To be regulated is to stay within an optimal state of arousal - not too hyperaroused (excitable or revved up) and not too hypoaroused (numbed out or shut down). But dysregulation is baked into life. From the moment we exit the womb we are highly dysregulated. We come out screaming and crying, seeking to be soothed (co-regulated). As infants our regulation is entirely dependent on others. As we grow up, we have more capacity to regulate ourselves. In the same way that the mind wanders and we bring it back in meditation, our nervous systems get dysregulated and we (try to) bring it back to regulation. Regulation is a practice as much as it is a state.
April 27, 2023 | By , cec | 3 minute read
Every ecosystem is embedded within and connected to other ecosystems. I'd always understood them as something that I am in. But it turns out that interconnectivity does not begin with me and extend outward. It also goes in the other direction. I am not only a body in the universe; I am also a universe embodied.
March 30, 2023 | By Erin Oke | 4 minute read
Like many meditators, I’m drawn to practices that transcend this body. It’s enticing for me to take refuge in the sounds around me, observe the colour and form of the natural world, spread my awareness out into the vast reaches of space. It was a revelation that meditation could chart a path away from the stuck places, but now that it has, I need a way back in so that I can heal them. It turns out the long-avoided embodiment practices are the ones I need most right now.
The imagination is a living thing, we are not dealing with dried butterflies pinned to the collector’s specimen board. The realms we access with the imagination are but the perceptible edge of a vast multiversal field of pulsating psychic energy manifesting through image, symbol and story. It cannot be known by analysis, only through experience.
We just finished version 2.0 of our CEC Community Practice Activation Kit available for free here. The idea of this kit is to inspire people around the world to start up their own community practice groups, in a way that’s unique to them and uniquely responsive to their local needs and context.
Suddenly, we exist. Existing is complicated. We turn to practice. As we love to say at the CEC, being human takes practice. But what is a practice? The simplest definition of practice is some action – mental, emotional, physical, social – that you choose and repeat, so that it can become a habit. It is the deliberate cultivation of habits. Contemplative practices are practices that rehearse how you want to exist and relate to yourself and others.
This primer is about the broadest possible classes of meditation and spiritual experience. It’s a work-in-progress. Every time I come back, I find myself cutting more details, for they seem like technique-specific effects, and not the human universals I once imagined. So it goes. In a couple years there may be nothing here at all.
Almost any domain or activity in life can be approached as an intentional practice, and the people who specialize in these domains have learned important things about being human. How can we draw this wisdom out? Introducing the Consciousness Explorers Club's new pluralistic practice paradigm :)