Deep Listening

Some of us think our way through life, others feel our way through.   See, hear, feel and perceive the subtle flow of hidden forces at work in your daily, ordinary life.  Clear your mind, open your heart and expand your awareness. We learn to listen to ourselves by listening with our whole body and soul.  Open your inner ear, and listen to the quality of the sound of your inner voice.

Do not get caught in the content of the words–instead notice the quality of energy in the thoughts. Allow your whole body to speak to you.  Notice where the energy arises.

  • Acknowledged sensations, and breathe into them.
  • Assimilate your experience, slow it down by taking a few deep breaths–and feel it in your body.
  • Appreciate the energy in the physical felt-sense, and let it shift into an emotional feeling.
  • Allow the energy to keep moving. . . Notice if memories, images, pictures or other impressions arise.
  • Let your intuition begin to put the pieces together and your create insight and meaning out of your experiences.

[Heaven Can Wait 2010]

We learn to listen to others with the same sensitivity.  To acknowledge what someone is saying.  It helps to slow down (and breathe) as we listen and take in what is being said, so we can appreciate the emotional quality of the energy behind what one is saying.  You may even have images, picture or other subtle impressions that give you insights into another’s experience. This capacity to listen deeply to another is enhanced by embodied awareness.

In one of our embodied awareness seminars, a participant Stacy said, “Deep listening has been beneficial for me both personally and professionally.  I have found it has increased my awareness of felt sense and my understanding of emotions (mine and others). It has also increased my confidence in my intuition. I practice deep listening within dyads and with family and friends the feedback has been right on…..Yes! I am right! ”  In the past I have always doubted myself so I am so grateful for the opportunity to really solidify this practice for myself and increase my capacity in such a profound way. It is creating expansion in all aspects of my life. Deep listening is allowing me to become more embodied completely”.

What changes  for you, when you listen deeply to yourself?

What changes when you listen deeply to others?

Take a deep breath…

[image from]

Breathing practices help you become aware of subtle energies and rebuild your vitality and inner spiritual force. You can use breath work to over-come obstacles, maintain clarity of focus, energize your spirit, relax your body or calm down when you are over excited.

Folk wisdom says to calm yourself when you are upset, ‘take a deep breath and count to ten before speaking’. Stress reduction therapists train patients to take deep breaths to soothe anxiety. Lamaze childbirth coaches teach pregnant women to use the breath to ease pain in labor and delivery. The Hindu culture has made a study of the breath and developed the science of pranayama, yogic breathing practices. In India, it is taught that slow, deep breaths relax the body and calm the mind; while rapid breathing stimulates the body and energizes the mind.

Radical Self Care, Chapter 4 “Energy Awareness and Breath Work for Radical Self Care”. Dr. Beth Hedva.

Learn to support yourself with your breath.

How are you breathing right now?

Are you breathing in or out?

Are you holding your breath?

Is your breath shallow?

Are you breathing deeply?

What do you observe?

In one of our embodied awareness seminars, Meaghan, who works as a psychotherapist and counsellor, shared,

“The aspect of embodied practice I feel most serves me is breath work. I integrate this for myself by getting on my yoga mat nearly every day. I really notice a difference when I am grounded how much space I have available to do a number things, including supporting others.  I bring this embodied practice and really notice the impact when I sit with clients in my work, particularly the earth breath and the water breath”.

“I use these to bring grounding when people come in the door from the flurry of whatever their life has been in the moments prior to deepen and come into a place of inner work. The water breath is great for soothing once we have dived into something significant that may have stirred things up a little for them”.

“Breath work is a foundation I am currently grateful for and see the impact of on a daily basis”.

 How has breath work helped you stay present in your body?

What type of breathing practice do you rely on most?

Following Inner Guidance to Realization

Inner guidance is a spiritual sense that takes you in the direction of realization of your true nature.  Those . . . .’ah ha!’ moments that bring a spontaneous break-through beyond ordinary limitations.

