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Embodied Mindfulness

Courtesy of my generous colleagues at TheOCM, I've spent the last couple of days doing some very simple exercises from the Qi Gong tradition, led by the excellent, accessible and gentle teacher Ben Cox - see his site at Clearwater.  It was truly fascinating and very effective as we worked with breath, energy and personal space, both for our own growth and in order to enable a greater sense of presence in our coaching work.  The concept of embodied mindfulness breaks down the distinction we sometimes make between mind and body, and brings new life to any kind of mindfulness or practice: we don't 'escape' the body by praying or being mindful, we inhabit it more fully.

There were so many connections for me - with Jungian type and my need as someone who prefers intuition to 'come to my senses' more; with Iain McGilchrist's work, which really emphasises the need for broader and more spacious awarness of oneself, of others and of the world we inhabit; and with a process approach to Christian spirituality and theology.

There were so many useful questions.  Where am I centred (if at all)?  Do I take my body for granted as the 'thing' that is just there to serve my mind and will?  What is it to really be an embodied (incarnated) being?  Where do I end and where does someone else begin?  What impact do I make on others and what impact do they make on me?

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