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Archive for the ‘Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy’ Category

This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. Thank you for visiting this site and enjoy your time here!

So on the way back from retreat, I was very fortunate to stop over in Portsmouth. Not only did I not have to drive as far (it was a nice little cushioned landing after a deep retreat-mind-that-was-not-quite-ready-to-drive), but I also got to visit a beautiful Yoga center – actually calling it an Ayurvedic center is more accurate. Here is a link:

A Link to the Sattvic Space

My friend, an experienced and wizened yogi who lives in that area, helped to start and found this center. I am very glad I got to visit it and get a tour!

It was built entirely by volunteers and small donations (which is really rather miraculous considering how large it is)!

Also, I asked my friend if I could share a little meditation I learned on retreat. Knowing that I was all charged up with potency after retreat, and that my heart was probably more open than it would be for a few months, I knew that this was a good time for me to be sharing something.

He said “Sure.” After chatting about it, he said he could give me 15 minutes, which I said was fine.

It was a 6 am class that he leads 3x / week. That would normally be pretty early for me, but on retreat I was waking up between 3 and 5 am most days. I was quite surprised to see 9 students there so early.

The teacher introduced me (and considering I was sitting next to him in the front in a position of teacher, it would make sense to acknowledge me!) and he had very high praise for what I do – working with the Vagus system, working with trauma resolution, craniosacral therapy, etc.

He actually gave me 35 minutes to work with which was a pleasant surprise! But it worked out fine.

We did a meditation which involves our very slowly, gradually and mindfully moving our hand from about 18 inches away from the heart, toward the heart. It takes at least 5 minutes for hand to reach heart because first we feel into the heart, to feel our longing, our yearning.

What does the heart yearn for?

When is it that we feel the yearning to touch and be touched?

Then we bring our presence back and forth from hand to heart and back. At times, we even explore moving the hand away from the heart. What is that like?

We really got into some subtleties. It was fantastic.

Because this was a mixed group – some seasoned yogis and some beginners and I believe some people who have never encountered this level of slowing down and being kind to ourselves…

Once we touched our hearts and experienced what that was like, I tasted a metallic taste in my mouth. This is a sign that someone (or more than one!) in the group has done enough. I sensed it was time for a nap.

So we got to explore what it was like to rest the heart back. What is it like to rest the heart down?

I did a little bit of teaching and direction from a prone position, and then I sat back up and waited until I sensed that the energetic field of the group was ready for me. I think they took a 10 minute nap. It was so great.

We wrapped up and then at the end, people came up to me with questions and they loved it. Several said how they felt this magnetic pull from heart to hand – like it was difficult to resist touching their heart. I said, “That is very good!!” ❤

And guess what? It turns out that I will be leading a workshop down there in May. If you are in the Tidewater area – you should come and join us! (I will keep everyone posted)

It will be an Introduction to Working with the Vagus system – during which we will also have some time for more loving-kindness type meditations like I just went through above.

Thank you for reading!

~km

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Thank you for visiting my site!

As I mentioned in a previous post, the beginning of retreat was tough for me. Slowing down, getting used to a new routine, etc was challenging. However, once I got settled, some amazing things began to unfold.

It was almost a tale of two retreats – two halves as it were. Several people left on day 5, to go back to family, for Christmas, etc. So it was a little disruptive to the flow for those of us staying on, not to mention missing the people who were leaving!

I want to share one or two experiences in particular, okay, maybe three, that were above and beyond normal (for me).

I came down to retreat with my own (idealized, ego-driven?, I-know-what-I-need) agenda for what to work on during retreat. I got permission to skip several sessions / day to be in my room doing my own practices.

So during the first 4 days or so, I did this. I was working to accumulate a particular Dharmapala – that is Dharma Protector or Dharma Guardian practice – to accumulate mantras. I believe that this practice helps / will help to prevent Lyme’s disease for taking advantage of a stressed out immune / nervous system. So I was going for it – doing at least 1,000 mantras a day of this particular practice. For the purpose of humility, I will not mention what I was working on. If you know me really well, then I would have told you perhaps.

