Today's conversation is with Ged Sumner, the director of Body Intelligence Training, about his book Body Intelligence Meditation. This book posed so many fascinating questions about the current state of mindfulness education. For example: Is traditional meditation treating the body like a machine to be broken, and is it therefore anti-body ? And: Are we bliss-phobic as a culture and is that a part of the reason why we engage with mindfulness in the disembodied way that we (typically) do? This has certainly shifted my perspective on my own practice in a much more delicious direction!
- Meditation can be, in trying to escape or "rise above" the body, anti-body and can lead to dissociation.
- What does it mean to "go into the cell" in meditation?
- "The way to the formless is through form"
- Is meditation treating the body like a machine?
- What is the human drive to make things painful or filled with suffering? The body responds well to ease and success can spring from doing something with ease.
- Is ease a radical concept?
- "The body will readjust itself." Profound shifts in physiology can happen when we invite our own deep [somatic] intelligence to arise.
- Proper meditation is like a body therapy.
- Why does it sound ludicrous to people that we can shift our own physiology with mindfulness?
- The way we learn biology can give the sense that all the cells are dead.
- My "one thing"- when people ask me [Brooke] what the one thing is that I think most people don't realize about their bodies I say it is that we forget that we are alive.
- The greatest miracle of all is that we seem solid when really we're 80% water- we are jellyfish essentially.
- Most of us are just coping. Our nervous systems are cracking up all over the world.
- How we're seeing more and more neuro-endocrine issues from this nervous system overwhelm.
- The idea that thoughts need to stop [as in conventional meditation forms] is erroneous.
- How does the vagus tie into our inner life?
- What are some of the ways technology might be changing how we are embodied?
- We have become too obsessed with pathology and not connected enough to what feels good.
- "Biology is just another subject taught in school, but when you take away our beliefs, all we are is our biology."
- The body is full of bliss, yet somehow we remove ourselves from it.
- Have we become bliss-phobic as a culture?
Let's do some somatic meditation shall we!?
First, do check out Ged Sumner's generous free downloads of some of the meditations included in his book. You can do that here: http://bimeditation.com/download-audio
Second, I put together this micro e-book with a somatic meditation (and meditation set up) together recently for a giveaway my friend Kate Hanley of Ms. Mindbody put together. That giveaway has since passed, so I wanted to share the goodies with all of you here. There are 3 files- the ebook Letting Go of the Busy by Saying Hello to the Body (which chronicles much of what was on my mind during the hiatus between season `1 and 2 of the podcast), and then 2 audios- one is for the meditation set up, the second is a guided somatic meditation.
P.S. I'd love to hear how it goes with your somatic meditations in the comments!
Body Intelligence Meditation by Ged Sumner