SHIFTING PERCEPTION

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Health Oriented and Resource Based Therapy
– The Biodynamic Approach

By Kala Julia Bodkin


“In total health, you will not find yourself: the total health is a zero experience. That zero experience is what religious people have called the God experience.”
OSHO


Content (click to skip forward)

1. Preface
2. Introduction
3. Somatic Experiencing®
4. The DiamondLogos Teachings
5. Biodynamic CranioSacral Balancing®
6. Conclusion
7. References


Preface

The theme of this project is particularly relevant for me at this time of my life and inner journey.

The last 20 years or so both personally and professionally, has been and continues to be a process of evolution in my attitude to my personal journey and my preference of the way in which I choose to work with my own inner process of personal growth – which subsequently reflects the way in which I work with others.

In the late 80’s when I first participated in group therapy, received bodywork or took counseling sessions the general approach was still very much influenced by the group therapy of the 70’s. The therapy style was direct, fairly confrontational and the therapist often gave the impression that they knew me and what I needed better than I did.  While this may have been true to some degree it didn’t feel empowering or helpful for me in getting to know myself and prompted me to put in place another set of ways to be. I felt that I needed to be different from who I am and set out on a path of self-improvement.

While some approaches still very much work with directly guided therapy, strong catharsis for freeing up held emotions and confrontational exercises for breaking through layers of defense – it seems that the world of therapy and healing is becoming more sensitive, respectful and attuned to the client.

I have had many experiences of therapies with an emphasis on catharsis and expression of intense emotions with an implication that the more emotionally expressive one was, the better, and the deeper one went and the more pain one could feel the more healing would take place. I felt that I had to make a lot of effort and work hard to get somewhere and my tendency has been to approach therapy and self inquiry with a determination to feel everything at the deepest possible level in order to move through it and heal. This required a lot of telling of the story of my childhood and the re-experiencing of unpleasant passed events in the hope that feeling it again consciously would heal the wound and or stop the perpetuation of an unhealthy pattern of behavior. It seemed, most often, to be oriented towards the problem and focused on what needed changing and improving. The techniques were at times overwhelming and in my experience the style tended to be too fast, pushy and provocative. I sometimes found that although I could do the process and go through the motions, I found it difficult to remain present.  And while there was some kind of cleansing and release it would have a shocking and jarring effect on my system that was at times subtly creating another kind of layer of protection for me to be able to deal with the therapeutic process itself.

There is an awareness arising that if a therapeutic exercise or structure is too strong and confrontative the person becomes overwhelmed and they are either preoccupied dealing with their defenses to the method itself rather than issue or go into shock and are not present anymore. This very much varies from person to person and some of us are much more resilient than others in these situations. Once someone is in shock, apart from it being an unpleasant experience, the therapy becomes fruitless. I believe the person has to be there for any approach to be effective.

There is, of course, a place and a time for strong and challenging therapeutic processes and body work. They challenge our need to be in control and confront our ego identity in a way that can be very helpful in breaking old ‘stuck’ patterns. This is especially true of breathing and body-oriented techniques. But even many of these techniques are evolving into having a more allowing approach, encouraging the client to relax and invite their body to move, breath or express rather than forcing or pushing.

There has also been a further evolution as the understanding is emerging that to focus on the aspects of ourselves that are healthy and the parts of our lives that work can be more beneficial in a transformational process. There is a realization that if we give attention to something it thrives.  In my experience when I focus on what is wrong with me, even if I have the intention to change it, what I see more and more of is what’s wrong with me. The same is true when I look at aspects of myself that I feel good about or enjoy – when I notice what in my life I am happy about and grateful for it brings it to the forefront. This not only highlights that aspect allowing it to flourish but also enables me to have the strength and trust in myself to deal with an issue or pattern that I am faced with.

I don’t mean that the solution is to pretend everything is okay, to think I am only wonderful, or go in to denial about painful patterns or history. It means that rather than constantly ‘pulling the carpet out from underneath’ there is a grounding in a place of health and balance and a nourishing of the healthy part so that the issue can be brought into perspective.

This may sound easy but in my experience in my own structure it is a challenge. There seems to be a habitual pattern in most of us of focusing on what is wrong or what we need to change in ourselves. It may be true for the mind universally, but certainly my mind is most often geared towards criticism and noticing what’s wrong. I was brought up in an environment where an opinion was only verbalized was when something wasn’t okay. While it seems natural and healthy to aspire to a higher state of consciousness and have an intention to come out of our conditioned patterns– unfortunately, this is often translated into an inability to accept ourselves as we are and a fixation on improving ourselves.

It was also not part of my upbringing to have an idea of, or support for, a connection to anything like source, god or a higher self. It wouldn’t have been understood or could have even been considered ridiculous to talk about us humans being as an integral part of the whole, part of something bigger.  There was a vague concept of god, but more as a punishing father figure. The notion that was upheld was that we are separate and unrelated to the rest of existence, implying that we have to struggle through life alone, has left a deep imprint in me. I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to a different way of experiencing life and existence but I still live often in the painful ego-identity of perceiving myself as a separate entity.

I have recently been facing some very difficult times where this sense has been amplified. I am sometimes in what feels like long periods of inner darkness.  At these times I become very skeptical and don’t believe many of the teachings that I have heard, or what the masters are saying. From this perspective it all seems like bullshit. I become identified with the sense of myself as a separate self, struggling in the world. I seem to spiral down into a well of darkness, not a restful, soothing darkness but a negative space full of doubt and self-judgment. At these times I become lost and despairing and don’t know how to find a way out. This can last for some time and then eventually, for no apparent reason, I ‘pop’ out of that state, the clouds part, and I feel connected, alive and inspired again, it is like being on a different planet. Then from that space everything the masters have been saying makes sense. I feel inspired again, I trust in life and have a connection to source, and I feel love for other people and for myself and feel optimistic about my life and the world.

