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Archive for the ‘Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy’ Category

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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Hello my dear readers,

I have been more active in blogging in days past, but I hope to continue to post juicy articles on Astrology, Emotional-process-oriented bodywork, Craniosacral therapy and the Buddha-Dharma.  I am staying busy with nursing school, so perhaps there will be some posts from that genre as well.

I am asking for donations to my PayPal account to keep this blog going.  I don’t need much.  $99+ will keep this blog going for a year, and then another $100 will keep my website up.  If anyone donates over $75, I will give them a free 60-minute Spiritual Astrology interpretation or if you are in the Central Virginia area, I will give you a 75-minute Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy treatment.

I would like suggestions on how to fund my writing projects without my spending money hosting free blogs.  In other words, my time is quite valuable and I need to be compensated for it.  If you want to donate $$, my paypal account is at mkirbymoore [at] gmail.com

Thank you and happy holidays!

Kirby

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If readers are interested, I am going to be slowly going through my journal and detailing what we did each day.  Of course some information about other people’s (participants) turns is confidential, I will just be describing my experience and my reactions and my thoughts on the process.

Day 1 – Monday.  We were a pretty large group – 17 including 3 teaching assistants and the 2 teachers (Myrna Martin and Ken Martin) plus 12 participants.  Therefore the morning was entirely taken up with 10 minute introductions and check-ins from each person.  In the afternoon, we chose beads to see which 6 person pod we would be a part of (for the entire 2 weeks) and then later we also chose beads to see which smaller group of 3 we would be a part of for the first week.  This group of 3 changed people for the second week.  We discussed what people needed to feel safe and comfortable, we discussed how much support was available there are the retreat – we could talk to the TA’s and the teachers at any point about our process.  A 10 or 15 minute check-in was easy and encouraged.  Also if we wanted, the TA’s were also available most evenings for an hour long session that we could pay additional for.

Most days we had delicious breakfast at 8 am, then occasionally we would have a snack around 10 am.  Then an organic delicious lunch was served at 12:30 pm.  There was almost always a break / snack time in the afternoon – 3:30 pm or so and then dinner was served at 6:30 pm.  The food was incredible and Andria did a wonderful job of accommodating at least 6 different food sensitivity needs – some people were vegetarians, others were grain free, one person was gluten free and others wanted to have at least 1 serving of meat per day, and so on!  To be honest though, I might go back just for the food (and the beautiful clean pure environment) it was so so so good!

Day 2 – Tuesday.  The morning was the first turn with Myrna.  Without having experienced a process workshop or one of her trainings, it will be difficult to describe fully what a turn looks like.  Also, each person’s turn is determined by their intention.  If someone’s intention is to explore their birth patterns in relationship to psychological boundaries, then the turn will almost always involve a re-birthing of sorts.  A turn might also explore conception and implantation without getting to the birth – we would have the chance to re-do the genetic coding of whether or not this world we live in is safe and comfortable and encouraging of exploration and play (vs. dangerous and survival is the only thing we can be concerned with!).  Some people’s turns explored adult type issues like boundaries with partners, boundaries with family of origin, etc.  Therefore there is no one way of doing a turn.

The process for determining whose turn it was, is very important and revealing and insightful as well.  First Myrna would ask, “is everyone here ready to support someone’s turn?”  And then she would ask, “who here knows it is not their turn today?”  Next we would get into checking in about how we feel about taking a turn if we did not raise our hands to that last question.  On several days, multiple people felt like it could be their turns, and we would negotiate about how we felt about taking that turn.  Only once did we have to choose a number between 1 and 20.  And on that day, both people we basically working with the same nuances of their birth process.  Therefore, in spite of not taking that particular turn, the other person felt like they too took a turn that day.  It was pretty amazing!

Once we knew whose turn it was, we went around affirming that it was our turn to everyone.  For some people, each of these steps could be a huge deal, and therefore we went slowly allowing for whatever wanted to arise to do so.

