Welcome To The Field of Spacious Presence

In this gathering, you are invited to be with yourself in such an accepting way that your body can begin to open up and guide you “into this vast awesome field of spacious Presence”.

If you can live in your body and not reject any of it, you will be guided into discovery of your own wisdom and Nature’s wisdom, guided into this vast awesome field of spacious Presence”        

–        Late Ed McMahon, co-founder Bio-Spiritual Focusing

With Nature springing into new colourful growth all around us (at least here in the Northern hemisphere), it feels like a perfect time to invite you to our next monthly on-line Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday April 24th.

In this gathering (slightly longer than usual) you are invited to be with yourself in such an accepting way that your body can begin to open up and guide you – as Ed McMahon describes above – “into this vast awesome field of spacious Presence”. This dimension of Presence in you is always alive, at peace and unperturbed by what is going on.

In previous gatherings we have called it “the underlying energy field of living Presence” – a sense of the aliveness felt within the body and around you as a field of Presence that constantly holds and resources you.

The idea of these gatherings is for you to come to rest in this energy field of Presence within and around you and to allow yourself to feel held and nourished.  Being together in this way with others creates a palpable energy field of group Presence which allows you to experience Presence in a much deeper way than if you were on your own.

The format of the gathering is simple. After brief guidance, there will be plenty of time to silently come to rest in Presence.  There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that may want to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 24th April from 4 pm to 5.45 pm BST (British Summer Time).
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £20 (by bank transfer) or £22 (by Paypal which includes £2 Paypal fee). It includes a free audio-recording of the guided sessions.
  • Email Cecelia Clegg at ceceliaclegg44@gmail.com to register.

If you are unable to attend, you can still register to receive an audio-recording of the guided sessions for a £7 fee.

See you then!

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK  Wholebody Focusing Trainers

The Living Truth

I am trying to describe a moment in our lives that stands out. What it might feel like when it happens? And to know the difference?

The Living Truth is what I hear when I play back this recording once again! It seems impossible to fit words to this experience. It is something that feels so totally alive—but it feels momentary, and then it’s gone. That is how it seems to work!

I am trying to describe such a moment and I feel very inadequate to put words to this experience. It is so powerful, so palpable, and so true beyond words. This is what I yearn for in life. I am asking for it right here, right now, right in this moment.

How could that be framed as a desire? How can I invite my body to have this…..as a desire?…… like a prayer? This is what I am asking…..and at the same time being with the not-knowing…the how of it!

I am trying to describe a moment in our lives that stands out. What it might feel like when it happens? And to know the difference?

I have had such moments. That is all I can say. These are moments that felt so true that they have never left me and I suspect never will. They are engraved in me. That is just how it is!

So bear with me as I stumble through the attempt to describe something that is so vital and so far-reaching in its implications. The living truth!

Thank you for listening.

Desiring Can Be Pleasurable!

by Kevin McEvenue

We can allow a sense of desiring to become so much more than expected—even pleasurable. I asked myself: “how am I right now?” This time, something playful and unfamiliar seemed to emerge. At first there was the immediate tension in the throat, neck, and jaw followed by a familiar feeling of ‘resistance’.

The Resistance and Resilience of the Pleasurable

But something new emerged at the same time. It was vague and it sounded like the word…’resilience‘ It had a new energy that seemed different from the familiar resistance. Almost the opposite—or maybe complimentary—coming from the same source and yet vaguely different. It seemed softer and didn’t trigger the usual tension that immediately stops the flow. In fact, my toes began to flex! I was surprised and I liked it.

And it aroused my curiosity. I decided to play with the words—resistance and then resilience, and just notice what happens.

In Wholebody Focusing, we pause to hold the two—two different words that seem worlds apart. Holding both with equal positive regard.

But that was not what happened today. Both words seemed to be vaguely connected at the source, even the sounding of the words felt poetic. They seemed to want to dance with one another. As though there was something in it for both. Different ways of being, worlds apart and yet…

Mutual Benefit

Today I began to wonder; can these parts benefit from one another in this kind of mutual connection? Like a gentle curiosity that might be mutually supportive, maybe even complimentary or collaborative rather than divisive and combative?

