​​​​​​​Embodying Emotions with Somatic Meditation

Location: Internet & at Life Transition Meditation Center
Date:  Wed  March 6th to April 17th, 2024
Time: 11:00AM & 6:00PM Mountain Time, USA
Cost: www.lifetransition and click on Donate button at the bottom of page.
(Donation / Dana to $300; people have given more and less...Remember)

We have all experienced what happens when we can’t get a handle on difficult emotions. Sooner or later we find ourselves adrift in an ocean of toxic stress, with adverse effects impacting our physical and mental health, our performance at work and our family life.  Everyone has a different constitution, genetic makeup, and upbringing that influence our stress hardiness and conflict literacy.  Working with our emotions takes more than a healthy diet, exercise, spiritual practice and regular medical check-ups.  Our bodies bear the burden of trauma and resulting stress and this needs to be addressed directly. 

In this class, you will learn to work mindfully with emotions and physical sensations through therapeutic awareness, breath practice, and other tools/skills in order to gain insight into embodiment and transcend difficult emotions. 

This meditation-based group will be open to seven participants.  We will meet once a week for seven consecutive weeks for 2 hours each meeting. This will be a closed group that’s not about telling or sharing your story.  14 Continuing Education Units are available from New Mexico Counseling Therapy & Practice Board.

Facilitator:  Ralph Steele, LMFT, SEP, ISP

Ralph has been teaching Insight Meditation since 1987.  As a marriage, family and individual therapist his specialty is treating complex trauma & teaching advanced meditation practices.  He is certified as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and in Integral Somatic Psychology by the founder, Raja Selvam, Ph.D. Since 2014, Ralph has been assisting Dr. Selvam in advanced trainings. In 1988, Ralph founded the first Elizabeth Kübler-Ross Hospice training program at Northern New Mexico Community College.  Ralph is currently the Guiding Teacher for the Life Transition Meditation Center, a meditation-based trauma & meditation center, which he founded in 2003. His first book, Tending the Fire, an autobiography, explores his year as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and Myanmar.

Registration and Further Information

Contact Ralph Steele to Register



About the group:

This group was inaugurated in April, 2017.  It is now conducted virtually on the internet to make it available to a larger community.  The class meets on the internet using Zoom, which is secure and accessible on most devices.  The training is meditation based, with skills drawn from all lineages & cultures. Each group has 5 to 7 participants, who meet for two-hour sessions over seven weeks. No prior meditation experience is necessary.

Basic Cognitive Format: sensations vs feelings, the basis of two kinds of experiences that inform different behaviors.

    1. physical body which contains feelings, stories of patterns, conditions, belief systems, and self regulation;

    2.  subtle body: (soul, spirit, & energy body), which contains sensations of goodness, neutrality, and pain.

Both types of experiences/behaviors create our sense of self from moment to moment. There is a synergistic effect when participants practice on their own, while not in group. The more positive changes in body, speech and mind will become noticeable.


The application of Mindfulness is shifted to a new level, using one’s abilities to not just analyze what’s “out there” but also “what’s in here”.  

In each class, participants have the opportunity to volunteer to work with me individually. Their process impacts all other participants via the “collective subtle body”, resulting in dramatic changes rapidly.    -


It’s okay for participants to be on medication

    -The use of cigarettes, alcohol, or cannabis will slow you down, but this can be worked with.  

    -Those who were not taking any of the above noticed more dramatic improvements  

Pre & Post Tests are administered. 14 CEUs are available from the NM Counseling Therapy & Practice Board.


Advanced Groups

People asked for an Advanced group in order to explore this new level more deeply, and to access a deeper level of cleansing / healing.  Some participants have taken the Initial Group multiple times before choosing to move on to the Advanced group, in order to gain a deeper understanding of themselves through the Basic Cognitive Format.

Participants Comments:

“I was amazed to see that the energy between each other was high there. We don’t need to be face to face.”

“Even on nights that I have any problems falling asleep, using the “enhancing” exercises helped almost immediately.”

“Working with the Subtle Energy Body is powerful and transformative. I have loved being in this class.”
“Utilizing the joints as grounding points to help move painful energy.  This tool made it much easier to actually engage group methods while getting “triggered” outside of group.”


Embodying Emotions with Somatic Meditation
an Integral Somatic Psychology Approach 
Suggested Reading
Ralph Steele, lifetransition.com

Arewa, Caroline Shola, (2018) Opening to Spirit: Contacting the Healing Power of the Chakras and Honouring African Spirituality, London, UK, Inner Vision Books

Bhikkhu Nanamoli, Bhikkhu Bodhi, (1995) The Discourse on Mindfulness Immersed in the Body, Majjhima Nikaya 119. Boston, Massachusetts:  Wisdom Publication

Ch’an Master Sheng-yen, (1997). Complete Enlightenment. Elmhurst, New York: Dharma Drum Pub.