The first turn was extremely potent.  There was a little bit of a negotiation that took place to see whose turn it was but once we got started (knowing whose turn it was), it proceeded to deepen further and further.  It did not involve a re-birthing as far as I can recall.  But we all did somatic motions with our hands as toxic words and emotions were released and we “shoveled” that crap out the windows.  It was a big day of release and reclamation.

That afternoon we did what seemed like a relatively simple exercise involving ropes and cords.  We set up our little bubble of space and that was our boundary.  We could make it as large as we wanted to or as small as we liked.  And then we would explore having someone put their bubble nearby us.  And then we got to feel what it was like to have someone put something in our bubble without our permission.  For some reason, in spite of having done this exercise at least four or five times previously for various workshops, I found this exercise to be very activating!  I was a part of a group of 3 people who were fairly sensitive, so I think we all felt a lot during this playing with boundaries game.

It turned out that each afternoon we would do a different edgy – potentially-emotionally-charged exercise and our TA mentioned that each exercise could give rise to multiple turns (as in 3 hour turns).  They were that informative and insightful.

I think it was this day that we had a sushi bowl.  This was by far my favorite meal that we had at the intensive (I mentioned to some people there that if there was one food I could survive on for the rest of my life, it might be sushi!).

Each day built of the previous day as we were slowly building up to exploring our own conception and birth processes (in week 2).  Therefore just about everyone became more and more exhausted by the end of the first week and definitely once we got into the 2nd week.

By writing this, I feel that I am recollecting the beautiful energy and container and cohesion of the group I was a part of.  The principles of safety and saying no and contact etc created a marvelously safe and comfortable space for dropping deep into emotionally charged waters.  And frankly, that kind of container is extremely difficult to find in any kind of workshop or training!  (This is coming from someone who has done dozens of various types of retreats and workshops and trainings.)

Thanks for reading!

~km

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I have been having second thoughts about my trip to the Northwest, to train in pre- and perinatal psychology and birth process work.  It is going to be expensive (for me) as I fly to Spokane Washington, and then drive to Nelson Canada.  I will have to pay a dog-sitter, parking at the airport, tuition, food, etc.  It will be tough to leave our dog – Emma – who I have been enjoying spending time with (she keeps me in good shape by taking me for walks every day).

But I am resolved to go through with it, no matter how many tiny obstacles keep cropping up.  I am hoping to learn about my own personal birth process as this workshop will focus on conception, time in utero and the actual birth.  That is where it stops however – the developmental psychology pieces from birth onward are covered in the next workshop level!  But that is enough.  What little misunderstandings about my conception, about my parents, about my birth are holding me back?  What unconscious obstacles are preventing me from expressing the fullness of my loving heart?  These are questions I am hoping to uncover as I delve deeper into my psyche during this workshop.  Plus it will be spent with exceptionally good company.

I have done a previous Birth Process Workshop with the main teacher, Myrna Martin.  She is very knowledgable and skillful and compassionate and she is known as one of a half dozen highly trained experts in this field in North America.  You can visit her site below.

http://www.myrnamartin.net

Wish me luck on my journey!  And I wish that all sentient beings take a little provocative risk toward opening their hearts and leaving their comfort zones to learn and grow!

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So I have been setting the intention to work with infants for a solid week.  Not a lot of time.  But already a precious baby manifested.  A friend at work was shaking as she described her 3-week-old niece nearly suffocating on her own thick mucous – which she and the mother had to pump out to get her breathing easy again.  So I discovered an infant in need and I offered my services.

What services are those you might ask?  Emotional and physiological process work for babies.  Bodywork for infants – just listening and offering a safe space for the babies to show you what they need to release birth difficulties.  That is what.  I am not an expert, but I have been doing this work with adults for over 10 years now.  So fortunately it is not a huge step to translate that work to infants.  And I have a solid, skillful mentor.

I did hit one snag, one obstacle.  The mother does not speak English and my Spanish is poor at best.  Although I certainly learned a bit today!  There was a translator, but this presented a definite issue.  The mother was able to detach from me (and considering she did not know me prior to today) and focus on the translator.  I would have rather her stay more present to the baby and to my questions.  But I was flexible and I worked with the baby as best I could under the circumstances and she was very open to seeing what might transpire during the session.  Plus she gave me permission to discuss the session here on my blog (without any names being mentioned).

