I love the idea that we can be observers of life, that it happens to us. Maybe because, in our very Western way, we mostly do to avoid simply being.
As we relearn to stop and listen, to feel the ground, the sky and the air around us, we attune to our surroundings, naturally re-wire, and reconfigure our sensory connections with the world interface.
As we feel more resourced, our vibrational potency increases, and we're in a state of contented presence, what in craniosacral biodynamics we would call a state of balanced awareness.
Stephen Jenkinson, the brilliant author of Die Wise and Come of Age, notes that there is no passive mode for the verb 'to die' in English. It is only conjugated in the active mode: I will die, she dies, he died.
Therefore death is what you do according to our grammatically-correct cultural bias, it is not something that happens to you.
I wonder is all this doing a big illusory marathon to avoid the inevitable? Do we ever realise that we’re missing something essential in the process?
This apparent passivity, the simple but powerful presence of the witness is what a biodynamic craniosacral therapist offers. This ‘just being there’, ‘not chasing after anything’, ’not trying to fix’ being-ness allows the client to do exactly the same, surrender to the higher Intelligence at play behind the veil.
So many amazing stories can be expressed, reviewed and revised when we just allow this higher Intelligence to take over and play its magic.
It is simply staggering in fact, absolutely staggering. The more I practice, as a giver and a receiver of this beautiful modality, the more I am astounded by the depths of revealing and connecting of dynamic stillness, this super slow universal rhythm, the fabric of the cosmos and all that is; or by how beautifully fluid the nervous system, the whole body is, allowing for the most delicately sophisticated architecture to emerge and transform.
All these revelations, these un-peeling of layers come as I sit still, in a state of balanced awareness and a deep sense of wonder, holding what is happening in this client’s body, within my own body, and the perceptive field around me.
Of course a sharply trained, practiced and learned (in anatomy for example) presence helps to receive, hold and support, facilitate the process. But ultimately it is the degree of spaciously focused being-ness and listening which will trigger the initial shift, the relieved 'aaaah' of the system that opens the path, the gateway towards something new, a resolving, discharging, reorganising, expressing, potentising that our attention follows while our focus anchors further in and out.
There is an exquisitely graceful elegance to this non-doing presence. I’ve seen it as I observed other craniosacral therapists lose their egos, their persona as they just sit in full service to this higher Intelligence at play. It is profoundly humbling, and so beautiful.
I must confess I too have felt like a swan softly suspended in fluid while holding the perceptive field. This quality of effacement of one’s personality in the face of something so much bigger, mightier than myself is so powerful and empowering in and of itself.
The indigenous Quechuan writer Arkan Lushwalla has these evocative words that resonate with my craniosacral experience about the sacred art of observing, witnessing: “The one who observes is like someone holding a flashlight, illuminating something that was hiding in the dark realm of the unborn (…)
“Wonderful things happen when we empty our mind and allow the Universe to see through our eyes.” (Deer & Thunder, 2017)
He explains that his ancestors, “the people of the Andes and the Amazon” observed for centuries from temples that were built around power centres, called the "hearts" or “navels” of the Earth...and through these simple acts of presence, they received “sacred instructions from the Earth and the Sky“.
This collective bonding through observation, this 'constellating', was what held them together and carried them forward.
They were in a state of balanced awareness and profound connection with their surroundings, stimulating the circular flow of exchange with the Earth and living within its potent holding in every moment of their daily existence.
They also knew about the Breath of Life as they were naturally attuned to the Earth’s breath.
I was inside the Earth, as if in a ‘navel temple’ of my own making last week. I dug my own grave in the spirit of an indigenous shamanic ceremony facilitated by Movement Medicine teacher and co-founder Ya’Acov Darling Khan, and I spent a night in it.
I had instructions to dialogue and negotiate with benevolent death but first I had to surrender to the Earth’s surrounds. I had to pay my respects, listen to these walls of clay I could feel breathing and oozing fluidity by my sides; little droplets of dew were sitting atop tiny protruding stems, scintillating like precious diamonds.
I lay observing while day became night and perceived the wonderfully sweet and subtle changes in energy as night fell and the Earth, the space around me closed in.
All the anxiety of the night before was gone. I felt safe, in good hands.
My perception became ever more sensitive as I tuned in to the Breath of Life, the Earth’s breathing.
Specific physical areas like my gut and my heart were pointed out to me as needing my supportive attention and messages did begin to emerge.
It was a biodynamic craniosacral treatment of a very special kind and this sacred and ultra sensuous interplay with the Earth’s holding will forever stay with me.
According to Arkan Lushwalla, “We are all invited to move to a higher vibrational frequency that promotes greater vitality, higher consciousness, and more joyous existence.” (Deer and Thunder, 2017)
I know that biodynamic craniosacral therapy is one way to get there.