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.
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!
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
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!
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.
I have been blessed with a busy clinical schedule recently, and have spent a good amount of time in the classroom as well. After a three week stretch of unusually long days in the clinic, I sat down to make a few observations about how my clinical approach has evolved over the years as I learned to practice more biodynamically. I thought it may be useful for newer practitioners.
I recently returned from Olaf Korpiun’s first American presentation of his SELF Waves approach to craniosacral therapy. What follows are some of the major impressions I took from the class, some of which are a little surprising considering my previous post.
Olaf Korpiun is an Upledger-trained therapist and educator who resides in Germany and primarily teaches in Europe. I sat down to write a formal review of his intriguing book, Craniosacral SELF Waves (Super Extreme Low Frequency), but it got so long that I just decided to highlight my thoughts by sharing an email I sent to John Chitty from the Colorado School of Energy Studies. It condenses my main thoughts in a more concise and digestible manner. John asked me what I thought about the book, and this was my response:
The other day, while out to lunch with a colleague, I was introduced to a craniosacral practitioner who works here in my area. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long until we got on the topic of cranial work. When I told her that I had devoted much time to the study of biodynamics and found it useful in a clinical setting, her face slowly tightened as she said “So, you’re one of those people that just sits there and doesn’t do anything, huh?” As you can imagine, her tone wasn’t particularly pleasant.
In the first post on this topic (Loosening the Knot, Part 1 – finding the client’s neutral), I briefly discussed the client’s state of neutral, why it is important, and the involvement of the autonomic nervous system in prohibiting its expression. I will now present three of the more common situations of inhibited neutrality that we encounter in clinical work and offer some practical suggestions for how to work with them.