On balancing the magnetic field of life
“For thousands of years, in all culture, human have gone through the plains, into the forest and harnessed the wild animal. Some found elephant to carry wood, other found horses to carry them, other cats to hunt mice or dogs to escort them. These mammals were essential to the survival and the evolvement of humanity, in all the places around the world. How Humans have tamed and related to the wild animal made a huge difference in both lives: the human and the animal. Treated with respect, and love the animal can become a partner, a collaborator and even a friend on who you can count on to serve and be served on the journey. Treat him/her with violence, impose your will and power on the same animal and he/she becomes quit useless. Most of all a great danger is upon you! No one can survive a scared horse. Because the instinct of the mammalian is wild, born to survive and live by the cycle of life/death/life, he/she has a deep awareness of life and is of greater power. Without the help of our instinctual nature we might never find our way through Life.”
From a Vipassana discourse by S.N Goenka.
As Primates aren’t we also mammalian? YES WE ARE!
COME BACK TO YOUR MAMAL
Exercise: Attention for awareness (Perform your own variation)
Lay down on the floor
Close your eyes
Start feeling your breathing (focus on the area between the upper lips and the nostrils) observe the length of each inhale and exhale, and observe the movement in the chest/rib area as you breathe, feel the air traveling through your body
Feel the weight of your whole body and/or the weight of the different major body part (head, arms, pelvis, legs) dropping down to the floor down to the center of the Earth; let gravity take you down, completely surrender!
Start narrowing your attention go back to the breathing and scan across the face and the skull to feel any of the sensation that are rising and falling, make sure the muscle of the face surrender to gravity as well, when completely relaxed you can feel the humidity of the eye.
After one or two minutes, start moving your attention down progressively all over your body missing no areas, move down all the way to the tip of the toes, if you wish you can accompanied your scan with slow motion, tiny micro movements
The Shen Tao approach has been developed over the years so that people could find support in their journey to know themselves. One may ask why is it important to know thyself? Knowing one’s self is essential if one wants to realize his/her dream, find power, be efficient into the world, be creative, love, change or simply be happy! We belong to the large group of species: the Homo sapiens and we also are each very unique. Aren’t you curious about your own and others uniqueness? Beyond our commonality lies a great intelligence, which has been called many names over the years and is as simple as Life. The life inside of us is our compass, our instinct to survive, our identity and so much more!
How do you find the life inside you? By feeling.
The kinesthetic: A direct experience
“The trigger to generate your own spirit is to feel your body.”
The first step on the way back to yourself is to have a direct experience of yourself so that you can literally feel the life inside of you.
2 500 years ago a technique called Vipassana was developed in India. That technique gives you a direct experience of yourself and consist of slowing down the mind significantly, and train the eyes of the mind to be very sharp so that we can feel the sensation that are happening every millisecond inside our body. As its origin, the Buddha sat under a tree and started by observing his breathing and then the sensation that where occurring inside himself. He came to a first conclusion that there are biomechanics reactions happening in the body imperceptible by an untrained mind. As he kept observing his sensation, he had the direct experience that matter is the sum-up of billions and billions of magnetic particles that interact with each other at very high speed. Because his mind was concentrated at a very high level of consciousness we could feel his body vibrating, and dissolved into a magnetic field; he could feel these tiny particles interacting. Many years later scientists developed technique to understand matters. Matter is by definition everything that has a mass and takes-up space. By observing the matter outside themselves they came to the exact same conclusion. They learn that matter consist of small particles called atoms, and that these atoms have an electrical charge so that atoms can interact with each other (biomechanics reactions). Those biomechanics reactions form the matter and is what we feel as sensations. What that means is that life is always happening, always changing, constantly interacting, whether it is inside of us or outside of us. It is all the same! Feeling, having the direct experience of life at the atomic level is a lot of patience and a lot of hours of work. Nonetheless, everything we feel, a itch on the nose or a muscular contraction is the sum-up of thousand of billion biomechanics reaction of particles of atoms. The role of the mind then is to retranslate these reactions as sensation. Because atoms are very very small and they interact at very high speed, we can not feel all these tiny, settle sensation unless we alter our state of consciousness enough. Still we can get to a great level of understanding, by practicing a little everyday, we become aware of our own wisdom. We could simply state that our sensation contains our wisdom. What happen in your mind when you feel sensation? Your mind gets pure, clear like distilled water and you can really hear yourself, understand yourself, communicate with your self, “know thyself” (Ancient Greek aphorism by Phemonoe Mythical Greek Poetess).