Long story short, one evening I was pushing even harder. I think this was day 4. At night, we had two silent sitting sessions after the Dream Play work time to integrate and prepare our minds for dream yoga. So I somehow did 1,000 mantras during one of those hours. As I was doing this, I began to have a lightening feeling – like a light bulb was turning on around my third eye – or pituitary gland in my forehead. It is very difficult to describe, but it was not a typical meditation session. Plus I felt a warmth and potency-increasing feeling which sometimes happens in my Dan Tien or Hara (below the navel) in my belly.

That evening and into the next day, I had some juicy dreams – about helping to keep a secret (in the womb) and other insightful dreams about prenatal or childhood times / issues. And then, when I went to do this mantra some more the following day, after only doing 30 or 40 mantras, I felt nauseous, sick. So I paused, sat quietly and an hour later, tried to do more mantras. Again, I felt sick trying to push through these inner obstacles.

Sometime during that day, I realized that here I was in a potent retreat where it was very easy to do inner child work – it was happening all around me, especially during the Zapchen Somatics hour and then again during the Dream Play hour. So why was I trying to push when I could be doing my own inner child work?

I realized that the nausea was probably due to my needing to do umbilicus work on myself – on my little one. (Sorry Mom – before I mention anything else here, I need to mention that my mother is a saint, she is helpful and generous and patient and skillful. As a nurse I am certain that she was, retired now, very good at what she did and at connecting people. Seriously, she is an incredible mother, going above and beyond for all of her children!) Now, with that out of the way, there are still ancestral double binds and other toxic beliefs that new babies come into when then descend down into the womb around day 6 or 7 or 8 and begin the process of implanting in the uterus to connect to mother’s nutrient. So this is what I had to work on.

In fact, just thinking about early (think blastocyst – just a collection of 200 cells at this point) Kirby, before being a fetus or a prenate, needing appropriate boundaries, needing to be welcomed into the womb and into the world, needing to have unconditional loving kindness… I feel activated (because all these needs were not met).

So I remember that that was then, and this is now. I differentiate past from present, healthy adult self now from wounded little one then. I compassionately hold little blastocyst part of me in my hands, calling on my wisdom beings support to also assist and add an extra layer of support. And I remind little one that he was so loved, so wanted, and that he can have the breathing room AND connection that he deserves (this is known as an appropriate boundary).

Ahhh… I sigh and I feel better. The sigh is probably a breath change indicating my nervous system is regulating easily again after being reminded of a traumatic early / primal period.

So this is what I started to work on. I spent almost 2 hours every day resourcing, repairing misunderstandings in my little one, inviting these little wounded parts to come forward toward health and robustness and resilience. I stopped accumulating mantras – stopped worrying about formal Dharma practice, and began a radical level of loving-kindness and compassion practice toward myself – radical Metta.

As an aside, I have had three moles removed over the past 10 years from near my navel, and so far we have caught them early enough that they are just abnormal cells (not anything serious). But it is strange that the only part of my body having abnormal skin cell (nevus / mole) growth in near my navel – my umbilicus, the part of me that was connected with the world early on (through Mom).

I fully believe that this is indicative of my having to do some major inner child work around being wanted (I was an unplanned pregnancy), being welcomed, being loved by both parents, having both parents do their own emotional growth work (not many people do this nowadays, let alone 38 years ago!), etc. I am certain I have some suppressed rage and resentment and confusion around ancestral double binds, and this festering of deep emotions is what causes the moles to grow.

Because when we have deep shock or freeze in our tissues, there is the tendency to wall off that part of ourselves, to allow the functional (or relatively healthy) parts to continue growing and living. But if we don’t ever get back around to working on the shitty material behind those walls, then those cells start to do their own thing. And this can lead to cancer and autoimmune diseases, etc. We must work on our shadow material or it will start to go rogue on us.

