The Realization Process approach is beautiful. It’s powerful, precise, and most important of all, more deeply integrative (body, mind, spirit) than any other process I’ve ever studied. That’s why it’s so transformative. Developed by innovative psycho-spiritual teacher Judith Blackstone, these body-centered meditative practices integrate spiritual awakening, psychological and relational healing, and embodiment. The Realization Process offers a direct path to an embodied spiritual awakening.
“Enlightenment is not something other than our humanness. It is the fruition of our humanness. It is also the innate potential of every human being, our birthright.” – Judith Blackstone
This I know from my personal experience, and my experiences teaching others:
- Awakening into an aliveness is wondrous – and significant. We feel grounded, vibrant, and transparently present. We take up space!
- Deepening into a luminous stillness is fundamental to self-realization. Being at one with this vast, unbounded consciousness feels like coming home. In this space, we are truly at peace with ourselves, others, and Life.
- When we drop into this vast luminous space, it feels as if our judging / fixing / comparing mind has literally disappeared!
- We know we’re not resisting reality when the field of subtle vibrations permeating our body and the environment ‘hum.’ There’s a pleasureable ease felt everywhere in the body.
- When we struggle against the flow of life, when we want things to be different than they are, we experience tension and stress.
- Chronic patterns of stress become bound in the tissues of our body. When recognized, these fragments of bound consciousness can be released – from the root. The internal structures that have limited who we are and controlled how we behave can actually be dissolved.
- When we know our own thoughts, experience our own feelings, and speak our truth, this is evidence that we’re in deep contact with the internal space of our body. When we don’t, we’re not.
- We can experience oneness with others, without losing contact with ourself.
- We can experience total freedom and total connection – alone, in nature, and with others. This totally transforms our relationships!
- It’s humbling – to experience another person’s humanness and essence so directly! Such moments can be so intimate that they move me to tears.
- Uncovering sensations of warmth and tenderness within our own body is necessary in order to receive love – and to truly be loving.
- A strong foundation gives us the strength to open our hearts so that we may bear witness to our own and others’ suffering, pain, anger, shame, grief, fear, loss, confusion without our turning away.
- Creativity arises in these golden moments – in which the mind ceases and time/space is suspended.
- In such moments, we can dance freely, un-self-consciously. And we unfold / open into a dazzling radiance. Life flows freely!
- This is why my heart sings.
To learn more about the Realization Process through Judith’s words (excerpted from her books) and through the experiences of those who’ve studied with me, please click on any of these links:
- ❂ Awaken Into A Wondrous Aliveness
- ❂ Deepen Into Stillness
- ❂ Grow Towards Wholeness
- ❂ Relate Authentically
- ❂ Live Joyously
Awaken into a Wondrous Aliveness
As we attune to the inner space of our body, we awaken into a wondrous aliveness – a felt-sense of our own existence. We do not have to create or imagine this experience. The felt-sense of our own existence is not something separate from ourselves. We do not know it as an object. Rather, we’re directly experiencing an aliveness that feels like our true self.
Realization Process practices invite us to discover that every part of our body, and every function of our body, has a “feel” to it. Our intelligence has a quality that we can feel within our heads. Our voice, or potential to speak, has a quality that we can feel within our throats. We can feel the quality of our power, or personal strength, within our midsection, and the quality of our gender within our pelvis. Our whole body is an instrument of experiencing.
In the Realization Process, we call this aliveness Presence – or Self – or Being. We can sense this quality in ourselves, in others, and in the environment. Marni Barnes, a landscape architect, describes her experiences meditating outside under the redwood trees in my backyard:
I opened my eyes as I was coming out of the meditation, and there in my view were the boughs of a redwood tree. Each needle had a droplet of dew. It was like a jewel. And all of a sudden, that tree had emotion and life and was giving to me and the world this beauty. And as someone who has worked with nature all my life, to have this subtle shift, that not only was the tree alive, but also giving was just absolutely amazing for me.
As we awaken, our perceptions become refined – and then unified. That is to say, we have a single, unified impression of life that is seen, heard, touched (felt), smelled, tasted all at the same time. The visible world is audible and the audible world is visible. For example, when we perceive the aliveness inside a branch of a tree, we experience that we are “seeing-feeling-hearing” it.
Benefits of RP practices for awakening to our spiritual essence:
- As we make deep contact with our self, we become present through the internal depth of our body.
- We have an experience of “being” – of our actual existence, rather than an abstract idea of it.
