Somatic Dharma

Apr 16 / Boaz B. Feldman



"Feeling good is good!” 

Over the course of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary history, life has become increasingly complex and organized. Simple life as bacteria is intelligent: they can distinguish materials in the environment which they like (i.e. sugar), from those which are dangerous. As humans, we have this same capacity for discernment for the environment of course, and we have it for our internal experience also. It’s called awareness, mindfulness or consciousness, and it’s a divine gift which can help us be happier and live a freer and more meaningful life. 

Mindfulness is a skill. It’s a complex quality of mind which life has developed in order to increase our chances of survival and enrich the texture of human experience. In Plato’s words, it contributes to making our lives better, more true and more beautiful. However, the quality of our mindfulness in each moment is interdependent with the state of our nervous system. Our state influences our capacity to be aware, and vice-versa. So as much as it is key to cultivate mindfulness skills in observing, discerning and clearly understanding our experience, it’s just as essential to support balanced and positive nervous system states.

Fredrickson, a professor at the University of North Carolina and leading psychologist and neuroscientist, has shown that the happier we are, the broader our awareness and capacity to be with our experience (see figure 1). Therefore, feeling good is good! 

Figure 1. Broaden-and-build theory of positive psychology be Fredrickson, 2001: the worse we feel, the narrow our attention, and vice-versa, the better we feel, the more we can pay attention to. It is easier to derive meaning and richness in our experience when we feel good!

Easier said than done, of course. At NeuroSystemics Dharma, therefore, we equip ourselves with skills to navigate difficult nervous system states with somatic practices. We learn to find ways in which we can be here-and-now, relaxed and receptive, for example:

  •     Systematically emphasizing pleasure, enjoyment and ease  
  •     Creating a welcoming environment and possibilities to orient in space to things which are pleasant
  •     Recognizing different nervous system states, fight-flight-freeze, to hold them with care and navigate through them skillfully
  •     Social meditation practices to ground one’s awareness in a field of kindness and collective engagement
  •     Providing an evolutionary context for meditation practice helping us understand the value of trusting connections and community
  •     Understanding basics of the nervous system to better regulate it


Delving deep inside ourselves to become our own best friends and widen our freedom is a long and often challenging journey. We need all the tools and support we can get!

If you’d like to experience some of these, come and join us on our upcoming


Looking forward to see you there dear one.

Many blessings,
Boaz 
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