So this is what I did for the last 5 days of retreat. True Dharma practice – inner work. It was almost as if the Dharma Protector practice I was doing led me to see what I needed to work on. No more spiritual bypass – no more glossing over these vital Good Mother Messages. No more leaving my little blastocyst parts of me in the dark or the cold of frozen / shock-laden tissues. Time to practice true kindness to self in order to truly be kind to others!

Thank you for reading! If you would like to support my blogging efforts, or donate to my training costs, please do so below: (or purchase an astrology or coaching session)

Donate to Kirby’s blogging efforts

For every $25 you donate, Kirby will write a blog post (article) on the topic of your choosing, within his areas of knowledge. Thank you!

$25.00

 

Comprehensive Natal Chart Interpretation

Kirby will spend 90 minutes interpreting your Natal Birth chart. You can chat about any area that you like. This includes printed charts and it also includes about 30 minutes of preparation time! These are typically done on the phone, via Skype or in person if you happen to be in Virginia, USA.

$135.00

 

1 Hour Coaching Session

Kirby offers a one hour session to discuss, explore and support your healing process. He utilizes information from various wisdom traditions - Spiritual Astrology (including Medical Astrology), holistic bodywork modalities, Birth Process Work and Energy Medicine. Both in person and long distance sessions offered.

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A few months ago, I was speaking with a loving relative, when I told her about being a rare male in the field of Pre- and Perinatal therapy (PPN), plus offering biodynamic craniosacral therapy, Polyvagal bodywork, spiritual astrology and Tibetan Buddhist practices. I doubt there are many people on the planet who can offer what I am able to.

And coming up in January, I am entering a massage school which is more of an Eastern school of medicine, a Heaven and Earth school, than a bare bones (no pun intended) kinesthetic anatomically oriented school. There we will focus heavily on acupressure, Shiatsu, Qigong, Tai Chi among other beneficial modalities.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about my wealth of modalities and skills. But sometimes it is tough to clarify what it is that I offer. Why would someone want to pay me $75 or $85 / hour? Especially if I don’t take health insurance. Therefore I don’t have enough clients, some months I struggle financially.

With that said, I am a pioneer. Whether it is in the PPN field (because this field is so cutting edge), or the helping-people-embody area (this is fairly new as well when we bring compassionate trauma resolution work into the picture), or looking at PPN topics in the astrology chart (not many people doing this either). The work I do with babies and mothers, of supporting the family in a biodynamic manner – assisting mother (and hopefully) father to slow down enough to come into the same awareness of organic pace that their baby is in, this work is also quite rare – it is birth process work (PPN again) with biodynamic craniosacral and Polyvagal (working with the nervous system) work informing it.

And I need to clarify, concisely and precisely, exactly what it is that I do. This is what my intention is over these next 6 to 12 months. How am I going to thrive on this planet? How am I going to attract what I want and need?

Energy follows intention. So I need to be clear at all times what my momentary and deeper intentions are. 🙂

I’m not sure what this blend of topics will look like. I suspect I will choose one or two and focus on them. And this massage school is a positive step in that direction.

Wish me luck! (and donate to my blogging efforts if you like)

Thanks for reading,

km

Donate to Kirby’s blogging efforts

For every $25 you donate, Kirby will write a blog post (article) on the topic of your choosing, within his areas of knowledge. Thank you!

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I want to write a post about how lucky I am to be one of my bodywork teacher’s senior students. Her name is Janet Evergreen. She is in her 60’s now, and she just, in a recent class, made a comment about starting to slow down how often she teaches her classes. This and her husband has been retired for a few years now, and they are ready to have some fun and travel. So I am yearning to take as many of her classes as possible to keep learning little tricks of the body-intelligent-mandala-oriented-heart-extension bodywork that she practices (those are my descriptions).

Just one example might be enough to explain how lucky I am to have met her and to be able to work with her for the past 12 years:

Some somatic experiences cannot be written about properly (but I will certainly try, ironic eh?). At least you will get a sense of how many layers we are tracking in her advanced classes.