Having watched several cycles of this process recently I have been feeling a need for a bridge between the two states. I started to relate to the Christian concept of ‘faith’ where they have their belief as an anchor or thread to guide them back. For me, in those dark times, a belief wouldn’t be strong enough to withstand my level of skepticism.  I realized that even in those times, I can’t contest that I have undeniably had incredibly profound experiences of trust, love, and connection to the whole in the past. It seemed feasible, in that case, to refer to a memory.

The next time I started to spiral down into the darkness I practiced remembering a time when I had felt loved, trusting and connected. I took time to recall all the details, how it felt, who was there, how it felt in my body. I had to overcome an initial attachment to an identity of the separate, lonely person – the ego.

I started by seeing if there was a place in my body where I could sense a good feeling that wasn’t so dark and miserable… I noticed in the part of my body that had contact with the chair I was sitting in, the back of my legs and seat, I had a pleasant spacious sensation. I stayed with this feeling and it slowly became warmer and started spreading. I took a deep breath and could already feel some distance from and less identification with the misery. Once I had a felt sense of a part of me feeling okay I started to access a memory of a time when I had felt loved, held, supported and part of the whole.  I could breath and the sense of utter despair eased, putting it into perspective, allowing me to see that it isn’t all that I am. This may not sound like a big deal, but for me it was very significant and was the beginning of realizing how helpful resourcing can be. I have also seen this process many times with clients but it became much more significant and trustable when I could apply it to myself.

This doesn’t mean that I see no value in exploring and embracing the more negative aspects of myself, on the contrary, it gives me some distance to see more of what is going on without being completely engulfed by it.

This inquiry led me to realize that I am often in need of a bridge between these two extreme states and wanted to explore more in this direction on a personal level. I have also seen more and more, the benefits of having an orientation to health and resourcing in a therapeutic context so felt inspired to highlight these aspects.


Introduction

The goal of this thesis is to expand and deepen my own and the readers understanding of the therapeutic principles of Biodynamics.

I have focused on the three approaches that I have been most interested in and attracted to over the last 10 years. These are Somatic Experiencing®, The DiamondLogos Teachings and Biodynamic Craniosacral Balancing®. This project is an inquiry into their orientation to health, how they are resource based, and the benefits of this alignment as an approach to healing. It is not intended that this thesis gives a full overview of these modalities as they are all more complex than I can describe here.

I have been working with all three of these therapeutic approaches in my practice, sometimes on their own, but often weaving the three together. This is possible because they all embrace the uniqueness of the client, the relationship between client and practitioner (also known as resonance) and the unfolding of the moment. Although in each modality there are specific skills and a wealth of understanding – there isn’t a set protocol that is being followed – the session is revealed step by step as the clients physiology and Being leads the way.

Health Orientation

We see health in action all the time, every moment of our lives the body is working to maintain health. Even the symptoms of disease are our bodies working to heal and regain a state of balance and wellbeing. We are walking miracles. It mostly goes unnoticed but our bodies are, with out us having to think about it, breathing, the circulating blood, digesting, regulating hormones, growing hair, skin, nails, regenerating cells to name just a some of the processes that are happening in our bodies all the time. Our natural capacity for healing and self-repair is phenomenal.

Health expresses itself throughout our whole lives – even in a person who is very sick or dying the health of the system is working. Health is not just a state of wellbeing, it refers to the life force, the intelligence of the body and, as we will come to discover in this exploration, it is ultimately an emanation of the divine, god or whatever word you choose to use to describe the source of life.

And yet the majority of health care professionals (and their clients) choose to focus on disease, not health. In the medical profession and the mental health profession there are all kinds of terms and definitions for dysfunctional, unhealthy symptoms but health is rarely defined. It is often only defined in the negative as a lack of disease or a state of being free from illness or injury. Even alterative therapies or ‘holistic’ approaches to healing are not actually oriented to health. They take a step out of the old paradigm of treating a symptom as an isolated unit and see the person as a whole system but still seem to orient to the problem rather than to the health of a person.

Holistic health care practitioners view people as the unity of body, mind, spirit and the systems in which they live. Searching for the underlying causes of disease is preferable to treating symptoms alone.
From the American Holistic Medical Association – http://holisticmedicine.org

This is one of many definitions I found on the internet, it is significant that these modalities see the person as a whole unit of function, but they don’t seem take it to the next step of actually interacting with the Health of the person.

The root of the word health comes from wholeness. Osho has talked extensively about health as wholeness:

Whenever your heart falls out of line with the whole you are in trouble, you are ill; whenever the heart is in rhythm with the whole you are healthy. Let this be the definition of health. Whenever there is no conflict between you and the whole, not even a rumour of conflict, you are healthy. To be whole is to be healthy. To be whole is to be holy. And what is the way to be holy, healthy, whole? Your heart should beat in the same rhythm as the heart of the whole. You should not fall out of line, out of step. It is a great cosmic dance. It is a great harmony. When you sit still, silent, not doing anything, meditative, prayerful, suddenly you start merging into the whole. You come closer and closer and closer and your steps are no longer heard as separate from the whole. You become part of this great symphony. Suddenly you are healthy, holy, whole.
Ancient Music in the pines, Chapter 9

By health Buddha means wholeness. Health comes from the same root as ‘healing’. A healed person is a healthy person, a healed person is a whole person. By “health” Buddha does not mean the ordinary, medical meaning of the term; his meaning is not medicinal, it is meditational — although you will be surprised to know that the words ‘meditation’ and ‘medicine’ both come from the same root. Medicine heals you physically, meditation heals you spiritually. Both are healing processes, both bring health. But Buddha is not talking about the health of the body; he is talking about the health of your soul. Be whole, be total. Don’t be fragmentary, don’t be divided. Be an individual, literally: indivisible, one piece.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha. Vol.6

Resource

A resource is a reserve, something one can rely on in hard times. We all need resources to fall back on and take longer to recover or return to balance after an impactful event or injury if those reserves are empty or depleted.

In a therapeutic context, a resource is something that when noticed or remembered activates an inner sense of wellbeing.

