To do nothing, to just sit in stillness and rely on intelligence itself to restore its affects to equilibrium, is very difficult. Things are noticed and trauma of one kind or another come into awareness. To then sit and just go deeper into stillness without engaging in the perceived process, flies in the face of all our (recent) cultural background. And yet, I believe, this is precisely what we must do in order to work with the Spirit. That is to say get under what is caused, to the original causation.
To be attached to what we perceive, to keep our attention on it, is ultimately reductive and will enliven by attention that which we would like to relieve
What I try to do, with varying success, is to just sit in Stillness and invite the story of another to reveal itself in a space held continually empty. This kind of work is particularly, but not exclusively, effective with babies and children who have yet to build a firmly entrenched life-view.
If we think of cause and effect as a sort of family tree, after a few generations the full download will have got very big. If we pay attention to the attributes of one branch of the family, it may lead us back eventually to the original matriarch and patriarch but we shall have missed out on all the sibling and sub-branches that occurred on the route into the present. So with observing trauma, if we focus on one symptom of what is wrong and try to trace that back to cause, we shall inevitably leave behind a heap of other minor or major branches which devolved from the same route. It is a practice of the body, in its inherent search for homeostasis, to produce another set of symptoms when the first set is inadequately dealt with.
Sitting in stillness, I may notice many different phenomena occurring. It is a fact that I shall not notice all phenomena but rather, those to which my attention is tuned. I can just note these and continue to sit, deepening the stillness through meditation.
My task then, is not to deal with the symptoms, whatever they may be, but rather to help the patient get in touch with herself at a level which is below that of all symptoms, pain or otherwise, from which level he or she can take a new route back to the surface, unencumbered by the convoluted disempowerments of the past, which have, up to now been regarded as the actuality of the present.
I do believe and it is my experience, that being in physical contact with someone else when one is in a deep level of meditation, touches that person at the same deep level, whether it comes into immediate consciousness or not.
The contact is of the order of feather-light, not much more. I am not seeking for anything as such, so there is no resistance from the being of the patient, there is only an out-flowing of information at a very deep level, subatomic, for all I know, how could I know that. This information is picked up and recorded at its own level, not that of my intellect, certainly, and is relayed back to the sender, transmitter. Thus the patient learns who she really is, or at least, who she meant to be before layers and layers of life-experience clouded that. With awareness comes the possibility for real organic change. This change will be of the being. From that may come change in behaviour.-not the same thing- First comes awareness, without that we are firing bullets into the dark. This is the best I can do with intellectualising what goes on but I do have hundreds of anecdotal notes to support the observation of Rollin Becker. D.O. that “something happened.” I just think I am elaborating a bit more than he chose to do at the time, on what is now, the experience of many practitioners.
A short while before writing this I met a new patient, a busy, successful and doubtless highly stressed banker. He had a acute recurrence of a back and neck problem which had been dealt with successfully, three years before with a series of half a dozen manipulations. He was in severe pain and suffered restricted mobility in his neck and upper back. I do not do much work with acute back problems, mostly I seem to attract chronic conditions, such as depression.
The circumstances or his being booked in were such that he was just there. In a gap due to a cancellation. I started by warning him that my work was, to the observer, a bit like watching paint dry and he seemed to be accepting of the fact that I was not going to manipulate anything as he came well-recommended. More accurately, I was well recommended to him.
I started by taking a comprehensive history, not only of his medical background but also his domestic and social milieu. I always do this as things may come up in the course of treatment where it is helpful to have a frame of reference to the past, even though we are going to deal with the affects in the present.
I then just sat at his head having invited him to focus on any sensation arising in the body, whether obviously to do with his problem or not.
For the first few minutes I thought, “this is a tight skull, nothing much happening here.” I then told myself not to hang around with that thought, just meditate. Gradually I was able to give up the idea of what a problem he was and how I don’t/can’t do this kind of work and I noticed that there were the beginnings of some fluctuations. After about ten minutes he said something. I had to ask him what it was as I was pretty deep into meditation. He said that the pain had spread over to the other side. I think I asked him if he was OK to stay with that as at least something was moving. He was pretty relaxed and said he was all right with that. After about another fifteen minutes, he said in a tone of some surprise, “it seems to be fading. I decided that this was not a time to get attached to that idea but to deepen the meditation. After, probably, another twenty minutes, he said very quietly, “it has gone.”
My summary is that I merely sat in the awareness of meditation with no object, that is to say no attachment to his problem or my own problems and acted as a fulcrum between his intelligence and mine, at a level which I cannot possibly describe from the intellect.
I hope the pain stays away, as what I think has happened is that he has let go of a negative pattern, series of life experiences, from the inside. On the previous occasion three years before, the pain was sorted by very skill-full manipulation but this was from the outside. I see this as being the difference and I see this as being empowering to the patient to realise that the release comes from their own re-adaptation, not from being directed. The intellect, while so valuable, remains a limited tool in comparison with intelligence.
To be received in complete stillness empowers the core being of the client to express itself. Rather than the litany of “this is the story of my undigested life”, we get the possibility of the expression of “this is who I really am at the core of what I express as my conditioning.”
This is a reaction to a piece on stillness from a dear friend and colleague in Spain, Carme Renalias: Thanks for the writing, I never have much to say because it just goes in and expands and words leave my mind. All I know is that I am working for many hours giving sessions and it is like a little miracle happening in every session, Intelligence appears!
And sometimes I am just a bit sorry I don’t dare to surrender always, all the time, but the experience is there and is the experience that keeps showing me the path, the path to surrender. I am amazed at life when stillness is there, and my heart explodes and tears seem to come to my eyes, with no emotions joined to them, they are just like an expression of love/life/stillness together. And then more surrender and not getting hooked to that, just noticing.