I am on the massage table, about to get a treatment from one of Janet’s students, who has taken at least 3 classes with her (and I assisting).

She uses leg-arcing, a technique where you lift the legs and see where they want to go, follow the legs as they float. Then using the legs as a dowsing rod (basically), you look to see where in the torso they are pointing. We have tested this technique against acupuncturists measuring people’s organ pulses and gotten the same results.

So she wasn’t sure if the legs were indicating left lung or heart. I thought that sounded right.

I am going to fast forward (else this will be a ten thousand word diatribe about a 30 minute bodywork session). Suffice it to say that by this point, she had moved to sit at the head of the table with her arms over my chest, “listening” as it were to my lungs, mediastinum and heart and doing some movement to track both the motility and mobility of those organs. When she realized there was at least one sluggish point on my left lung where the tissue was kind of stuck, she got Janet’s attention to ask about it.

Janet came over and of course seemed to know what was needed before coming close to laying on of hands. She said, “Kirby, can you bring some micro movements into your body to bring some movement into your chest?” I was happy to oblige!

I started moving my arms and just making tiny movements of my belly and ribs. I wanted to double check – I asked, “the thumbs have the lung meridian on them right?” And yes, sure enough, they did.

Janet suggested, “Let your thumbs lead the movements.” By now my arms were gracefully weaving a pattern above my body, and then I started focusing on my thumbs. They started leading the little graceful dance above and off the sides of my torso, sometimes doing the same thing, and other times being dissonant.

Then Janet mentioned, “Let me hold those meridian points.” I should pause for a second and note that for at least ten years, Janet wove baskets when she and her family lived in West Virginia. And not just any baskets – she used oak, which means that her grip, even years after her basketweaving days, her grip is like having a clamp applied, or like vice grips. I noted this saying, “Wow. That is quite a hold you’ve got of my thumbs! What, did you used to weave baskets or something?” It was funny. And it kind of hurt – in a it hurts so good kind of manner.

I slowed down my movement, but the whole body movement from my thumbs continued. Sometimes my torso would lift off the table a bit, other times it was just my hands and arms moving. With Janet’s fingers attached to my thumbs, two little vice grips squeezing my lung meridians for dear life (or so it felt).

But something started to shift in my chest. As I moved from my thumbs, with the meridians being so stimulated, I could suddenly track the course of the meridian down my thumbs, running up the inside of my forearm, and then up the inside of my upper arms and close to my pectoral muscles into my chest. It was wild – warm lines were being drawn on me from the inside. Janet commented, “the right has settled down, but the left still has warmth coming off of it.” (Referring to my thumbs.) And she was right. My right lung was feeling open and calm and happy, while my left lung was still be bit tight or sluggish or sticky.

It just took a few more minutes of gracefully feeling through those meridians and dancing over my body with my arms. And I felt my left lung release, and so did Janet (through my lung meridians on my thumbs). And we both commented on it, she saying, “There it goes,” first.

She had been squeezing pretty good. So when she let go, I was left feeling the meridian lines for several minutes. She went on to squeeze my pinkies – the heart meridian in this case. And it was similar results. The practitioner still had her hands on my chest and was feeling and listening to my inner organs (through the ribs, through the fascia, etc).

Long story short. I had never felt my meridians come alive quite like that. It was another level of deepening of my learning.

I have experienced things in those bodywork classes (or retreats or meditation sessions) at her Sanctuary space that most people can’t even dream of, let alone talk about. I am so very fortunate. Maybe I have been Janet’s teacher in a past life, but I know she has been mine before.

Whatever the case may be, I thank my lucky stars that I have teachers and mentors in my life like her. Heart teachers who go above and beyond, who charge less than they could, who give back to their communities in so many different ways.

