are palpating a muscle, the only thing you feel is the reaction of your system to that muscle. You never feel the muscle. So it is useless for you to look outside. When you meditate, it is useless for you to direct your attention to what is happening outside, because there is no outside as everything you perceive is in you. That’s the reason why my meditation is embodied. The term is wrong obviously as a meditation couldn’t be for the mind only. It takes place before the mind, not in the mind.
And actually the big secret is that we don’t give a shit about what we feel during my meditation. You could be in a nightclub, practicing yoga in India, eating a durian in Kuala Lumpur or taking a cold shower, that would be the same. What I am interested in, and what I am sharing with you, is the space in which sensations arise.
And you could tell me that sensations arise in your body. But then where does the sensation of your body arises?
By doing so, thoughts can show up, tensions can appear, but they don’t control you anymore. The focus is on the space. It is not on the energy, not on the bones, not on the muscles, not on the thoughts, not on the cold shower or on the taste of the durian. And not on the tides if you practice biodynamic osteopathy or craniosacral therapy.
What does an embodied meditation feel like?
Well if you live far away from me, we would meditate through Zoom. The point is that I am kind of a super empath and I can feel where you place your attention, what kind of tensions you have, if you are imagining instead of feeling, if you are avoiding an area etc., even at a distance.
So by talking to you, I get information. I feel where your attention is. And I guide you towards that space. Again and again, slowly but surely. I follow your pace and slow down when needed. Little by little the dance starts.
That’s what happens when you hold space. Everything becomes alive. That tension in the knee. The blocked diaphragm. The defence in the neck. It turns, it goes to the right, to the left. But I support you for you to stay focus on that space, not on the events.
By doing so, step by step, the Stillness that lies within us starts to be felt more an more. The limits of the body starts to become less thick. And we finally reach a point where everything seems to stop. And this is when people tell me that what I offer is really different from the meditation they’ve been doing so far because all the cheesy words they heard from people calling themselves spiritual suddenly became more than words.
Suddenly, all the labels are gone. It is not spiritual at all. It is not meditation for gratitude, or to control the thoughts. No place for peace, for welcoming emotions or for being centered, grounded, and aligned. No space for anything. Just space.
About Jules RampalMeditation teacher and osteopath
I am an online meditation teacher and an osteopath currently working in Gordes, France. My courses are for people who want to learn meditation with guided sessions, and for therapists who want to delve into the way they feel and the knowledge they can gather for their clients.
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