It is anything that helps a person feel relatively at ease – examples of which may be a safe environment, a person in ones life that is supportive, something that gives a person a feeling of comfort. It could be a memory of a time when one was safe or supported. It can also be an inner space of strength or aliveness. This may only be felt in one part of their body, like a sense of contact through their feet with the ground, warm hands, an expansive feeling in the belly, a feeling of a soft and open heart. A resource could also be the knowledge that one is safe now, even though there are times when this isn’t the case, the knowing that a person has that they have survived a difficult event and are now safe is, in itself, a resource.

It is relative and very individual – for some it is easier to access resources than others, but we all have something that we can call on other wise we wouldn’t be alive today. Even people who have lived through the most horrendous situations will have something that has kept them going or given them the strength to go on.


Somatic Experiencing®

Dr. Peter Levine is the founder of this method of working with Trauma, I have been learning from Diane Poole Heller PhD a senior faculty member of his school – the Foundation for Human Enrichment.

Somatic experiencing® (SE) was developed by Levine in the early 1970’s and is known to be a very effective therapy for resolving symptoms of trauma including post-traumatic stress disorder and overcoming extreme life events.  The SE® model is a complex treatment strategy, I won’t attempt to include the whole approach. I will only discuss some of the main elements – specifically those that highlight the use of resources as a therapeutic tool.

Trauma

Trauma is a widespread fact of modern life. Most, if not all, of us have been traumatized in some way. Both the causes and consequences of trauma are wide-ranging and can be obscure or unconscious. The causes include natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis, motor accidents, serious illness, sudden attack, difficult birth, troubled relationships or high levels of stress. The symptoms are also diverse examples of which are panic attacks, chronic fatigue, obsessive/compulsive behavior, random phobias, anxiety, migraines and insomnia. It can often be the case these symptoms don’t show up immediately, they can remain hidden for years after the event that triggered them.  A definition of trauma is something that is overwhelming and happens too fast and too soon for our systems to deal with.

Trauma is physiological

Levine’s research and experience has shown that trauma is actually stored in the nervous system, in the body, it is not in the event that caused it. The level of trauma is gauged by the effect it has on the person, not on the event itself – one person could perceive a situation as very traumatic while another may not be phased by it.

Levine has seen that there was no need to review the memory and details of the event, and that in fact it would often be re-traumatizing and a hindrance in resolving the issue.  Treatment is not dependant on reliving the content or story or through psychological approaches – the therapist works through the physiology, without necessarily knowing the initial cause of the symptom.

The therapist assists the client to discharge survival energies that are bound in the body during a traumatic event. These energies are a result of immobility or freeze responses that are occur in response to an event that has happened to a person too fast, was overwhelming in some way or unexpected. There are 3 primary responses available to reptiles and mammals when faced with an overwhelming threat: FIGHT, FLIGHT and FREEZE. These responses are involuntary.

Levine writes: Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the “triggering” event itself. They stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved and discharged; this residue remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and spirits. The long-term, alarming, debilitating, and often bizarre symptoms of PTSD develop when we cannot complete the process of moving in, through and out of the “immobility” or “freezing” state. However we can thaw by initiating and encouraging our innate drive to return to a state of dynamic equilibrium. Waking the Tiger p.19- 20

The instinctual part of the human brain and nervous system are almost identical to those of other mammals. Hence Levine studied how animals in the wild recover from the constant threat of life threatening prey and predator dynamics in the wild. He recognized how the instinctive reactions in all animals, including humans, controlled by the brain and nervous system, are physiological resources and very important for the healing of trauma related stress.

Levine writes: ‘The key to healing traumatic symptoms in humans is in our physiology. When faced with what is perceived as inescapable or overwhelming threat, humans and animals both use the immobility response. The important thing to understand about this function is that it is involuntary. This simply means that the physiological mechanism governing this response resides in the primitive, instinctual parts or our brains and nervous systems, and is not under our conscious control. That is why I feel that the study of wild animal behavior is essential to the understanding and healing of human trauma.’
Waking the Tiger p.17

Levine also believes that ‘the key to healing traumatic symptoms in humans lies in our being able to mirror the fluid adaptation of wild animals as they shake out and pass through the immobility response and become fully mobile and functional again.’ Waking the Tiger p.18

Nervous System Regulation

Understanding what happens in the two branches of the nervous system when faced with a dangerous situation is part of what informs Levine’s work.

There are two branches of the Nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that mobilizes energy to take action while the other, the parasympathetic branch (PNS) initiates the cycle of rest and recovery. The limbic brain triggers these different branches to respond and the SNS attempts to meet and defeat the threat through action oriented responses (fight or flight).

If during a traumatic event these actions were thwarted or inadequate, the SNS may continue to flood with energy such as residual anger, frustration and panic and it may then be that the PNS will also initiate a shut down response. This response lasts for a short time but it may then continue be triggered by associated experiences or it is held in the body causing uncomfortable symptoms.

The result is an over-activated nervous system that loses resiliency and can mean that events that would normally be manageable become overwhelming.

As shown in the top part of the illustration (page 13), in a resilient nervous system the flow of charge and discharge happens easily. SNS and PNS are working allowing a flow between charge and discharge.

In the lower part of the illustration showing an over-activated nervous system there are high oscillation shifts between the SNS and PNS resulting in flooding that alternates with over-constriction leading to disconnectedness and fragmentation.

Either the SNS is over activated which means the activation is “stuck on ON” and the client experiences symptoms such as panic, hyper-vigilance and mania or the PNS is over activated and becomes “Stuck on OFF” and the client experiences symptoms such as chronic fatigue, exhaustion, dissociation etc. When the stimulus is too great the SNS and PNS activate simultaneously and a highly charge freeze response is the result.

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There is a natural sequence of responses to threat; starting with the arrest response that alerts us to danger, then the startle response which creates an attentiveness and vigilance, followed by orienting to the threat by turning towards it or looking in the direction it is coming from. Then there is a moment of evaluation where it is determined if and how dangerous the threat may be, and if needed a self-protective response (flight, flight and/or freeze) is triggered. Next is the completion of the response (flight, flight and/or freeze) and most importantly is the discharge of the energy mobilized to meet the threat. After this discharge comes relaxation followed by the exhilaration of having survived.

