What is “Embodied Listening”?

Embodied Listening is listening with the whole body, a kind of deep listening in which we are fully present for others, giving them space and support to share their experience fully, without interrupting, judging, shifting the topic to ourselves, or even trying to be helpful before help is asked for.

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What are Felt Senses?

Some felt senses are strong enough that they force themselves into our awareness, like the feeling of butterflies in your stomach before going on stage. But, most of the time, felt senses lie below our ordinary level of consciousness. Only when we deliberately bring gentle, inquiring attention inside our body do we perhaps notice a fluttery or jittery sensation. Once we recognize this subtle felt sense, we can learn a lot about what it is that’s making us uncomfortable, and this often leads to a relaxation of the inner tension and fresh energy to go forward. Felt senses are subtle…

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My book has been officially published!

Today, October 7, 2014, is the official "pub date" of Your Body Knows the Answer: Using Your FELT SENSE to Solve Problems, Effect Change, and Liberate Creativity (Shambhala Publications). Here is an excerpt from the book's Preface describing the decades-long personal journey that led me to develop Mindful Focusing, a new integration of Buddhist and Western contemplative practices for the 21st century. In the summer of 1971, shortly after I had returned to New York from two eye-opening years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, my high-school friend Alex invited me to bum around Europe for a couple of months. Starting in…

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How to Find Your Felt Sense: Start with a GAP

In the course of a very long letter written in 1817 to his brothers in America, the English poet John Keats describes a sudden realization he had while walking home from the theater with a friend: “ . . . several things dove-tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously - I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason . . . ”…

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The Felt Sense: Conceptual Mind versus Holistic Knowing

When the conceptual mind loses its moment-to-moment connection to direct bodily experience, it begins to take on a life of its own.  Conceptual mind is very good at identifying parts and putting different parts together in new combinations, but it is not good at holding a sense of the whole.  Therefore conceptual mind often leads us to places that are out of touch with the whole reality of our lives.  It can create alternative realities, both pleasant and unpleasant, that we come to believe in but which are in fact inaccurate or incomplete. Of course there are times when this…

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