When we unify with our spiritual Self, and awareness expands—we emerge into feeling peace, happiness, infinite possibility, creativity  mystical states of ‘oneness’ and freedom– all independent of one’s external circumstances or external conditions. Realization is a glimpse into ‘enlightenment’.   India describes it as a state of spiritual Self-realization, ‘nirvana’, stillness. Japan calls it ‘Satori’ or ‘beginner mind’; and in the West it has been called self-actualization.

Realization implies making it real through embodiment of the experience.  Intuition is integrated through action. Intuition (and all the subtle senses) clarifies a pattern.  Spiritual discernment helps us see the many paths and options ahead of us – to continue the pattern, to walk a new direction, and how to choose which direction to go. Realization organically follows.

The choice is to continue down the path of Self-realization…to continue to check in for guidance, to be guided by an emerging inner sense of freedom, well-being, health and wholeness–free from conditioning, re-activity, prejudice or expectations–and to act from that.

[Radical Self Care, Chapter 5 “The 12 Senses of Embodied Awareness”. Dr. Beth Hedva].

In one of our Embodied Awareness seminars we used a sentence completion exercise to expand intuitive perception and cultivate the inner Observer and therefore inner guidance, by answering a series of questions. We sat in a circle, and each person explored the experience of realization by answering the question:

“What is it like when you courageously follow your guidance…” .     Here are some of the responses:

When I courageously follow my guidance…everything is radiant.

When I courageously follow my guidance…there is Feminine receptivity.

When I courageously follow my guidance…there is light.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I must  dance with my resistance.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I sometimes get in trouble!

When I courageously follow my guidance…I get pretty excited.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I am open to making mistakes.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I am able to embrace the light and the shadow with love & joy.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I move mountains.

When I courageously follow my guidance…there is a tidal wave of joy.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I become acceptable.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I burst at the seams with ideas.

When I courageously follow my guidance…It feels right & good.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I feel unburdened.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I end up where I need to be.

When I courageously follow my guidance…there is wisdom.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I am open and curious and full of joy.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I step around the source of my resistance rather than reacting to it.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I learn to understand my body and deal with my fears.

When I courageously follow my guidance…there is rebirth.

{ Rebirth Oni H. }

{ Rebirth Oni H. }

When I courageously follow my guidance…I surprise myself and enjoy myself.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I am peaceful.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I jump rather than thinking about everything way too much.

When I courageously follow my guidance…I honor the information from all my senses as opposed to doubting it.

It would be great to hear from you.

                                                    What is it like when you courageously follow your guidance?                                                                                                               

Intuitive Perception & Spiritual Discernment

A unique synthesis of all the subtle sense-signals brings realization, a new vision, and important insights that support a creative evolutionary leap for humankind. Integrative intuitive functions are processed by the neo-cortex and pre-frontal lobes of the brain. This may include intuitive insight that empowers spiritual discernment, prophecy, psychic dreaming, clairvoyance and creative genius that humanity so needs right now in order to respond to the many concerns we face in the world.

Spiritual discernment is a sense of expanded clarity and choice. One senses the right direction to go forward, without judgement or analysis (as is required in rational thinking). What is right is not a moral judgement between making a right or wrong choice. Rather, clarity comes from one’s synergistic perception of the whole truth, which perceives all paths including automatic responses, as well as new possibilities, and options that awaken one’s full human potential as a spiritual being[Radical Self Care, Chapter 5 “The 12 Senses of Embodied Awareness”. Dr. Beth Hedva].

Spiritual discernment comes in the form of inner knowing, guidance or direction.

We can ask for guidance to awaken spiritual discernment.

The questions we ask ourselves guide our quest.

Do not ask ‘why’. “Why” will take you down the path of rationalization rather than toward inner guidance. Ask an open-ended question that is free of imbedded assumptions. Practice choosing questions that help you go in the direction of ultimate happiness instead of needing to be right or wrong. 

During one of our Embodied Awareness seminars we used a  sentence completion exercise to expand intuitive perception and cultivate the inner Observer and therefore spiritual discernment, by answering a series of questions. As a continuation of the previous blog post, Come To Your Senses, the question “What is my life in service of….” is the next in the series. Here are some of the responses:

My life is in service of…deep connection.

