Listening to the Body

As we bring our attention to the body we will find that stored tension begins to communicate with us. The body can become our teacher, speaking through sensations, feelings, images and somatic memories. By exploring the tension we begin to unravel layers of self-concept and invite release.

In working with the body we may discover a pattern of personal investment that maintains and reinforces the tension. By recognizing our responsibility for the tension, we can enter into it consciously and let go.

Reggie Rays describes the process of letting go as follows:

It is as if at first we are on the outside, looking at the holding. Next, as we look more closely, we can feel a boundary between us and the holding. Then we find that boundary dissolving, and as this occurs, our awareness begins to dissolve into the tension itself, so that, in a manner of speaking, we find ourselves inside it, discovering that it is actually we who are holding on. There is, at this point, a sudden, though often quite subtle somatic fear, almost a panic, that arises—there is a trembling, a shaky, unstable feeling. For a moment, we are both holding on and releasing. We oscillate back and forth. On one hand, we cannot seem to let go, but at the same time, we feel we have to let go—to open, relax, and surrender. We hover on this edge for some time, and then—as long as we don’t back off and run away—we find ourselves somehow moving through it and releasing.