This summer I taught a week-long residential workshop for twenty wonderful women. The youngest was in her mid twenties and the oldest mid sixties. They were from all parts of the country and from all walks of life. They were drawn together in their desire to learn more about the healing art of massage. A small number of them had some prior knowledge of massage but for the most part they were all novices. In an article for Network ( 60 ) ‘A Massage journey with A Difference,‘ I claimed that I would guarantee that by the end of 7 days all participants would be able to give beautiful proficient and meditative massages. I have been teaching in this way for over twenty years and know that my methods work.
One of the group, a massage therapist in fact, who had done a three year training said that she would never have believed that such a disparate group could have attained such a proficient level after only 7 days if she had not witnessed it herself. Another group member, a teacher by profession said, ” I am still wondering how you managed to include so much in our course with what appeared to be a very unstructured and flexible timetable with such a relaxed approach…”
I need to say at this point that we did NO massage for the first two day… So all was accomplished in 5 days , and in fact the last day was a culmination. So, all massage components of the course were accomplished in four days.!!
The fact that I taught the group for 7 days though was a vital and integral part of the student’s process of being open and trusting the abilities of the teacher to transmit the necessary energy for the task in question. In this case, Massage.
Much learning happens when people were not even aware of it!! A big part of my method of teaching involves meditation… centring in the heart and going into silence and stillness within, clearing out the incessant chatter of the busy mind and creating a space inside for the percolation of your own wisdom and truth. We all did a lot of chanting every morning, really activating the voice.. in order to clear the energy both within oneself and within the group and also to create a blending and harmony between us all. I also use a lot of movement, exercise and dance. This loosens rigidity in the muscular structures and creates openness at the physical level and flexibility in the body which in turn creates flexibility in the mind. This year we did a lot of grounding work using amongst other things, Native American dance music and sound, lots of movement and sounds to deeply release locked up energies. With all these different approaches something starts to deeply relax in both mind and body. People start to open and share deeply. Effortless learning is starting to seep into the pores! Innate wisdom starts to percolate..
Trust, openness and communication have a profound effect on the heart and when the heart starts to open then the energy starts to flow. The energy of the heart can never be a selfish energy. It has to flow OUT towards others. When this process is underway the heart and the mind can begin to blend and balance in expression. Learning becomes being-ness.. Being-ness is the state of presence one feels when the heart energy is activated. In this instance the massage, meditation and bodywork helped to catalyse the activation. The body naturally balances and relaxes.
Many things happen in this process of learning. Insights about oneself and others emerge, you begin to be open to yourself without prejudice. Pains and old patterns are revisited, emotions are expressed and all is seen for what it truly is. A cover up of the heart. The heart’s protective response to the pain of the perception of being unloved… The reality though is that when the armouring of the heart begin to loosen and gradually fall away… what remains is love…nothing but love… this moves you from judging, comparing etc into compassion and acceptance…two prerequisites for working with other people. Realisations start to dawn… Nobody actually is any different from yourself… we just need to experience that as a reality.
When love is present in a group, its fire burns out that which covers the real.
It is always a very humbling and moving experience for me as the teacher to witness this love in action . When people really open up to whatever area they may be involved with they fall into awareness mode, (anxiety and fears drop away, concerns about ”doing” are replaced by awareness and “being”), as opposed to concentration mode. Whilst massaging it is the heart that takes over and the mind is relegated to its serving position. All the mental baggage drops away. One simply “does”, one allows the heart to flow and the hands follow in its wake. The atmosphere and feeling around people becomes one of heart-openness and effortless action effortlessly follows. Time goes in to another dimension and the creative flow of the open heart takes over. Everyone starts to glow!! Its mysterious and wondrous to experience.
When love is involved with what you do, it is easy to do it. You want to do it, you are motivated because it makes you feel good and when you feel good that is reflected in the atmosphere you create around you. You owe it to yourself to do what you enjoy doing. (We are all subjected to the allotted time constraints of human existence!!) As spiritual beings we have a deep need and longing for happiness and joy since they reflect our true state. These two feelings sustain and nourish us at the deepest of levels. In order for our lives to progress, and not stay stuck, we need to move beyond the fear structures that hold us back from being truly ourselves. Learning or doing something new takes you into unknown territory. This can bring fear. The only antidote to fear is love. Anything, anyone, any method, way or teaching, that opens the heart in the truest sense of the word, will lead you forward on your human/spiritual journey. Always look for love in all that you do. In fact you need to embody this love in all your actions and movements. You need to “be” love. When love is present, everything becomes effortless. That is The Secret…
Freud, in his wisdom knew this when he wrote: ”One doesn’t need long trainings, but ‘inherent insights’ into the human soul, first of all into the unconscious layers of one’s own soul…then…practical hands on training!”
Anybody interested in a16 day training or open weekends ( see ad ) will have the opportunity to experience this way of osmotic effortless Heart learning for themselves. Trust me..it works!