The Essence of Embodiment
Question Received through Email from Chloe
Hey Scott, I’m hoping you can help me. About two years ago, I experienced what so many teachers write about. It was a real shift in identity – from ego mind to awareness. Very liberating. What a difference that made. That has stuck with me thankfully. I just don’t identify with thoughts anymore – or most of them. The issue is that I’m still addicted to certain things and I can’t seem to let them go. Also, my body doesn’t seem to have gotten on board with the awakening. There are days when I feel almost depressed, although there aren’t a lot of thoughts around it. It’s when I check into my body that I feel that something is there that keeps me from really experiencing true joy and peace. The whole idea of seeking enlightenment has vanished. So nothing drives me to even work on this, whatever it is. Instead I feel stuck in a place that seems half-baked, yet there is no motivation to go to teacher talks or watch videos because I already “got” what they are offering. Can you help?
Answer from Scott
Hi Chloe. Your email is why I shifted my teaching several years ago. Many people on earth are experiencing what I call a head awakening, which is really only the beginning. As I define it, a head awakening is when something shifts one out of identification with the thinking mind into an identification with awareness. You’re right, this is profoundly life-changing. Yet it is only the beginning. The body residually stores a lifetime of blockages, contractions, trauma etc. Essentially one’s mind feels light, while the body feels dense still.
Density v. Lightness is a good way to talk about what happens post-awakening. A head awakening brings a lightness to the head area, even a sense of vastness, while the body still holds what it holds and can feel rather dense. Sometimes, when people have a head awakening, they think they are done. This is because the head awakening, at first, makes it seem as if even the body is light. It takes a while for the density of the body to reveal itself. It all eventually comes to the surface. Your email joins literally hundred and hundreds of emails I’ve received over the years from people complaining that after an initial awakening, they are still dealing with some form of addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. The bad news is that you are not done. Yes, the seeking is done. Yes, you are living in the now. But the embodiment process will now happen as a result of that head awakening, with or without your consent. Embodiment is a process that happens over time, that unfolds within the context of the present moment awareness that you are now experiencing as foundational after the initial awakening. In that way, Embodiment is not about seeking at all. It’s about bringing what has been realized through the head awakening all the way down into the entire body.
Most – not all – teachings are fairly silent on embodiment. This is because the notion of not being done runs counter to what those teachings say publicly (which is that a head awakening is the final stage) and the teachings have created no context to help people with the embodiment process. If those teachings have created a context, the teachers often deliver the information one on one to students, when they need it. So there is not a lot of public information on this topic. I have written and shared a lot publicly on this topic because, at the Kiloby Center, embodiment is a central issue. When people are addicted, embodiment has to be primary or else their bodies continue to scream for relief through addictive substances and activities, much like you are experiencing.
Before I share with you the skills that can accelerate the process of embodiment, I want to tell you about readiness. Readiness is the motivation to continue to employ practices that will help. The tricky thing is that, once the seeking has died down through a head awakening, some people find very little motivation or readiness to do any practices to accelerate the process of embodiment. And this is their choice entirely. But most people after a head awakening continue to suffer in some way. For example, they continue to be addicted to certain things, continue to feel somewhat depressed or anxious or continue to experience resurfaced trauma. They just are not truly joyous and free in every sense. Yet the motivation to use these skills isn’t there either. So they are kind of stuck. In the end, many people who aren’t ready actually become ready when the suffering at the body level gets too much. Suffering is a great motivator.
When I experienced the head awakening, I also thought I was done. But my body was not. I spent a few years dealing with blockages and contractions that were painful and that really clouded my view. As the blockages and contractions began to dissolve, it was (and still is) as if the body is totally transparent. There is a lightness now throughout the whole body. And that’s not awakening, that’s liberation – a totally different thing. Trust me, there will always be this sense that something is missing in your experience until the body is THAT clear.
Without going into great detail around the skills we have developed at the Kiloby Center to accelerate the embodiment process, which would require much more than I can write in this email, I will simply point you to my blogs on embodiment and contractions on the “resources” tab at www.naturalrestforaddiction.com. More importantly, visit the Scholarship Program Signup page under that same “resources” tab on that site. Once you sign up, you will have access to many audios from the Kiloby Center that contain the best skills we have discovered to help in this process. See the category “Self-Support Phase 2” to learn and practice those skills. Perhaps the best advice I have for you is to either come to work with us at the Kiloby Center or work with one of my facilitators online at www.livinginquiries.com.