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Archive for the ‘For Clients’ Category

Hello again dear readers,

I have been busy with clients, practicing modalities and studying to complete a final assignment for massage school, hence my not writing on here much recently.

With that said though, I have gotten in about 35 practice treatments in the past four weeks! Which is so great! While many people ask for Swedish Massage, I have actually been very fortunate to be trying out a number of the techniques I learned and more. I have done a lot of Integrated treatments involving multiple modalities. So each session (Integrated) is pretty much unique and extremely creative! Therefore I am loving this work!

No, I’m not quite sure where I will take this bodywork down the road. But one thing I do know is if I have a choice, doing Hot Stones massage will be one of my specialties.

When I am working with someone sensitive to energy (or crystals or stones or Chi Kung or Yoga or Craniosacral work, etc), I can literally feel the stones getting excited to go to work. They love to warm up and work with people’s bodies – energy bodies, physical, emotional bodies, etc. I have only done a handful of Hot Stones treatments since being back and yet I get the feeling (backed up by some sensitive clients) that the stones love working with me! And the feeling is mutual!

Considering they were mainly sitting in an office previously (I’m not sure how often they were being cleaned), I think I know why the stones might love doing this work. Its because I do at least five types of clearing / cleaning of the stones (once a month at least):

  1. Soak the stones in Epsom salts (after each use)
  2. Clean the stones with light, mild soap (after each use)
  3. Smudge the stones with Blue Sage (smoke – once / month)
  4. add a few drops of Palo Santo essential oil to the stones (very purifying and sacred oil – once / month)
  5. put the stones in a mesh bag and put them in a Chi-rich mountain stream for a few hours (once or twice / month)
  6. finally I allow the stones to soak up the rays of the Full Moon (if it is not raining – obviously once / month)

If you have not read previous posts in the past few months, you might want to go back through and read about my time in Massage School – where I deepened my connection to nature, to the Stone people, with Plant spirits and with the sacredness of offering bodywork in general. Which is a good segue into what I am going to mention next.

Giving the stones a chance is extremely important. They have much potent medicine in them. They can help to free up stuck energy (because the particular technique I was taught uses special tapping sequences along certain Acupressure / Acupuncture meridians), they can soak up tension and malaise as you lie on them and they can rub out worry and fear as we use various strokes with the stones.

What I mean by giving them a chance is that they can and will communicate with us if we are open to it. And fake it until it actually starts to happen if it doesn’t seem to be working! Rarely I will have an idea of where I want to put a stone – for instance tucking it under a thigh or foot, but then the stone will tell me it prefers to be somewhere else! (Rarely does this occur.)

So if you live in or near Charlottesville or Central Virginia, look me up, leave a comment here about setting up a Hot Stones treatment! I am offering discounted sessions for another few weeks – I need to get in another five practice sessions at least – help me out please! ūüôā

Thank you for reading!

~gratefully, KM

Donation to Kirby‚Äôs blogging efforts

Hi dear Readers, Help me buy tea so I can continue blogging. So if you enjoy what you are reading, please make a little donation. Thank you very much!

$10.00

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I received this incredible Hot Stones massage / treatment two nights ago and it moved me, seriously, I definitely felt a strong connection to those stones! This technique was created by a shaman here in Colorado. Although there are a number of similarities to the La Stones treatment (as all Hot Stone massages would be).

The shaman’s name is Christopher Beaver. He is very reclusive and keeps his shamanic work out of the mainstream media and off-line. But when he was a child, I think the story goes something like 5-years-old, he started speaking in a strange dialect. His parents had no clue what he was saying. After taking him (their child) to many linguistic professors and speech therapists, eventually someone said what he was speaking sounded like it was Native American (which could be one of several hundred languages!).

The story continues by saying that his parents took him to dozens of tribes and councils with no luck – no one knew what language this child was speaking. Eventually (a couple years later), they took him to a Choctaw council. Christopher spoke and none of the chiefs or elders present knew what he was saying. But apparently another elder showed up the next day and listened to the child speak in his rare dialect. The elder said that what he was speaking was not today’s version of the language but that the elder recognized that Christopher was speaking a dialect of Choctaw from 300 years ago.