Poetically, through feeling sensation we start to become aware of another presence inside of us that is our unconscious. When our conscious mind gets quiet enough then space is left for the unconscious to reveal itself. She/He usually communicates through your imagination with colors, images, memories, sounds, smells, fantasies … And likewise you can communicate to him/her with words, images, colors… As you establish the communication between you and her/him. You will often discover that you two, when aligned as one unit of life are beyond creative, endlessly compassionate and powerful.
If you truly are connected with the self through kinesthetic sensation and if you are using the appropriate language that the Shen Tao approach emphasizes, you will notice the benefits on your physical fitness. A deep partnership is power of two within the self, you’ll push your limits away, you will open muscular lock, you will find yourself centered and grounded, you feel freer and more balanced. In the simplest word, you will find yourself and be yourself. beautifully!
EQUILIBRIUM: TWO ESSENTIAL TOOLS
Vipassana taught us that we can feel ourselves by using our attention. What is your attention? How do you use your attention?
Your attention is your compass. A state of consciousness of deep concentration that enables you to feel and observe.
Untrained attention is like the untamed wild animal, it is useless. Alike the wild animal when agitated or violated our attention can be our worst enemy and can be of great damage to us and to others. In order to handle our emotions, our suffering and handle life today in general, we want to support ourselves by having control over our attention and we want to have choices about what we do and who we are.
Reciprocally, your intention is the choice you make, the decision you take to lead towards a specific direction. Are you heading North, East, West or South? Your intention is also what motivates you. It is the “why” to the thing you do, it is your agency. Be careful as you might know, your intentions are not always conscious. (Many of our intention that hides or cause trouble in our life are just here waiting to be heard and matured by a conscious mind).
Furthermore, influencing your attention with intention is essential in order to master your mind. When both work simultaneously, then body and mind becomes one unit of life; both serving each other equally, toward one common mission on a common journey.
You can see in a child that their attention span is very short at first. They are distracted constantly. And sometime they get fascinated with one thing for hours. They don’t consciously engage intention or fixe their attention anywhere consciously. The mind is not yet developed to accomplish such action. On the other hand, their capacity to be in life is grandiose. Because they are changing, learning, growing so fast, their unconscious is doing most of the work. They mostly rely on their instinct, and on what they experiment at all time. That is how they develop and create themselves, through direct experiment and that is how we are built to learn. The young mind is a blank page, being written letter by letter by the unconscious. The more mature mind then transforms the letters into words; that will be your life story. As we become adult we can’t let thing happen unconsciously anymore, at some point we need to choose what college we will go to and who or how we want to be. The tendency is to more and more become boring conscious human being, as learning and growing fade away. Fortunately, life does not forget and life keeps changing at all time. We don’t escape from the primary physical law: Everything changes. Nothing is permanent.
To confirm: “There is nothing permanent except change” (Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, 544-483 BC)
To clear up an illusion, we never get to be a “grown-up”, we are always growing; maturing never stops, as much for your mind than your body. Such as a tree or a flower who adapts regularly to the environmental changes season after season. the tree and the flower grow until they die, which is a form of adaptation to life: die, fertilize the ground, and grow again. The cycles of life preservation were here thousands of years before us, and as human being we respond to same universal laws of nature. We might look tall and bone growth seems to have stop, and before we notice space reduces and growing goes the other direction, we are changing at all times one way or another and our best chance would be to corporate with this reality. If you become aware in yourself on how life affects you and how you affect life then you’ll have choices! Choices to live differently.
In essence, we still need to experiment and learn from our instinct, our intuition. Our unconscious contains all the resources we need to clear the past, face the present moment and then more easily, almost naturally apprehend the future. Our job is to become as aware as possible of the life inside of us and outside of us because it is never the same from moment to moment; life is unpredictable. Our mind needs to be sharpen at its maximum potential to the instinct level to sense life and live with the unpredictability of the next moment. (Cf. Lucy, movie by Luc Besson).
