Each time I give or receive bodywork I bring myself into the mystery. Yes, at one level there is a plan and a practice. We have an ache, we are weary, we bring our frazzled energy or our rigidity, and we come to be transformed. But in the moment of touch, what is happening?
When I lay on the massage table I bring my whole self. My cells are there, and so is my emotional body, my history, my inner child, my grief, and my spiritual heart. When I am touched, all these parts of me respond. Each touch is a communication. Our bodies are receivers and transmitters of Life, and I feel either safe or afraid. As a receiver of bodywork I have learned so much about what invites my wholeness to unfold.
As a practitioner of bodywork I have been blessed. As a licensed massage therapist I have been touching bodies as a conscious practice for over twenty years of linear time. But each time I enter that sacred space with another human being we fall into a pool of timelessness. The potential of that space beckons me to grow in presence and to surrender whatever gets in the way of the healing intention in that living moment of communion. There is a heart longing to make real the great “Love that is here like the blood in my veins and skin” as Rumi writes.
The Ayurvedic method of bodywork has provided me with a beautiful structure that contains the flow of Love in a sacred way. For what I have found is that it is Love that opens us and nourishes us and helps us grow. The hands, my hands, long to play the music in my heart that is sourced in the Great Mystery. And the body that lays itself before me is an exquisite instrument that has its own song. It’s in our meeting that the specific music of that moment in time comes alive. Can we hear it?
As I grow older I grow in courage. It takes a kind of blissful courage to release the mind’s agenda, the willfulness that so easily slips into aggression. The techniques of bodywork are tools. They are concepts I have learned to apply. But when I bring these tools to a living body I must also bring so much more: presence, vulnerability, listening, compassion. A recipe for Love to arise and do its work.
I used to spend a lot of time worrying about the effectiveness of my massages. Mere technique always felt a bit inadequate. But I have grown to trust that if I am truly present to what I am feeling through my hands, if I am in conscious contact with whatever I actually feel, even if it is unexpected, or subtle, or difficult, if I can stay real in that meeting and trust my hands to be loving witness to an unfolding, then I have answered the call.
Now, to carry that forward into the rest of my life.