Navanita’s cellular approach to healing
It was for our very first issue of Osho News that Navanita gave us an interview on healing after a workshop she gave in Corfu last year: My Body is My Best Friend. Later in the year we spoke about her personal healing journey in: Power of Love and the Inner Mystery School. This week she is starting a new experiential seminar and training in Cologne which gave us the idea of asking her some questions about her innovative work with healing on a cellular level which follows here – illustrated by some case histories which we publish under: All Sickness is Homesickness
Please talk about the cellular approach you have developed.
For years I have been exploring ‘meditation & body’ and discovered that through movement we can perceive our ‘original cell’, the imprint of which still exists inside our body. That original cell affects all the other billions of cells within the body with its inherent script: its message of life.
The awareness of ‘being where we are’ includes being present in the body. Bringing consciousness into the body awakens: every cell becomes alive and rejoices. The body loves our attention…. Scientists have proven that when we bring consciousness into the body, certain chemicals are secreted. They suggest these ‘feel-good’ chemicals awaken inherent health potency. Interestingly, in scientific experiments cells change behavior when observed.
All of our approx. 75 trillion cells contain infinite wisdom and their goal is the well-being of the whole system. Cells communicate and move together as a community as they are in motion, pulsing in a rhythmical expansion and contraction arising from emptiness, spaciousness. This emptiness is full of life potency. The dance begins…enfolding in on itself from spaciousness and emptiness until its natural urge is to then expand and reach out; a need to connect, to communicate in order to grow, express and create.
When cells have expanded sufficiently, the natural rhythm is to return to contraction where there is integration, absorption and rest. This is a natural rhythm, the dance that curls in on itself from spaciousness gives equally as powerful a momentum to reach out, connect and take shape.
How did you develop a healing method that zooms right into cell level?
I have been inspired by spirituality and science on cellular consciousness. By bridging the science of cells with human psychology we can understand that the body provides its own inherent health orientation. As the body-mind grows, it receives information from the external environment. It may be that what it learns are self-destructive beliefs, which then affect cellular health. We can re-program these beliefs by becoming conscious of them and shift our orientation to what supports health and love. Being respectful to the body and welcoming it, establishes a conscious choice to befriend its innate wisdom.
How can we experience what you say?
First we need to make contact with our body. We can slowly enter into it through feeling the skin. Through touch we can become aware of the edge of our body and this invites us to settle into it and slow down. The whole body is covered with skin; it is our largest organ. Bringing awareness to it brings awareness to our container…our boundary.
Skin faces outside as well as inside. “Inside is me… outside is something else.” The skin that faces out meets the external environment where it forms an image of itself through relationship. Inside is another orientation – inside there are many unique body systems and cells which offer a connection to us. Hence, creating a relationship with the outside becomes more clear and defined.
When people get emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically confused with “who is me and who is the other,” clarity can be found by shifting the physical perception of being earthed in a form right inside our own skin.
A comment from one participant exemplifies how staying in touch with ourselves creates clarity. She said, “I really feel myself as being new. When I touched the external environment I was not separate from it. That made me aware of how I usually perceive the world through labels and this makes me somehow not part of it. To touch and be touched is freeing and I feel like I belong and am part of it. Funnily enough I feel like I am in contact through my boundary – it makes contact and I belong.”
After learning to contact the body we can discover the individual cells?
A cell offers a somatic perception of also having a boundary. It is the membrane which creates the form and contains space. The membrane of the cell has a semi-porous boundary that allows nourishment to move in and out, and it also allows toxins to be released from the cellular structure.
It is quite amazing how many participants were relieved to hear that the membrane is permeable. “Otherwise,” as one participant said, “I had the feeling of being trapped, unable to move and maybe not even able to breathe. By having a safe semi-porous boundary I feel free to move.”
To become conscious that our 75 trillion cells are wrapped in membranes are alive and intelligent enough to choose what is good for them, to hold or to let go in order to support health, empowers them and establishes an innate resource of stability in us.
A biological scientist, Bruce Lipton states that a cell’s behavior is not only affected by genetic coding (DNA), but also by the environment. Lipton presents epigenetic evidence (the word literally means ‘control above genetics’) that cells are shaped by the environment. They are directly affected by environmental signal influences that include stress, nutrition, emotions and psychological messages.
Please describe the function of a cell a bit more in detail.
Every cell has a functioning membrane with ‘receptor’ antennae (equivalent to sensory organs such as eyes, touch, ears) of the environmental signals, and ‘effector’ antennae that create a response from the cell to that which is perceived. The receptor-effectors are the stimulus-response mechanisms. The receptors are the ‘awareness’ and the effectors the ‘action’ of the intelligent cell. To remain healthy the cell needs to be able to let in nourishment, stop what is not nourishing from coming in and throw out what is not beneficial. Cells have their brain in the ‘mem-brane’.
Receptors in the membrane notify the action response. Through understanding that cells are programmed by the outside environment, we discover that we have a choice in affecting what may have been previously assumed as being fixed behaviour patterns: by bringing consciousness in, we are able to change them.
For example in a society that moves faster and faster, more and more attention is brought to protection and boundaries. An overloaded nervous system goes automatically into protection mode through fight-freeze-friendly response in order to survive. Discovering the sense of having a boundary in the form we live in (our body) settles the nervous system and offers a somatic perception of being present which helps maintain a clear boundary. Cells offer this through their membrane which is semi-porous…
What do we discover inside these cells?
From the membrane which protects the cell we begin to explore what they are made of: that is mostly space! Scientists are now proving – and what mystics have always declared – that space is 95 percent of existence. Moving with the space within the walls of the room and the space within the boundary of the cells, we begin to notice how tangible and alive it is. A participant affirmed this with: “I have the feeling I have more space for myself by feeling my boundary. My movements are also expanding.”
A cell’s rhythm is of contraction and expansion; each cell has its own unique rhythm. It contracts in order to integrate, rest and gather nourishment; as equally important is the need to reach out, expand, connect, exchange. Expansion and contraction are needed to grow. In a society which emphasizes the expansion stage, the imbalance of the outward going movement overloads the nervous system and results in stress and disease. Rest is essential to create balance.
Moving from a slower rhythm to the world’s fast frantic pace creates more blood cells and nourishes and vitalizes the system. A comment from a participant: “It’s a feeling of having a clearer boundary of being safe, protected and knowing where my space is and where the other is. I am not so busy with my old ways of protecting myself. This makes it easier to meet the other. Clarity arises as I breathe into my inner space, the space within the cells and sense where the edge of me is.”
In a spiritual dimension, this is who we are…spacious and formless emptiness contained in a form, a body. The cells give us a clue about this. When we became a materialistic world we lost the orientation to our place of space; rebuilding this perception of inner space strengthens our original nature. Spirit and matter dance together.
Selected quotes on this issue: The Sages Speak on the Forgotten Language
A sannyasin since Pune 1 days, Australian-born Navanita has always been a very active person, from being a sprinting champion to teaching somatic movement, dance, stretching classes, and ‘Divine Dancing Drunkards’ meditation among several others. After being severely injured in a bus accident in India in 1994, she took her ‘Talking to the Body’ practices and embarked on her own healing journey which ultimately led her to the present work she teaches – healing on a cellular level.
Navanita is starting a new five-part seminar and training ‘Natural Dance and Somatic Movement Experiential Seminar and Training’ at Uta in Cologne this week; each one of the parts is independent yet at the same time sequentially interconnected. The entire training will be given during the course of one year. www.navanita.net
Bhagawati for Osho News