My life is in service of…transformation.

My life is in service of…self actualization.

My life is in service of…transformational guidance.

My life is in service of…self acceptance.

My life is in service of…finding joy from a lost child.

My life is in service of…love and joy.

My life is in service of…developing intuition.

My life is in service of…continually seeking truth and  authenticity.

My life is in service of…the fertility of darkness.

{Artist Unkown}

{Artist Unknown}

My life is in service of…exploration and introspection.

My life is in service of…spiritual pilgrimage.

My life is in service of…personal introspection.

My life is in service of…self observation without judgement.

My life is in service of…love.

My life is in service of…divine light.

My life is in service of passion and joy.

My life is in service of…inviting voices to sing.

My life is in service of vitality.

My life is in service of…being a vessel and a voice.

My life is in service of…happiness.

My life is in service of…truth and community.

My life is in service of…spreading wings through empowering myself and others.

Your invitation:

What is your life in service of?


Come To Your Senses

As we  give birth to a new era for humanity and build our global community, it is important to use all your intuitive processing skills. This is especially important during cycles of high stress, accelerated change and rapid transformation.

Come to your senses. Learn to follow the signals and make sense of them. They will guide you to act. We are all being guided by the same, ultimate and universal intelligence that extends through all existence, including human consciousness. This intelligence that resides within you is guiding your (and our) evolution-beyond the stress that comes with fear of death (whether ego death or otherwise), toward both a personal rebirth and collective renewal.

Begin your journey to consciously evolve your brain. Reflect on your experiences. Make sense of your experience by using all your senses. Explore each subtle signal as distinct. Intuitive processing synthesizes the various signals received from your thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions (neocortex, limbic brain and the sensory-motor brain). Self reflection, and making new connections i.e. ‘making sense’ of your experiences (and all the input you receive from various physical and subtle signals) actually builds new integrative neural fibers in your prefrontal lobes. [ Radical Self Care, Chapter 5 “The 12 Senses of Embodied Awareness”. Dr. Beth Hedva.]

Intuition comes from the Latin root word tueri, which translates as “to observe, to guard, to protect.’ By developing our inner Observer or “Witness” we naturally awaken our intuitive capacities. During one of our Embodied Awareness seminars we used a  sentence completion exercise to expand intuitive perception and cultivate the inner Observer, by answering the question “What I am aware of in this moment is. . . ”

We passed a piece of flourite around the circle (along with a hand held recorder). They became our symbolic ‘talking stalk’ Who ever held the object would speak, and when complete, would pass the objects to the next person in the circle. Round and round the circle we went, each person adding one awareness, and through the process awareness expanded and deepened. Here are some examples:

What I am aware of in this moment is…possibilities.

What I am aware of in this moment is…integration.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the power of intuitive connection.

What I am aware of in this moment is…questions.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the power of other’s ability to see the places I don’t want them to.

What I am aware of in this moment is…guidance and unity.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the power of vulnerability.

What I am aware of in this moment is…strength.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the contrast between the medicine and agitation of relentlessness.

What I am aware of in this moment is…potential.

What I am aware of in this moment is…binding of energy.

What I am aware of in this moment is…truth and sincerity.

What I am aware of in this moment is this (microphone) is not nearly as satisfying as the rock (flourite we were using as a talking piece).

What I am aware of in this moment is…unfurling.

What I am aware of in this moment is…gratitude for circle process.

What I am aware of in this moment is…opening to new perspectives.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the power of creativity and how surrender can be side tracked by taking detours.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the aliveness of intuition.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the edges of breakthrough.

What I am aware of in this moment is…acceptance.

What I am aware of in this moment is…emotions.

What I am aware of in this moment is…is this moment.

What I am aware of in this moment is…opportunity for integration.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the energy of creativity.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the intuitive importance of resistance and how it can act as a blind spot.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the power of insight,  peacefulness and creativity.

What I am aware of in this moment is…physical sensations coming up in my body as my intuitive resistance voice is rising.