- We gain greater access to our own thoughts, feelings, and sensations, as well as our own body’s wisdom.
- We experience a sense of self-possession, a sense of there being someone “at home.”
- We have an internal sense of volume, of taking up space.
- We can cultivate our capacity for authentic love, understanding, power, self-expression, and sexuality.
“The body is our instrument of realization. Enlightenment occurs in and through the body.” – Judith Blackstone
Deepen into Stillness
As we make deep contact with the whole internal space of our body, we directly experience our self as clear space. Specific Realization Process practices uncover portals to a vast, luminous stillness, a fundamental consciousness, permeating our body and the environment.
Human, mortal, imperfect. Completely open. Vibrantly alive. Receptive. We feel transparent, timeless, and changeless. We feel completely permeable. Like an empty vessel. Each moment unfolds exactly as it does. This is Emptiness.
Stillness is not a “holding still.” It’s a complete receptivity to the flow of life – a yielding – an allowing – an ‘isness.’ As we plumb the depths of stillness, we open into the unchanging ground of our experience, within which specific, temporal cognitions, emotions, and physical sensations occur. As we integrate the ground of awareness, emotion, and physical sensation, we uncover a very fine, unified transparency permeating our whole body. Christine, a retired HR executive and a veteran meditator, describes her experiences:
I was stunned to actually experience the meditation in my whole body – a sense of vibration and presence – faint at first but as time went on, it stabilized and deepened and created an awareness not just in my body but a spaciousness that included not just me but everything around me, all the people around me. Eventually as time went on, it – that presence – eventually stabilized to the point that I changed my meditation practice. I used to meditate twice a day. Now I feel into that presence continuously – all day long .. there it is. So rather than meditate on a cushion, I meditate all the time and it’s glorious.
In the Realization Process, we attune to presence, to emptiness, and to the unity of presence and emptiness. The unity of presence and emptiness feels like Stillness Flowing, in everyday life. There’s a very subtle vibratory luminosity unperturbed by specific sensations, emotions, or thoughts. Just subtlety, depth and steadiness. We are this fundamental consciousness through which Life unfolds!
Benefits of RP practices for deepening into this vast, luminous stillness:
- We experience life in a spontaneous and vivid way.
- We can heal the split between our cognitive abilities and our emotional experience.
- We can relax our protective vigilance to the world around us.
- We experience life as much safer than when we don’t live within the internal space of the body.
- Our energy can move freely through the stillness, without overwhelming us.
“To become enlightened is to move from a fragmented experience of life to a unified experience.” – Judith Blackstone
Grow towards Wholeness
We grow towards wholeness as we release bound fragments of consciousness that fragment us. Painful memories and emotions are bound in the physical tissues of the body, along with the beliefs, projections, and defenses that result from these bound memories. There are literally places within our organism where the tissues of the body have rigidified in the shape of chronic contraction patterns. We recognize that we have released these bound fragments of consciousness when what we receive of the present is no longer conditioned and limited by our past.
Judith explains that our childhood consciousness organized these contracted patterns of our energy and body, compensating for feelings such as fear, hurt, and shame. These bound patterns in our body contain painful moments. They also hold defensive or compensatory attitudes that have been formed to protect us from further injury, such as the hypervigilant attitude of someone who was often abused, or the inflated, superior attitude of the narcissistic person who is compensating for the feelings of hurt and shame that he also holds in his body.
The Realization Process includes specific methods for releasing these holding patterns. The first step is to become conscious of them. The next step is to experience the purpose of the holding pattern, to feel what it is protecting against or what it is holding back, such as tears or anger. This allows us to become aligned with the volitional intention of the movement so that it is not something that is happening to us, but we recognize that we ourselves are moving toward this internal protective stance. Once the protective movement becomes conscious and intentional, we can practice allowing ourselves to move into the pattern and release it. We can even access the static beliefs bound in the chronic patterns which trigger repetitive behaviors. Usually repeated practice is required in order for the pattern to release completely.
Ines, a doula, came to me a few years ago. In a soft voice, she described her confusion about the wonderful things she’d begun experiencing – after she’d prayed for seven months – after being diagnosed with cancer. I sat with her in silence, and then asked, “What did your praying look like?” She told me that she’d cried and raged all night long for seven months.
Then something inside her shifted, and she realized that she had a choice – to live in fear, as she had all her life, or to live in love. She felt an immeasurable lightness arising in her body, and she chose love. Love filled her whole body.
