What is Vivation
Vivation is a physically pleasurable skill you can learn to permanently resolve any kind of negative emotion, stress, or trauma. This includes both the superficial sources of stress, as well as deep seated traumas and core wounds.
The word “Vivation” takes its name from the Latin root vivé (to fully embrace life) and “-tion”, process of. Vivation – the process of fully embracing the total human experience of life.
Vivation was created by Jim Leonard in 1979, and is considered by many to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in modern day breathwork and meditation. Jim's unique contribution was his discovery that any feeling, whether sensations or emotions, can be fully healed and resolved entirely at the physical-feeling level.
This feeling is healing knowledge has since permeated much of the world, in fields such as psychotherapy, performance enhancement, and trauma resolution.
It's all about autonomy.
Vivation places strong emphasis on facilitating the emotional freedom and self-realization of its practitioners. Vivation’s primary ethic is your body is your guru. Vivation gives you the ability to heal yourself from the inside out anytime and anywhere you need it.
Vivation is a physical feeling based process.
The primary difference between Vivation and other types of meditation is its emphasis on maintaining awareness of the strongest feeling in the body. In this way, Vivation is an embodiment process where the bodily-felt experience is your teacher and guide. In Vivation, no distinction is made between emotions or sensations, as both are experienced kinesthetically. In Vivation, there is no requirement to quiet the mind. If your thoughts are overly active, you simply noticing what that feels like in the body. Because of its emphasis on feelings, there is no mental or cognitive component to Vivation. By connecting directly to the physical feelings in the body, negative thoughts about those feelings are bypassed, resulting in a much more honest and pleasurable experience. From the perspective of Vivation, it is your resistance to your feelings, not the feelings themselves, that is the source of your suffering. Once you experience your feelings openly and honestly, you experience the inherent positivity and bliss of each feeling. By relaxing your mind and body any resistance or “make wrong” you have about those feelings is relaxed too. This results in relaxation or melting of your “body armor”. When a feeling is integrated, the physiological energy you spent suppressing the feeling is now released, resulting in a feeling of bliss. In other words, everything integrates into ecstasy. Every integration is permanent and represents a step forward in your healing, liberation, and autonomy.
The Five Elements of Vivation
Vivation consists of five elements or foundational skills needed to achieve physical integration of suppressed negative emotions. These elements are:
- Circular Breathing
- Complete Relaxation
- Awareness in Detail
- Integration Into Ecstasy
- Do Whatever You Do, Willingness is Enough.
Each of these skills has its own knowledge base, however all of them are brought together in a Vivation session to facilitate efficient integration of negative emotions in the most pleasurable and enjoyable way possible.
The First Element is circular breathing, which has three basic aspects. The first is that inhales and exhales are connected together, with no pauses between them. The second is the exhale is completely relaxed. By relaxed, this means the exhale comes out all on its own and is not forced or controlled in any way. This differs from many other forms of pranayama which have a forced exhale component. Also, because the exhale is completely relaxed, there is no hyperventilation in Vivation. If hyperventilation does occur, it is because the exhale is being forced out or inhibited in some way. Hyperventilation disappears when the exhale is again relaxed.
In Vivation, breathing rhythms occur along a continuum through three quadrants: Slow and Full, Fast and Full, and Fast and Shallow. Slow and shallow breathing results in unconsciousness, so it is not used in Vivation. Circular breathing is spontaneously adjusted from moment to moment to resonate with your feelings in the most gentle, loving and enjoyable way possible. In this way it is the experience of the feelings in the body that instructs and leads each session. If it feels good, keep doing it! If it doesn’t, try something else. In this way, Vivation is very playful and liberating.
The Second Element is complete relaxation - to relax the mind and body as much as you can. One doesn’t do Vivation, so much as relaxes into the experience for what is already there. In Vivation, feelings integrate when one relaxes into accepting those feeling for what they already are. In Vivation, integration is a relaxation of effort.
The Third Element is awareness in detail of the strongest feeling in the body. Feelings are not analyzed or sought after, only experienced for what they are already in that moment. Since each moment is unique, this is the only element that practitioners remain conscious of, as all other elements become automatic and natural supports of Third Element awareness in time.
The Fourth Element is “integration into ecstasy". The basic idea is being open and receptive to whatever positive feelings are already present. Feelings are only experienced negatively because of mental judgments made about them. By relaxing the mind and body in the presence of the feeling, the positive aspects of the feeling become more obvious and easier to accept. One doesn’t intentionally integrate a feeling, one enjoys the feeling as much as possible until it integrates.
The Fifth Element is “do whatever you do, willingness is enough”. In Vivation, willingness refers to the willingness to be as honest and receptive to the inherent positivity of the feeling as you can. There is no prerequisite for having a positive experience, only a willingness to be open to the possibility of experiencing the feeling in a positive way. In Vivation, integration is a function of willingness, and therefore is the most important of the five elements.
You can learn more about the Five Elements in depth here.
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