Guided Practice

Rachel Moriah Fiala
Jan 22 · 5 min read

Lives that are guided by truth, wisdom, compassion, and authentic self-expression; lives that are guided from within — these are essential human rights.

Movement and meditation bring us into our bodies, into the present moment, and into direct contact with the felt sensations of our inner worlds. It is here that we gain the capacity to meet our inner experiences, whatever they may be, and engage them in ways that allow us to cultivate the unifying powers of wisdom, kindness, and compassion.

To undertake a healing journey means to enter into the inner depths of our own hearts and minds, to use all of our sense faculties to enter into a relationship with our own mysterious unknown and to trust that we will come out the other side — somehow more authentic, somehow more whole, and quite possibly carrying something of value to others.

Often this means slowly redefining the unknown as we have been taught that this is where evil lies in wait. We have been thoroughly trained to fear our deepest and most essential relationships — our relationship with the essential nature of life and our relationship with ourselves. And we carry the wounds to prove it — our glorious hearts are drowning in rage, shame, and self-hatred.

The path of true recovery is the path of skillful means as we have much trauma and oppression to work through, and yet this is where salvation lies. This is where our power waits. It is the skillful and intricate weaving of direct experience with the energies of soul and spirit that leads to genuine healing and transformation. True recovery is artistry in its highest form.

May we be fearless in our practice and vigilant in our care for one another.

AND SO WE BEGIN…

Shake it out. Literally. Shake, dance, stretch, move in whatever way allows you to feel an awakening of your body. You may want to begin by moving slowly, bringing your breath into your body — rolling your shoulders, moving your various joints, moving with your belly, your pelvis, and down into your feet.

If your body feels called, you may gradually move into faster, more dramatic movement — moving with either silence or with music. The point here is to remain connected to your movement. Listen to where the body wants to go. Allow yourself to feel the pleasure of following your own desire for movement — your own primal body expressing itself.

Practice this way for 10 minutes. Ending by standing in stillness, taking a few deep, full body breaths, and feeling into the energy you’ve awoken.

Now take a comfortable seat. One in which you are able to be both present and relaxed. You may sit on a chair or on the floor. Either way, find a posture that feels natural to you and take a moment to simply experience yourself sitting in that posture.

Relax, relax, relax. Let your mind become soft.

This is a practice of cultivating dignity, ease, and full-bodied awareness. It can be helpful to bring that intention to the forefront before going any further.

“May I be at ease. May I inhabit my body and meet my direct experience with dignity and compassion.”

Think of your body not as a statue, but as an instrument, a flesh and bone medium through which your are able to directly experience the essential nature of life.

Take some time to experience your various senses.

What do you hear?

What do you smell?

What do you feel on the surface of your skin?

Relax, relax, relax.

Now find your breath and spend a few moments simply observing how the breath moves in and out of the body. Allow your breath to be the guide, not trying to change it in any way, but simply observing its movements.

Breathing in. And breathing out. Breathing in. And breathing out.

Relax, relax, relax.

Use your breath to fully inhabit your body. Use your breath to embody yourself. This is less about trying and more about relaxing into.

Breathe. Hover gently and notice the subtle sensations of your breathing body. Simply be with yourself in this moment, directly experience your breathing body.

When the mind exerts itself and tries to distract you from the process — “This is stupid. What am I doing this for? I can’t do this.” — let those thoughts go and return to the breath. Return to the breathing body. It may be helpful to give yourself some guidance, “Breathing in I calm my body. Breathing out I calm my mind.”

Rest here and allow awareness to awaken your senses.

Breathing in. And breathing out. Breathing in. And breathing out.

Be open. Be receptive. Welcome your experience.

Breathing in. And breathing out.

Relax, relax, relax. Everything is okay.

Welcome your experience. Everything is okay.

The mind will wander; it will constantly attempt to take you away from your body and the present moment. That is okay. Simply come back to resting your awareness in the body.

Practice in this way for 20 minutes.

Letting go of meditation stand up and take a few deep slow breaths. Notice how you are feeling.

Now we turn to writing. Find your paper and pen. Take a seat that feels comfortable for writing and set your timer for 15 minutes.

Pick up your pen. What do you need to express? What feels important to you right now?

Let the words flow. Do not worry about their place or meaning. They are your words. They are your sacred expressions.

What is important to you right now?

Do not think, but rather listen. If the words do not come, sit back and wait patiently — breathing with the questions, “What is important to me right now? What needs to be said?”

When the words do arrive, let the experience move through you. Honor everything and hold onto nothing. We write not for style or form, but for expression. We write to deepen our connection to ourselves and to the true nature of life. We write to let go, to return to a natural state of flow, and to help safely release unexpressed thoughts and emotions.

Write until your time is up then take a moment to notice how you’re feeling. Is there anything you need to complete your practice? Listen to whatever comes, taking action as needed, and then gently move forward into the rest of your day.

— — —

If you are a trauma survivor and begin to feel as though you’ve moved into a frozen or trauma-active state while meditating, then please stand up and gently move around. Turn towards your experience as you would a small wounded animal and ask yourself, “Can I breathe with this? Can I care for this?” Stay with yourself even if you need to stand up and move. You can move into the writing portion if it does not feel appropriate to continue sitting.

If you are in recovery or working with a mental illness, then it may be helpful to use these practices in relationship with a therapist or recovery program. These practices are not meant to act as a replacement for professional support.

https://www.rachelmf.com

Rachel Moriah Fiala

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Writing in the realms of trauma, healing & spirituality. Seeking what is authentic & whole. rachelmf.com