Today, this part of me—the part of me that resists anything new as threatening—behaved differently. it seemed drawn to the warm and pleasing nature of the activity inherent in resilience.

It seemed as if the proximity of the two awakened a kind of collaborative possibility implicit between them. I saw my human consciousness as a light so that they could discover one another, perhaps looking for something mutually satisfying in this moment of connection.

Raw Desire Awakens to the Power of Choice

You can connect to one’s raw desire which awakens your power to hold space with equal positive regard to the wanting and not wanting to acknowledge the desire.

I can feel it in my body that I want to say something; it is like an energy—the energy of desire wanting to say something. At the same time, I am aware I don’t know the nature of that desire; it feels like a raw energy. That immediately brings an almost equal response of resistance that seems to say, “I can’t” or maybe, “I won’t!”

Power

It also feels like I have been here before, possibly in the Intunement Series describing the steps of Wholebody Focusing. I can hear myself saying “I know this place; I know that step.” Thinking—as I pause—it is about holding both with equal positive regard, all about wanting and not wanting.

But this is a different experience; similar—but not the same. What is familiar is the ability to describe this step as a WholeBody focusing experience. What is different is that I am fully immersed in this activity. A desire standing alone on its own power without specific content. I am also aware of the resistance—the mustn’t!—but without the familiar intensity. I am full of desire and at the same time I don’t know! They seem to come from very different places in me.

Raw Desire Awakens Power

Here I choose to pause and stay with the desire. I make room for whatever comes directly out of that power: desire! I wait for more to come from that core sense of wanting and desiring. Raw desire feels neutral at first, but as my awareness connects with the desire, something more happens between us that is rich and surprising.

They feel almost independent of one another, enough to be able to say “hi!” The whole bodily experience seems to expand the whole of me that actually feels palpable! Yes, there is an engagement happening that is remarkably palpable! A feeling of mutual connection with one another that feels not only mutual, but also fulfilling—with appreciation and respect. It is happening and it is good and we know it.

These are movements of active participation with one another, powerful forces activated by this connection. It is for me to just hold the space!

I invite you to share with me what comes; starting with desire, the resistance and the not-knowing. Notice how more seems to be activated and stimulated by this raw energy as we pause and wait with an attitude of curious wondering!

Other writings by Kevin McEvenue

Carnac Stones, Brittany, France.  Photo Credit: Kevin McEvenue

Storia di due braccia/ Story of two Arms

Storia di un braccio ……. Storia di due braccia.

Un braccio dice! …. sono molto stanco … stanchissimo.

Qualcosa continua a dirgli di fare … fare …. fare di più,

tutta quella rabbia nervosa …. di aspettarsi qualcosa, scorre e mi attraversa.

Sono stanco e dolorante da troppo tempo ….. volerei via,

mi staccherei da dove sono …..

Qualcuno mi ascolti mi regga ……. ho bisogno di riposare!

 il braccio destro me coglie …. Teneramente lo regge …

e gli dice ……… ti aiuto IO.

Siamo insieme a sentirsi …….

per ben quattro giorni si siamo parlati …...

Rabarama Im-mortale Arquà Patrarca Photo Credit: Cristina Griggio

English

Story of One Arm—–Story of Two Arms

One arm says I am tired.  Very very tired

Something keeps telling it to do, do, do more

All this nervous rage that expects something as it flows though me.

I’ve been tired and sore for too long.  I want to fly away.

I want to break away from this body

My right arm grasps me … tenderly holds me …

And tells me “I’ll help you!”

We are together to feel

For four days we talk to each other

 

Rabarama Im-mortale Arquà Patrarca Photo Credit: Cristina Griggio

Exploring the Link Between Excitement, Response & the Power of Noticing

The next step in exploring new directions: the curiosity that comes when my body seems suddenly excited by something and what happens as an immediate bodily response to that stimulation. And the question: is there a link between the nature of the excitement and the bodily response when I pause to make room for this event unfolding even before thought or choice appears?

