Thursday 7:00-8:30 pm

THE ROLE OF EMBODIMENT – AN EXPERIMENTAL MINDFULLNESS WORKSHOP

 

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Angel Hu

Angel is an Organizational Psychologist based in New York City. Outside of work, she spends most of her time engaging in  the study and practice of mindfulness and meditation, exploring and socializing the philosophy of life. In 2018 alone, she attended at least one meditation retreat per month. Angel graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Master’s in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Angel is a member of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.

 

Anne Legendy

Anne has been an active member of the center since 2010. She teaches as adjunct faculty at NYU and works in private practice with individuals and couples in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is a member of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. Anne received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from New York University and completed her postdoc at the William Alanson White Institute. She holds a B.A. from Brown University in Psychology and Art History.

 

 

Abstract

In the here and now, the mind and the body are interconnected. By building an awareness for a sense of embodiment, we may better access the collective unconscious in the here and now. This workshop offers a tool to develop an awareness for embodiment. Participants will go through a guided body scan exercise and mindfulness activity  in this session. 

 

Description

 

“If this group was a creature, it would have a really big head but no body.”

 

This consultation from a staff in a Small Study Group at the Dover Conference in 2017 continues to resonate with me. Who are we if we do not have bodies? Our physicality is an integral part of vitality. Yet, we are living in an age where our bodies become increasingly detached from ourselves. As practitioners in this field, we are more comfortable analyzing feelings, rather than directly experiencing the present moment with our whole selves. So, what would happen if we were to bring our bodies into the room? 

 

There is a misconception that logical reasoning derived by brain activity is the most reliable way to inform us of our experiences. However, centuries of philosophical wisdom of the self and contemporary neuroscience corroborate the fact that our whole bodies function as a interconnected web, integrating and processing information from what is within us (i.e. our feelings, thoughts, perceptions), with that which is external (i.e. others, the group, the system). “Embodied” is defined as “to give a concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form”[1]. By practicing mindfulness, we can uncover a sense of embodiment and investigate the roles that we take on in groups. 

 

The purpose of this experiential workshop is to invite people to explore the role of the physical body in group work, mindfully reconnect with our bodies, and acknowledge our instincts. By integrating the thinking and feeling parts of ourselves through mental stillness and quietude, we cultivate a sense of bodily intelligence, and become increasingly aware of the intricacies of group-as-a-whole. 

 

Preliminary Design: 

  • 15 minutes introduction

  • 45 minutes of body scan exercise 

  • 15 minutes social meditation in dyads

  • 15 minutes of awareness of breath

  • 30 minutes of reflection plenary

 

Value-add to the AKRI Dialogues: 

  • Experiential understanding of the Preliminary Core Competencies as listed in the AKRI Training and Certification Program Application

  • Aspects of our history that reflect utilization of our work outside of conferences that might have had social or institutional impact

  • Creative experiential events that help the community gain insight into itself and embrace aspects of play as part of good work 

   

 

[1]https://www.dictionary.com/browse/embodied?s=t