Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage - whose name is Self. In your body he dwells. He is your body.
You’re concerned about the body, but you never get to BE the body … you never relate to being the body, or experiencing the body directly, but only in the form of perception and the conceptual process added.
Adi Da Samraj
The body is an awareness.
The New Therapy
is a fundamental reorientation of both
psychotherapy and somatic medicine. Its basis is the therapist’s capacity to
directly sense and resonate with a client’s immediate sensual and bodily
experience of psychological dis-ease.
The New Yoga is a multi-dimensional yoga of the ‘inner body’ – the subjective, inwardly sensed or felt body. As such it is also a therapeutic yoga, providing a new foundation for both psychotherapy training and practice.
The New Therapy differentiates itself from other forms of ‘somatic’, ‘body-' or ‘bodywork therapy’ by clearly distinguishing the individual’s physical body from their own inwardly sensed or felt body, recognising the latter as an independent ‘inner body’ in its own right. It can therefore be regarded as a form of ‘inner bodywork’ in the most literal sense – the use of the therapist’s own inner body to sense, resonate with and transform a client’s own inwardly felt body and inner-bodily sense of self.
The New Therapy
switches the whole focus of psychotherapy from the individual’s cognitive or
emotional experience of subjective states to their immediate sensual and
bodily experience of such states – exploring the felt qualities of
lightness or heaviness, brightness or darkness, warmth or coolness, solidity or
brittleness, expansiveness or contractedness, that make up the individual’s
inwardly sensed or subjective body – their psychical or soul body in the most
It has had many names: subtle body, energy body, etheric body, astral body, dreambody etc.
The key insight of The New Therapy
is that the inner body is not some ‘objective’ second body made up of biological
cells or subtle biological energies. Instead it is a subjective body with
its own innate bodily shape and tone, its own innate substantiality and sensual
qualities. It is not made up of subtle inner energies we can become aware of but
of sensual qualities of awareness – qualities I term ‘qualia’ or ‘soul
How can we
pass from an outer perception of the outer human being to an
inner perception of the outer human being? For example, instead of outwardly
seeing an look on someone’s face or in their eyes, being able to inwardly
identify with that look - to feel it from within with our own face and
2. How can we pass from an outer perception of the inner human being to an inner perception of the inner human being. For example, how can we pass from simply seeing from some outward signs that someone is ‘sad’ to inwardly feeling their sadness in all its particularity – the unique and nameless inner quality of their sadness. Indeed how can we pass from outwardly seeing to inwardly feeling any state of being another person may be in – even without having words to describe or label what we see or feel?
The answer to both questions lies with the inner body – our felt and feeling body. For it is with our inner body that we can transform outer perceptions of others into inner proprioceptions of ourselves – proprioceptions of ourselves that are in bodily resonance with the way another person is proprioceiving themselves, the way they are feeling their own states of being as inner-bodily states.
The clinical gaze has the paradoxical ability to hear a language as soon as it perceives a sight.
…to the clinical gaze…all that is visible is expressible and that it is wholly visible because it is wholly expressible.
Much use is made today of the term ‘body language’ - without ever questioning the deeper nature of either bodyhood or language. People’s relation to the ‘body language’ of others can be as superficial or deep, illiterate or literalistic, as their relation to verbal language. The real danger lies in superficial translations of body language into verbal language. If we look at someone and ‘see’ from their posture or the look on their face that they are ‘angry’, we are in effect reducing their body language to our own verbal language – to an emotion that can be described and labelled in words. This type of ‘seeing’ is just what prevents people from feeling what another person is saying through their body language.
We can look at a page of writing and see only unintelligible signs on a page, listen to a person speaking and hear only unintelligible sounds. This is an outer perception of the outwardness of language. Alternatively we can see or hear ‘words’ with conventionalised literal senses – an outer perception of the inwardness of language. But we can also read and hear what the writer or speaker is saying to us through those words – or through their body language. What communicates through the word is nothing that can be neatly labelled or interpreted ‘in’ words, but something essentially wordless – something we feel. It is with our bodies that we feel meaning directly – both the inner meaning of a person’s words and that of their ‘body language’. It is those felt meanings that communicate ‘through’ the word (dia-logos) that constitute the true depth of all ‘dialogue’. What communicates through a person’s physical body language too, is nothing that we need translate into psychological language – it is something we feel with our own bodies in an immediate sensual way. The question is – with which body?
