Philip Shepherd explains The Embodied Present Process (TEPP)

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The Embodied Present Process, or TEPP, is a series of simple, embodied meditations that help people feel the limitations in their responsiveness to the world, and appreciate how those limitations are reinforced by what we have learned from our culture.  The meditations developed by TEPP allow you to move beyond those limitations so you can reconnect to yourself and the world in a new way. 

It’s been a lifelong process that began in earnest in my teenage years, when the world around me didn't make sense. It seemed that the adults were stuck in roles that barely left them room to breathe – roles that were tied to an inflated story that was disconnecting them from reality. 

I didn’t fully understand the nature of that disconnection, but I knew with a certainty that the same kind of role-playing awaited me if I remained.  So at the age of eighteen I left my home in Toronto for England, bought a bicycle there, and headed off on it for Japan – cycling through Europe, the Middle East and India.  For two years I moved through cultures vastly different from my own – each of them luminous, and each of them limited.  The only time I experienced culture shock was when I returned home: that deeply familiar world now seemed arbitrary and bizarre. On my round-the-world journey I'd gained the gift I needed: the ability to question the assumptions binding my own culture.

So I developed the TEPP practices not because I imagined creating a method for others, but because I was seeking to connect to my own reality as fully as possible. I was seeking to bring into clarity for myself the ways in which our culture stood like a sentry over the most natural impulses of my life – and how it had placed prohibitions in my nervous system that undermined the ease and harmony of my being. I developed the exercises that form TEPP over decades of testing and teaching and training, and am gratified every time I hear that they’ve helped someone else find the freedom they’ve been yearning for.


I began teaching embodied meditations in the ‘eighties, when I was giving workshops for actors. Then I wrote New Self, New World over ten years, and in 2011 began teaching again, based on the material of the book.

Many people who’ve experienced this work say it has changed their lives. We are used to living in our heads and have come to believe it’s a normal way to be, even though it makes us feel anxious and disconnected and ungrounded. The practices of TEPP help people find their way home to the ease of the body’s natural spaciousness – and that eventually becomes the foundation for everything in their lives. It enables the clarity of the present to support them in all their relationships and enterprises. 

There are many modalities that can help us feel calmer, or more embodied, but TEPP is the only modality I know of that directly unravels the cultural patterns that bind the body, and shows people specifically how and where to land in themselves.  Other modalities also often take charge of the body with top-down instructions without realizing it, instructions that might tell the body when and how to breathe, for instance, or how to feel or move. Such top-down approaches to the body stifle its intelligence. TEPP reunites you with the body’s intelligence, so that you learn to think with the whole of your being, feeling every thought clarified through its sensitivities.

Much of the work of TEPP is about remembrance, because the influence of our culture induces widespread forgetfulness: forgetfulness of the body, of true relationship, of the present that holds us all. When the body’s intelligence is reclaimed – when you emerge from those shadows of forgetfulness – you come back to a remembrance in which your reality is illuminated by everything around you.

There are a couple of features of TEPP that uniquely distinguish it. One is the comprehensive context it provides, explaining how our culture's story lives in your neurology and disorients your responsiveness to life – and of course the simple practices it offers are specifically designed to undo those limitations. Another unique feature is that its practices belong in your life. That is, you don’t need to seclude yourself for 20 minutes a day to do them. In fact, they gain the most traction when you allow them to interrupt daily patterns that you may not even realize you are stuck in. So you can practice TEPP while washing the dishes, or talking with a friend, or walking down the aisles of the grocery store.  And as you do, you find yourself landing more and more fully in the spaciousness of the ordinary present.

There are no mantras in TEPP.  Its embodied meditations are doorways into very personal experiences. The same meditation will take different people very different places, because it is activating the body’s intelligence, which shows up uniquely in everyone. The goal of TEPP is to help people experience their fully embodied wholeness – and no one knows how that might reveal itself.

You can feel results pretty much immediately, because the practices open you to different choices right away – choices our culture has often hidden from us.  As you continue the work, those choices deepen and you find yourself settling into a new way of being in the world.  Many people find that within a year to 18 months, they are living their lives from a very different place – a place that is clearer, more grounded, more spacious, more connected. 

The best place to start is via our introductory course called Reconnect To Yourself. This simple course consists of 7 audios that guide you easily, step by step, into a renewed relationship not just with your body’s intelligence, but with the world around you.  


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