This sequence has to be completed, if it is prevented at any stage the person may remain stuck in a threat response – which is then what causes the symptoms of trauma. Most often our bodies instinctively respond without enough time to analyze the situation cognitively. If a person is overwhelmed it is common for them to become paralyzed and unable to respond with fight or flight. Part of the problem is that these responses have already been mobilized so when the paralysis or freeze response happens there is a huge amount of energy in the system.

Animals seem to manage to discharge these compressed energies and almost never develop symptoms. We are not as adept and to add to the problem we often get fixated on them and may re enact similar scenarios repeatedly or re live the experience over and over by talking about them with the desire to release the charge but with out the tools to do so.

When the memory of an overwhelming trauma is triggered in life or remembered in therapy the clients report feeling immobilized, frozen and often become dissociated.

Titration / Pendulation

The SE® model works with the physiology to release this held energy, the process is slowed down and discharge occurs bit by bit. Guiding the client to loop between the physiological experience (felt sense) of arousal in the nervous system and the felt sense of a resource slowly the body starts to discharge the held energies. They may feel a tingling, start to tremble and shake, release heat out of the body.

This looping and discharging has to happen gradually otherwise (because the breaks have been on) the held energy floods the system and the person is overwhelmed causing dissociation.

As this process happens it brings the client from the experience of fragmentation to a sense of wholeness.

Diane Poole Heller often uses the term Core intactness in her teachings of SE®. Even though we may be working with a fragmented part SE® encourages students not to hold themselves or the client in that identity – but to keep remembering the sense of ourselves as fundamentally healthy and whole.

She writes: By starting from an Oasis of Safety, building resources, taking only very small pieces of the traumatic material, then using those resources to neutralize the activation, and by going slowly, directing attention to events before and after the impact and working gradually toward the center it is possible to regain a continuity of self.  There is an experience of moving from fragmentation toward integration.
Article – Trauma Healing and Transformation ©Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D. 2004

Throughout Diane’s trainings the focus is on the parts of ourselves, our lives and our relationships that work, rather than focusing on the symptom. This again works as an antidote and allows the body to discharge the arousal that is held in relation to the event or issue.

The SE® therapist will work with the client to help them use a sensate focus often referred to as ‘felt sense’, guiding their awareness between the memory of what has been distressing, how it feels in the body now, and then shift to focus to what resources they might access that have a calming effect.

Diane Poole Heller writes:
This ‘pendulation’ back and forth is one technique among many to help the over-activation discharge through accessing the parasympathetic relaxation response. Deeper abdominal breathing returns naturally without he therapist’s overt suggestion and is a signal of successful creative self-regulation.
…This process allows highly charged survival energies to be slowly and safely discharged, often alleviating arousal-induced trauma symptoms.

Article – Trauma Healing and Transformation ©Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D. 2004

Discharge and completion of threat response

The client may move from a positive felt sense experience to a challenging felt sense experience and back several times in a session, this then initiates the discharge process of the nervous system. This can happen in several ways, typically the body will release heat or will start to tremble or shake, it may be that there is a sense of tingling or flowing of energy down the arms and out of the hands. These are all signs that the held energies are discharging – which is then often followed by a deeper sense of relaxation and well being.

Later as the freeze response literally thaws out, we tremble and shake as the nervous system releases and reorganizes.  Soon impulses for fight or flight will surface as a sense of mobility returns and there is the opportunity to complete them to facilitate further discharge.  Interestingly enough, it is not necessary to actually make the gross motor movements of fight or flight.  Simply having (the client) feel her body organize fight and flight responses and then feeling her body prepare to move or just move slightly and in slow motion, the body finds its greatest release.   In most traumatic events and typical of auto accidents, the body has little if any time to prepare and these preparatory movements are overridden.  By giving the body all the time it needs it can then relax and shake off the excess energy left from the traumatic experience. Biological completion helps unlock the jamming in the nervous system and allows the client to integrate the experience so that they can indeed move on in life and become freer of the after-effects of trauma.
Levine – Waking the Tiger

The main goal is to keep the arousal levels moderate enough so that the clients’ awareness remains intact and connected to the experience so that the dissociation is unnecessary. The nervous system is designed to facilitate recovery from threat and extreme experience. Understanding how to work clinically with the physiology greatly enhances ur use of all of our skills and training in a much more effective way.
Article – Trauma Healing and Transformation ©Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D. 2004

It is also important to note that the use of ‘resourcing’ happens throughout an SE® session. From the first contact between therapist and client the physical environment is arranged in a way that suits their needs so that the client feels comfortable and safe. In my experience this initial setting of the scene and creating of a safe space can take some time and is an important and intrinsic part of the work of resolving trauma.

There is attention given so that the person feels comfortable with where they are sitting. It may be that for someone having their back to the door or if they are sitting too close or far away from the therapist makes them feel activated. This is all negotiated and can already start to bring about a discharge of arousal in the system.

I have found that something seemingly simple like giving the client choices at the beginning of a session incredibly supportive in creating a safe, secure environment. Which then allows the client to feel more supported and provides a sense of empowerment and self-confidence as a grounding to start.

This approach doesn’t stop at helping the person back to living a functional life, it also utilizes this resiliency to experience and embody higher spiritual states. In fact some of the experiences of trauma and dissociation can provide spiritual access, it can be a portal to enlightened moments. The difficulty can be in integrating these states into our lives, SE® provides some tools for this assimilation.

This work sets the stage for experiencing expanded spiritual states in an embodied and integrated way. As arousal discharges and we become increasingly emotionally and physically neutral, we become less defensive and much freer to express ourselves unhindered by past inhibitions from the past. As we mature we naturally develop increasing wisdom and discrimination and function in an appropriate intelligent way independent of old fears.

