Guided Practice: Grounding in Our Sensory Experience

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Christian Howard

Guided Practice: Grounding in Our Sensory Experience

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What You'll Learn

  • Discover how grounding in our direct sensory experience can help liberate us from our limiting beliefs and connect us to a larger reality

  • Explore embodied practice as a vehicle to both befriend the unique limitations and suffering of our relative lives while simultaneously connecting us with an ultimate perspective

  • Consider how ancient wisdom traditions can help us navigate today's world

About Christian Howard

Christian Howard (all kind pronouns) is a narrative designer and cultural strategist building equitable futures for individuals, communities, and organizations. His partnerships in the US and abroad have focused on cultivating liberatory design practices to uproot oppressive power structures and inspire individual and collective transformation. He is a socially-engaged Buddhist teacher, integrating his study and practice in Tibetan Buddhist traditions (primarily Gelug and Nyingma lineages) into his work.

To learn more about his work you can visit his website.

About Eve Ekman, PhD

Eve Ekman is a contemplative social scientist focusing on emotional awareness working in health care, wellbeing, and technology. Eve draws from interdisciplinary skills and first-person experiential knowledge from clinical social work, integrative medicine, contemplative science, and meditation. Eve is a Senior Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, Director of Cultivating Emotional Balance Training Program, and volunteer clinical faculty at the UCSF Department of Pediatrics. Eve is a second-generation emotion researcher and has collaborated with her father, Paul Ekman, on the Atlas of Emotions project. Eve shares her dad's deep love of bagels and is a devout practitioner of cold water ocean play.

To learn more about her work you can visit the Atlas of Emotions, an online website for emotional awareness commissioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and co-created by Eve and Paul Ekman. You can also learn more about a contemplative science training for learning emotional balance that was founded by Alan Wallace and Paul Ekman and is currently lead by Eve Ekman and a global teacher network at Cultivating Emotion Balance.

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  1. Barbara R May 2, 2021 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    The most revelatory meditation this beginner has had….when you got to ‘explore the sense of your mind’….my ‘mind’ did something I have never noticed before. It lifted and expanded at an instantaneous rate…towards the horizon and then beyond! How wonderful Christian Howard – thank you for this gift in a time of such suffering.

  2. Mike Bova May 2, 2021 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I am so happy that I spent the evening with you, the speakers, and the moderators. I can;’t wait to tune in for more tomorrow!

    Thank you,
    Mike Bova

  3. Eileen pierce May 2, 2021 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Howard, for your wonderful guided sensory meditation. It was the first truly significant moment in this rather long, dry, intellectually pretentious event which seemed less designed for the audience that for the participants.
    You did not talk to us, you touched us and brought us a method of meditation which will, I believe, move the audience much closer to having a deeper wisdom about their emotions.
    Eileen Pierce

  4. Janette May 3, 2021 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Thank you Christian and Eve for an enriching sharing of how change at the personal level (with practises informed by the wisdom traditions, and verified by science) can lead to transformation at the societal level. Your open hearted discussion was a joy to be part of. Thanks again.

  5. LT May 3, 2021 at 9:06 am - Reply

    So grateful for this gentle, insightful and open-hearted discussion! Always happy to witness Christian’s graceful way of approaching contemplative practice and sharing it with the world, and Eve is such a welcoming and warm host.

  6. Tatjana Kecman May 3, 2021 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I do not agree that there are neither positive/negative or constructive/destractive emotions. They could’ve been seen/experienced as pleasant and unpleasant, but they are what yhey are. What caused our emotions is either recognazible or not at a moment of experiencing an emotion, but that is what is behind and deserves to be seen, experienced, questioned and explored for its accuracy. I found in North America, mostly, that dichotomy and being judgemental of emotions.

