I had an interesting experience in a bodywork class recently. I help to assist with teaching various bodywork classes – Craniosacral Therapy, Working with the Vagus [nerve] system, Zapchen Somatics. And occasionally, something comes up which I have not considered or heard before. Usually the topics are subjects or situations I have heard of previously. I have been taking these classes since 2005, so I have at least 30 classes under my belt as it were.
However, in a recent class, the topic of birth imprints came up, and specifically comparing our birth imprint with our deeper karma.
So the conversation went something like this:
“I have learned that exploring and stepping out on my own, tends to lead to my getting hurt. I think it is my karma.” The teacher heard this and pondered it a second.
Then the teacher skillfully and patiently explained how, if we did not get certain needs met, or if we had parents who did not protect us or provide us with good boundaries, then it made sense how this belief could arise. The teacher went on to skillfully inquire about this person’s relevant history and they determined that certain needs were not met. And I think this person may have changed their mind about this long-standing (possibly erroneous) belief. But was this belief this person’s karma?
This is an interesting question to me. Of course, if you have a birth imprint that is not resolved (or a developmental piece from when you are two years old for instance), then obviously it is your karma to work through that piece. But I think what the teacher meant is that, the belief that you will get hurt for exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone, it is possible to penetrate to the misunderstanding (or inherited beliefs from your parents) that is fueling this belief and to clear it up, to resolve it.
As children, we have different needs at different phases of our lives. Generally, there are age-appropriate needs and guidelines – for instance, young teenagers need to feel safe to explore on their own and to start figuring out who and what they are, to challenge their parents’ beliefs and to start differentiating as they make their way toward becoming adults. But if parents have been overprotective up to this point, this trend might continue or if parents have not taught any boundaries and have not been very protective at all, then the child might have a difficult time knowing how to explore and who is safe to chat with (for instance). Or the child could act out in a number of ways – the rebel without a cause.
Anyhow, if we hear a client make an interesting statement about getting hurt because we were exploring, this should raise a red flag that some developmental need was not met or it was met inappropriately. If we have the skills, we can possibly help this person to realize why they might have this belief – maybe they learned it from one or both of their parents. That might be enough to change this pattern or we can bring in some extra resources or refer them to someone who can help.
No matter what, this is a fascinating topic for me. When we encounter beliefs that might be erroneous, especially in clients who are wanting to heal and to grow and change for the better, how can we skillfully work with these people? Who can we refer to for additional assistance?
And does a birth imprint = deeper karma? I don’t know to be honest.
But I personally believe that we all have the capacity to heal within us. We all deserve happiness. And we all make choices everyday which either lead toward happiness or lead toward dissatisfaction. It is our choice. However, until we meet a qualified teacher or mentor or coach, we might be ignorant of how to heal ourselves, or that true happiness even exists.
May all beings see through their surface imprints and realize the Buddhanature within!
Thank you for reading as usual.