Removing the Barrier Between Self and Other
“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”
Removing the barrier between self and other. This is the most interesting aspect of my current work with people. I came to do Soma Neuromucsular Integration® as a medium to express some of the healing I experienced in Japan as a Zen Monk. It has been quite a journey to get here, and it is difficult to use language to express what my work is about, but I am going to try. So, what does it mean to remove the barrier between self and other? And how does that relate to my work?
If while working with someone my consciousness can melt into the room, dissolving the barrier between myself and the client, then the process of healing jumps to another level of profundity.
I went to Japan looking for a way to heal myself from serious health issues. In the process of exploring how to allow my body to open up through meditation and internal energy work, I saw that my body was trying at all times to heal. It was trying to open up to the room, to the forest as I walked, to the pond in the garden. I just stood for hours in between hard physical work and formal meditation, and fell in love with this process, dissolving into the bamboo forest, late nights with the moon and the music of the trees. I saw that I was holding a barrier of fear and protection up against this healing, and I saw that I had to courageously open up on a cellular level to the environment around me, continuously, or I would begin to get sick again. This happened again and again, every day.
It was a difficult process for me to do this cellular energy work, and it was not always nice!! It was very messy!! It was plagued by energy issues like rising ki for years. But the life there completely saved my life. Luckily I had a Roshi (Zen Master) there to guide me. With him, I saw that I could open up my consciousness to not only the forest or the meditation hall but with another person, and that our consciousness could meld. This is on a very subtle non-verbal level. Through him patiently displaying this open consciousness, I began to meet him energetically and then a dialogue began which completely shifted things for me. I am so grateful to him for that. With him I saw the possibility to meet the consciousness of every person I encounter, which is what I am exploring in my work.
So what does this mean for my clients? Well, my wish is to share with people this deep level of communication in the context of healing. Because of my health issues, I have always been so fascinated with bodies. If I can truly open up with my clients their tissue will respond dramatically. If my consciousness can meet hers, my client’s frozen shoulder will respond when my hands move in concert to open up her scapula and iliac crest. If I am sensitive enough, I can feel the whole body when I work, and she will then begin to feel her whole body just from the communication of the work. In this way I hope to plant seeds in her consciousness of great healing that is possible.
If, while working with tissue, for instance someone’s paravertebrals along their back, I can truly meet this tissue, it will open up with little effort. It is as if myself and the client begin a conversation without words, and in the midst of this conversation, we disappear, if only for moment, and the body/mind can self organize under this focus. And perhaps the client will begin to have a dialogue of deeper sensitivity with life.