It was eventually determined that Christopher was the reincarnation of a well-known Choctaw medicine man from 300 years ago or more. And it was eventually discovered that he could go into trance and discover answers to people’s questions that he had no reason to know.

Therefore, early in his 20’s, Christopher started taking on students. He teaches in many varied manners and he is interested in many things – artwork, jewelry-making, philosophy, shamanism (obviously), Buddhism, etc.

One such teaching that he gave was to one of the teachers here at the Massage School I am attending. In fact, she is the main teacher of this method now – Christopher sends people to her if they want to learn this technique.

The technique involves the use of Hot Stones, Swedish Massage techniques, Essential Oils and Acupressure knowledge – working with the meridians from Chinese Medicine and the Chakras.

She gave me this treatment two nights ago. And it rocked my world – I had visions, I stayed awake the entire time, I had an amazing array of dreams that night (I somehow remembered six dreams and wrote them all down – a high number for me) and I felt so so clear that night and following day. The treatment only lasted 75 minutes or so from the time she put hands on to hands off – 90 minutes including in-take and brief chat afterward.

Oh – and I had treated a client earlier that day who has Parkinson’s and it drained me a bit to work with him for 90 minutes. Great guy – I am just very sensitive and at times I am a bit of an empath, so I took on a bit of what may not have been mine. After the Hot Stones treatment, I felt completely rejuvenated and clear!

I am SO looking forward to learning this method. A friend has said she will gift me some hot stones when I get back to Virginia in a month plus. And I am very excited to practice this technique once I get the stones! ūüôā

Let me know if you live in Virginia and are interested in having me practice on you. I will charge a reduced rate for the first 10 sessions I give. After that, I will be charging at least $150 for a 90 minute treatment because we have to wash the stones after each treatment and then soak them in Epson Salts. Plus these sessions also use expensive Essential Oils and Oil Blends. But even at $200, I would pay this in a heart beat to receive this treatment again!

Thank you for reading,

~km

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It is quite amazing how little adjustments can make a huge difference.

Since I returned from Canada, I have gone through my nursing school books and notes and I recycled hundreds of pages which were just sitting on my shelf gathering dust. By moving all of those nursing books further away (because I am heavily leaning towards not going back to finish nursing), I felt a massive burden lift off my chest and shoulders. It was wild. I had been sitting with the dilemma of whether or not to go back and attempt nursing school again, for 8 months! And by sorting through that stuff, I made the decision on a somatic level. My head is still is a little wonky about it – I suspect a double bind is rearing its ugly head saying, “If you aren’t successful, people won’t respect you.” Or some such garbage – who cares about other people’s respect? I want for me to be content first and foremost. Then I might concern myself with other people’s reactions.

And I have been avoiding (consciously) an old acquaintance who, in the past, when I spent time with him, I always felt something was off. Turns out that his boundaries are not the greatest. The I Ching occasionally points out that spending time around people who are too resistant to change or to learning is a massive energetic drain. Any good psychology teacher would say this too. And that is what was happening with this person. I care about him and his family, but I am no longer going to spend one-on-one time with him and bring myself back to an earlier pattern of superficiality in the pretense of an authentic relationship. I am done twisting myself up into a pretzel to fit in with a tension field which I have no control over. In other words, when I feel certain somatic signals, it is time to get myself out of Dodge. I realize this paragraph might not make the greatest amount of sense if you don’t have a somatic background, but feel free to leave a comment if you need clarification.

Nonetheless, by clearing out stagnating energy or people from my life, I have made room for ease and grace and abundance. Nothing to force, nothing to make, nothing to tees into existence. I am (mostly) content with the way things are. Yes some days I still want things a certain way, but eventually I remember this simple practice:

Body rests like a mountain.

Breath like the ocean.

Heart like the sky.

(from Julie Henderson, PhD)

Thanks for reading!

May all beings know ease and grace.