Rediscovering core intactness is a very different approach than feeling damaged and trying to fix our wounded selves. We are already whole, valuable and perfect but history is covering this treasure when we are identified with it. 
Article – Trauma Healing and Transformation ©Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D. 2004


The DiamondLogos Teachings

This approach originated as The Diamond Approach® to Self-Realisation and was founded by A.H Almaas, Karen Johnson and Faisal Muqaddam. Faisal then started his own branch of the work – the DiamondLogos Teachings (DLT).

This work is often referred to as a ‘Spiritually informed psychology or a psychologically grounded spirituality’. Faisal describes his teachings as a bridge between therapy and meditation – between the personality and the Absolute.

Until I came across these teachings it seemed that we were either working with the personality and ego structure or focusing on meditation and meditative techniques – the two seemed to me to be unrelated. In most spiritual teachings the Being is considered Universal and the same as source or the absolute. In the DLT it is considered more individual. The DLT teaches that while the Absolute is the nature of being there is a portion of it that forms the unique nature of the soul made up of many different aspects of Essence.

The DLT is fundamentally a map of the psyche offering precise descriptions of Essence – the various aspects and dimensions of the human spirit. It is also a spiritual psychotherapy, working with the healing of wounds by reconnecting the person to essence.

According to Faisal the individuated self is a manifestation of the Absolute –  it is our being, the essential self. It is made up of essential qualities, like a multi-faceted diamond with all the different aspects of essence making up the unique, whole being or soul. Sometimes it is called the ‘true personality’. We are born with an exquisite (essential) personality, as connection with it was lost it was replaced by the false personality – our persona, became an imitation of our original face.

Essence and The Theory of Holes

Essence is not a concept it is clearly experienced as a substantial (often fluid) presence which can be differentiated into various qualities or aspects, such as Compassion, Strength, Will, Joy, Peace, Love, Value, Humanness, Personalness, Identity, Space. The experience of essence is felt all over the body, there is a sense of unification and each state comes with distinct characteristics that are experienced as a particular color, density, feeling and flavor.

When a baby is born, it is pretty much all essence, or pure being. Its essence is not, of course, the same as the essence of a developed or realized adult. It’s a baby’s essence – non-differentiated, all in a big bundle. As the child grows, the personality starts developing as a result of interactions with the environment and especially with the parents. Since most parents are identified with their personalities and not with their essence, they do not recognize or encourage the essence of the child. So, after a few years, the essence is in fact forgotten, and instead of essence, personality develops. Essence is replaced with various identifications. The child identifies with one or the other parent, this or that experience, and with all kinds of notions about self. As the child grows up, these identifications, experiences and notions become consolidated and structured as its personality. The child, and later, the adult, believes this structure to be its true self. However the essence was there to begin with and is still there. Although it was not seen or recognized and may have even been rejected or hurt in many ways, it is still there. In order to protect itself, it has gone underground, undercover. The cover is the personality. There is nothing bad about having a personality. You have to have one. You couldn’t survive without it. However, if you take the personality to be who you truly are, then you are distorting reality. The personality is composed of experiences of the past, of ideas, of notions, of identifications. You have the potential to develop a real individuality, the personal essence, which is different from the personality that covers the loss of essence. But this potential is usually taken over by what we call our ego, our own acquired sense of identity.
A.H Almaas, From the Diamond Heart – Book One p.3-4

As our personality develops we slowly become alienated from our essence through our conditioning – created fixed patterns of perception and behavior. Each of these patterns of perception disconnects us from a specific aspect essential aspect. In other words our personality (ego identity) is built around the missing aspects of essence or “holes”. Each time a quality of essence subsides it creates an energetic hole, an absence. It feels as if that area, or that warmth, or sweetness, or density is gone and created a vacuum. Literally there is a vacuum – you can’t feel anything.

By exploring the structure – layers of personality and defense, through tracking the felt sense, insights and feelings one eventually gets to the ‘Hole’. By allowing the sense of the hole, tolerating the deficiency – with out actually doing anything – the hole starts to fill in with the missing aspect of essence. The specific lost aspect of essence is retrieved and becomes available to the person again. When an essential state is retrieved and is present it is can felt like a flooding through or filling up of the body with that quality.

Whenever an essential aspect is missing or cut off from one’s consciousness there results a deficiency, a hole, in its place. This hole is then filled by a part of the psychic structure that resembles the lost essential aspect. One fills or covers the deficiency with a false aspect in its place. 
Almaas- The Pearl Beyond Price, pg 96

Allowing ourselves to tolerate the holes and go through them to the other side is more difficult now because everything in society is against this. Society is against Essence. Everybody around you, wherever you go, is trying to fill holes, and people feel very threatened if you don’t try to fill yours in the same way. When a person is not trying to fill his holes, it tends to make other people feel their own holes. So, it’s becoming more and more difficult to do the Work. And the Work is also becoming more and more needed.

Almaas – Diamond Heart Book 1, pg 23

Inquiry and the Diamond Body

This Approach has three aspects – the transmission and knowledge of essential states, self inquiry and private sessions.  The retreats focus on one aspect of essence at a time. This is where the student receives a transmission of the specific essential state and learns how to recognize it, gradually learning the map of the psyche. It is a forum to learn the material, explore and process the issues related to that particular aspect of essence.  The private sessions are a more personal space for self-enquiry and exploration. The students also come together for self-enquiry.

Self-inquiry is a method of inner exploration in the moment. Coming from an objective space one starts to notice what is present, in the body, the emotions and the state of consciousness. The person starts by sensing their arms and legs (to widen the perspective) being present to and describing what they are noticing as it unfolds. This process is an ever-deepening process of self-discovery, the intension is to allow the magnificence of our true self to reveal itself as we uncover and move through layers of defenses, beliefs and identities that are in the way.