Exploring the Link

In this episode, I make a choice; I choose to touch myself and then step back and notice what happens when I touch a sensitive place near a nipple. I pause, step back, and notice what comes. The physical response is instantly pleasurable, wanting more, an expansion of wanting more.

By pausing and waiting in this way and just noticing, that sensitive part of my chest registers something pleasurable. Something I would want to hold on to, to desire!

Then more connection of awakening begins to happen spontaneously throughout different body parts in some kind of meaningful order. Some pleasurable, some not so—maybe something quite different.

The Power of Noticing

There seems to be a pattern awakened when I do this. I touch myself; that awakens a response. It follows immediately with an activation that seems to be in sync with the nature of that kind of stimulation. And also, something else—new connections that were unexpected or even unwanted.

It is as though a whole story begins to unfold that is not of my own making and yet it seems filled with meaning and not-knowing. I pause and wait for more to come…..what else….what’s next….? A next step happens immediately! And then a next!

Maybe as you hear my story unfold, you could playfully explore this kind of awareness that has excited you—out of the blue. It doesn’t have to be pleasurable; maybe something you are drawn to or something that wants your attention right now?

New Directions
Photo Credit: Kevin McEvenue - Megalithic Carnac Stones in Brittany, France

Letting In The Sunlight of Being

To sense the vitality of Presence within and without recharges our body and mind and resources us in ways nothing else can.

It is a real pleasure to welcome you to our next monthly Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday February 27th.  Life in lockdown during these dark, cold and sun-starved winter months (at least here in the northern hemisphere) is a perfect time to pause and let in the “sunlight of Being”.  To sense the vitality of Presence within and without recharges our body and mind and resources us in ways nothing else can.

Letting in the Sunlight–Addie van der Kooy

In one of our last gatherings the image of the ocean floor emerged with a sense of its deep vibrantly alive stillness, unperturbed by but not separate from the wind-swept waves and cross currents on its surface.  This felt image speaks beautifully of the dimension of Presence that can be felt inside us as “an underlying energy field of living Presence”, always alive, at peace and undisturbed by the waves of thoughts, emotions and physical discomforts you may experience on the surface.

Letting in the Sunlight–Cecelia Clegg

The idea of these monthly 90-minutes gatherings is to come to rest in this underlying energy field of Presence – a sense of the aliveness felt within the body and around us as a nourishing Presence that holds and constantly resources us: to rest and be nourished by the aliveness of “just being” and allowing the surface to be as it is.  Being together in this way creates a palpable energy field of group Presence which allows you to experience Presence in a much deeper way than if you were on your own.

The format of our gathering is simple.  After a brief guidance into Presence (for those who need it), we silently come to rest in “this underlying energy field of Presence”. There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that wants to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 27th February from 4 pm to 5.30 pm GMT.
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £15 (by bank transfer) or £16 (by Paypal which includes £1 Paypal fee). It includes a free audio-recording of the guided sessions.
  • Email Cecelia Clegg at ceceliaclegg44@gmail.com to register.

If you are unable to attend, you can still register to receive an audio-recording of the guided sessions for a £5 fee.

See you then!

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK Wholebody Focusing Trainers

Previous workshops:
Pause for Presence

Welcome to the Depths of the Ocean

Photo Credit: Diana Scalera Labyrinth at Kripalu. Stockbridge, MA 

Other Worlds Around Us

 

I want to get lost in the other worlds around us. I’m talking about the worlds we walk by and seldom see or hear. Our attention lately is frequently drawn to the larger picture–the health crisis we share with the rest of the world along with the political and financial upheaval.  How can we find a way to go on vacation from the Big Picture?

What Other Worlds?

I was in Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Wyoming a while back with some friends.  They were ambitious and wanted to hike up a mountain.  I wasn’t interested. So I found a rock on which to sit overlooking the Gorge. It was a sunny day and this was  a gravely overlook.  Siting on a rock looking over the gorge meant that there were no humans, cars, airplanes or anything else with a motor anywhere in sight. This was my first experience with other worlds.

