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Archive for the ‘Metta Reiki’ 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

Donation to Kirby’s 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 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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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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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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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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I am writing this post 2 days after receiving my second full ZB session.  Go back and read my most recent post about Zero Balancing (ZB) if you haven’t already.

I should point out that off and on for the past 5 years, I have been dealing with neck stiffness.  Sometimes I even experience torticollis – a condition where muscle spasms high in my chest make it so I can’t turn my neck without having a lot of pain – and on those days, I have to turn my entire body to look a different direction.  Fortunately those days only come about twice a year or so.

Also, I’m the type of person who yearns for any kind of compassionate bodywork done by a skillful (or caring) practitioner – massage, Craniosacral, ZB, acupuncture, etc – count me in.  So if nothing else, these 3 free ZB treatments are providing excellent maintenance to keep my system more loose – softening my edges as it were.

I noticed several positive changes between this recent treatment and the first:

  1. First and foremost, my neck stiffness feels much different.  Overall I would say the level of discomfort has dropped at least 50%.  Not only that, but the texture of the pain has shifted.  Instead of being a full blown pervasive stiffness, it is now localized tenderness – like I am more aware of the few areas of discomfort.
  2. Second, I relaxed very deeply during the treatment.  I was grateful to Connie for being silent unless I was the one talking.  She would only say something if it was necessary or maybe once every 10 minutes.  This allowed me to drop much deeper into a relaxed, aware state.
  3. Off and on for the past couple of years, I think due to my being a waiter, I have noticed right shoulder discomfort when I move it in certain ways.  My range of motion is fine, but there is stiffness with certain regions of movement.  I think that is slightly shifting as well.

So far, I would say that ZB is approaching my body in a new beneficial manner.  I think it works with certain physiological AND emotional layers of the body.  It helps to bring awareness to the chest and ribs, breathing, and to the hips and legs, as well as the shoulders and neck.  And I think I might continue on with it – after my 3 free session, I intend to get 2 sessions of ZB per month.

And like I mentioned above, if nothing else, if ZB helps to abate the stiffness in my neck, I would go back every month!  When I get the torticollis, I am pretty much laid low for a day or two – if I have to go out, I literally look like a frankenstein’s monster  🙂   It is sad really.  So, I am grateful for what I am learning about my body from ZB – and I think a lot of that learning is happening subconsciously.

I must admit (for the sake of science), that there are several variables to be aware of (full disclosure):

I am staying massively busy with nursing school and work.  I wonder if I would notice even more breakthroughs with ZB if it weren’t for these large burdens on my shoulders.  Also, while I suspect ZB is what is responsible for my neck improvement, I can’t be 100% certain – correlation does not equal causation  🙂   But I am very certain about that – considering I am not doing much different over the past few weeks.

And I should point out that I am extremely sensitive to bodywork practitioners – if someone is not very conscious or aware or compassionate or caring, I feel that and I would not go back for a second or third treatment – even if it was free.  [Because in energy work – energy always flows from a higher source down to a lower source – like electricity or gravity.  So if I am significantly more energetically full than my bodyworker, then they would potentially be energized for treating me!]  And I say that with as much modesty as possible – it is just what I have been taught by my teachers.

So Connie is a phenomenal practitioner – she does massage and Craniosacral work as well as ZB.  But she is trying to promote Zero Balancing, so if you contact her, she might give a discount if you need one (at least for the first treatment).  Here is her contact info:

434.996.2640 or email her at conniemstaley [at] yahoo [dot] com

Thanks for reading!

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