"We actually can know ourselves beyond the momentary flux of our disparate sensations, feelings, thoughts and perceptions. We can know the knower, or more accurately, the knower can know him or herself." - Judith Blackstone
Judith Blackstone, PhD, is an innovative teacher and author in the contemporary fields of nondual realization and spiritual, relational and somatic psychotherapy. Over the past four decades she has developed and taught the Realization Process, a direct path for realizing fundamental (nondual) consciousness, as well as its application in psychological, relational and physical healing.
The Realization Process teaches that we can enter a subtle pervasive consciousness from deep within our own bodies. We can experience the unified ground of our individual being, and experience it pervading everything in our environment. In other words, we get to know our own individual wholeness at the same time as we transcend ourselves. Central to this approach is the conviction that we all have access to an inner source of well-being that helps us heal when we embody ourselves fully.
Judith's career as a professional dancer began at age 9. For a decade and a half she pursued this path as a highly trained modern dancer -- until an injury shattered her back and her lifelong dream with it. She sought help from a series of doctors, alternative healers, and body workers but found little recourse. Then one day, lying on her back on the floor of her NYC loft, in a state of prayerful grief, and desperation, Judith turned her attention deeply inward, looking for "the key that might free me from this seemingly insurmountable situation." Remarkably, she found it. It began with the discovery that simply by releasing her weight to the ground, subtle currents of energy could be felt arising from the floor, moving her body organically towards balance.
From earliest childhood Judith had felt the sense of a numinous presence around her, and longed to bring it closer. Her experience in the NYC loft was a first taste of that presence within. Other experiences followed. She taught her dance students what she was learning about the subtler aspects of the body, and witnessed their radiant ripening as they began to fully inhabit their bodies. Some time later, sitting by a creek, during a year in residency at a Zen monastery, Judith entered a realm of experience she refers to as fundamental consciousness, or, "the ground of being" -- a direct experience of a transparent space-like presence pervading not just her body, but her environment and everything in it. In further explorations she discovered that this realization could be stabilized through a series of specific practices. To Judith this isn't an esoteric or highly advanced realization, but one that she maintains is very accessible, "Pretty much everyone I teach is able, with some practice, to realize this."
Her most recent book, Trauma and the Unbound Body: The Healing Power of Fundamental Consciousness (2018), speaks to the profound implications of this work. In it, she speaks of inhabiting the body as "a kind of reclaiming of ourselves." Because fundamental consciousness is deeper than any of the events, memories or emotions of trauma, when we attune to it, we establish deep contact with our underlying wholeness and reclaim the universal qualities of our being -- the qualities of love, power, voice, understanding, and gender/sexuality (each with a specific felt sense to it). In the face of traumatic events, these qualities are often suppressed, and constrict along with corresponding parts of our physical anatomy. For healing, it is crucial to release these constrictions and regain these lost qualities.
The Realization Process teaches specific practices to inhabit the whole body, attune to its central channel (that runs through the head, torso and pelvis), and open to fundamental consciousness. It also includes specific practices for discerning, and releasing along the exact pathways that we have constricted ourselves in response to traumatic events.
Judith's formal credentials include a Masters’ Degree in Transpersonal Psychology and a PhD in Psychology, Eastern Religion and Embodiment. She trained at the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy in New York City. She has 35 years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist and is now retired from private practice. Her essays have been published in a wide array of reputed journals, and her other books include Belonging Here: A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person; The Enlightenment Process; The Intimate Life; The Subtle Self and The Empathic Ground. A six-CD audio series of Judith explaining and teaching the Realization Process is available from Sounds True.
Along with her husband Zoran Josipovic, Judith is co-founder of the Nonduality Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to the scientific study of nondual awareness which contributes to the understanding of the nature of human consciousness and the brain’s functioning in optimal states of well-being.
In addition to Zen, Judith has received teachings in the Mahamudra and Dzog-chen paths of Tibetan Buddhism, and has also studied in India with several teachers from Hindu traditions (Advaita Vedanta, Bhakti and Kashmir Shaivism). She does not view herself as a guru of any kind, and is clear that the Realization Process practices themselves are not situated within a specific traditional lineage.
In Judith's experience, her main teacher "has been nature -- the subtle emanations from all living forms, the challenges presented by a severe back injury, the natural unwinding, in meditation, of the body, heart and mind toward openness, and the spontaneous emergence of fundamental consciousness."
Over the decades she has taught numerous workshops and teacher certification trainings across the United States and Europe. During this current pandemic, Judith continues to offer trainings and retreats online that are often booked to capacity.
Nature, being with my husband, teaching, writing, dancing. Regarding my work, I love best to help people find their aliveness and their true sense of themselves, their authenticity, within their body.
When I was twenty-five, I injured myself and could no longer dance and had to find another way to be open to the subtle presence I felt in the air, and another way to express myself and to make a living. When I was thirty-five, I realized the subtle consciousness pervading my body and surroundings.
The kindest thing that ever happened to me personally was when my dancing school teacher chose me to do a duet with her (I was nine) and gave me a way to know myself, and lifted the horizons of the world for me, and introduced me to life's complexity, pain and beauty.
I don't have a bucket list. Although I would like to have a summer house by the ocean.
I don't have a one-line message for the world. But I am focused on helping people make true contact with themselves and with other people, to go from protective filters to a direct sense of reality.