Somatic Ethics refers to the concern with one’s own embodied somatic self as the ground for amelioration and improvement – physically, mentally, morally,
and emotionally. The practice of somatic ethics is a
kind of “micro” bio-ethics occurring at the level
of the life-world in term of face-to-face relations, the experience of suffering and pain, love, trust, and the embodiment of moral intuitions.
The process of Somatic Ethics as developed
by Dr. Hillel Braude provides a means of reflecting
on ethical issues in relation with awareness of underlying embodied activities, such as moving, breathing, sensing, seeing and hearing.
This process involves a form of phenomenological
reflection or introspection on various hyletic data,
including for example, sensations, affect, kinesthesia, perception, and any other sensuous data about the self, emerging at the margins of consciousness.
This process of embodied moral reflection integrates
cognitive rationality with embodied tacit or pre-reflective cognitive processes, and provides a provides a means of becoming aware the formation of our deepest
moral intuitions embedded within our embodied selves.
Integrating somatic practices together with moral reflection in the process of Somatic Ethics provides
a powerful modality for assisting individuals to reflect on deeply held values and assumptions, break free
from habitual patterns of behavior, generate new meanings, and expand the capacity for free choice.
The personal insights obtained through the inner journey of Somatic Ethics reflection are specific to
each individual and may also involve transpersonal or spiritual processes and dimensions.
Aims of Somatic Ethics process may include:
Clarifying core intentions and values.
Providing a means to reconfigure or at least contextualize personal beliefs in relation with individual body posture.
Helping individuals and groups reconfigure institutional structures.
Providing a means of deep listening, non-violent communication, giving voice to others,
especially previously marginalized voices.
Helping to determine what are real, sustainable goods in relation with our ecological environment.
Dr. Hillel Braude provides Somatic Ethics consulting for individuals and institutions.