This is one example of the kind of guided meditations I lead my patients in during clinical sessions. It is a simple way to begin the settling and embodiment process for those not used to relating to their body. It’s also the place to start when learning to self-regulate.
Self-regulation is a term used by the field of affective neuroscience to describe an individual’s ability to consciously and unconsciously manage and modify arousal states. It describes an the ongoing process of finding an equilibrium of the whole in the face of change. Learning how to self-regulate is fundamental to the manifestation and maintenance of health over time. The foundation of self-regulation is embodiment. The only way to begin learning how to be embodied is by developing a relationship with the body. This is done through finding the body in space and being present with the changes happening on a physiological level without expectation or judgment, but rather with an ever expanding sense of curiosity. Another word for this is mindfulness.
Late Summer Sun by Nik Harron
Inspired by the lectures of Jeffrey Yuen and a discussion on Daoist acupuncture:
An alternative definition for Heaven:
Heaven: rays of sunlight which cause the transformation of life.
In a single day the body is asked to perform all the physiological functions that keep it alive, manage the stresses coming from its external environment, and navigate the emotional ups and downs of human life. Each one of these things is challenging for the body. All three are often taxing. The body is built to manage stress under the assumption and condition that the stress it is subject to is temporary and there will be a time during the day when the stress will end and the body will be able to rest and recover.
The body is a magnificently intelligent vessel that we have the honor of living in. It will manage whatever we put it through for days, months, years, even decades. I’ve now been working with human bodies long enough to see that the body will always put 100% of the energy and effort it has available into sustaining life and subjective life style at any given moment. It will do this until it just can’t anymore, until the resources are so low that it has to stop.
Study of Hands by Henry Ossawa Tanner
Inspired by the lectures of Emilie Conrad and a discussion on Tibetan medicine:
An alternative definition for Health:
Health: that which suits you.
Illustration by Rex Twedt
There’s no one who hasn’t experienced the richness of their own blood when bleeding from a cut. To some people the sight of blood is gross or scary, to some fascinating and beautiful. The fact that we bleed when cut means we’re healthy, it means the heart, in conjunction with the blood vessels, is working well.
Everything we do, according to the body, involves the heart because the heartbeat reaches every part of our body. The heart beats in our eyes, in our mouth and lips, in our ears, in every millimeter of our skin. When we touch things, see things, hear things, walk, jump, breath, our heart is inherently involved.