The Nature of the Inner Body – Key Questions
Which body is it with which we feel
the ‘brightness’ or ‘darkness’, ‘tone’ or ‘colour’ of our mood?
Which body is it with which we feel ourselves as ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’ without our physical weight changing by one gram.
Which body is it with which we feel closer or more distant to others irrespective of physical distance?
Which body is it whose ‘heart’ can make us feel heartened or disheartened, warm- or cold-hearted, heartache or loss of heart?
Which body is it with which we feel ‘warmer’ or ‘cooler’ to others independently of our physical temperature, or sense another person’s warmth or coolness of feeling?
Which body is it with which we can feel ‘uplifted’ or ‘carried away’, ‘sucked in’ or ‘trapped’, ‘stretched’ or ‘all over the place’, ‘open’ or ‘closed off’, ‘exploding’ or ‘imploding’ without our physical body moving or changing shape?
Which body is it whose ‘skin’ we can feel more or less at home in, whose boundary we can feel as ‘thick- or thin-skinned’, ‘open’ or ‘impervious’, ‘edgy’ or ‘irritable’, rigid, porous, overly filled out and ‘fat’ or shrunk and contracted - without any change to our actual skin surface or physical body size?
Which body is it whose inner tone can make us feel ‘dull’, ‘flat’ or ‘sharp’, and whose inner texture can make us feel ‘hollow’ or ‘empty’ inside, ‘shapeless’ or ‘spineless’, ‘solid’ or ‘airy’, ‘firm’ or ‘brittle’?
Which body is it in which people can feel fat even though they are thin. Certainly not the physical body – the body as outwardly perceived object. Rather it is the inwardly felt body – the subjective body with which we feel ourselves and others, the feeling body with which we come to truly know ourselves and others. This feeling body is a ‘field body’ unbounded by the flesh. Its only boundaries are the boundaries of our feeling awareness of ourselves and others. It is our awareness body.
1. Is this person feeling their body right now?
2. How is this person feeling ‘in’ their body right now?
3. How much is this person feeling their body right now?
4. How much of their body is this person feeling right now?
5. How and where does this person feel the boundaries of their body?
1. To feel the body of the other as a sensory image of their soul.
2. To feel our own body as a whole as a sense organ of our soul.
3. To use whole-body awareness to directly sense the souls of others.
4. To sense and resonate in a bodily way with those sensual qualities
of awareness that make up our own souls and those of others.
1. The soul or psyche is a free awareness field with its own innate sensual qualities, its own innate bodily shape and tone
2. We can only feel our self as a whole – our soul – to the extent we feel our body as a whole, its outwardness, its inwardness and the felt boundary that unites them.
3. The body is nothing essentially biological, but a field-boundary of identity and awareness - dividing what we feel as ‘me’ from all that we feel as ‘not me’.
4. By its very nature a boundary is itself nothing bounded, for it not only divides but also unites what lies outside it with that which it encloses.
5. There are no boundaries to our identity or awareness of being or to our bodyhood – except those that we create through our beliefs.
The Many Aspects of The Inner Body
In both The New Therapy and
The New Yoga the inner body is understood in the following multi-faceted
The Inner Body is:
1. our inwardly felt body or proprioceptive body.
2. our body of pre-reflective feeling awareness.
3. our feeling body – the body with which we feel ourselves, feel others and feel the world around us.
4. a phantom body - the body with which we feel phantom limbs and sensations, bearing within the phantom form of every-body we have been or been with.
5. our field body - the felt bodily shape taken by the larger field or feeld of our feeling awareness.
6. our bodily field-boundary of awareness and identity, dividing what we feel as ‘self’ from that which we feel as ‘not-self’.
7. our foreknowing body – the body with which we ‘know’ what we wish to say or do before saying or doing it.
8. our pre-physical body – the body with which we pre-enact possible actions and words before physically enacting them
9. a trans-physical body unbounded by flesh - enabling us to embrace the world in the larger feeld of our feeling awareness.
10. a phonic body - made up of inner tones of feelings that are phonically shaped in the same way as vocal tones
11. a formative body – the body with which we give physical form to inner feeling tones - embodying them as cell and organ tone, muscle and voice tone.