I intend to repay her kindness by teaching worthy students. They say that is the greatest way to repay a spiritual teacher (and by practicing what they have taught you). So I must practice self care. I must know that my heart has received valuable and precious transmissions which most people only wish for but never experience. And I must kindly hold my heart in the highest regard, not only because I (we all) have buddhanature coursing through me, but because I have been shown how to work with babies, children and adults in ways that most scientific health practitioners would scoff at (saying, “those results aren’t possible”). And then I intend to teach this material as well.

Advanced somatic therapies. That is a possible title, or like Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen, one of our heart teachers says, “Call it Process Buddhism” when asked how to describe what Janet does. That pretty much sums it up. 🙂

Yet again, thank you for reading,

km

 

 

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This is some of the wisdom I gleaned from my time in Canada, where I spent 2-weeks at a birth process work intensive workshop. Then I taught a 3-day workshop on Salt Spring Island on working with babies (primarily from a Craniosacral perspective, but we definitely included a lot of Polyvagal tracking of the autonomic nervous system and wisdom and techniques from the birth process work / pre- and perinatal therapy arena). I realize that previous sentence might have a few words in it which could be unpacked. See below for links.

First of all, I have been studying bodywork since 2003 starting with Reiki energetic healing.  Every year or two, I added another modality to my repertoire, including Zapchen Somatics, Spiritual Astrology, Craniosacral Therapy (both biomechanical and biodynamic), Polyvagal work, birth process work, etc. Such that, for the past 12 years or more, I have mostly been heading toward appropriate self-care and moving toward health. I have been confronting patterns of stagnation, depletion and negativity along the way. And what this all means is that, even if I wanted to avoid health, right now that would be difficult. I have a full Jupiter return of health and well-wishing toward myself under my belt. In other words, I don’t exactly know what is next for me, but I know it will be good. I am not bragging – I still have my ups and downs. But when we put the causes and conditions into place, we can (mostly) control the result.

I really deepened my awareness of the energetic field while in Canada. Now, it did not all come at once – I have pretty much been able to sense these things in the past, but now I am very confident in my ability to discern what is mine from what is arising in the field. I am able to name what I am sensing, and I am now quite accurate, which is awesome. What does this mean? Here is an example: maybe I am working on someone (bodywork), they have had several sessions with me and they are looking to deepen their experience. I am hearing a good mother message in my mind. See the Ray Castellino or Myrna Martin links below for more on good mother messages. Back to the example: I am hearing in my mind, “I love you for who you are, not for what you do.” I ask my client if it is okay if I share something personal with them. They usually say yes. And sometimes it is so resourcing for the client’s little one (younger parts of themselves who may not have gotten all of their needs met). Occasionally mentioning a good mother message goes right to the heart of the issue, and their tissue will change rapidly under my hand when I have them say the message to their little one. Sometimes it will cause a cathartic reaction – they might start crying as I hit on a vulnerable area with this message. And we take the time to resource these younger (potentially wounded) parts of them. It is not a rapid process of healing overnight, but we go slow and this work sticks. Over 5 or 7 sessions, we move some energy which may have been stuck for a long time. And typically it helps that I can read the energetic field with ease now.

I became a lot clearer about double binds. I know when a client mentions one now. Previously, I could feel the confusion in the tissue, or the stuck-ness and know, “Hey, I think we are on a double bind.” But that might have been all I could do a year ago. Now, I can pinpoint both sides of the double bind and assist my clients through these deep conflicts. It really requires bringing their little parts along as well. One thing that Myrna Martin mentioned (she led the 2-week intensive) that really stuck with me is this: when we attempt to remedy a symptom that derives from unmet developmental needs, we have to bring those younger parts along with us, or they will feel threatened. Below is an example: (I would first recommend wiggling some toes, feeling your feet and legs, noticing your seat and pelvis, what are you sitting on and where do you feel that contact? And finally notice your breath. Maybe take a deep breath now.)