What I am aware of in this moment is…how sleepy I became in the last minute.

What I am aware of in this moment is…the both the desire to escape and to hold a flash light to discover where all the shadows are.

What I am aware of in this moment is…an art piece being created.

What I am aware of in this moment is…sense of stillness.

Your invitation:

What are you aware of in this moment?

Beyond Spiritual Bypass

{ Artist: Susan Sedon Boulet }

{ Artist: Susan Sedon Boulet }

Resistance to spiritual growth can take the form of a spiritual by-pass and psychological resistance to our thoughts, feelings, intuitions and deeper spiritual truth.  Embodiment means being whole—experiencing your feelings, thoughts and subtle impressions here and now–in your body, and letting them move you to new insights, awareness, and behaviours.

Spiritual by-pass is a term coined by transpersonal psychologist John Welwood.   In his article Principles of Innerwork, Psychological and Spiritual, Welwood describes three common traps when we begin to open spiritually. . .and all three can act as barriers to intuition by distorting our perception.

1. Mental By-Pass: ‘In your head’—a belief that the spiritual world is ‘better’
2. Spiritual By-Pass: Psuedo-detachment. (This is not the same as ‘non-attachement.  It is a way you avoid doing your personal and emotional work by disociating or pretending to be ‘above’ it.)
3. Emotional By-Pass: Over-processing of emotions. (Getting stuck in, or ‘addicted’ to the intensity of your feelings)

Spiritual by-pass is full of shadows.  AND, it is common to confront the ‘shadow’ when ever we go into unknown territory.  As we find our way through, we are able to mine precious gems and hidden resources found beneath the surface of our ordinary awareness, deep in the ground of being .

Take note:

Which are your favorite forms or resistance?

How do you find your way beyond the resistance?

How do you know when you are on the other side?


After one of our Embodied Awareness seminars, one participant, a corporate Coach, shared gratitudes with the class as she shared what she had learned about herself and her relationship to resistance:

“I want to convey a real sense of gratitude for the reflections from each of you today. I have had a real movement through my resistance.

I have danced with my resistance gnome for awhile. I really felt like instead of feeling, “Overpower! Overcome! Annihilate!  I feel like I can now live with my resistance–and it’s always going to hang around–but that’s not going to stop me from moving forward. . . .

Kinesthetic impressions have helped me make resistance a partner, rather than battle it – big move today- Oh my Gosh! I can live with this – not like a disease live with it – sort of like you’re going to live in my little back pack for awhile, like a little gremlin. That’s ok!  I can share partnership with my resistance.

It keeps me aware.
It keeps me in the trenches.
It reminds me what others may be up against.

{Artist: Brian Froud}

{Artist: Brian Froud}


Meet Dr. Joseph Breuer

Dream Mirror{ }
Dream Mirror
{ }

When I teach, I often do a dream incubation at bedtime before and during my classes, and ask to receive teaching dreams that may be pertinent to the group of students I am teaching.

In my January weekend Embodied Awareness Facilitator Certification course, I facilitated a ‘flooding exercise’ on Saturday,  designed to awaken our subtle senses in order to explore that which is hidden in our own nature—i.e. the ’shadow’.

On Saturday night, 1/ 26, 2013, I had a dream that I entitled “My Shadow: Interrupting Exposed.”

In my dream, I was in a conversation with a mentee of mine.  I could perceive my mentee’s blind spots and how he was making decisions out of emotional reactivity, which I could sense were the result of unacknowledged emotional vulnerability from his childhood.  Emotional reactivity is often an indicator that the ‘shadow’ is surfacing.  My mentee’s shadow was up, and he didn’t know it.

My mentee and I had a long conversation about the responsibilities that come with teaching and being a teacher. Next, I noticed that I kept interrupting him.  I ‘woke-up’ in the dream, and became aware of how my unconscious urge to ‘interrupt’ is a symptom of my own ‘shadow’ material — a ‘signal’ that my vulnerability (and shadow) are calling to be recognized. I saw my mentee as a reflection of me. . .in the dream I thought “both my mentee and I have hidden vulnerabilities” (All of us do).

