May 302014
Headshot 2
Summer 2014

Firstly, as last time, I want to thank all of you for supporting my practice by coming to see me!  Being able to make a living out of my passion is such a blessing and it wouldn’t be possible without YOU.
I just returned from my sabbatical month in Gainesville, Florida.  This was a time for being with the family, for reading, for meditating, for, to use a term I picked up from Carl Jung, reverie – unscheduled time.  Time for Being.  Sometimes I think that I meditate too much or that I emphasize JUST BEING too much, but then I remember that that is my job.  In this society of Go Go Go my job is, in part, to help you remember to settle down physically, emotionally, mentally.
I spent much of the month writing, thinking, visioning and sharing ideas with friends.  It is from that space that I have returned to my work here, refreshed and eager to dip my hands in the ocean.

Below are two projects that were born from this fresh perspective, I hope you can join me in them.  In addition to these projects I am, of course, offering loving, awesome bodywork.

The Stillness Project

This project was kept coming to me as I sat, meditating, in the early mornings.
I am aware that so much happens when I sit in meditation.  Cars drive by, airplanes fly by, people bustle to their jobs, and during all this I try to sit motionless for an hour and in that motionlessness I find much movement.
I let go of my neck (was I holding it) and it finds a better place; I feel fully settled, then I notice my upper lip (was I holding there?) I let go and it finds a better place; I feel fully settled, deeper than before then I notice my belly (really? how come I didn’t notice that tension) and I let go and a new sense of alignment and identity arises, and the process goes on and on and on.
This to say that there are many layers of tension to let go of, and these layers become clear through stillness.
Stillness is at the root of my work and I want some brave souls (YOU) to come explore stillness together.
The structure that I envision for these sessions is 90minutes: 30 minutes dedicated to talking and checking-in, possibly even a written or video interview followed by 45 minutes of 1 hold, followed by 15 minutes of transition back to the world.
Come STUDY stillness together.

1 Year – 50 Books
In this society of Go Go Go (I repeat myself) we have lost time to slow down and read.  We are often flicking the screen of our ipods/iphones/ipads and before we know it an hour has passed.  I want to encourage you to join me on a project I’m calling: “1 Year – 50 Books”.
Sounds daunting but it breaks down to 1 book a week.  This may seem unrealistic but, well, you know the saying “Aim for the stars and you may reach the Moon” (as an astrophysicist that would mean that you were unaware of some major errors).
Lets replace screen time with page time.  Lets reclaim bookreading!  Whenever you are going to reach for the gadget to check on the status of the world reach for the book instead.  I’m also writing a brief review of each book on my reading blog and my facebook site so drop by and tell me which books you are reading.

I look forward to being with you.

May 072014
stars and bones 1

Sitting, just sitting.

So much is happening in the stillness, there is no need to go anywhere else.

The client lays their head on my hand and we Be together, that is all.

Sep 132013
Skilled Contact

Image from a craniosacral workshop at the Florida School of Massage

You could probably best define someone by the things they hold on to.

You could say “hold on” or you could just as well say “cling to”.  The things we cling to are the things we will not bend for.  Ghandi held on to his quest for Truth, satyagraha – the quest for truth.  He wanted to know truth, understand truth, and embody and live truth.  We may not even know what is at our core but we may insist on … we may insist on “dinner is a time for family to be together”, or television time at the end of the day, or “my God exists and he is the only one”, or “I do it for money”, or any other phrase we may have adopted as our motto.

We hold onto things in our body too.  Our verbal and mental phrases are physical postures too.  They may be slight such as a passivity to the eyes, downturned corners of the lips, or a shuffle to the step.  Or they may be pronounced, such as an arrow-straight spine, or a collapsed one.

We hold these voluntarily… though oftentimes we forget.

The most skilled kind of bodywork is an act or reminding, not a forcing.  I, as the bodyworker, touch the body and look for the fulcrum, the center of all that is happening.  And yes, the fulcrum is an attitude and a posture but with the right words, and touch and the right movement we can reach the level of the posture and the attitude.

To encourage a change it is not necessary to put a lot of effort; in fact, it is often counterproductive and our effort gets in the way of working with the person.  Find the way to be effortless while being fully effective.

“A good cook need sharpen his blade but once a year. He cuts cleanly. An awkward cook sharpens his knife every month. He chops. I’ve used this knife for nineteen years, carving thousands of oxen. Still the blade is as sharp as the first time it was lifted from the whetstone. At the joints there are spaces, and the blade has no thickness. Entering with no thickness where there is space, the blade may move freely where it will: there’s plenty of room to move. Thus, after nineteen years, my knife remains as sharp as it was that first day.”
- excerpt from Chuang Tzu’s “The Dextrous Butcher

Sep 012013
Touch 3

There is a moment between the decision to let go and the act of letting go when things soften.

Together we rocked right, together we rocked left.  A tide pulled us further out and, after drawing us out so far that it felt endless, brought us back in.  The movement always happened together, never one leading the other; in unison, in sync, in flow.  Yet, it was boring, or became boring.  Where were we going?  What was the purpose?  What was the meaning?
At some point I, or maybe it was you, or probably it was us both, found the boredom more interesting than the story we had been living and decided to let go.  Let go of the other, let go of the precious flow, go our separate ways.

And isn’t that when we felt most together?

Suddenly there was a sense of vertiginous space where before the air was stuffy.  The stagnant pond became an ocean and a tide so strong it put our efforts of trying to feel a tide to shame drew us clear across the universe and back.