Her path hasn’t been easy. She came seeking help in making sense of what was happening. She also wanted guidance in figuring out how to relate with those who didn’t understand her sudden transformation. And she wanted to learn how to embody her true self.
Ines describes her experiences as she made deep contact with the internal space of her body:
I remember going to my heart. So much love! But then when I went to my neck – it was like wow! I have a voice? I never realized that I have a voice. I can talk, I can express. And for me it just opened up – and nobody can stop me. To me that was a truly healing moment because I could never express as a child. I could never complain. And now here I am. I can do it. For me, it was a healing.
In another RP meditation, she explored her relationship with her father. Later, as she processed what had happened during that exercise, she told me that she had all kinds of issues with her father. She had been very upset, very mad all her life. In this exercise, she pictured him in front of her and experienced how painfully her whole body contracted. She felt how his abuse of her still lived in her body. She felt the “how” and “why” she had contracted; she had silenced herself and contracted into fear, trying to protect herself as best as she could. Spontaneously, she felt great compassion arise in her whole body. And then suddenly she saw the contractions in his body; she saw her father as a child who had contracted because he had been so abused as a child. She felt how his hurt lived in his body – and also in her body. And again great compassion spontaneously arose in her whole being.
When I suddenly saw him as that child, I released him with love. And this loving release also freed me. If not, I would probably still be holding so much pain. After that I released my father, my mother, and everybody I had issues with – with love. And that made a very huge impact on how I am in my life now, how I see things. This is impacting my friends and my family, my husband, my daughter. That I can close those issues I have with my relatives with love, that’s very remarkable for me. I want to continue growing spiritually.
That evening, after she went home, I wrote this short poem to her: As you awaken to who you truly are, let yourself be nourished by the warmth and stillness of your true nature. As you cease to fear, listen to the timeless voices whispering in your heart, “You are loved … just as you are.” Know – that whenever love discovers you, you‘ve found the path to freedom. Let the joy of your aliveness permeate your whole body. Let it manifest in your unwavering presence, in the sparkle of your eyes, the vibrancy of your voice, and the sensuousness of your touch. Let your Being unfold, let it unfurl, let it be free.
Her sense of self – her felt-sense of her own essence is growing stronger and clearer. She is finding her own voice. She trusts her own inner guidance. She chooses again and again to be true to herself and to let go of what she cannot control. Even those who don’t know her say that she radiates love and wisdom through her whole body. What a gift to her young daughter!
Judith explains that we can cultivate compassion and gradually empty our minds of destructive thoughts and limiting beliefs, but if we still feel aversion to the world around us, or if we feel loathing for our own imperfection, we cannot truly release the fear and anger from our mind and body.
Although we may feel that we have been severely damaged by circumstances in our past, once we reach the essence of ourselves, we know that we are essentially whole and well. None of our innate functions – our creativity or our capacity to love or think or experience sexual pleasure, to name just a few – can be diminished by another person. We can only constrict our own attunement to these indestructible aspects of our own being. Wholeness is naturally empty, naturally disentangled from the flow of life.
Benefits of RP practices for growing toward wholeness:
- We have a felt sense of coming to life – of becoming fully born – within our body.
- The process of releasing our defenses and opening to fundamental consciousness reaps an unmistakeable deepening of all our human qualities, such as our ability to love, to think, and to experience pleasure.
- It is literally that we have been numb, in our sensations, our heart, and our awareness, and now we are waking from that numbness.
- We can regain those diminished parts of ourselves.
- Our childhood pain and its effect on our present-day experience diminishes.
- As we release the bound energy of our past grief, anger, and fear, we gain emotional depth and fluidity in response to the current events in our life.
- We feel our emotions deeply, but we experience them as appropriate and as temporary, passing through the unchanging ground of our being.
“Our fundamental dimension of consciousness, the core of our being, has never been injured.” – Judith Blackstone
We relate authentically when we experience oneness with others- without losing contact with ourself. Spiritual oneness is not an experience of submerging our own existence into the existence of another person – nor a diffusion of our own sense of being outward into the environment – nor a distancing ourselves from others so that we don’t feel overwhelmed. It is a deepened and simultaneous contact with ourselves and with our environment.