Through accessing objective awareness or inner guidance, an aspect that Faisal has called the ‘Diamond Body’, we start to awaken to the capacities and possibilities in our soul for participating in the inner unfolding of our Being. The Diamond Body orients our self exploration so that we can recognize and encourage implicit guidance that arises as we travel, with curiosity, our own inner space. And as the journey continues and our awareness deepens, we learn to appreciate the subtleties, the richness, and the intimacy that is ours as we follow the path of inquiry.

Almaas describes the Diamond Body or Diamond Guidance;

In other traditions, the Diamond Guidance is sometimes called the angel of revelation, the holy spirit that brings the word or message from the source. It is the angel that guides us to Beingness that is our ground, our nature, our source. It is the true friend, the total friend, because the Guidance’s only concern is for you as a soul to go back to your source, to be who and what you can be, with total acceptance, total support, total guidance, total kindness. The soul needs to place herself in the right attitude for this kind of blessing to come. You have to do the work of correctly orienting yourself. Basically this means harmonizing your consciousness with the mode of presence and operation of the Guidance. This is what we are exploring when we discuss inquiry – the right orientation, the right posture, the ways of being and functioning that will invite the Guidance. (Spacecruiser Inquiry, pg 223)

There isn’t a procedure or protocol followed in the inquiry except to be present and stay with what ever arises, as it arises and allow it to change in its own time.

Orientation to Being

The DLT is thought of as a disintegrative approach – meaning that it is disintegrating for the ego identity. As we uncover the false layers of our identity it starts to fall apart, to disintegrate. This can be very scary. For this reason the emphasis is on essence and all the retreats start with the transmission and embodiment of essence. This is the grounding for the self-exploration. Without this there is no orientation – the orientation has to be to the Being and ultimately to the Absolute. In effect we dismantle the ego structure allowing the holes to open up, feeling all kinds of fears and pain along the way. The next step is what many approaches disregard – the filling in of the hole with essence. This is what gives us the capacity to function in the world and deal with our daily lives. Retrieving essence is not something that we can do, it happens by trusting and aligning to the Being and the nature of our soul.

The process is not linear, it is circular, there is no clear order of unfolding – each person is unique and the processing of an issue and the retrieval of essence varies from person to person according to their particular conditioning and Being.

I have noticed in my personal inquiry something is shifting. I tend to be aware of having a focus more on the essential qualities of being and less on the issues related to it. For years I would go ‘head first’ so to speak into the hole and would at times be overwhelmed and so immersed in the issue that I would lose my objectivity. I am finding as the awareness of the Diamond Body develops I am less identified with the issue and the negative state associated with it and can take on smaller chunks at a time which allows me to stay present to and in contact with the relevant essential state.  It has been an important shift to consciously orient to essence and not be caught in the endless world of issues.

The word health was originally a term meaning Whole

If the w is removed it becomes hole

Narrow it right down further and whole becomes hole becomes o  …all we are left with is the ego identity or what Faisal calls ‘the pea’.

And when we Widen the field, enter the hole, let it open up and relax into it …  again we reconnect with essence and we again become Whole


Biodynamic Craniosacral Balancing®

The founders of Craniosacral Balancing® are Bhadrena Tsumi Gemin and Kavi Gemin. By now their practice and teachings are inspired by many different sources including Dr. William Garner Sutherland (the founder of Osteopathy), Dr. Rollin Becker, Dr. Jim Jealous, Ray Castellino, Franklyn Sills, Peter Levine, Faisal Muqaddam and Osho.

From Biomechanics to Biodynamics

I did my first training in the early 90’s which wasb informed from the teachings of Dr. John Upledger. I was immensely touched by the subtlety of the work and gentle respect for the client in the lightness of the touch and the lack of force used in physical corrections. Upledger’s work is now referred to as ‘biomechanical’.

The biomechanical approach is simple to understand. The practitioner looks at relationships between segments of the body and works with correcting the motion and relationship between these segments using the craniosacral therapy methods. Working with the ‘cranio rhythmic impulse’ initiated by the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid that has a rate of 8-12 cycles per minute, and is palpable all over the body – We would motion test and diagnose where there was a lesion or an ‘energy cyst’ and work with that segment of the body. Through gentle contact we would ‘follow’ the subtle movement of the fascia, bones and joints into the direction of ease holding the part at the extreme of the motion and wait for it to give way.

As time went on it was seen that the movements we were sensing were a result of deeper forces than we were initially aware of, and that there are deeper slower rhythms and stillness underneath. These biodynamic forces were referred to as ‘the breath of life’.

The method changed from using the movement of the fluids as a diagnostic tool and then correcting the dysfunction to working with the forces that were creating the movement and allowing the intrinsic health in these forces to do the healing. The approach consequently deepened from treating a symptom to treating the whole person though the functional movement coming from the whole. This is referred to as the ‘biodynamic’ approach and is not as simple to understand because it isn’t linear it is multidimensional.

“I’m treating to restore health. I’m not treating to correct the problem. In treating this way, I have opened the doors for the body to try to do what it wants to with its own living forces.”
Dr. R. E. Becker, DO

Dr Jealous expresses the basic principle of the founder of Cranial Osteopathy Dr. Sutherland, from where Craniosacral originated;

In order to appreciate primary respiration and in order to appreciate osteopathy as a functional science rather than a biomechanical science, one has to have the perceptual experience of the essential truth of osteopathy. And that essential truth is that there is health inside each on of our patients and that health is perfect, and that health is something against which all disproportion, whether it’s in our psyche or in our biochemical function must take place. And it’s through that relationship that we find healing. And our job then, at least from a biodynamic point of view, is to find the health in the patient and then to explore the therapeutic process as it’s being presented to us, and to fully cooperate with that therapeutic process and then reevaluate the patient’s response to this natural healing process. – Dr J. Jealous transcription Audio CD

The Breath of Life

As I mentioned, the deeper forces referred to as the Breath of Life (BoL) are what the Biodynamic Craniosacral practitioner is working with and calls ‘the whole’. The Breath of Life is the expression of natural, alive, dynamic forces as a ‘spark of life’. It is an organizing principle – it organizes form by organizing space, through this it generates the natural fulcrums of midline and the straight sinus (Sutherland’s fulcrum).

