Today I’m talking with Judith Blackstone. Judith is the creator of The Realization Process, which is an integrated approach to embodiment for psychological, relational, physical and spiritual healing.
Judith is a clinical psychologist and a meditation practitioner and student of contemplative traditions with more than 40 years of experience. She is the author of several books including Belonging Here and The Enlightenment Process, and she is also the co-founder of the Nonduality Institute which is dedicated to the science and practice of non-duality.
In today’s conversation we’re talking about “the issues in the tissues”, or how emotional pain gets bound in the body- and also how it can be released, what fundamental consciousness is and why it’s useful to attune to it, how your experience of gravity and your fluidity of movement changes with this embodiment work, what happens when people bypass their stuck emotional pain, and how this work can help what I call the “sensies” of the world- the empaths- to do their work and to live fully without feeling overwhelmed much of the time.
For the final episode of season 3 Bo Forbes turns the tables and interviews me, Brooke Thomas. Bo asks me her own questions as well as those submitted from listeners (thank you!) and we cover a lot of ground. If you want to hear about my personal path with my body, how learning through the podcast changed the way I see all bodies, how I parent based on what I've learned, my current practices (particularly in natural movement and somatic meditation), and what the road ahead looks like tune in.
Bo and I spoke at length and below are the questions that were asked. The circuitous route that ensues after a question was asked is hard to capture so...
- What’s your earliest memory of being in your body?
- The sense of being different can be an impetus for innovation or a life sentence- how did that go in your life?
- What stands out as key moments bringing you into this work?
- What did your healing journey look like?
- How and why did you start Liberated Body? What was the intial vision, how has it changed, how has the practice of doing it changed you?
- From Rebecca M: "1) You mentioned you had health issues and became really good at eating crackers on the bench while others were involved in activity. When did you realize that you had crossed over from sedentary to a true lover of movement? 2) What were some of the obstacles you had along the way and how did you solve the problems?"
- Bo "The idea that the body should be or should do... it can give people imposter syndrome. Sometimes we just have to step into our place. Often the tipping points we experience are small and subtle, yet the world often conditions us to look for these big momentous transformations.
- From Patrice N “I know that your curiosity (at least I think I know that) and some physical issues brought you to looking more deeply into embodiment as a topic - but now, after this time of exploration - can you say something of the value you've gained from working with embodiment practices? Often, students/clients don't get what or how an embodied existence enriches the experience of being human. They seem to think that if they simply feel "no pain" things are fine."
- From Jill Miller “What do you do for your non-negotiable daily self-care?”
- From Kristin W "Your mention of the Meditating with the Body program, inspired me to check out Dharma Ocean. The result is that I have been meditating on a daily basis for the first time in my life! The Dharma Ocean approach of deeply grounding in our sacred bodies has changed my life in a short few months. I would love to hear about your experience with it."
- Luna E “What are your movement actions/daily/weekly/monthly? and how have you dealt with or have you had any injuries?"
- Natalie “With all the info that you gather how do you discern what to practice for yourself?”
- Marita “Who or what has changed your way of thinking about your body?”
- John S “In season 3 we’ve heard from some fabulous researchers. I know there is so much that can be learned through the lens of science. At the same time, I sometimes question how suitable science is for learning about the embodied experience. Science is necessarily based on objectivity and reductionism, while our embodied experience is inherently subjective and holistic. Given these differences, what do you see as the promises and pitfalls of research into the embodied experience?"
- Julie F “1. Given that body and mind is not separate, and this speaker's discussion has implications for body, mind, and life practices - I would like him to expand that more. Also how he practice the line in his life. 2. Do you have 'play list by theme', also for women..since I don't see too many women in your talks."
- Ana Maria “I want to know how all the body nerdery has impacted what you're teaching or practicing with your son?”
- Kathleeen L "Anderson Cooper' recent comment about his massage therapy experience has incited much conversation in our profession. I have been inspired by his experience that negative emotions can be massaged into the body. For the past few days, I have been asking my clients to share a happy, positive thought as I address their area of concern. For example, I had a teacher with tight shoulders. I prompted her to talk about why she got into teaching and her favorite memories as I massaged her upper trapezius. Is there any research or theory to support the idea that positive or negative thoughts can affect muscles in this way?"
- Cathy H “How do you metabolize this incredible world of questions and discovery and constant emerging-ness that the podcast invites us into? Everything I believe to be true is only the case for a moment in time and sometimes I feel that what makes me feel curious and alive also makes me feel a touch overwhelmed.”
- What will you be up to in the off season? What projects are next?