Realization Process

“Enlightenment is a lasting transformation of our being,
involving our ongoing experience of life.”
– Judith Blackstone, Realization Process founder

The Realization Process offers a direct path for those seeking to realize an embodied spiritual awakening. These experiential practices, free of doctrine or ideology, integrate spiritual awakening with relational healing and embodiment.

As we make deep contact with the internal space of our body, we connect with our essential nature. We realize our authentic self as vast, clear, unbounded space. The more fully we open to the absolute stillness of this fundamental consciousness, the more freely the movement of life takes place.

Nondual realization is an actual transformation of our being, not just a change in our beliefs. It’s not that we know nonduality. It is that we are nonduality. Chronic fragmentations within our own being and between oneself and one’s environment can be healed by realizing fundamental consciousness. We can experience oneness with other people without being entangled with them, and without losing inward contact with ourselves. The fundamental ground of our being has never been injured.

Even after we have stabilized in non-dual reality, we can continue to become increasingly open to the unity and transparency of our body and environment. It is fairly easy to realize fundamental consciousness, but the deepening of our realization is a life’s work. We can find within our body an innate, ever-present source of equanimity and happiness.

You are invited 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 by clicking on any of the links below.

Awaken to Your True Nature

“The body is our instrument of realization.
Enlightenment occurs in and through the body.”
– Judith Blackstone

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.

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. As our contact with the whole internal space of our body deepens, we open into a vast, luminous stillness, a fundamental consciousness, permeating our body – and the environment.

Human, mortal, imperfect. Vibrantly alive. Receptive. We feel transparent, timeless, and changeless. We feel completely permeable. Like an empty vessel. Each moment unfolds exactly as it does. Stillness is not a “holding still.” It’s a complete receptivity to the flow of life – a yielding – an allowing – an “isness.” This is Emptiness.

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.

The felt-sense of awakening into our essential nature:

  • 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 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.

Heal from the Core

“Our fundamental dimension of consciousness,
the core of our being, has never been injured.”
– Judith Blackstone

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. As we release bound fragments of consciousness, 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.

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, we can reach the essence of ourselves, a dimension of consciousness that has never been wounded or conditioned. 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. When we heal from the core, we know that we are essentially whole and well.

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.

The felt-sense of healing from the core:

  • We have a felt sense of coming to life – of becoming fully born – within our body.
  • 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 regain those diminished parts of ourselves.
  • Our childhood pain and its effect on our present-day experience diminishes.
  • As we release bound energy of 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.
  • We let go of 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.

Relate Authentically

“Spiritual maturity can be seen as the realization
of the fundamental unity of the relational field.”
– Judith Blackstone

We relate authentically when we experience oneness with others – without losing contact with our self. 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. Spiritual oneness 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 childhood 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.

The Realization Process includes specific practices for relating core-to-core. John describes what touch feels like when two people connect in the dimension of fundamental consciousness:

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.

The felt-sense of connecting authentically:

  • We experience enhanced intimacy.
  • We are able to open to each other without losing inward contact with yourself.
  • Limits to our contact and communication dissolve.
  • Conflicts can be resolved in the clear, unified space of fundamental consciousness.
  • Our spiritual realization accelerates.

Embody Wholeness

“To become enlightened is to move from a
fragmented experience of life to a unified experience.”
– Judith Blackstone

Wholeness is naturally empty, free from conceptual contrivance. Living within the body, conscious and in contact with ourselves everywhere in the body, we experience a feeling of internal coherence which dissolves the conceptually-based boundary between self and other, along with the defensive, strategizing self. Living in the subtle core of the body, we enter into the direct experience of self-other oneness. Contact with ourselves all the way through the internal depth of our body produces a lived experience of continuity and connection with everything and everyone that we encounter.

When the mind is unbounded and free from all concepts, including time and space, the body is experienced as luminous and self-aware. Refining and integrating the breath/energy systems of the body and refining and unifying the senses allows us to stabilize in our nondual realization. We can experience ourselves as fundamental consciousness unwaveringly. The ongoing, effortless embodied realization is that we are of the same luminous essence, a subtle unified ground of consciousness, as everything in nature. We can experience a sheer transparency: a shining from within, as if each cell of the body is lit up from within.

Simultaneously, we experience 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.

Our actions spring from a single source of understanding, emotion, and physical sensation. Even the smallest movement of our body, as we turn our head or gesture with our hands, carries the full breadth of our human capacities. For example, we experience love and intelligence in our arms or legs; we hear with our whole body, heart and mind.

Thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions occur as a unity. Our senses function as a unity. 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. The process of releasing our defenses and opening to fundamental consciousness reaps an unmistakable deepening of all our human qualities, such as our ability to love, to think, and to experience pleasure.

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.

The felt-sense of embodying wholeness:

  • We experience life in a spontaneous and vivid way.
  • We heal the split between our cognitive abilities and our emotional experience.
  • Our energy moves freely through our body, without overwhelming us.
  • We gain greater access to our own thoughts, feelings, and sensations, as well as our own body’s wisdom.
  • We can cultivate our capacity for authentic love, understanding, power, self-expression, and sexuality.

Live Joyously

“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

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 authentic connection. Sometimes even after just a few sessions, people say it feels like they’re coming home.

The felt-sense of living joyously … 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, within 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.
Spontaneous music played by classically-trained pianist Christopher Smith after meditating with Roma
“The very best teachers are not preoccupied by their title of teacher. The very best teachers are fueled by the student’s experience of unwinding contractions to experience the vastness of who we are. Roma is fierce in her commitment to enable her students and tender in her step-by-step instructions.”
— Kathleen Clancy, Psychotherapist