My mentee decided that we should go to see his psychiatrist, an Austrian clinician named “Dr. Breuer”.

In the next dream sequence, I was introduced to an older gentleman sporting a beard. His name was Dr. Breuer, though in my dream I thought to myself “He reminds me of Freud. “

In contrast to my mentee’s emotional reactivity, Dr. Breuer (in my dream) is objective, insightful and quoting Jewish mystics.

Dr. Breuer brought up the importance of expressing our emotions and the significance of the ‘emotional world,’ which is one of four “worlds” in Jewish mysticism.  This led to a dialectical discourse in which I said, “universal humanitarian ethics also liberates us from the pain and sorrow.” I referenced Rabbi Lawrence Kushner’s book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”, to make my case that, in essence we are ‘good’ even if we experience ‘bad’ things or behave in ‘bad’ ways.   The key is to shift from primary personal process to universal awareness, to awaken and heal.

I woke up from this dream with the spelling B-R-E-U-E-R in my mind, and made a note of it. I also began to wonder if Breuer was more than just a dream symbol. . . . Here is where it gets interesting . . . .

When I got to class on Sunday, I asked my co-facilitator Martina Jaeckel (who is an Austrian trained clinical psychologist with 20 years experience in psychiatry in Austria) if she had ever heard of a ‘Dr. Breuer’.  Martina said “No.  But I know an Eric Breuer—he is an Austrian artist.”  Then she offered, “I’ll look the name up on Google.”  Her face brightened with delight at the discovery of Dr. Joseph Breuer, a renowned Austrian physician and a contemporary of Freud’s.


Who Is Dr. Joseph Breuer (1842-1925)

Dr. Breuer
Dr. Breuer

Josef Breuer was the son of Leopold Breuer (1791-1872), a liberal Jewish teacher of religion in Vienna.“  (more info here)  Interestingly, Breuer was Sigmund Freud’s mentor and creator of the ‘cathartic method” also known as “the talking cure”.  Freud was fascinated by Breuer’s success in treating “Anna O”, who suffered from hysteria, and began working with Breuer after reading this case study.  As the forerunner of psychoanalysis, Breuer proved (through case studies) that trauma can be healed through remembering the trauma, discussing the experience and releasing unexpressed emotional feelings in a therapeutic conversation with the physician.

Breuer was distinguished for several contributions to modern science.

  • coining the term ‘catharsis’ and developing the ‘talking cure” (ie the power of emotional release to effect healing)
  • discovered that the lung has receptors that send signals directly to the brain via the vagus nerve  whenever we occlude the trachea between inspirations and exhalations
  • Researched on the labyrinth (building one in his own yard).
  • Pioneered research on the anatomy and function of the inner ear.
  • Established the “Mach-Breuer theory of endolymph shift” which is responsible for perception of the body’s movement (including our sense of balance).


What Does Dr. Breuer’s research mean to us today?

The dream conversation with Dr.  Breuer reminds us that:

  • Emotions are an important subtle signals (especially when exploring the unconscious –or hidden shadow elements of one’s personality)
  • Expressing feelings (by translating emotional signals into memories, thoughts and discharging emotions in conversation with someone who is actually listening), helps to heal even traumatic injuries.
  • The subtle world of creative philosophical thought and the exploration of universal perspectives (as exemplified in the dream discussion of Jewish philosophies and mysticism), also influence healing.


Other Reminders from Dr. Breuer

  • BREATH: The ancients tell us that breath is a powerful regulator of subtle spiritual energies (prana) and oxygen.

     At the end of the 19th century, Breuer discovered the breath not only sends oxygen to the lungs, it also transmits signals directly to the brain through the vegus nerve.

     At the end of the 20th century we discovered that breathing not only influences the brain (through the vagus nerve); it also impacts our heart-brain.  Slowing our breath down to 4-6 respirations per minute changes the neurocardiology of the heart, (by decreasing cortisol and increasing oxytocin, dopamine and other more pleasant hormones, we change our stress level and blood pressure.