12. a morphic body – made up of “morphic fields” (Rupert Sheldrake). These are not energy fields but field-patterns of awareness, each of which configures its own perceptual world or patterned field of awareness.
13. a shape-shifting or metamorphic body, capable of shifting shape and tone in resonance with the bodies of others
14. a metaphoric body – the body referred to by such apparently metaphorical phrases as ‘thick-skinned’ or ‘thin-skinned’, ‘warm-hearted’ or ‘cold-blooded’, ‘bright’ or ‘dull’, ‘close’ or ‘distant’ etc.
The New Yoga is an integral part of The New Therapy because it is the means by which proprioceptive feeling awareness or ‘field awareness’ is cultivated.
The New Yoga offers a sequenced and graded progression of meditational practices which begin with the cultivation of field-awareness and culminate in a capacity for identification with the inwardly felt body and self of the other. The sequence can be summarised as follows
· exercises which enhance and expand our bodily sense of the spaces of awareness between and around thoughts and emotions.
· exercises which sensitise us to field-states and field-qualities of awareness.
· exercises which enlarge the field-spatiality of one’s inner bodily awareness.
· exercises which expand the field-spatiality of one’s outer sensory awareness.
· exercises which restore whole-body awareness through ‘grounding’ in lower body awareness and ‘centering’ of awareness and breathing in the abdomen
· exercises in altering not only one’s focus of awareness but its locus – moving it between different centres of awareness in the spaces of one’s felt body.
· exercises in feeling one’s entire body surface as an open and porous field-boundary of awareness through which one can breathe in and absorb one’s awareness of the body of the other.
· exercises in feeling the unique sensual field-qualities of another person’s awareness within the inner spaces of one’s own felt body e.g. feeling the sensual field-qualities of their inner ‘head space’, ‘chest space’ or abdominal space with and within one’s own head, chest and abdomen.
· exercises that cultivate ‘embodied presence’ and enable one to make fully embodied contact with others through whole-body awareness.
· exercises that cultivate the ability to actively embody, emanate and directly communicate or ‘transfer’ different field-qualities of awareness to another.
· exercises in altering the field-qualities of one’s own awareness and thereby transforming one’s own bodily sense of self.
· exercises in ‘transformative resonance’ - transforming another person’s bodily sense of self through amplificatory resonance with the field-qualities of their awareness and direct field-transference of new and different qualities.
The Many Dimensions of The New Yoga
1. Inner awareness work - the new yoga of field-awareness
2. Inner mind work – the new yoga of inner body mindfulness
3. Inner identity work – the new yoga of bodily field-identity
4. Inner space work - the new yoga of spatial field-awareness
5. Inner time work – the new yoga of temporal field-awareness
6. Inner light work – the new yoga of inner light and darkness
7. Inner mood work – the new yoga of field-qualities of awareness
8. Inner colour work - the new yoga of field-colours of awareness
9. Inner music work – the new yoga of field-tonalities of awareness
10. Inner breath work - the new yoga of awareness breathing
11. Inner sound work - the new yoga of healing inner sounds
12. Inner face work - the new yoga of the inner face
13. Inner eye work - the new yoga of the inner gaze
14. Inner voice work - the new yoga of the inner voice
15. Inner touch work – the new yoga of inner touch
16. Inner communication work – the new yoga of communication
17. Inner sensory work – the new yoga of deep sensory experiencing
18. Inner elemental work – the new yoga of elemental qualities
19. Inner word work – the new yoga of felt bodily meaning
20. Inner gesture work – the new yoga of inner gestures
21. Inner healing work – the new yoga of soul-body sensing
22. Inner tantric work – the new yoga of soul-body intercourse
23. Inner dream work – the new yoga of soul-body journeying
Personal and Transpersonal Dimensions of Inner Bodywork
In The New Therapy, the ‘unconscious’ is understood as bodily field awareness as opposed to ordinary focal consciousness – consciousness of a localised object, internal or external, on the part of a localised subject or ego. No matter how many issues are thematised in psychotherapy, no amount of focal awareness and insight can substitute for direct field awareness of self and other. Such inner-bodily field awareness - cultivated through The New Yoga - is the only medium through which we can come to directly feel the inwardness of another person - and experience that infinite trans-personal awareness field that constitutes the divine source of our being.