Let’s say we want to rid ourselves of anxiety which cropped up a few years ago. Now we might think that this issue is more recent and has nothing to do with the past and our younger days. However, what if our mother or father had serious anxiety problems? What if it took some major stressor to kick us into anxiety which was sort of dormant since we were born? If this anxiety issue does stem back to a young part who did not get all of their needs met (in spite of our parents’ doing the absolute best they could!), then that young part is probably kind of stuck somewhere in processing that unmet need. And likewise, that young part only knows about whatever was causing their anxiety. And if we try to fix the anxiety without including the younger parts in the process, these younger parts will feel like we are trying to stifle them or worse, kill them.  And sometimes this will make the symptom (in this case, anxiety) worse!

[Ever been to a chiropractor for a neck or back issue that always comes back no matter how many sessions you go to? Well guess what? It is possible that is a birth issue trying to complete, but without ever bringing awareness of the baby parts of ourselves into the process, it will never have the chance to complete! I love chiropractors and I go to see a network practitioner myself here in Charlottesville. I’m not trying to single them out at all. This analogy applies to many doctors, psychotherapists, nutritionists, etc etc. Sometimes we need to do a few months of birth process work to really get at the core of an issue.]

What all of this adds up to is this, I am much more confident in working with people of all ages. I taught a workshop in working with babies and I ended up working with newborns, infants and toddlers. And I am much more confident in offering long-distance work. I have been taught (by a different teacher) how to discern in my body what a distance client is noticing and how to slowly move them back toward health and well-being.

I was gone off and on for most of the summer, so I am looking to build up my practice again. So whether you are in Central Virginia and you can see me in person or you would be a long-distance client, I am happy to discuss working together.

Keep in mind I am an Embodiment Coach and a certified bodyworker. I am not a psychotherapist. If you have a mental health or psychiatric issue, make certain you are working with a license medical practitioner first.

Craniosacral – https://www.craniosacraltherapy.org

Polyvagal work – https://traumahealing.org

http://www.somaticpractice.net

Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (aka Birth Process Work) – http://www.castellinotraining.com

http://myrnamartin.net 

https://www.ppncenter.com

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Thursday morning:

I’m a little nervous and activated as I will both be giving talks about the Autonomic Nervous System, Trauma Resolution and Birth Trauma (repair) and I will be giving treatments as well on Thursday and Friday.

I wake up early, getting things together in order to head down to Clifton Forge (90 minute drive from C’ville).  A friend calls me and says that she is in need of a treatment (little crisis has occurred).  Fortunately it is on my way out of town.

I pack my car and drive over to her place.  Give a nice 45 minute treatment, then drive a short distance to pick up another friend’s massage table which I was borrowing for the weekend.  One fire is moderately extinguished.

I did not do the greatest job of staying centered and in alignment.  I think my body knew what was coming before I did (tends to be the case).  When we listen carefully to what our body’s are saying, we can slow down and approach things with care and appreciation of what we are getting ourselves into.  Driving down on Interstate 81, I am caught in traffic for about 15 minutes as we wait for an accident to clear.  A part of me is starting to rush as I am now 45 minutes later than I expected.

I arrived at 1 pm down there.  It is beautiful.  On the Cowpasture River (small river but very clean and very good for swimming / soaking in).  So serene in the hills of the Shenandoah Valley.

By 2 pm I am set up and I start giving treatments.  I am mainly doing trauma resolution / birth process type work.  Which, in hindsight, was a bit much.  The yoga teacher talked up my practice and my skills (of course I am capable of giving someone an intense session, it is just a matter of whether or not that is wise).

[Aside – I am a very competent bodyworker having studied Reiki (master), a little Zero Balancing, a little Reflexology, Visceral Manipulation, a lot of Craniosacral Therapy, a good bit of Polyvagal trauma resolution and a decent amount of birth process work.  However, what I learned from this visit down to the yoga retreat, is that I need to provide a thorough Intake Form ahead of time.  And I only want to offer deeper work to people who have good support – bodyworkers, therapy, doctors, acupuncturists, etc – back home.  If I am going to travel and give treatments, I need to be a supplement to a solid matrix of support that people already have in place.  I cannot hold this much heart ache on my own again.  So while I am “good” enough to give people intense bodywork sessions, I am now wise enough to know better.  If someone is new to bodywork, no deep work for them – instead it will be stabilizing, grounding, resourcing and exploring safety.  I want people to be safely in their bodies.  If / when they have stabilized this awareness, then we can talk about deepening their process.  I was getting paid quite well however, so it was tough to say no to people down there..]