It went pretty well.  I checked the baby’s diaphragms (energetic vortices around the babies chest and tummy), checked the baby’s cerebral spinal pump – the action of pumping its cerebrospinal fluid, tracked its CS fluid as it flowed from cranium to sacrum and finally did a brief little unwinding as the baby showed me the spirals it had to make during its birth.

There was definite evidence that positive changes were happening.  The babies eyes seem to be brighter by the end of the session – maybe every clearer.  And during the unwinding and spiraling portion, the baby’s skin tone changed colors which I pointed out to the mother.

Unlike my mentor, I do not fully understand everything that the baby is trying to communicate with me.  And keep in mind, a 3-week-old cannot communicate verbally.  When you have laid your healing hands on 1,000 bodies, those bodies start to speak to you and you are able to listen and intuit the meaning.  That is what happened with this baby.  You can tell when it is in distress due to pupil dilation or fists clenched.  I did not have to deal with much of that today.  But I do need to ask questions of my teacher regarding the mother – I think she may have been dealing with her own psychological stuff (whether her own birth issues or developmentals, I do not know).  I would like to find some resources for her however to make her motherhood journey easier.

I did schedule another free well-baby check up for two weeks from now.

I love working with babies!  By the way, if you know any babies under the age of 18 months in the Central Virginia area that might benefit from a wellness baby treatment, let me know!

Thank you for reading!

~K

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For some reason, I have been avoiding this topic in principle for years.  That would be the topic of giving treatments to babies.

I’m not sure why – perhaps because babies seem so fragile, or because I would not want to have the parents asking me all sorts of questions when my mind is in intuitive bodywork mode.  It could also be because I have or had some unprocessed psychological stuff around my own birth and early upbringing (this is most likely the case).

My main bodywork teacher, Janet Evergreen, gives free treatments to newborns and any babies under 2 years of age.  She is possibly one of the most gifted spiritual healers on the East Coast of the United States.  And I do not say that lightly – I have had many teachers.  I have taken numerous empowerments and numerous Dharma teachings from many legitimate Tibetan lamas and yet Janet offers something unique, something a little bit different.  She is Buddhist, but she follows her heart.  She has a powerful root lama and yet she forges her own path at times.  She does not go by the book.  I do not quite know what to make of her.  But as far as teaching bodywork, there is no one else I would rather learn from.  (I have witnessed her work miracles with her clients in the most empowering way possible – we all have the ability to heal ourselves, and she does not want her students putting her on a high pedestal.)

She has been treating babies for years, and I have been taking her classes for years.  I have taken nearly all of her classes at least twice each – Craniosacral I, II, III, Supervision; Zapchen Somatics, Zapchen retreats, Advanced Zapchen 10-day retreats; Organs (visceral manipulation); Working with the Vagus system I, II.  I even joined a support group that she hosted for artists and bodyworkers and yogis and I was a part of that radically advanced and dynamic group for close to 3 years.  And this exhaustive list does not include the dozen of advanced Buddhist retreats that we were a part of together.  But I have never taken her Babies class.

Maybe I thought that I did not need to work with babies.  Maybe I thought that I would only be good at working with teenagers or adults (the populations I have had success with up to this point).

I have only worked with 3 or 4 babies with her – in 11 years of taking classes from her!

Yes, I fear that I have subconsciously been avoiding this topic.  Until today.

Today, I was blessed to be a part of treating two babies – two 6-week old baby boys.  The fact that they were baby boys resonates with me.  I was a baby boy once.  There is a baby boy part of me.  I, like other baby boys, do not wish, did not wish to hurt my mother during my long birth process.

