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The Awakening Body: Somatic Meditation for Discovering Our Deepest Life

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A senior Buddhist teacher offers six fundamental body-based meditation practices that show the reader that enlightenment is as close to you as your own body. What would it be like to experience our life directly, truly and completely, and to live it as it actually is? Before we die, wouldn't it be worth knowing this human existence of ours in its fullest possible measure a ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Shambhala
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Heidi The Reader
I picked up The Awakening Body because of a conversation I had with a friend last week. He said that when he sits down to meditate, that his mind won't shut off, and it ruins the experience for him. I gave him a technique about focusing on the space between thoughts, but decided that I needed something more concrete to give him. This book is perfect for anyone who feels like they can't escape from his or her own mind.

The Awakening Body is a series of progressive meditations that take the practit
Bhupinder Singh
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have tried meditation before and have not got substantial results, it's not because you were not committed or you were lazy. It's because the modern approach to meditation is very much intellectual, it's like extinguishing fire with fire. Pretty much impossible. But somatic meditation will give you experience of what is it like to be thoughtless and completely in the moment. Transformation of consciousness which then takes place is indescribable. Highly recommend it if you want to know wh ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The depth and breadth of terrain covered in this short book is a testimony to the work and devotion the author has applied during his many decades of study and practice of somatic meditation. In these pages, a great deal of wisdom and lived experience has been distilled and offered in a highly accessible and personal manner. I read this book in preparation for presenting a workshop on embodiment for medical doctors. As an unexpected consequence, I felt myself pulled back into this work, as Regin ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Fairly accessible and mostly secular presentation of body-based meditation practices rooted in Vajrayana Buddhism. The writing was not super exciting for me...maybe it was too securalized? Much of the book is the text that guides the meditations, which can be listened to online instead for ease of practicing without having to keep looking at the book (there is a link in the book). Reggie Ray has a very calming voice and maybe a bit too monotone for me because i fell asleep during the 10 points p ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a comprehensive how-to book on very advanced and ancient body-based practices, that if practiced regularly, and in a supportive environment, can experientially turn you inside out (in a good way). The included guided meditations are an essential practice tool. At least half of the book details each of the 6 practices offered as a textual guided meditation. The remainder of the book delves deeper into some of the finer qualities to pay attention to as your practice unfolds. Ray's personal ...more
Teri Pool
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reggie Ray is a great teacher of religions and an expert meditation instructor. I am a member of the Dharma Ocean Foundation, and practice using his methods daily. His practices are straight forward, grounding and offer you a window on your body and soul. This book is probably the most concise book he has written, a synthesis of decades as a student and teacher. It doesn't matter whether you are new to meditation, or a long-time practitioner, as I was, you will see that something may have been m ...more
Rogue Blackwood
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a good book and very informative. Almost too informative. I would have liked to see less talk on the science, not none but less. It got dry pretty fast.

The exercises are sound and lovely. The book in all is very approachable. I loved that you can access the recorded versions for free on the site.

Overall, I think I wanted more mindful conversational tone than deeply scientific left brained research.

Still recommend to those new to Somatic!
Philip Robinson
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read and listened to Reggie Ray ever since I watched his interview on Conscious TV. Here is a person who is rooted in decades of study, and more importantly, reflection. In this context I have begun working with these meditations, and feel that they are opening 'me' up. I highly reccomend this book and audio samples.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you have a mind that has constant chatter going on in it when you’re nervous or anxious, like I sometimes do- this book is terrific at breaking down easy mediations to slow down your thinking. When we slow down our thinking, we are better able to focus on the deeper issues that underly the REASON why we are nervous about a situation. You have to name it to tame it.
Jul 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fec
Amazing book and great practical lessons (a bit hard and disturbing at first, but then you get into it)
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great way to give more attention to one's body and the sensations that are often ignored every day. Great for learning body scanning during meditation and every day living. ...more
I would like to try the practices in this book
Nov 28, 2021 added it
DNF - just couldn't get into this one right now. ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recently purchased several books on the subject of meditation. This books has impacted me the most, so far. Reginald Ray introduces concepts about energy and the universe in relation to our planet and the boundaries of our body. I find it fascinating and accessible, and I love the accompanying audio tracks that are the guided meditations. I've been using them quite a bit and I do feel they've affected me very positively in a difficult time. ...more
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Anne Coyle
I love Reginald Ray's approach to body centered meditation. He offers audio guidance which is down-loadable. Very good! ...more
Paul Vittay
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20 likes · 7 comments
“we find in the body an objective witness to our life that has no investment whatsoever in our skewed ego-versions of things. In addition, our Soma not only knows the truth of how it is with us, others, and the world, but it appreciates and, in a strange way, delights in everything. Even more, it wants to communicate this to us and provide mentoring. Our Soma is literally an infinite ocean of practical wisdom, and” 0 likes
“It has been estimated that out of every million parts of information received and processed by our body, we humans only admit thirteen parts into our conscious awareness. That means we only allow ourselves to be conscious of .000013 percent of the data, of experience, known to our body. That” 0 likes
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