Gifts of Nature

The practice of craniosacral therapy is largely about understanding and coming into correct relationship with the natural spatial organization of the body as it is expressed through deep biological movement. In order to understand the deeper movements of natural embodiment we need to spend time directly in nature, experiencing the varying wavelengths of her frequencies and the textures of her many material enfoldments.

My post for today is a spontaneous spoken word commentary about the gifts nature offers the therapist as an antidote to the often insidious effects of technology and culture on the soul and body of the individual. I also speak to the conundrum faced by the therapist whom, when dealing with Primary Respiration, is subject to a treatment plan that might not easily fit into the constructs of ego. It was recorded in nature and runs about 45 minutes.

Because of the lengthy nature of the mp3 file, it has been archived for you to play or download here:
www.cranioschool.com/audio

An Interview with John Chitty

I am happy to announce the completion of a new interview with John Chitty. John is a Co-Director of the Colorado School of Energy Studies along with his wife, Anna. The Chitty’s are two of the most prolific trainers in America in the field of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. John has been a quiet but important force in the field of biodynamic therapy for many years. He recently published his second book Dancing with Yin and Yang: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Psychotherapy and Randolph Stone’s Polarity Therapy. In this interview I ask John to share with us about how his life has unfolded. I think it makes for a pretty interesting tale. Enjoy.

In Love with the Tide, but Seduced by Lesions

forest with a red housePlease take a few seconds to look at the photo posted above.

Last week I did a little experiment with this photo in my office building. I asked 20 random people to look at this photo and tell me what they saw.

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Why Embryology is a Central Study for Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists

I was cleaning some boxes out of my closet this week and I found a few transcriptions of lectures I gave many years ago. It was fascinating reading these, as I was reminded of how timeless the foundational concepts of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy are. Today I am posting a segment from one of those lectures, given at a weekend training at Phoenix Therapeutic Massage College in 2006. When I visited this discussion again, part of it grabbed my attention because it illustrates well a question I am often asked: Why are craniosacral therapists so interested in embryology? I hope it is useful for you in some capacity:

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A Few of My Favorite Craniosacral Meditations

My process of learning and applying craniosacral concepts in the classroom and clinic has changed in many ways since I first set upon this path. One thing that has not changed, however, is the significant benefit that I receive from listening to recorded meditations from the teachers who have influenced my approach to the work.

Every day I listen to an audio track with a meditation or teaching related to craniosacral therapy. I have found that after lunch is a good time, but before bed can be just as fruitful. Being reminded of the fundamental concepts of the work by re-experiencing my teachers via the spoken word has been a helpful habit for me. This time continually proves to be a source of education, inspiration, and grounding.

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Experiences of Stillness in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy: Cultivated or Conferred ?

Well, this is surely my most self-indulgent post to date. Please bear with me, as I hope that relating my own experiences will effectively illustrate an important point about stillness …


As a child, I was fortunate to grow up near a stretch of unspoiled wilderness that bordered the suburb where my family lived.  I could walk out of my back door directly into nature and pass through native grasslands and old growth forests, encountering few signs of civilization as I made my way to the Trinity River, the most substantial waterway in north Texas. I spent many afternoons there after school, either by myself or with friends. On weekends and summer break I often enjoyed entire days exploring in the woods. Some of my earliest and most powerful encounters with natural stillness occurred in that stretch of wilderness. It was there that I first discovered the value of sitting still.

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Video Journal of Advanced Biodynamic Training with Michael Shea in Santa Cruz, CA

I recently returned from an inspirational class with Michael Shea and Carol Agneesens in Santa Cruz, California. Michael and Carol have been putting together a systematic approach to working with the cardiovascular system biodynamically. I will share more detailed info on the class material in a later post, but for now I put together a fun video about my experience. This was truly an exceptional group of therapists who gathered together to explore deep healing. I decided to really submerge myself in nature for this training, so I did some hiking and camping during class. I hope you enjoy the video!

Happy Trails to You – Exploring Equine Craniosacral Therapy

And Allah took a handful of southerly wind,
blew His breath over it, and created the horse.
He said to the magnificent creature,
“I have made thee as no other.
All the treasures of the earth lie between thy eyes …
Thou shall fly without wings,
and conquer without any sword.”
~ Bedouin Legend

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An Interview with Michael Shea

Ryan Hallford Interviewing Michael Shea
I really enjoy spending time with Michael Shea. As one of the more prolific authors in the field of craniosacral therapy, he currently treks around the globe teaching cutting edge advanced classes. Michael recently sat down with me for a Skype interview where we discussed a wide variety of topics including his early introduction to biodynamic craniosacral therapy, favorite spiritual books, new paradigms in the work, and much more. I hope you enjoy our interaction. Michael has agreed to do more interviews, so I’ll keep them coming!

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Shifting with The Tide: Some Thoughts on the Art of Yielding

One of the most difficult things for me to grasp when I began exploring biodynamics was the instruction to “allow your awareness to be shifted by the tide.” I ran into this challenge conceptually in my study of Dr. Jealous’ work and experientially as I deepened into my studies with Michael Shea. The process of yielding one’s awareness really has to be experienced to be understood. Talking about it can point the learner in a general direction, but ultimately it is practice in the chair that makes this beautiful experience come to life.

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