At 5 pm I had give two sessions and taken a short nap before I gave an hour and a half talk about the ANS and how the body resources and regulates.  I also gave an instruction about Checking the Sphincters – a quick and easy technique from Visceral Manipulation.  I loved how sensitive most of the yoginis were down there – several people reported having rapidly improved digestion as a result of this technique.

Then I gave my fourth session of the day after dinner and I was so ready for bed by 9:30 pm.

We (the yoga teacher, her assistant and myself) stayed in a massive Air B&B house in Clifton Forge – it had one of the steepest streets I have ever driven up leading up to it.  And it had extensive gardens and terraces outside.  When the instructor told me that the entire house (6 bedrooms?!) and gardens cost less than $200 / night I could not believe it.

Friday morning:

Woke up, did my own yoga (mainly Svaroopa Yoga, a gentle supported yin yoga) after not sleeping very well.  Then went downstairs and made breakfast.  I prepared some notes as today I was going to talk about Trauma Resolution and Repair.  Then I was back off to the Farm House as I had a session at 8 am…

Oh, I made some phone calls and got out of an appointment the next day, meaning I was able to stay down at the retreat for yet another day.

Did four sessions total on this day and I was spent.  I had to ask for support and thankfully a guy gave me a 15 minute Reiki tune-up and I showed another yogini how we can sit back to back (for kidney support) and then I showed her how to assist with kidney settling, a technique where one person does a short trust fall back and the person sitting behind them catches them with their hands at the kidney level.  It is best to be showed how to do this (don’t try this at home without previous instruction!).  But nonetheless, it proved very helpful as I got more sleep on this night.

Saturday morning:

I woke up and had to eat something heavier, so I reluctantly admit to eating a four-egg omelet!  Spinach and tomatoes topped that delicious thing off!!

Then another session at 8 am.  I would end up doing only 3 sessions on Saturday as that was my limit.  My body was close to turning off so I mentioned to the instructor that I would be heading back to Charlottesville soon – after I got a snack and a little rest.

I handed out little blessed, precious pills (mani ril bu in Tibetan).  They were calling me a Tibetan Lama but I told them that was not correct – I am not a Lama.  But I did act like one I suppose.  By the way, I told the participants about the miraculous way that some mani ril bu (precious pills) are formed.  During some mani drupchen retreats, when there are many monks and nuns doing the practice and / or when a high lama (like the Karmapa) is in attendance, there have been reports of the precious pills self-arising and spilling over the edge of their large containing bowl.  In other words, the pills miraculously appear and multiply.  So they are very VERY precious and special and full of amazing blessings.  These precious pills are tiny – about the size of a grape seed each.  I have a small package with about 300 in it and it fits in my pocket.  They are little tiny balls of powerful blessings.

With that said, and as a vulgar and humorous anecdote, I gave all the yogis (2) and yoginis (16) several precious pills each, I gave everyone a hug and said my goodbyes.  Then I started loading up my car.  In my over-treated stupor, I did not realize they were about to hand out certificates and say some beautiful intentions for the upcoming months.

Upon hearing them starting this ceremony, I went back up on the porch.  Where, to my surprise, one young woman went up to receive her certificate, and then, as she was about to voice her intention, she said, “I’m sorry, I still have Kirby’s balls in my mouth.”  I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped several inches as I thought to myself, “Wow, this weekend was going so well, very professionally, and then this.”  Anyway, it was really funny in the moment!  I listened to about six or seven of them wrap up with their intentions and what they were trying to give up over the next year.  Very powerful and poetic and magical.