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A friend just asked me, what is going on in the astrological skies?  At first I thought to myself, not much.  Pluto is not aspecting other major planets, neither is Uranus.  But then I realized that Neptune is indeed not quiet.  It is making a square to Saturn and has been off and on for at least the past 6 months.  It is strong again now as Saturn prepares to push past the square, until it comes to make a conjunction in late Pisces, 8 to 9 years from now.

So what does Saturn square Neptune mean?  And we could go even more subtle and ask what does the 2nd square mean (when Saturn starts to travel toward the conjunction)?

We can also peek at the signs and qualities involved. ¬†Sagittarius and Pisces, both mutable signs. ¬† For now however, let’s stick with the first question.

Saturn square Neptune: nuances flavors essences. ¬†Saturn is the disciplinarian and “he” gets a bad rap at times. ¬†But as I have mentioned in previous posts and articles, Saturn is vital for our society and vital for our inner growth. ¬†It is the structure around which the other energies of the chart flow. ¬†Saturn rules the bones and hard structures in the body and likewise without Saturn, the astrology chart might rapidly collapse. ¬†And then there is Neptune.

Neptune rules the swirling, churning, tidal oceans of emotion and creativity. ¬†He indicates mystical or psychic ability when positively aspects certain planets, and Neptune will indicate deception, delusion or illusion when making hard aspects with other planets. ¬†Some astrologers even say that Neptune symbolizes the entirety of the unconscious and therefore Neptune will play some role in all aspects of the mind – thinking, intuition, feeling, etc. ¬†Therefore Neptune goes really really deep. ¬†Things emerge out of the oceanic collective unconscious and disappear back into it. ¬†Therefore Neptune may even play a part in life and death myths. ¬†(To keep this post close to 1,000 words, I won’t say too much here.)

Saturn wants to build up a personality.  And if the individual has to have more alone time, then so be it.  You rarely find a CEO or General Manager who has a lot of friends on equal footing.  More like a social butterfly who has learned to smile whenever it is needed.  The ambition (Saturn) is far more important than the substance of their relationships.

Neptune is actually quite the opposite.  Neptune says, let me sacrifice my own desires and personal achievement for the good of the collective whole.  Neptune would rather set himself on fire than cause a lot of harm to the people around him (say by laying off a whole bunch of employees as a CEO).  Neptune and Saturn are basically opposites in a number of ways.

Saturn’s shadow is workaholism and too much structure and rigidity. ¬†Think of the shadow aspects of Capricorn and Aquarius (Saturn is basically a co-ruler here, after Uranus of course). ¬†Cold, harsh efficiency. ¬†A machine as far as optimal function and productivity are concerned. ¬†The empirical scientist who turns and runs as soon as certain emotions are brought up or displayed. ¬†Saturn loves the cold, hard facts. ¬†Research and realism are Saturn’s domain. ¬†He must learn to build in some heart and warmth and loving and kindness – and relaxing ease. ¬†Take a vacation, no structure to the days and do some art when the urge strikes you (Saturn might have a difficult time with this at first).

Neptune on the other hand, his shadow is escapism. ¬†Plain and simple. ¬†Escaping from the fact that drugs were used at the person’s birth (this might show up as Neptune conjunct the Ascendant or Moon). ¬†If this was the case, it could lead to the individual being really really good at dissociating from their body. ¬†Neptune loves colorful romance and idealized rose-colored-glasses wearing fairy tales. ¬†Neptune inspires the poets and the lovers and the artists and the playwrights. ¬†Just make sure that deceit and delusion do not follow along with those artistic endeavors (substance abuse anyone – Neptune’s calling card).

So what can happen when Saturn’s realism confronts Neptune’s desire for escaping into the collective unconscious? ¬†Sacrifice is one possible outcome. ¬†Honestly it depends on what this configuration is falling on in an individual’s chart. ¬†If Saturn is making a square aspect to Neptune in the sky above, but in your personal birth horoscope it is not actually touching anything (not in orb with any aspects to your personal planets) then you might not notice much at all.

