I want to explore how to reformulate the usual ways of talking about the bodywork I am doing, as the standard terminology does not quite work for me… how can I talk about it in a way that is close to the recommended way, yet also true for me?
- Be present
Notice you are already present. We and everything else cannot help being present, and it only appears different if attention is caught up in the inside (content) of a thought without primarily recognizing it as a thought. (Stories are about past and future, so when attention is caught up in stories and take them as real, then past and future also seem real and present here/now. And this takes attention away from what is here/now outside of our stories.)
- Come to the body/bring the mind to the body
Bring attention to the body (its weight, movement, facial expression, tone of voice, etc.).
- The mind
Thoughts, attention, habitual patterns at the human level. Their way of using the word “mind” seems to refer to a combination of (a) thoughts, (b) attention and (c) habitual patterns at any level of the human self (mental, emotional, maybe even behavioral). For me, it helps to be more specific.
- The body
The physical body. This term also seems to refer to what is when attention is not caught up in thoughts, such as the body-mind whole (centaur level), Big Mind (awake void and form) and alive presence (soul level).
What appears when what is is filtered through stories, and these are believed in. AKA the relative. (Why it is “horizontal” I don’t know.)
What is when not filtered through stories, awake void and form absent of I and Other. AKA the absolute. (Again, don’t know why that would be “vertical”.)
Combination of absolute and relative, one direction or the other. Either being mainly caught up in stories, but temporarily having glimpses of what is beyond, or being mainly beyond and still using stories for functional reasons. (Again, using the word diagonal seems to make it more abstract and less immediate than it needs to be.)
This seems to refer to (a) what is when attention is not wrapped up in stories (naked perception, Big Mind), (b) alive presence (soul level), and is contrasted with the not-real which seems to refer to the world created when attention goes to and is caught up in the inside of stories. (There can be glimpses of naked perception even if the center of gravity is mostly in being caught up in stories. And the alive presence, when noticed, does seem more real than anything perceived through the physical senses. Of course, that too is just another layer of the onion, of what can appear as “I”.)
- Being participation
The whole of one’s being participating, whatever that appears as. This can refer to the centaur level (body-mind whole), to headlessness/Big Mind, to alive presence, and even – or maybe most typically – all together.
What arises here now, in this timeless present. The word “moment” seems to come from the perspective of having center of gravity in stories, and then glimpsing something else. (It comes from, and may also reinforce, that perspective.) The word present works better for me since it seems more neutral and works whether our center of gravity is outside or inside of being caught up in stories.
Some folks use the word “treatment” instead of sequence or session. Treatment seems to indicate that you do something for/to the other, with the aim of having a specific result (treating something), which doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of this form of bodywork. It indicates (a) a diagnosis (something to treat), and (b) a treatment (aiming to change or fix something specific). For me, sequence or session works better.
- Open eyes without focusing for a few moments
This is used at the end of a meditation, and may sound as if the eyes should be out of focus…! For me, it works better to say “without focusing on anything in particular for a while”. (Nitpicking, I know.)
I am not sure if this is correct, but I get the sense that they use general and often not-defined words deliberately, as an invitation for people to explore it in their own experience and not be caught up in trying to figuring it out mentally.
But it also seems possible to (a) use a more finely grained terminology and still (b) explore it in immediate experience, through naked perception. For some, that may even be easier.
I notice how I tend to get caught up in trying to figuring it out when the terminology is coarsely grained, general, vague and not clearly defined, while my mind can relax, and attention can more easily rest in naked perception, when it is more finely grained, specific, precise and well defined.
The thinking mind is satisfied, can relax, and the center of gravity can shift into what is immediately present outside of stories.