Our fragmented, defended state was primarily created in relationships with other people. In our defended body, we feel separate from the environment. Wherever we have bound pain in our body, there are gaps in our consciousness, gaps in our experience. Judith explains that we “fill in” these gaps with imaginary experience – the projection of our chlidhood fears, aversions, beliefs, and unfulfilled needs onto our present life. We experience a world “out there” of shadows and threats that is cut off from a world “inside” of fear and longing. However, as we let go of rigid or fixed organizations of the way we experience ourselves and others, we uncover a dimension of unity between ourselves and others. In the spaciousness and stillness of our spiritual essence, we are truly in contact, truly intimate, with ourselves and with all of life.
Spiritual oneness is not an experience of submerging our own existence into the existence of another person – nor a diffusion of our own sense of being outward into the environment – nor a distancing ourselves from others so that we don’t feel overwhelmed. It is a deepened and simultaneous contact with ourselves and with our environment. The self that distances from others is just a shadow of our true self. The connection we make by merging is just a fraction of our capacity for intimacy.
The Realization Process includes specific practices for relating in the dimension of fundamental consciousness. John describes what “touch” feels like when two people connect core-to-core:
“Just this last week-end my wife and I had a couple’s session with Roma. And one of the profound moments for me – She had us just touch each other – put our hands on either side of each other’s shoulders at the same time and then just focus on the feelings inside. My wife came over and put her shoulders on me. I don’t remember her words exactly but whatever it was got me in touch with the aliveness that was resonating with my wife’s touch. So I went home from that session and just snuggled with my wife –feeling her embrace, and feeling it in the same ways that I felt her hands on my shoulder. And it was amazing, it was just being engulfed in love.”
Love is the core-to-core contact with another in which you are both completely connected and completely free. These words are for John – and for all lovers:
As you sense the warm tender vibrations of your own pulsing heart, your capacity for mutually-nourishing authentic relationship deepens. Your unique wholeness manifests in your unwavering presence, radiant heart, sparkling eyes, vibrant voice, and sensuous touch – and in the oneness and openness of your connection with others.
It’s humbling – to experience a felt-sense of another person’s humanness and essence.
Benefits RP exercises for connecting authentically:
- Experience enhanced intimacy.
- Open to each other without losing inward contact with yourself.
- Dissolve limits to your contact and communication.
- Resolve conflicts in the clear, unified space of fundamental consciousness.
- Accelerate spiritual realization.”Spiritual maturity can be seen as the realization of the fundamental unity of the relational field.” – Judith Blackstone
As your whole body awakens, you directly experience your being … your essence …your self … as clear space … as stillness … as resting in stillness … You experience your unique wholeness … and your oneness with all of life … without losing attunement to yourself. You experience your aliveness … and the movement of life – the thoughts, feelings, and sensations arising and ceasing … without disrupting the stillness … you are that steady, that vast …
One woman talks about the glow of embodiment as she crunches her morning cereal. Another says that she’s blooming, now that she’s inhabiting her body. Others describe the warmth and tenderness of their genuine connection. Sometimes even after just a few sessions, people say it feels like they’re coming home.
Judith offers these descriptions:
- We may be able to see the energy in our environment as movement, radiance, and color, to hear it as a subtle buzzing sound and to touch it as vibration and liveliness.
- We may discover an internal intelligence at the basis of the body-energy-mind system, such that we know without thinking, we listen without hearing, and we see by sensing.
- We may realize that our physical anatomy can be directed by the mind without effort, and so our whole body can soften.
- We can know ourselves as the unchanging ground of our experience, whichin which specific cognitions, emotions and physical sensations occur.
- We can experience our life itself, as existence itself. There is nothing abstract or impersonal about this feeling of life. For it is our own skin that awakens to touch, our own chest that softens and fills with love. Each moment of life registers with its full impact. Disentangled from the flow of life, we become more immersed in life. This is our most natural, relaxed condition.
I leave you with these words:
As you plumb the depths of your aliveness, your experience of reality changes. Your perceptions shift. You open to the beauty of your essential self, living according to your own internal rhythms. As you feel the substance, depth, lightness, and buoyance of your being, you move in – through – and as fundamental consciousness.
As you feel at home in your body, open in your heart and clear in your mind, you radiate wholeness, love and peace. You experience life flowing, with effortless ease. You feel profoundly joyous, spontaneous and creative. You relate to yourself and others with kindness, empathy, and compassion. The expression of your life reveals the essence of your being – truth, consciousness, bliss.
“Enlightenment is a lasting transformation of our being, involving our ongoing experience of life.” – Judith Blackstone