However, if Saturn is making the square to Neptune above and in your personal astrology chart it is (the transit of these two planets) aspecting your Mars – maybe Neptune is conjunct your Mars by transit and therefore Saturn is also making a square to Mars, then you are bound to feel this energy. ¬†In this case you might temporarily sacrifice your ability to stand up for your needs and your desires. ¬†As the Saturn / Neptune square basically can last for 2 to 3 years, this might indicate that initially, you are making sacrifices and chewing on some old deep piece (subconsciously) and then once this aspect has been going a while you learn to stand up for yourself. ¬†You do the healing indicated by Mar’s position and sign and aspects in your chart. ¬†Maybe you overcome some self-doubt (if your natal Mars is making a hard aspect to Saturn or Neptune) or you overcome some early developmental piece through further learning and emotional process work.

Sometimes Saturn / Neptune hard aspects can indicate that Saturn is supplying Neptune’s active imagination with grist for self-doubt and worst-case-scenarios type of thinking. ¬†If this is happening, I might suggest yoga or bodywork or mindful exercise (Tai Chi, Chi Kung, martial arts, swimming perhaps) to come back into your body. ¬†This might especially be the case if this Saturn / Neptune aspect falls on or near Mercury or the Moon.

From a medical astrology standpoint (and I must make the disclaimer here that if you have a health issue, please take it right away to your nearest trusted licensed health care provider! *** seriously, I’m not a doctor ***), Neptune and Saturn can indicate a fascinating series of events as well. ¬†Neptune can cloud health issues – you might go to the doctor with Neptune conjunct your Sun or Moon and the doctor doesn’t understand you correctly or shrugs your issue off as not being that serious (or if Mercury is also retrograde) reads your test results wrong – which can either be a disaster or an error that leads to your eventually getting good news after a bout of worrying. Neptune can throw a wrench in the medical astrology works. ¬†And then there is Saturn.

Saturn can indicate a lowering of the immune system for a number of reasons Рover-work, too much stress (may be you have been the primary caretaker for your aging parent for 6 months now and you are starting to get exhausted), etc.  When Saturn crosses the Ascendant, this is usually when we get a longer bout with a flu virus or other disease that comes from the immune system dropping temporarily.  This is especially true with Saturn conjunct the Ascendant, Sun or Moon (or making a square).  And if Neptune gets involved with these three planets / influences as well, there is sure to be an interesting few months of health ups and downs.

So to conclude this piece, Saturn and Neptune make for very interesting (and basically polar opposite) bedfellows.  Saturn is the solitary leader, the one blazing a new trail or climbing the career ladder.  Neptune is the delicate artist who is sensitive to very subtle layers of emotion and energy.  Neptune can sometimes indicate healing abilities Рat least energetically (especially with a well-placed and well-aspected Chiron).  They both have interesting and varied forms of shadow sides.  And when they get together, growth and insight are likely Рbut it is through some suffering or sacrifice or suppression for a time.

Many things are possible when these two get together.  And thankfully, they have been close to each other for close to a year and now are starting to go their separate ways.  Astrology is a complicated subject and it is good to have a qualified astrologer look at your chart to take into consideration all the nuances and aspects.

Thanks for reading!

~km

 

 

 

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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 Рwhich 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 Рjust 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 РI 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 РI 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 Рwe 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 РCraniosacral 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 Рtwo 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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I have observed my relationship to Tibetan Buddhism (and Buddhism in general) mostly wax over the past 9 to 13 years, with a little bit of waning. ¬†And in that time, I dove in deep and yet I am still understanding new realizations everyday. ¬†Because I dove in so deep, my current realization does not shatter the earth or boggle the mind, but it is more of the subtle type of “Ah-ha!”

I am understanding more about the concept that most Westerners have been spending all of their time worried about the material realm Рgetting ahead, going to school, earning, churning, burning money.  Why?  Because our culture says to, and because they mistakenly believe that having every possession (or plastic surgery or fashionable toy dog etc) leads to happiness.  And this time spent in the material realm is known as the Compassion side of the Wisdom / Compassion balance.  Most mainstream Westerners do not spend much time in the Wisdom sphere Рmeditating, working with spiritual teachers, doing truly cathartic psychological work on themselves (sure we do what we must to get by, but a lot of mainstream types avoid the discomfort of elective process-oriented psychotherapy or bodywork as much as possible Рso we tend to only do the psychological work when there is a crisis or sickness Рwhen it is a necessity).