Aug 282013
Mateus Bruno First

But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
- William Wordsworth

Newborns are some of my favorite clients for craniosacral work.  As William Wordsworth put it so well, we all come into this world trailing clouds of glory, arriving from a place which we cannot see but we can recognize.

It is at this place that craniosacral work aims.  A craniosacral therapist works with the tissue, with the bones, with the lymph, the nervous system, the craniosacral fluid, the fluid body, and with systems that he or she can feel but cannot name, however, the aim is on that place, the origin, what the founder of cranial osteopathy, William Garner Sutherland, termed: the Breath of Life.

He, William Sutherland, called it: God, The Mind of Nature, or Primary Respiration (The Breath of Life).

Another William, John William Coltrane, in his “A Love Supreme” poem, the same poem he sung on his saxophone in the album of the same name, said:

“God breathes through us so completely…so gently we hardly feel it… yet,it is our everything.
Thank you God.”
- John William Coltrane

Working with newborns is a pleasure and a gift; to once again be in the deep gentle presence of that trail of clouds is rejuvenating and refreshing.  It is also essential for the newborn, for thought they may have arrived from a place of glory they immediately being to be shaped by the forces that brought them here, the forces that gave them a physical form.  They are immediately exposed to lights and sounds and expectations and manipulations that compete with the sense of peace and wellbeing from where they came.

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”

Work with a baby touches on the essence of craniosacral – the Breath of Life.  It is my view that in no other field (except very likely craniosacral work with the dying, though I cannot speak to that from personal experience) is the craniosacral treatment plan more defined by the focus on the Breath of Life.

“When we work with a baby we are looking for the health, we are building on what is already healthy and we are simply removing the obstacles that are in the way of that health being expressed.”
- Benjamin Shield, PhD

Aug 212013
Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 1.02.51 PM

It is certain there are trout somewhere
And maybe I shall take a trout
If but I do not seem to care.
W. B. Yeats

And likewise I do not seem to care.  I find it best to not seem to care as I rest my hands over the client’s tight shoulders.

We sit together, them lying on the table, I sitting on the chair, as in meditation.  The purpose of this sitting is not to reach enlightenment, there may be trout, it is certain that there are…

Bony shoulders dissolve into spaciousness and sensation.  I again find my hands dipping into The Ocean Within.  It strikes me how clear and strong this Ocean’s tide is, like a secret hidden in plain view.  It is here, within us, all the time, though rarely are we still enough.

The ebb and flow becomes clearer and I sink into its rhythm.  I seek its frequency, its amplitude, its preferred directions.  I’m curious about how eagerly it pulls or how harshly it pushes, whether it sings a soft song or a chaotic tempest.

Then I say “and here I am”.
I watch its dance.

Then I say, “and here I’ll follow you and follow you and follow you and when you start to lose strength I’ll step in and let’s see where we end up”.  We spiral in, joined forces, steady.
That is when the well of white light opened up, two continents and a divide, and the Heart shone.

Aug 182013

I feel like stepping back and seeing this client from 30,000 feet.  So I start with their feet today.

I ignore who I am.  I ignore what I am supposed to be doing.  I let me hands be simple, my face passive, I hold the feet like I would hold a piece of bread as I sit by a city lake, allowing the city sounds to wash around me, the afternoon sun reflecting off of the water and onto my face and hands, my hands holding the bread that I may throw to the ducks.
Lazily and present.

I notice that the feet mean little to me still, I am reminded of when my daughter exclaimed that she did not notice any individual smells while walking in a forest; so we encouraged her to go slow.  I encourage myself to go slow.

I begin to notice the ebb and flow, a magnetic force, gentle yet unmistakable, pushing and tugging at my fingertips.

I am reminded of words I once heard from an old athlete: “Don’t focus on what you think your body is doing, focus on what you feel.”  Those words stuck to me then and come back to me now.
I don’t feel my fingers, or hands, I focus only on sensation until the ebb and flow is throughout me.  At this point, when my beingness is part of the same web that makes up the client, do I ask what is going on.

I then travel the web with the inner eyes of the physicist, with the instinctual gut of the animal, and with a gentle caring heart.

Aug 052013
Mateus River 22

On the morning of June 17th my son Mateus River was born!!  That has been keeping me and my wife pretty occupied.  I am now coming out of my cocoon and working on the bone visualizations.  I have decided to start with simple bone visualizations for each bone and to then post more guided visualizations separately when the basic bones have been covered.

You can check out the new visualizations at the bottom of the videos page.



Jun 042013

Mary (assistant) and students: JJ, Lesley, Chanity, Michelle, Ella, Ariel

On March of 2008 I attended my first craniosacral workshop in the small portacabin at the magical Florida School of Massage.  Now, 5 years and 2 months later I returned to the massage school to teach my first craniosacral workshop!

I have been assisting Hugh Milne workshops for 2 years; at the end of 2012 I completed the trainings and felt ready to venture into teaching my work.  I was particularly interested in teaching some of the gems that I had come across in my practice so I put together a protocol that would, over the course of 2 days, lead the students through the various aspects of this work.

Over the 2 days we talked about ways of touching, ways of deepening the perception of what is happening, and particular positions/postures for contacting key areas in the body such as the sacrum, the heart, the neck, the jaw, the head and brain.  A beautiful deep space was easily generated by the focus and dedication that each of the participants showed, I feel extremely grateful.

I can give you nothing

that has not already its origins within yourself.

I can throw open no

picture gallery

but your own.

I can help make your own world visible–

that is all.

- Herman Hesse