The breath of life abides in stillness and breathes a living fire that fashions creation. Nature’s living breath weaves a trembling matrix that connects all living organisms to the free-flowing motion of good health.
Charles Ridley – Stillness p. 1

The breath of life unites all – she contains us and she is in us, like the fish in the ocean- and life without her is preposterous.
Charles Ridley – Stillness p. 2

The BoL is the body’s inherent life force. It has been referred to in many healing traditions, sometimes called Divine Intention or Creative Intelligence in action. It carries the essential ordering principle acting as a blueprint for health and is present from the time of our early embryological development and is the fundamental factor that maintains balance throughout our lives.

We can have a direct experience of the BoL in the body – we can palpate its living action and expression. The potency of the BoL expresses itself through the cerebrospinal fluid. The action of the BoL within the cerebrospinal fluid causes it to pulsate in a tide-like fashion.

This movement (Primary Respiration) is described as tide like because it is not a linear movement or a current, it is a holographic movement welling up and receding, widening and narrowing. Although it is most palpable where there is cerebrospinal fluid, the movement is not limited to these places, it effects all the fluids in the body which influences the tissues to express the movement too.  This rhythmic response to the breath of life, tide or fluctuation is known as inhalation and exhalation and describes deeper dynamics of the living system.

The conceptual understanding of the orientation to Health in this work is essential, at the same time we have to know how to put the theory into practice. For this reason I have broken down the different elements of how we access health and the aspects of the work that are resourcing.

Intention of a session – The realization and consistent awareness that there is health in all of us all the time is the main principle of this work. It is not the job of the practitioner to bring the person to health, health is already there, all the time – even when the person is extremely unwell, or even dying. The work of the practitioner is to support and work with the BoL and its expression of the inherent health of their system and let this matrix of health and its inherent treatment plan guide the session.

Practitioner Fulcrums  – A fulcrum is a still place, around which other (moving) parts orient. It organizes motion and space, in this context it provides orientation for the practitioner and is therefore a support for the practitioner to access neutral.

Personal fulcrum – this is an orientation to the practitioner’s own body from the inside. Orienting to space, to present time and the practitioner’s personal emotional state, physiology and inner motion. It is a state of inner peace and brings the ability to put personal feelings aside and be present. It may be for some a space of meditation.

There are several techniques to assist a practitioner neutral, it may be different for each practitioner. One I particularly like is the Buddhist practice of equally divided attention. First bringing awareness to the breath and its movement in the body and then without shifting awareness including the awareness of the spine and then adding the sense of the skin. This widens the perception and lets the mind open to a greater field of awareness.

Practitioner Midline – Awareness of midline brings the sense of a vertical line in the centre of the spine, it extends down into the earth and up into the sky. This invites centeredness and clarity and gives an upright support to our system. Stillness at the centre of the midline brings a personal connection to dynamic stillness which is at the centre of everything and therefore is a unifying state. When the practitioner is in contact with their midline, it is an orienting fulcrum for both practitioner and client.

The Straight Sinus/ Sutherland’s fulcrum – This fulcrum is a natural fulcrum related to the straight sinus which is laid down embryologically. It is at a 30< angle and drains from the inferior sagittal sinus at the centre of the brain to the transverse sinuses. It offers some support in the back to the ground, like the third leg of a tripod. This also allows the practitioner to rest back in themselves without leaning into the client energetically – giving more space.

Earth as a fulcrum – This is an energetic extension of the midline down into the earth offering a sense of grounding and solidity.

Elbow fulcrum – A very practical fulcrum. It is an anchor for the elbow on the table when we are in contact with the client so that our hands can be stable and still. The shoulders and arms are supported and can relax. This then enables a floating quality in the hands making perception clearer.

The Heart fulcrum, the Sinoatrial Node – Located in the upper wall of the right atrium – the SA node which according to Charles Ridley is “your heart of hearts where infinite stillness and finite form unite”. The SA node sets the rate of contraction for the heart. It spontaneously contracts, it is said to be capable of contracting by itself, it is self-firing – generating the rhythm of the heart. Abiding in this place gives a sense of wholeness, and a connection to the rhythm of the life. It is the bridge between dynamic stillness and the sense of self, bringing a sense of wholeness.

The Third Ventricle – the largest amount of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced by the choroid plexi in the lateral ventricles, but there are also some on the roof of the 3rd ventricle. The choroid plexi filter out red blood cells and other chemicals including toxins leaving a pure, clear, slightly visceral liquid which is the CSF. These fluids are ignited with potency in the 3rd ventricle as it is moved in a circular motion like a turbine. It is said to be the receptacle of life force and when we abide in this place (just behind the 3rd eye) it brings a sense of clarity, vitality, centeredness and light.

Neutral – Practitioner fulcrums are supporting a state of neutral for the practitioner.

A biodynamic term for what feels like reverent equanimity. Being neutral is to learn to see with a transparent eye, to have no judgment about, or desires for, or aversion to, the mode of representation that arises within. This transparent eye removes preconceived patterns and meanings and enables the meaning in itself to emerge into perception. When your heart field is like a still pond, any image that strikes it is allowed to pass directly within you to be held in neutral, and the image can then take its own shape with which you do not interfere. You are both a detached witness and a participant. This feeling witness consciousness is what frees the flow of meaning for you. – Charles Ridley, Article on Neutral

Neutral is when the awareness becomes unfixated and free of egoic control, surrendered to the processes of the Breath of Life. Practitioner neutral is the optimum state for the practitioner and although it may not be possible to be maintained at all times throughout a session it is the intention to keep returning to this state of neutral.

Resourcing – This would include making sure the person is physically comfortable and communicating what they can expect from the session. At the start of a session, as the client arrives and during the history intake, there is an awareness of gathering resources for the client. Part of this process is reassuring the client, creating a rapport and starting to engage and teach the person how to access their own resources.