I am not like most mainstream Westerners (in case you are not a follower of my blog or if you did not notice that fact). ¬†I was raised Christian but I always knew in my heart that that religion was not complete (enough), that it did not go deep enough for me, that it was not the faith in which I felt at home. ¬†Sure being Christian is probably better (due to having a moral compass) than being an anarchist atheist, but I have always known that something else existed beyond Christianity’s limits. ¬†And I think this is the reason my mother says that I have always been Buddhist, while it was only in 2002 that I encountered Zen Buddhism and I started meditating, and it was in 2006 that I met my heart teachers in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. ¬†And then I felt at home and began to do (efficacious) spiritual practice in earnest.

Aside from my religious leanings, I am also not like most mainstream Westerners because I have always felt guilty when I did not do my spiritual practices. ¬†I feel guilty if I “waste” a day resting and reading and watching movies without doing any formal Buddhist practice. ¬†But self-care is vital. ¬†And I believe that guilt is going away with this new realization.

I watched a documentary on some of the Dalai Lama’s students, and the beautiful thing was that they spoke about His Holiness’ emphasis on staying in the world and practicing compassion alongside wisdom. ¬†I suspect it is a small select few people who get told – “You must go into retreat! ¬†Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, go sit now! ¬†And here is the retreat master to study with…”

As an astrological aside, if someone has a North Node (of the Moon) in Pisces or in the 8th house, then that person might be needing to get their butts on a meditation cushion.  They might be the type to be told to go into retreat quickly Рforsake the worldly householder life.  But for the most part, the rest of us need to stay put in the world and do spiritual practice as we benefit others IN THE WORLD.

My North Node is in the 2nd House, which means the South Node is in the 8th.  I am coming from recent previous incarnations where I was the spiritual person in the community РI was the medicine man or the monk or the nun or the Brahmin, whatever you want to call it.  I relied on my tribe to support me as I strove toward Wisdom, leaving Compassion for another time.  This explains why I have always yearned to do retreat.  I love spending time with my root Lama РDrupon Thinley Ningpo.  I would do any retreat he was leading if I had the time.

But even my root Lama said to me that I should get a good paying job in order to support a family and support my spiritual practice in the future.  He suggested I become a nurse.  I resisted that advice for about a year (because I wanted it to come from my heart) and now I feel fully in control and fully confident that that is the right thing to do for me and for my path, and it is coming from my being.

And because nursing school is so tough, there are some days that I can only go do clinical work in the hospital for 8 hours and then come home and nap.  And then I have to study or work on care plans.  There is an avalanche of assignments which I can barely stay in front of.  And there is less and less guilt about missing time on my meditation cushion.

In fact, learning how to be of benefit to others, but helping to heal the sick or at least provide comfort to those ailing, this is a spiritual practice.  This is the Compassion side of the balance.  Sure as a busy nurse, I will rarely if ever get time to meditate in the hospital, but if I am being of benefit to others, while causing very little harm to myself or others, then this is the highest form of right livelihood there is.  And this is what I must be doing right now.

So if I were to die tomorrow (knock on wood, hoping that is not the case), I would be fairly content with my life.  I yearned and pulled and struggled to get more Wisdom time into my life, I even had the good fortune to be able to attend dozens of Buddhist retreats between 2006 and 2012 (see all my posts in the Dharma category of this blog).  But now I realize that I need more Compassion time.  It is time to be present with others, to start a family, and to be a mentor to younger practitioners and sentient beings.  Maybe when I am 60 years old, I can do a longer retreat.  For now though, get through nursing school, make some money, and do the rarer formal practice on the side, when I can.

Kindness to self means realizing when to practice more Compassion and when to practice more Wisdom. ¬†Speaking to a wise spiritual teacher can help you to know which would be better for you on a higher level (many people unfortunately struggle against their heart’s true desires – you see it in almost every spiritual community). ¬†And perhaps knowing your astrology chart really well could also shine some light on this fine balancing act.

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

~Kirby Moore

Konchog Chakchen

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