CONTACT IMPROVISATION: CREATING THE COMMUNICATION
As you become more and more aware of the life inside of you, you will understand that kindness, respect and affection towards yourself makes a lot of sense! You’ll seek for that relationship within yourself. Then, you will appropriately expect the same response from others as well. In due time, you will know how to get loving kindness for yourself by simply giving it to yourself and giving it to others. More and more.
Let’s look at the relationship between a horse and a rider.
If you jump on the horse, kick him in the flank and yell: “YhAH” for him to move without introducing yourself, there is great chance you’ll fly in the air and end up on your bottom.
You can observe good equestrians and there horses. They mutually get curious about the other; the rider needs to seduce his horse by letting him see clearly, full disclosure his intention. If your intention is not a conscious decision then the horse will dominate you. Horses likes directness, otherwise they get very nervous and agitated. They are extremely sensitive creature. So we are! Our mammal likes directness and get very agitated when we are not consciously present with him/her.
If you approach a horse with clear intention, fully aware, and full of respect, kindness and affection in your heart; his response will be to meet with you and play with you.
Applied to yourself: you and your mind are the rider, and your body is your horse.
From this approach, what could be learned? It is a two way communication.
Yes the rider is constantly asking the horse to perform an action at the same time the horse is making its own choices and expresses its own preferences. If the rider lowers his attention down and stop listening to the horse needs; then the rider stops connecting to the horse. As a result the horse turn very distracted and the animal go off on his own, doing what his own mind tells him to do … and probably kick you off his back. However, if you stay present with him and give him a sugar after practice, there is great chance he will put his nose in your neck, … unless he does not like sugar. All horses have very different personality as we do! It takes time to learn about each other, to deeply listen and then understand each other.
In a word, how does this approach works on you? When you are doing your practices whatever you do, yoga, running, dance, etc… you have to listen to yourself and seduce yourself, communicate, listen to yourself needs, so that your body participate, feel supported, so he/she does not have to get agitated. Indeed you can get positive responses from yourself. When he or she positively respond to you, your workout become pleasurable, you increase the time you workout without noticing, you find more ease and grace to move just because you sponsor her or him. For this reason she/he is willing! You won’t need to force yourself to do anything if while learning you deeply listen by keep your attention on yourself and communicate with positive intention!
You never are a victim of yourself!
WITH GENEROSITY: SHARE WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING
Now that you got your attention back on yourself you are ready to reach out for others.
How can you apply this self-relation approach to your client? It is quit simple. Think about your client as two units: his body/his unconscious (the horse) and his untrained mind (the rider). Often time, both are disconnected from the other and are fighting the other. Your goal would be to quiet the their mind enough so that they let the horse speak and you can hear him/her.
On the whole, what have we learned?
To start with, we drop to the sensation level, the weight surrendering to gravity, the eyes closed for most efficiency in effect to get the attention to go strictly inward. If you work with a client your touch with strong weight (remember direct intention) is going to tremendously support the communication life to life, body to body, in the objective of reassuring the horse, concentrate the mind and lower the agitation down. The less the mind is involved at first the better. To really start working with the mind we need to consciously let go. The mind becomes an observer until we get deep enough.
When do we get deep enough? Well we never get deep enough we can always go deeper! Meanwhile, by listening, observing, touching and watching for the responses of the mammal; you could notice a change in the eye, in the rhythm and in the breathing of yourself or your client.
WITH RYTHM AND BEAUTY: HYPNOSIS A BRILLIANT TOOL
Hypnosis is a language that allows you to seduce, to manipulate your client and yourself. Someone who speaks poetic language and someone who speak hypnotic language are the same and they both create a complete submission* of the mammal. This type of language cuts through the defenses. or resistances the conscious mind has built-up over the years, and allows you to touch directly the person soft spot* or tenderness. For instance, you could get a client with passive-aggressive responses. To begin with, one perspective you might understand is that this person is ignorant and probably suffering. Next, the most helpful thing you can do for yourself and the other person is to not react, pause, wait (feel your breath) and when you start speaking, speak the poetic language of your heart, also called your compassion. Of course there is a few language tricks and tools to become even more efficient, but the essential part is actually to find your own voice.
On balance, touch your own soft spot, commit to your warrior, be the queen and the king of your field, shine your love from your inner world to the outer world and speak your own truth. In time a kick from within will enchant you and transform those around you who suffer. (Cf the four step model for working with symptoms as archtype, The courage to Love by Stephen Guilligan, Ph.D).