Category Archives: Somatic practices & research

Mindfulness Moments: Live and Recorded Guided Meditations

Since spring of 2020, Saybrook University’s Mind-Body faculty have offered free, commercial-free guided meditations to support health and wellness. The live sessions are open to all anywhere on the planet and recordings are available as podcasts and also videos to enjoy over again. The content draws from many traditions and practices, and incorporates evidence-informed approaches that are scientifically and humanistically based.

“Mind-body practices provide much needed restoration and sources of health. These practices, such as guided meditation and imagery, have been demonstrated in multiple research studies to contribute to improved immunity, as well as better quality of life. Applying content from the curriculum and research, our Mind-Body Medicine faculty continue to lead brief daily meditations. Taking a few minutes from the stress of daily responsibilities through a structured mindfulness practice can support wellness and a stronger immune system and help restore balance.”

—Luann Fortune, Ph.D., Specialization Coordinator, College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences, Saybrook University

Join the Saybrook community January 20 through April 17, 2023, each Monday and Friday (at 9:15 AM PST) for our Mindfulness Moment series (except for the President’s Holiday on February 20, 2023).

Zoom Link: https://tcsedsystem.zoom.us/j/96555778825?pwd=ZUl2Ykd2eE9pbm9XdU1IOTRjSDMrQT09

Meeting ID: 965 5577 8825 Password: 182085To access previous Mindfulness Moment recordings, please visit the Unbound: Saybrook Insights podcast at saybrookinsights.buzzsprout.com

Or for the full recording, including longer guided meditation circles and yoga classes, see the Saybrook Self-Care YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuPctVN1XIkyRE_W_bxvyWQ

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogroll, Self-care, Somatic practices & research

Embodied Research Methods

Luann has long contributed to the literature and practice of embodied research. In addition to her writings (e.g., Fortune, 2021), those interested might want to view a conference presentation from 2018 that describes her approach and techniques. It can be accessed here.

Fortune, L. D. (2021). “You put your whole self in”:  Enacting embodiment in research. In V. M. Bentz & J. Marlatt (Ed.), Handbook of transformative phenomenology (pp. 161-180). Fielding University Press. 

Leave a comment

Filed under research, Somatic practices & research

Directed Body Scan

I recently conducted research on myself while experiencing a guided visualization directed body scan.  Based on my results, I constructed a paper which I am presenting at the inaugural gathering of the Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists on May 8-9.

I am excited to hear what my peers think of this approach, as I continue to explore how to incorporate embodiment practices into research method.  Please try it out with your self and your clients.

Let me know what you think.

Directed Body Scan © Luann D. Fortune, September 30, 2008

Find a place that is safe and comfortable. Position yourself in that space. (Pause.) Shift or adjust your body so you are comfortable and supported. Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, allow your eyes to close. Notice how it feels to stop the flow of real-time visual signals. (Pause.) Take several more deep breaths. Allow yourself to put away thoughts and distractions from daily life, and give yourself permission to focus on yourself and your physical body in this moment.

Now, focus your awareness on the space outside your body. Notice what you hear. (Pause.)  Notice what you smell. (Pause.) Notice temperature or air flow against your skin. Notice how your clothes feel. Notice how the floor or furniture that support you feel against your body. Note what else you are aware of in the outside world.

Notice your breath as you draw air from outside your body to inside your lungs. Notice your exhalation sends air from inside you to the space outside you. Continue to breathe, focusing on the in-flow and out-flow of air. Notice that your breath connects the external world to your internal self. Notice how this feels.

As you exhale, shift your focus to your internal physical body. Follow your breath as it enters your lungs, filling your chest, expanding your abdomen. Notice your sensations inside your torso.  Notice any feelings of pressure, movement, pain, temperature, or other sensations that are there. Note any words that describe your internal experience in this area of your body.

With your arms positioned at your sides, and your elbows along your rib cage, raise your forearms so that you are suspending them unsupported in the air. Open your hands, spreading your fingers and extending your palms upwards. Focus on your hands. Notice what they weigh: are they heavy or light. What else do you notice about your hands? Rotate your hands so that the palms are facing downward; weigh them now.  What do you notice about their weight? What other sensations do you notice?

Expand your awareness to your whole body.  Notice where your attention goes next. Notice any feelings of pressure, movement, pain, temperature, or other sensations that are there. Note any words that describe your internal experience in this area of your body. Note any discomfort that you feel.  Note any words that describe this feeling in detail. Focus your attention on this place in your body.  Notice if it changes.

Allow your attention to move through your body from the inside. Notice which body parts you can feel easily. Notice which body parts express little or no sensation. Name the sensations as you continue to move your attention through the inside of your body. Notice any feelings of pressure, movement, pain, temperature, or other sensations that are there. Note any words that describe your internal experience in each area of your body.

Continue moving your focus through the inside of your body. When you have explored all of your parts, notice if any places call back your attention. If so, move your awareness there. Notice any feelings of pressure, movement, pain, temperature, or other sensations that are there. Note any words that describe your internal experience in this area of your body. Describe them in detail.

Now, shift your focus back to your breath. As you inhale and exhale, notice any feelings of pressure, movement, pain, temperature, or other sensations that are there. Note any words that describe your internal experience in this area of your body.

Gradually, bring your attention to the external world, the space outside your body. When you are ready, open your eyes.


Directions to close eyes reflects neuroscience thinking that real-time visual input can interfere with internally focused awareness due to hierarchical prioritization established by the visual cortex

Leave a comment

Filed under Somatic practices & research, Uncategorized