Judith Blackstone

Photo of ()\

Judith Blackstone, PhD is an innovative teacher in contemporary spirituality. She developed the Realization Process, an embodied approach to personal and relational healing and nondual realization. She is author of Belonging Here, The Intimate Life, The Enlightenment Process and The Empathic Ground.

Author photo © Laura Kavanau


Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interviews with Judith Blackstone:
Trauma and the Unbound Body »
Embodiment and Spiritual Sensitivity »
Embodied Realization »

Also By Author

A Guided Practice to Connect with Our Deep, Inner Bein...

A Guided Practice to Connect with Our Deep, Inner Being Header Photo

When we attune to ourselves as fundamental consciousness, we find that this pervasive space is not empty in the sense of void. Even though it is experienced as stillness, it is lively, luminous stillness.

In my method, the Realization Process, I attempt to avoid metaphysical assertions about what fundamental consciousness actually is or what qualities it actually possesses. However, an important part of the Realization Process, for both healing from trauma and for spiritual awakening, is to attune to specific qualities that appear to be inherent in this lively pervasive space. These qualities, which we can attune to pervading everywhere, are experienced as the fundamental qualities of our own being. In this work, we name these qualities: awareness, emotion, and physical sensation. Attuning to these three qualities can help us feel whole within ourselves and unified with our surroundings.

Before we go further, by “quality,” I mean the “feel” of our experience. A distinguishing characteristic of a quality is that it cannot be translated into a direct description of the experience. For example, the quality of love, exactly how it feels, cannot really be conveyed to someone who has not experienced it. We can talk about the experience—we can say that love is warm or that it causes us to want to connect with someone that we feel this toward, but we cannot put into words the exact experience of love itself. In the same way, we cannot convey, to someone who has not experienced it, the color red, the taste of vanilla, or the sensation of coldness. This is true for all of the many qualities that make up our experience, including the unchanging qualities of fundamental consciousness.

We attune to each quality through a different section of our body. We attune to the ground of awareness in, around, and above our head. By awareness, I mean that part of the ground within which perceptions and thoughts occur. We attune to the ground of emotion in the mid-third of our body—our chest and midsection. By emotion, I mean that part of the ground within which emotions, such as grief, anger, and joy, occur. We attune to physical sensation through the bottom third of our body—our lower torso, legs, and feet. By physical sensation, I mean that part of the ground in which physical sensations such as heat and sexual pleasure occur.

We need to be attuned to all three qualities of fundamental consciousness in order to reach our most subtle and most complete experience of ourselves and the world around us. The blend of awareness, emotion, and physical sensation pervading everywhere helps us attune to and resonate with the awareness, emotion, and physical sensation in other people and in all of nature.

PRACTICE: Attuning to Fundamental Consciousness

Sit upright with your feet on the floor. Keep your eyes open.

Feel that you are inside your whole body at once. Find the space outside your body, the space in the room. Experience that the space inside and outside your body is the same, continuous space. It pervades you. Experience that the space pervading your own body also pervades your whole environment. Do not move from within your body to do this: attune to the space that seems to already be there, pervading you and your environment.

Attune to the quality of awareness. This means becoming aware of your awareness. Attune to awareness around, within, and way above your head. Experience the quality of awareness pervading your whole body so that it feels like you are made of the quality of awareness. Experience the quality of awareness pervading your whole body and environment at the same time.

Attune to the quality of emotion. Sense the quality of emotion in the middle of your body: your chest and gut. Experience the quality of emotion pervading your whole body so that it feels like you are made of the quality of emotion. This is not a specific emotion; it is the subtle ground of emotion. Experience the quality of emotion pervading your whole body and environment at the same time.

Attune to the quality of physical sensation. Come down into the bottom of your torso, legs, and feet to attune to the quality of physical sensation. Experience the quality of physical sensation pervading your whole body so that it feels like you are made of the quality of physical sensation. Again, this is not a specific physical sensation; it is the subtle ground of physical sensation. Experience the quality of physical sensation pervading your whole body and environment at the same time.

Now experience the quality of physical sensation pervading your whole body and environment and the quality of awareness pervading your whole body and environment at the same time. Add the quality of emotion pervading your whole body and environment. At this point, the qualities blend together; they become indistinguishable from each other.

