Sensing your body is an act of rebellion

embodiment Dec 18, 2017
“The Great Wide Open, your natural state, awaits to embrace you if you can just give yourself permission to bring the body back to felt, shimmering life”, writes meditation teacher and author Will Johnson.

By Will Johnson


In the early 1980s, I coined the term somatophobia (soma plus phobia) to describe the pervasive negativity that our culture bears toward the feeling presence of the body.

The quality of consciousness that passes as normal in the world at large is primarily a disembodied, somatophobic consciousness.


Why this choice?

Through the unconscious bias of somatophobia, our culture supports the suppression of felt sensations and energies in favor of flights of mental gymnastics (you can’t do both at the same time) and is both fearful of and irritated at the potency of the body’s felt presence.

In light of the fact that a body that has awakened its feeling presence possesses an intrinsic natural happiness that a body in denial of its felt life cannot come anywhere near, it's always struck me as bizarre that somatophobia is our cultural choice.

And so our meditation and movement practices work on dissolving the bodily roots that are necessary to express the consciousness of somatophobia in the first place.


Time to rebel

So. . . time to rebel!

Just Say No to the cultural imperative of somatophobia, each of us in our own unique way, remembering that it’s okay to feel, okay to surrender to feeling presence, to let it come forward after its long exile in the land of the unfelt.

Whenever you give yourself permission to let feeling presence come to life and radiate, you subversively turn your back on the agents of somatophobia and begin sowing seeds for the future cultural harvest of . . .

get ready . . .


(soma plus euphoria)! 

– It has always struck me as bizarre that fear of the body, or somatophobia, is our cultural choice, writes Will Johnson.


Bring your body back

As John Lennon might have suggested, once upon a time, let’s for a moment imagine a world in which the radiant felt presence of the body, fully allowed and expressed, was no longer taboo but had become the cultural norm.

In fact, let’s not just imagine.

As the saying goes, be the change you want to see in the world.

Time to let your Inner Somatophoric out!

And open to the enlightened consciousness that accompanies its expression, so expansive, feelingful, and radiant.

The Great Wide Open, your natural state, awaits to embrace you if you can just give yourself permission to bring the body back to felt, shimmering life.

Will Johnson


Will Johnson is one of our finest teachers and authors on meditation and embodiment. In his embodiment training, he views the body as the doorway, not the obstacle, to personal growth and spiritual transformation. He lives together with his wife Coco in Delicias, Costa Rica. You can find his books on his home page or on

This blog post has also been published in Will Johnson’s newsletter. If you would like to be added to the list, please send your email address with a request to subscribe to [email protected]

Photos: Nicholas Green on Unsplash (crowd), Peter Appel (portrait). 




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