Today we treated 2 babies in under 3 hours and I was a part of it!  I held the second baby’s occiput and helped with its rebirth process (where the baby is going through a re-do of its birth, how it spiraled its way out of the birth canal, pushing against the top of the womb with its legs).  They were miraculous treatments.  She did re-births with both babies.  She checks the dura tubes of the babies, the diaphragms, the vault holds, the vomer bone (because this has a lot to do with their ability to suck on a nipple), and the craniosacral pump – she listens for the spiral dynamics still in the birth memory of the cells and she follows the baby as they unwind any birth trauma that their bodies are willing to reveal at the time.  And she has many skills and knowledge (and wisdom) from working with Myrna Martin and pre- and perinatal psychology workshops.

It is a lot.  But babies are more flexible, more plastic, more able to change traumatic patterns within a few minutes.  Therefore they might be able to do a ton of releasing work in under an hour!

It is not a simple process.  Years of preparation and personal growth work have gone into her ability to do this.  She is not an ordinary human being.  Janet Evergreen is a dakini.  And (at the same time) she has a few human foibles (which she is working on).  But she is constantly working on herself and working to improve her classes and her teaching skills.

Somehow she combines the transcendent wisdom of the Buddha Dharma with the embodied wisdom of Zapchen and Continuum dynamics and Somatic Experiencing.  It is an amazing process which I am blessed to be a senior student of.

After working with babies today, I feel like I have discovered a new way to taking refuge (in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).  I do not say that lightly.  Taking refuge in the 3 Jewels is a sacred and rare path toward enlightenment and joyful bliss.  I loved working with babies.  I loved having my hands on babies.  I want to learn more.  I have much to learn.  But I am eager to get started.

I fear that I have been wasting much valuable time.  It is time to get an office space going.  To attract new clients and to put out the willingness to help new babies unwind their birth trauma (and generational trauma).  Babies are the future.  Babies are extremely pliable.  If I can hold self-care and wisdom and compassion and wide, spacious awareness; then the babies will respond positively and reveal how to unwind them into the health that is never lost.

I am excited and nervous and worried about this promise to my heart.  Walking my talk, removing all that is harmful from my path, living in embodied visceral wisdom is not easy, nor is it comfortable.  But that is why I have taken this incarnation.  I seek to have a meaningful life.

I wish for all sentient beings to know happiness and its causes.  I wish for all beings to never experience suffering.  I wish for all babies to be free from suffering and its causes.

May it be so.

(Thanks for reading!)

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If you are curious about what Process Buddhism is, then please go back to previous posts from December of 2008.  I attempt to describe this complex topic there.  Process Buddhism has elements from psychotherapy, Buddha-Dharma (Vajrayana), bodywork and trauma resolution among other potent, efficacious modalities.

Over the past few months, I had been suffering from some foggy-headedness as I was barely staying ahead of nursing school assignments and I was working full time.  Add to that watching the show Elementary and I had almost no time for me to rest down.  I was feeling a bit dissociative and I was on the verge of being overwhelmed almost daily.  So I called my friend and mentor and coach and bodywork teacher, someone who is a true spiritual healer, Janet Evergreen.  I have worked with her and taught workshops with her and learned from her since 2005 (in this lifetime).

When this new spring semester started, I was taking way too many classes and I did not use my few days of transition time very well, so when I started this semester of nursing classes, I was definitely overwhelmed.  Add to this a little health niggle I have been observing for a few months, and I was quite concerned that I could not handle my class load.

So I pressed the pause button on nursing school and I am taking care of me.  A part of me is / was quite pleased with this decision.  I am feeling more free and energized and relaxed.  And a part of me is conflicted – there was one class which is only offered in the spring, so by pressing the pause button, I am basically setting myself back a year.  This is disappointing.  I desperately need to rest and I believe I probably could have scraped by and at least made a “B” in that class.  I am still not entirely clear about my decision.

I knew I needed to “call in the big guns” as it were if I wanted to kick my old patterns and clear my head.

In my next post, I will go into detail about the session that I had.

So far, in the five days since, I am feeling more embodied, more potent, warmer and somehow more full.  Plus the pattern of beating myself up about withdrawing from that class is lessening.  I am practicing a little bit of metta loving-kindness everyday after that session and I am more in touch with my heart, gut, kidneys and body in general – more than I have been in months.

Therefore it was a great session.  Much needed.

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