I’m so glad I went and participated.  There is a chance I might get to participate in other similar retreats in the upcoming year (if I am still in the area).

http://www.katiesilcox.com

Fortunately the drive back was uneventful.  I stopped by my parent’s home as it is about halfway between Clifton Forge and Charlottesville.  And fortunately my Mom had fixed meatballs – heavy food, heavy sauce, it was so perfect to get me back in my body!

Thanks for reading!

~kirby

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I am going to write about how clarity can arise during meditation.  And it can also arise when we are offering bodywork.

Garchen Rinpoche is one of my heart teachers.  He is one of the few individuals on the planet who I honestly think, loves everyone and everything around him.  He is the embodiment of loving-kindness in my eyes.  And he is more than that as well, his wisdom fire is vast and deep, so he also embodies the wisdom-gnosis of Manjushri.  If I get the chance to attend his teachings, I make every attempt to go.

In a recent post of one of his teachings, he mentions that with devotion to the Guru or to one’s root lama, that clarity can arise when we meditate.  If we have the dedication of years of practice, and if we are truly devoted to our heart teacher, then clarity can easily arise when we do Guru Yoga or offer a Tsok feast and Lama Chopa practice (offering a delicious feast to the blessing-bestowing lineage holders of one’s particular Tibetan Buddhist lineage).  If we have a question, we might not need to ask our root lama in person, unless it is easy.  [Of course it is good to check in from time to time to make certain we are not being blown about by the winds of delusion]  Rather, if we have a question, we can ask it at the beginning of a meditation session or before we do Guru Yoga, and Garchen Rinpoche says that by the next morning, we might have our answer.

I believe there are some definite parallels between meditation and doing professional, compassionate, skillful, ethical bodywork.  I personally practice Craniosacral Therapy, I work with a little bit of trauma resolution by working with the Vagus nerve and the Polyvagal system and I am starting to get into Pre- and Perinatal therapy (PPN therapy) and Birth Process work.  I have been giving and receiving bodywork for over 12 years now, and I feel that the levels of embodiment I am discovering are very difficult to describe in words and that my body communicates with me on a regular basis.

If we are doing bodywork and something comes up in the session, we can get to the point where we can ask our own bodies – “what is going on here?”  And we can get a definite, accurate answer.

Here is an example of this:

I was giving a treatment a little while ago when I started to feel the client’s pain coming out into my hands.  This can occur anytime someone has emotional or physical trauma and we as healing facilitators are both wishing them well and attempting to get their body to release old stuff.

The problem with the above situation though, is that I want to be able to give a treatment session and have some energy remaining to enjoy my day.  I want to be able to give at least four treatments in a day without feeling drained.  So if I am starting to take on my client’s stuff, I have to pause and notice the yellow flags my body is raising.  “Hello Kirby – do you really want to continue down this path?”  No, I don’t.

Therefore, I paused and asked my body – specifically my gut and my kidneys, “What do I need to know right now?  Why am I taking on this person’s stuff?”

And it was pretty wild.  I got an instant response of, “There is nothing to do, nothing to fix, nothing to make [as healing facilitator].  I am merely connecting to this person’s innate health which is never lost.”  I stated something like this out loud – that their body knows how to heal itself and that I am just coaching their process.

And within seconds, I stopped taking on anything from this person, despite my hands remaining on them the whole time.  I got them to do a little technique to move the energy through and out of their body (without me as middle man!) and they deeply appreciated the session.

It is always good to remind ourselves of the basics.  Going back from time to time to review the basics is very helpful for me.

I think I was taking on this person’s stuff because I had temporarily fallen back into an old pattern of trying to help or fix one of my parents (an old pattern of mine).  Once I named and noticed it and shifted my intention and my awareness, I was able to no longer be hooked by my old pattern.

Likewise, we can get questions answered when we sit on the meditation cushion.  Or we can answer our questions (sometimes instantly) by having years of experience working with our bodies and having a tradition enhanced with wisdom to lean into.  In other words, we can bring meditation into various contexts we are working in.

Thank you for reading!

~km

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