Dhamma teachings form the Nun’s Community at Amaravati & Cittaviveka Buddhist Monasteries (2001).  Freeing The Heart. Bangkok, Thailand, Craftsman Press,

Longchenpa, (2018), Finding Rest in Illusion: The Trilogy of Rest, Volume 3;

Translated: Padmakara Translation Group

*Weingast, Matty, (2020), Bhikkhuni Anandabodhi (Forward); the first free women: Poems Of The Early Buddhist Nuns; Boulder, Co. Shambhala Press., Matty Weingast

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Mindful of the Body: A Study Guide,(Free Distrubution), Valley Center, California: Metta Forest Monastery, Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, (1996) The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology From The Pali Canon, Barre, Mass: Dhamma Dana Pub.

Burger, Bruce, (1998) Esoteric Anatomy: The Body as Consciousness, Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books

Chitty, John & Mary Louise Muller, Energy Exercises: Easy Exercises for Health & Vitality, (1990), Boulder, Colorado, Polarity Press

Cleghorn, Elinor, (2021). -Unwell Women: Misdiagnosis and Myth In A Man-Made World. New York: Dutton. Elinor Cleghorn

Dale, C., (2009). -The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy. Boulder, Co: Sounds True, Cyndi Dale

Dossey, L., (2013). -One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part Of A Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. New York, NY: Hay House.

Larry Dossey

Gerber, Richard, (2001).-Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies, third edition, Rochester, Vermont, Bear & Company,

Richard Gerber

Guo Gu (2021). Silent Illumination: A Chan Buddhist Path To Natural Awakening. Boulder, Colorado; Shambala. Guo Gu (Jimmy Yu)

Harris, Nadine Burke, The Deepest Well, about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) cross culturally

Hermann, Judith, Trauma and Recovery

Johnson, Michelle C., Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World

Kabat-Zinn, J., (2005). -Wherever You Go, There You Are. New York, NY: Hachette Press Jon Kabat-Zinn

Kandro Rinpoche, This Precious Life

Kennedy, Alexanders, (2014). -Honoring Grief: Creating Space To Let Yourself Heal. New York, NY: New Harbinger Pub., Alexanders Kennedy

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

Kornfield, Jack, (1993). -A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life. New York, NY: Bantam Press, Jack Kornfield 

Menakem, R. (2017). My Grandmother’s Hand: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Body. Las Vegas, Nevada: Central Recovery Press. Resmaa Menakem 

Marcher, Lisbeth, & Fich, S. (2010). -Body Encyclopedia: A Guide to the Psychological Functions of the Muscular System. Berkley, Ca: North Atlantic Press., Lisbeth Marcher and Sonja Fich

McGee, Heather, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone

McIntosh, Peggy, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack


Morningstar, Amadea, The Ayurvedic Guide to Polarity Therapy

Morningstar, Amadea with Urmila Desai, The Ayurvedic Cookbook, pp. 33 – 38, The Chakras and Dietary Change

Morningstar, Amadea & Renee Lynn, (2018) Easy Healing Drinks from the Wisdom of Ayurveda 

Narissi, Meredith Z., (2017) 7 Veils, Mystical Secrets of a Feminine Path to Enlightenment

Panksepp, Jack, & Biven, L. (2012). -The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions. New York, NY: Norton Pub, Jack Panksepp & Lucy Biven

Pert, Candace, (1997). -Molecules of Emotions: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine. New York, NY: Touchstone Pub, Candace Pert

Porges, Stephen, (2011).-The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation. New York, NY: Norton Press, Stephen W. Porges

Sapolsky, Robert M., (2004). -Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, third edition,. New York, NY: St Martins Griffin’s Press. Robert M. Sapolsky

Selvam, R,. (Soon to Be Pub) Integral Somatic Psychology. Raja Selvam


Scaer, Rutledge, (2014).-The Body Bears The Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease. third edition, New York, NY: Rutledge Press

Sharan, Farida, (1994) Becoming Independently Healthy: Herbs of Grace, Boulder, Colorado, Wisdome Press

Steele, Ralph, (2014) Tending The Fire: Through War and The Path of Meditation. Hawaii, Maui: Sacred Life Publications

Stone, Dr. Randolph, (1986) Polarity Therapy: The Complete Collected Works, Sebastopol, California, CRCS Publications

Tallahassee Chan Center symposium, Engaging Racism, 2020-2021

Professors from various Universities presenting their research on racism in education, healthcare, prisons, housing, historical


The Implicit Association Tests, Way to self-check a variety of biases

PO Box 9286, Santa Fe, NM 87504