An Orientation to Orientation
Early in my teaching and clinical work I realized that directing clients to their somatic experience is more easily disorganizing than helpful. This has become a key understanding in the development of the mindfulness-based Organic Intelligence® Clinical Protocol. I have also spoken on this topic of the hazards of interoception at professional conferences, to meditation instructors, in blogs (cf OI Blog, Somatic Self-Similarity), and as an expert panelist in a large qualitative research study (Mehling, W. et al, 2011; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096919/). However, the depth of the understanding of OI’s use of “Orientation” as connecting to the external environment through the senses is too often missed.
People too often oversimplify or mistakenly critique OI’s Orientation, as if it’s just an instruction to “Look around the room.”
Orientation — being fully in awareness of the environment — is actually the experience of being alive. Fully in the now, fully in the moment — and always changing, always in motion. In fact, if a person is having repeated experience — moods, thoughts, images — these are fixations — and is disorientation. Instead, with OI synch-sessions, education, practice and training, one’s biology comes to represent into consciousness a unified, unparceled experience of right now — the body responding in the present environment, to the present moment — not repeating the echoes of the past.
There is no simplistic notion that can take you here. And “Orientation” is no mere tool. Orientation is a path, an expression of human biology and a strategy — it is all. Orientation in the OI Clinical Protocol is at first a learned skill as part of the necessary Phase 2 initial conditions. But Phase 2 gives way to Phase 3 as Orientation facilitates the organic shift to natural SELF-Organization. And Orientation is also the result, the non-dual Wu-Wei of a continuous field of consciousness. If you’re looking for this latter, non-dual ascent, then finding Orientation is your Basecamp. Organic Intelligence has your maps and the experienced sherpas to guide. In this way we gradually stop doing orientation, and become Oriented.