    • Will Michael, PhD May 3, 2021 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      I agree, as this is taught by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD in his work on nonviolent communication (aka compassionate communication). He teaches that all unpleasant emotions/moods are indicators of unmet needs and thus valuable in communicating with others who are often able to assist us in meeting our needs. Actually, I am very surprised that Marshall’s working isn’t included or even highlighted in a summit like this because he offers so much in the world of emotional intelligence and has keys to world peace, love, harmony and bliss through the proper relationships with our emotional selves and our ability to communicate and make requests of others to help meet our needs. Marshall has a long history of successful negotiations with warring tribe, city gangs, countries based mainly on exploring the needs of each group and helping them to communicate successfully in the process of each getting their needs met and thus eliminating the source of the original conflict. The other key to compassionate communication is that, when done right, it always results in the parties becoming closer to one another. Please include an expert on Marshall Rosenberg’s work in your next summits from now on. We will all be wiser from it. Blessings to all the good your work is doing already for the people and the planet. ~Sincerely, Will Michael, PhD

  7. Luísa Fernandes May 3, 2021 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for such a relaxing yet so powerful pratice.
    I loved your tone and sensibility to diferent people.
    I apreciate the so much all the interview, it resonate so much to me.

  8. Mona May 3, 2021 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Hi! This is Mona from India. I had challenging 2 weeks and it’s been hard to feel present and at peace. I experienced this meditation tonight and it was surreal. I feel so much lighter, calmer and it feels like some weight has been lifted off my chest. Beautiful. Thank you 🙂

  9. Allison May 3, 2021 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Seeing as for the first time and ordinary becomes extraordinary. Surrealist art challenges assumptions and demonstrates that we may not know what we think we know.

  10. Mary May 3, 2021 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you Christian for that wonderful teaching and guided meditation on our emotions, sensation and stories around our sensations🙏🏻

  11. Kerri Warner May 3, 2021 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    You have such a soothing voice! Thank you for the wonderful guided meditation.

  12. Mary M Drill May 3, 2021 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    What a nice experience to walk through the different phases during the meditation. And the mind…whew! Right when you said it is OK if you find this hard because I was just about to say that to myself 🙂. Thank you very much!

  13. Brandaise like Candice May 3, 2021 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    This was amazing. Very insightful. Thank you very much.

  14. Ingrid Otepka May 4, 2021 at 3:49 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for the approach towards mindfulness from such different and diverse sides.
    I guess that in our times it’s very needed now to offer access to mindfulness to very different communities in the world, so lots of people have the possibility to find possible integration of mindfulness into their daily life on a personal level as well. And of course, we need to fulfil our responsibility we have while offering mindfulness to different communities.
    Christian, thank you so much for your approach towards mindfulness!

  15. Diane Boover May 4, 2021 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Just as bubble baths are temporal so are bubbles.

  16. Elisa May 4, 2021 at 6:01 am - Reply

    This is deeply Nurturing thank you ☀️

  17. Jaya Mohan May 4, 2021 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Thank you Howard for this wonderful session. The guided meditation on sensory grounding was very relaxing as well as a great exercise to cultivate mindfulness. The concept of self generated bubbles and how we can expand and enhance them and maybe at one point of time be able to dissolve them, is so much aligned to feelings of universal brotherhood.
    Going by my experience, there were two simultaneous process at work, I found relaxation while being mindful. Can you please elaborate a little more on how being mindful leads to a relaxed mind ?


  18. Jaqueline May 4, 2021 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Estimado Christian y Eva, gracias por este regalo bondadoso, y la práctica que estuvo genial y el dialogo enriquecedor . Quiero detenerme en Eva que señalaba que lo que percibimos por medio de nuestros órganos corporales, los sentidos no son emociones, entonces me ha surgido una interrogante de lo que yo había experimentado en mi vida y es que muchas veces los paisajes, los olores, los sonidos de la naturaleza la música me conecta automáticamente con un estado emocional, a veces de alegría o de tristeza a partir de la sensación que me produjo ese momento experiencial. Entonces si lo que sale de mi es un significado solo de sensaciones no de emociones???. Agradeceré me aporten al respecto, Jacqueline desde Chile.

  19. patricia May 4, 2021 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Gracias!!!Gracias!!!! GRAcias!!!!

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