Insect Worlds Around Us

The silence felt like my ears were relaxing.  Nothing to pay attention to, or so I thought.  As my body relaxed, I started to I enjoy the silence and the calm. Then, I began to hear a crunching sound.  It sounded like someone walking over gravel. I waited and listened.  No person or animal in sight.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. Then I didn’t see it.  The movement was in rhythm with the crunching  sound.  I looked down and saw a team of unidentifiable insects walking across the sand in front of me.  Was I really hearing the sound of insects walking?

Barbara’s Plant Worlds. Photo Credit: Barbara Fotta

While I was contemplating  the walking insects, something flew past me.  I was sure it was a large bird but no bird appeared.  I began to hear the sound of something flying from a distance and listened as it came closer. Once again I realized it was an insect!  Then, more insects buzzed by like airplanes on a recognizance mission.

What occurred to me was, that as I sat in this location that was completely devoid of the human noise, my body reorganized itself to be part of the world that is hidden by human sounds.  I felt very privileged that I had this time to learn that there is so much more life around me.  My  ability to hear the insects helped me understand that we have layers of perception. Some layers are so loud they block out others. “Civilization” makes sentient beings that exist around us  mostly out of our range of perception. When we allow these energy patterns into our awareness, we expand.

The Plant Worlds Around Us

My friend, Barbara Fotta, in one of focusing sessions, spoke about her walks through a cemetery in Pittsburgh as a place of calm. Here is her description of her experience.

 I love wandering through cemetery parks. I have fond childhood memories of adventuring in the cemeteries near my house with my brother. Since then, I never fail to find refuge and solace there. The cemeteries feel sacred and quiet and weeping is allowed. Combine that with the natural wonder of trees and shrubs and a cloudy sky and I’m in heaven. There is something about seeing clouds that can shift my mood dramatically. They can take my breath away. And I am unquestionably a tree huger to the core! So living in Pittsburgh is a blessing because we have an abundance of both here.

What we Learn from Other Worlds

Deni’s Plant Worlds. Photo Credit: Deni Tessarolo

Nature shows us that it exists and keeps on functioning according to long established processes whether humans recognize it or not. Insects continue to be insects and can even take some time out of their busy day to check out a human sitting on a rock.  It makes me think about how nature photographers find that the animals they photograph often come and crawl all over them.

It is known that cells of plants communicate with each other across species for each’s mutual benefit. These ecosystems surround us no matter if we live in a crowded city or the countryside. When the lock down started in Italy, Deni Tessarolo was limited to staying within 200 meters of her home in the small town of Marostica. She described how she spent time learning to appreciate her garden and how that relationship supported her.  She wrote:

This time helped me to discover the expansive effects on my body that contemplating the beauty  of the flowers initiated and how the act of looking at them filled me with wonder by opening a space of time where I could rest.

For Barbara walking through the cemetery…

The cemetery I walk in almost daily is atop a hill, full of trees and a panoramic view of the sky that has me turning in circles to admire all the sights. I feel cradled in its arms. It is where I first experienced a deep sense of the beauty of all things. Sometimes I try to capture what I see with my phone’s camera. I thought that then I could hold onto it in some way. Then the realization came that nothing of real value is ever lost. The essential matter is the capacity to see the beauty that is always here and everywhere whenever I’m willing to let go of my guardedness and open to it. I aspire to have my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds like a tree!

Otherworld. Photo Credit: Barbara Fotta

For me, sitting on the top of a gorge, I learned something that has stayed with me for life.  My surroundings impact my  perception in any given moment, as well as my willingness to notice, and the forces of energy around me.  Many things obfuscate my ability to perceive the fullness of my experience.  In any situation, I might ask myself “what is here that I do not perceive,” then I wait for it to show itself to me.

Otherworld Vacations

I invite everyone to reconnect to or to find their own personal otherworld vacation and share your stories with this blog. It will help us to remember that we are part something much larger than ourselves. We can also observe how these ecosystems communicate and mutually support each other.  There are things we can learn from this–we are part of this system; and enjoy its benefits. We also have a responsibility to create mutually-beneficial environments for all sentient beings.