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I found this book to be a practical guide that moves one through the process of first understanding and then healing from trauma. I spent much of my adult life healing from early trauma. I think I would have significantly cut down on that time had I read Judith’s books early in my recovery. She describes, with some detail, how people disconnect from their bodies due to trauma. She then does a great job of saying why, once disconnected, it’s hard to reconnect because the trauma(s) become frozen in the body. The path to healing then is to utilize the practices that make up the Realization Process (developed by the author) offered throughout the book. Each chapter builds upon the last chapter for a concise understanding of how to work towards resolving trauma and restoring life. This is possible because Realization Process practices are offered throughout the book, each with a particular focus of healing. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have worked with Judith for a number of years becoming more inhabited and more myself with every meeting. If you are looking for insight regarding trauma and a gentle healing path, I highly recommend this book as a place to start or a next step to deepen your healing if you are already on the path.
I love this book! In her very first sentence: “Wholeness is not a vague ideal, but a lived experience,” Judith Blackstone affirms that the Realization Process offers an extraordinary path to deep healing.
She lends unimaginable hope to those of us traumatized as children by those entrusted to protect us: “No matter how severe our traumatic experiences have been, when we know ourselves as Fundamental Consciousness, we know that we have not been irreparably damaged.”
If you, like me, have sought to let go of hypervigilance or chronic anxiety, if you have felt “all alone,” or that you’re “too emotional,” or “too mental,” or “too much,” then this gentle, practical path may also help you reclaim your life.
Chapter by chapter, Judith offers exercises that cultivate our capacity to inhabit our body and to attune to and live within the subtle core. The attunement exercises are subtle, yet transformational. The words and sentences in each exercise have carefully been honed.
Her guidance is practical – and specific. She explains how to recognize and release “patterns of constriction and belief formed throughout our childhood, in relationship to our immediate family and to our peers at school.”
Near the end of the book, Judith describes her unique release technique. Again she offers constructive examples and skillful advice as to how we can work with the exact pathways of our psychological constriction, recognizing and unwinding tension within the fascia, the connective tissues networked through the body. This process is gentle, yet precise.
Whether we have been traumatized by a single severe injury or instance of abuse or by a series of small painful events repeated over time, we can actually regain a sense of self-possession, a sense of there being someone “at home.”
As we grow into wholeness, all of our human capacities deepen, including our ability to love, to express ourselves, and to experience delight. This is a profound path to freedom.
Judith Blackstone approaches meditation from a unique perspective of the nondual contemplative tradition. Her applications of the nondual view to developmental trauma is distinct from the better known gradual or goal-oriented nondual approach such as mindfulness, or the dualistic understanding of meditation. Blackstone introduces essential qualities that are a central practice of the nondual approach, such as love and compassion, as an already present, innate, authentic ground of our being. This is a complete nondual essence directly accessible as a pervasive body experience rather than idealized advanced state attainable only in a distant future through extensive practice. Judith Blackstone eloquently explains how we can readily recognize and realize this embodied nondual experience as a very subtle background nondual awareness. Through inhabiting the whole interior dimension of our body we come to contextualize all of our experiences of injury within this wholeness. In this way, the goal of nondual consciousness itself directly becomes the method of healing and spiritual awakening here and now. Trauma and the Unbound Body is the perfect antidote to the dissociative and depersonalization habits of mind and body so common to injury and trauma. An extraordinary read for both practicing meditator and clinician.
Judith Blackstone's newest book provides ever deeper insights into uncovering our human birthright: wholeness of being. The writing style is both companionable and precise - reading Trauma & the Unbound Body is like sitting with a very interesting, experienced, wise and articulate friend.
Blackstone's previous books have always shown us different applications and perspectives about her enlightened method, Realization Process, which awakens a feeling/experience of the internal space of our own body as part of the unified unchanging pervasive ground of wholeness, fundamental consciousness.
Trauma and the Unbound Body describes and explains the ways in which environmental influence fragments us from our wholeness of being, and, via interesting example and cogent discussion, makes a strong case for healing our trauma from within the interior space of our body.
Patterns of trauma are held tight and require patience, practice, and discernment to unwind. The Realization Process exercises offered in this book provide a good place to begin the work.
This book is an amazing guide for anyone interested in more deeply inhabiting the physical body, releasing the patterns of chronically held constructions in the body, and experiencing the state of nondual realization which Blackstone calls fundamental consciousness.
Through doing Realization Process practices over the past 3 and a half years, I have been going through a complete reorientation of how I experience myself and my life. It’s as if the practices stick a little bit more and more each time I do them, and that over time I have become more and more settled in the experience of fundamental consciousness. This is a major shift from my conditioning and how I was brought up. A completely different way of experiencing my body and my experience in the world.
I consider the Realization Process to be one of the most highly effective modalities for healing and nondual realization I have come across. And I highly recommend it.
This is an important book that offers a practical model (The Realization Process) for integrating contemplative experience, subtle energy work & body work, and the richness of dynamic psychotherapy. If your sense is that emotional healing and spiritual awakening are two sides of the same coin, then this book is for you!
Having memories and physical recall pop up in my 40's, from childhood sexual abuse, was confusing & scary. This book was recommended by my yoga therapist. All I can say is Thank you for writing a book that spoke directly to what was happening to me, so many years after the actual events. I had no idea this was a thing until it happened to me..