     What can we discover about breath and breathing in the 21st Century?


Ancient philosophical systems tell us that everything in the physical world is a representation of spiritual principle.  On a gross physical level, the inner ear is responsible for our sense of movement and balance.

Symbolically, the inner ear is about clairaudience–listening to one’s inner voice, those silent whispers that echo the sounds of an eternal source of wisdom from deep within the psyche.

Deep listening returns us to listening with our whole body and being. . . .to allt he subtle signals proprioceptive signals from the body, emotional signals from one’s heart and those even more subtle psychic senses that take a myriad of forms.  We  receive inner guidance.  This returns us to a state of balance within.  Then we know how to proceed. To embody inner wisdom and act accordingly.

I wonder if we will discover more of the neurological and physiological structures related to subtle senses, which foster expansions in consciousness,  in the years to come.

Psychic Dreaming


Clairvoyant impressions can take many forms: symbolic  process in the form of images, picture, and dreams (both day dreams and night time dreams) offer us a wealth of opportunity to ‘see’ into the hidden treasures of our full potential.

Within the shadow—within those unconscious or hidden elements of one’s personality—one discovers deeper truths and greater wisdom.  The shadow shines a light on our blind spots—those personality quirks, double standards and inconsistencies that are revealed in rigid thinking or emotional reactivity.  The contradictory parts of one’s personality are not the truth, but lead to a greater non-dual truth.


Full Moon{ Ariel Milinsky }
Full Moon
{ Ariel Milinsky }

“. . .Dreams speak to us in the language of the soul. . . “

Hedva, Radical Self-Care

What does this have to do with Embodied Awareness?

We live in a field of infinite intelligence.  Human consciousness (and our brains and bodies) receive and send signals. This is how we transmit and receive information between physical world experiences, and the worlds of inner experience (emotions, thoughts, perceptions and pure consciousness).  All knowledge is available to us, as we can learn to translate the signals we receive via our physical and subtle senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, gut response (transmission of energy), telepathy (transmission of emotion), clairaudience (transmission of thought, clairvoyance, intuition (pattern recognition), spiritual discernment (knowing), and realization.

Human intelligence (and personality) is organized within the context of time and space, and our experience of ‘past-present-future’.   Yet, in the field of pure consciousness and ultimate reality, even time and space disappear.  All that ever was or will be is here now.  Hence, Joseph Breuer is here now.  And I am here now (as are you, reading this blog post—if you read this far).   Each of us is connected to this field of infinite universal intelligence—not separate from it. We each are embodiments, sending and receiving signals for the purpose of awakening to our full potential as human beings.

A Few Interesting References relating to Dr. Joseph Breuer:

1)  Britannica 

2) Encyclopedia

3)    The Pioneering Work of Josef Breuer on the Vestibular System Gerald Wiest, MD; Robert W. Baloh, MD Arch Neurol. 2002;59(10):1647-1653. doi:10.1001/archneur.59.10.1647.

4) Journal Formerly Archives of Neurology

5)     The History of Psychology


Remain Receptive. Remain Aware.

{ Share }

{ Share Awakening }

“There is no separation between God, you, the healing energy, and the one receiving the healing. Touch and be touched by the Source of healing within. Observe changes in yourself (in self healing). Or observe shifts in both you and the receiver, when working with someone else. Remain receptive. Remain Aware”. Radical Self Care by Dr. Beth Hedva

Comments. . .

For Stacey, #6 from Dr. Beth Hedva’s Guidelines for Conducting Energy Work with Yourself and Others really spoke to her:

“I do body work and thought it was very interesting that the dyads I have been doing have all been focused on what physical conditions are impacting us. I have been working consciously for the last few months on what’s happening to me moment by moment and developing greater awareness for myself as an embodied being. I am also reminded how passionate I am about helping others (if they so choose) to develop greater awareness for themselves, how that might open them in different ways. Also this quote reminded me of how sacred doing body work is; how honored I am to do this work on a daily basis; how honored I am people trust me to do this sacred work.”

Thank you Stacey.