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Reich Revisited Neo-Reichian emotional release work



Aneesha Dillon has a Bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Boston. She has trained as a Neo-Reichian therapist at the Radix Institute, (Santa Monica), practising at Esalen Institute and growth centers in Europe.
Here she talks about the impact of the Osho Active Meditations™ over the past 25 years – on herself and on her work.


     My approach is based on the therapeutic techniques of breathing, bodywork, and emotional release developed by Wilhelm Reich in the 1930's and '40s and "resurrected" in the Human Potential movement in the '60s and '70s by the Neo-Reichians.
     When I first tried Dynamic Meditation myself I was astounded at my good fortune to discover an eastern mystic who combined catharsis and expression with meditation. I had often noticed something in my personal therapy and also with clients – that after a deep emotional release session there was, along with freer energy flow, an inner space of silence and acceptance. These moments felt to me to be the most important in the session.
     What struck me immediately was that the Dynamic meditation has within its structure something similar to the four-phase bioenergetic cycle of charge and discharge that we use in Pulsation emotional release work, viz:

  1. breathing accumulates an energetic charge
  2. muscular tension arises as the body strives to contain or hold the energetic charge
  3. catharsis/ emotional release happens when the body can no longer contain the charge and the energy is released through spontaneous expressive movements and sounds
  4. relaxation as the released energy flows back inside and through the whole body.

Reich called this energetic process the "Orgasm Formula."

     Emotional catharsis is rooted in the same bioenergetic principal that underlies sexual orgasm. In orgasm the energy reaches a peak of excitation and is discharged specifically through the genitals. In emotional release, the energy can be discharged through any center in the body, but the principle of energetic charge and discharge is the same. Reich discovered that whenever we repress the expression of any emotion, or stop ourselves from living any natural energy, we simultaneously diminish our capacity for gratifying sexual orgasm – and the converse also happens.
     If we repress our sexual energy, we become at the same time more "dead" or stuck emotionally, tense in the body and inflexible in our character structure.
     Repression begins when we disown a feeling or emotion that we are taught by our parents is unacceptable. From birth onwards we receive endless lists of do's and don'ts which comprise what we call our conditioning. Dynamic Meditation is a highly effective and yet safe way to shake up the old rigid patterns of conditioning and give space to express the repressed emotions from the past.
     Once expressed, the tensions and blocks in the body (which Reich called "muscular armoring") dissolve, the muscles relax, and energy is able to flow freely again. Then, falling inside becomes so effortless; meditation is natural and easy as the witnessing presence expands.
     Dynamic "cleans" the energy system so effectively because it activates the natural, biological effect of the Orgasm Formula, the process of bioenergetic tension and release that Reich described. Regular practice of Dynamic meditation is the best way I know of to maintain a naturally orgasmic quality that I call "energetic fitness."
     By this I mean the capacity of the organism to surrender, uncontrolled, to waves of feeling, whether sexual or emotional. The capacity to give and receive energy, to flow into oneself, and to flow out towards the world, unimpeded and gracefully, creates an orgasmic milieu in which every part of the body is related to every other part, enhancing the sense of wholeness and integration. To experience this orgasmic wholeness is cause for great celebration!
     Dynamic meditation is unique in providing space for the joy and celebration that naturally arises out of such deep-felt aliveness. This phase is missing in Reich's model. He allowed for relaxation, pleasure and a kind of sexual fulfillment through the body, but blissfulness, the fragrance of meditation, was not part of his experience. This is why I find Osho's vision of therapy and meditation so important: the full spectrum of human energy is given space, from the roots in our animal nature to the wings of our divine-ness.

     Sometimes people remark that jogging and aerobic exercises also move a lot of energy, deepen the breathing, and leave one feeling good and fresh afterwards; so why not just do that instead of Dynamic? There are several reasons why.
     One is that Dynamic breathing is deep and fast, but also chaotic. This chaotic quality of the breathing and the catharsis and "Hoo" phases loosen up old fixed patterns of muscular tension and control.
     Jogging tends to be regular, even robotic, and in that regularity we retain our old patterns; jogging and aerobics cannot reach there. And the charge-discharge cycle of deep breathing and energetic release activates a deep biological response that reconnects us with our orgasmic roots into life itself. Dynamic meditation takes us into the depths of ourselves and shakes up the unconscious, bringing to light many things which have been buried and hidden away; and it takes us to inner heights, to the sunlit peaks within, revealing the mysteries of being.
     Used alone or in combination with body-oriented or verbal psychotherapy, Dynamic deepens any process of self-inquiry, and can awaken the longing of the seeker to discover the truth of being.

See also   ...Humanistic Therapies: The Missing Ingredient

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Aneesha Dillon in session

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