Sit for a moment in this rich field of awareness, emotion, and physical sensation, pervading your body and environment.

This is an adapted excerpt from Trauma and the Unbound Body: The Healing Power of Fundamental Consciousness by Judith Blackstone, PhD.

A Guided Practice to Connect with Our Deep, Inner Being Blog - Judith Blackstone

Judith Blackstone, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychotherapist in New York and an innovative teacher in contemporary spirituality. Her published works include the books Belonging Here, The Enlightenment Process, The Empathic Ground, and The Intimate Life, as well as the audio learning course The Realization Process.

A Guided Practice to Connect with Our Deep, Inner Being Blog Trauma-and-the-Unbound-Body-Published-Cover (1)

Buy your copy of Trauma and the Unbound Body at your favorite bookseller!

Sounds True | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Judith Blackstone: Trauma and the Unbound Body

Judith Blackstone is a pioneering teacher of contemporary spirituality best known for developing The Realization Process, a direct path toward nondual awakening. With Sounds True, she has most recently published the book Trauma and the Unbound Body. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Judith about applying The Realization Process to the healing process—whether it’s physical, relational, or psychological. They discuss the Process’s application to unprocessed trauma—especially how fully inhabiting the body can highlight long-term physical constrictions. Tami and Judith talk about the methods for releasing that constriction, as well as the difference between awareness of the body and inhabiting it. Finally, Judith leads listeners in a core breath practice for settling into the body and attuning to the fundamental consciousness that is always available to us. (57 minutes)

Tami’s Takeaway: As part of our conversation about “disentangling the constrictions” that are held in the body as a result of trauma, Judith Blackstone teaches one of the central practices of The Realization Process—the Core Breath Practice. This is a powerful technique for quickly entering the subtle core of the body (a vertical channel that is described in many spiritual traditions). Once we enter this subtle core, we have a powerful resource available to us for releasing traumatic experiences held in the body. The takeaway: do the Core Breath Practice regularly as a way to stay in deep inward contact and “unbind the body.”

You Might Also Enjoy

Christian Conte: Healing Conflict: Listen, Validate, T...

How do we fully meet and support someone experiencing emotional distress—anger, in particular? In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Christian Conte about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, and explore options.” Dr. Conte explains the events that led to his interest in anger management, as well as the origins of Yield Theory. He emphasizes the importance of meeting others where they are, giving them the opportunity to drain anger’s charge from their limbic system. Dr. Conte and Tami discuss why it’s necessary to cultivate humility and how Yield Theory might be applied to our currently divisive culture. Finally, they speak on the “cartoon world” that angry responses often create, as well as the importance of watching what we add to our minds.

Susan Cain: Bittersweet: The Hidden Riches in Sorrow a...

We all have the power to transform our pain and sorrow into a beautiful offering throughout our lives. This is a deep truth that Susan Cain writes about in her new book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with the bestselling author and lecturer about a new understanding of high sensitivity and the connection between sorrow and joy. 

Give a listen to this heart-opening podcast exploring: How an experience of the bittersweet can lead to profound transcendence; the creative stimulation we can access in the gap between what is and what we wish were; stepping out of the paradigm of winning at all costs; the connection between high sensitivity and an attunement to the bittersweet; our human longing for a more perfect and beautiful world; the link between sorrow and kindness; how confronting our sorrows presents a fork in the road; the archetype of the wounded healer; moving on versus moving forward; healing our inherited traumas; leaning into the question, “What am I longing for?”; and more.

This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

Danielle LaPorte: How to Be Loving

What changes when you see yourself and others through a Loving gaze? Everything. With her latest book, How to Be Loving, Danielle LaPorte shares a joyous new framework for bringing incandescent Love to every part of your life. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Danielle about her new book and our individual roles in what she calls “the epic shift of our time.”

 

Give a listen to this inspiring conversation about shining your inner light, as Tami and Danielle discuss a range of topics including the power of taking a vow, softening a critical attitude, the counterculture nature of self-acceptance, shifting out of misidentification, the shadow side of accountability, the practice of intentional recollection, everyday gentleness, a guided virtue blessing, the epic shift of our time, and more.

Note: This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

>