Feeling IN to the body — interview with Aneesha Dillon

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By Aneesha Dillon / October 7, 2010

Osho Pulsation has a certain reputation amongst Osho therapies as being tough, pushy, and cathartic.

It is true that Osho Pulsation is a high-energy method and uses techniques that can, and do, help people open to deep emotions, and to release their pain, their anger, their fears. But feeling and expressing emotions does not require your pushing; it requires your awareness, presence, sensitivity, a willingness to breathe, and the capacity to allow your own feeling to arise from within.

So it is important to remember that the capacity to feel and connect with deep, authentic feelings and emotions, is one that needs time, patience, and preparation for the body and the energy system.

What is this preparatory work?

The first step is to bring the consciousness into the body, to help people ‘arrive’ into their physical bodies in such a way that their attention, their awareness, is focused on physical sensations, emotional feelings, the feeling of breath moving in and out, touching the body from the inside. This is the “felt sense” described by Eugene Gendlin, founder of ‘Focusing Therapy”. Through this turning inwards of the attention, we arrive here and now, into the present moment, into contact with the body. And the body lives and breathes only in this present moment.

We connect with grounding, with legs and feet, to feel the earth below and its support. There are all kinds of simple but effective grounding exercises for the feet, legs, and pelvis that quickly bring people into contact with their bodies. We connect with each other through the eyes, and feel ourselves more deeply. A touch of hands, a deeper breath, and we are fully in the here and now presence.

Another way to bring awareness into the body is to focus the breathing in three basic areas of the torso—first the belly, then the diaphragm, and then the chest. Feel the body from the inside as the breath touches every nook and corner inside your lungs.

Sometime in the first few hours of all my groups, I invite people to lie down and breathe into what I call the ‘hollow tube’. This is a continuous, empty space located at the core, extending down through the length of the torso, beginning with the mouth and throat, connecting into the chest, diaphragm, and belly, and ending at the genitals. It is through this tube that we feel/imagine/sense the breathing, moving in and out; first in the belly, then the diaphragm, then in the chest. In Pulsation we use the breath both as a way to energize the body, and to bring awareness there.

There is a drawing that I use to help people understand some of the energy ‘maps’ that I use in working with the flow of bio-energy within and through the body. In groups and trainings I teach from these maps, and those of you who have been in groups with me in the last 10-12 years have seen my drawing of what I call our ‘humanoid’. It demonstrates first of all my inability to draw, but over the years, ‘it’ has taken on a sort of predictable, familiar character that I like.

In this drawing I show two different maps that can support deeper work in Pulsation. One is Wilhelm Reich’s Seven Segments of Muscular Armor, shown here as green lines across the body, dividing it in sections. Reich described how these seven groups of muscles act like belts or bands around the torso that can open and close, much like the sphincter muscles of the digestive system, either to allow or prevent the flow of energy, feelings, and emotional expression, up and down the body.

The chronic tensions of emotional repression reside in these muscles, and when we move the body and breathe into these tensions, those blocks loosen and long-held feelings can be consciously felt, expressed, and released. By coming into contact with the sensations, feelings, tensions, and also pleasure and relaxation in the body, we form a deeper connection with ourselves.

The other map shown in this drawing is the Chakra System, discovered and explored by yogis and tantrikas in ancient India. Shown here as red circles, the Chakras are perhaps more like energy vortexes spiraling deep into the core of the body, and made of much subtler stuff than muscles. Actually, the muscles could be considered as the outermost layer of the chakras, the physical, material layer. The chakras fit exactly into the muscular segments, and the energetic activities of the chakras stir feelings and impulses in these very places in the physical body.

Very often we live in a state of disconnection from our bodies and our feelings. We are stuck in the head, stressed out and tense, living in regret of the past and fear for the future. We don’t even realize how far from ourselves we have gone. These maps, and the physical reality they represent, can help us to rediscover our own interiority based on a ‘felt sense’ that can only be known from within each one of us.

Feelings and emotions are felt through the body. Without a body, presumably there is no feeling. Every wave of feeling that passes through the body, every impulse to act, to express, literally flows through, and moves, the liquid contents of the physical body. The more sensitive we become to these inner sensations, the more available we can be to feel what we feel, and to live a more emotionally connected, authentic life.