During the history intake some of the questions might include, “ What helped you make it through difficult times?”, “Was there support from the outside? If not, what support would have been helpful?”, “If you imagine, who you would have liked with you, who would it be?”. If someone is talking about a traumatic event these questions help to remember that the event is in the past and realize that they did survive and had support to do so.

The practitioner would then ask something like, “And how does that feel in your body when you notice that?” (support or resource) – bringing it to the felt sense so it is felt in the body and can be accessed later in the session as a resource if needed.

Holistic Shift/ Client Neutral – The client’s neutral is pivotal in biodynamics. This ‘shift’ happens with hands on, in any hand position on the body through the presence of the practitioner, who is holding a space of neutral and inviting the clients system to orient to that neutral.  In the spaciousness of neutral and resonance with the client the system slows down and settles into a neutral, it is as if the system drops down a layer and is often signified by an involuntary deep in breath. It is a free space in which potency infuses an area of inertia with the original imprint of healthy, coherent motion or provides a portal to deeper forces of motion and stillness. A unification occurs and the system that was experienced as fragmented is reminded of wholeness. There is often a clarification of primary respiration at this stage followed by a state of balance.

If this shift to neutral doesn’t happen then the practitioner would first work with stillness processes.

Primary Respiration is the expression of the Breath of Life in action and arises out of stillness. It is delicate, sublime whole body breathing that wells out of the midline while it radiates out the transverse dimention as a potent fractal array of lemniscates (figure 8) patterns of health throughout (the) body before it recedes. (Ridley p. 55). It is a holographic expression of inhalation and exhalation palpable all over the body when it is being expressed.

In mid tide, on the level of fluid body, it is perceived as a fluidic motion that ebbs and flows in cycles of about 24 seconds, approximately two or three cycles per minute. The quality of the touch is of the hands being immersed in fluid. The perception is of the client as a whole fluid field. There is a connection to the tissues, fluids and potency of the system. Information is received through the whole. Fluid body has a quality of the personal. The therapeutic processes have to do with neutral and state of balance related to inertial patterns.

In Long tide, on the level of tidal body, primary respiration is perceived as a vast, vaporous, oceanic potency. It is a huge field of action and comes with a radiant, loving presence.  The hands of the practitioner are immersed in potency. There is brilliancy and radiance with a sense of both lightness of density and lightness of vision. Tidal body is perceived as a universal resonating matrix, and has an impersonal quality. The therapeutic process has to do with ignition processes related to embryological forces and formation.

This ‘whole body breathing’ has a unifying force which reestablishes healthy patterns throughout the body. It is self-regulating and maintains inner dynamic balance. Primary respiration is the guiding force that directs the therapeutic process – the inherent treatment plan.

Dynamic Stillness – A deep stillness literally enters the space and permeates both client and practitioner. There is a sense of reverence, a religious experience where healing occurs at the deepest level.

Inherent Treatment Plan

This can only be accessed once the initial holistic shift or client neutral has occurred. The therapeutic process is decided by what is presented by the clients system in the moment. A typical session will start with the ‘Three steps of Becker’ which are three Neutrals: Practitioner Neutral, Neutral in Relationship (which is the negotiation of touch, setting up of relational field and resources) and the Client Neutral or holistic shift.  If the shift happens it would then be followed by a state of balance of inertial fulcra. Here the question is asked ‘What is organizing this inertia?” and as we sense this axis of organization the system naturally moves through steps towards reorganization. If the ‘shift’ doesn’t happen it may mean that the system is over-loaded or lacking potency so would be followed by stillness processes  – with the intention of revitalizing the system. Simply put, the practitioner cooperates with primary respiration, which creates potency in the body’s fluids as a therapeutic force that emerges during a neutral, it then deepens in to a stillpoint out of which primary respiration occurs and breathes healthy motion throughout the body.

These are basic guidelines but it is important to understand that the inherent treatment plan unfolds uniquely in each moment of the session so it is impossible to follow a protocol. Because the biodynamic approach is accessing and realigning with the inherent health of the system therapeutic processes are more about perception than doing.

Afference/Non-Efference

The biodynamic approach to healing is seen as afferent. The word is taken from a physiological term used when referring to a movement conducted inwards or towards something – for nerves that means towards the central nervous system and for blood vessels it means towards the organ supplied with blood.  Efferent activity is a moving away from or out of something. Efference is the reverse of afference.

In the context of this work efference means there is a doing attitude, having a kind of interfering  or ‘fixing’ intention towards the client and their healing process. Charles Ridley in his book ‘Stillness’ clearly explains how our intention can effect the clients natural healing capacity of their system and it’s process during a session.

In reference to Sutherlands admonition, “No outside force that can be safely applied” he says, To me, this means that you apply no efferent activity, which includes motion testing, applying techniques, intentions, suggestions, focused perception, fluid direction, or augmentation,. In place of efference, you wait, remain relaxed, quiet, and in reverent equanimity. When you abide in this disposition you leave the Breath of Life free to be in its natural state, and can then coherently resynchoronize the inertial parts with the whole. If I apply efferent techniques, even subtle non-verbal conversation skills, suggestions, intentions or minute augmentations – it imprints an exact template of these linear patterns onto the delicate field of primary respiration – it has to. This field of moving stillness is so utterly transparent that it can be likened to unexposed film. While my efferent activity is imprinting stressful vectors onto this sensitive field, it creates destructive interference patterns that can imprison primary respiration, forcing it to deal with the lines of force that I introduces instead of the forces present in the clients body. I will say it again: Even the most subtle, loving suggestion is efferent, and therefore not neutral. P.51

The practitioner remains with a quiet mind, an open heart with no desire for resolution of any kind.  This is not always as easy as it sounds because we are often stressed, activated or nervous ourselves and need to take the time and have a clear intention to settle into this afferent state of neutral before and during a session. Additionally we are habitually oriented to trying to change or heal the client and can feel pressured to do so from their side when someone comes with a painful symptom and, understandably, really wants to be fixed.

However, remaining in a neutral state makes it much easier to hold a wide field and clarity of perception while we, as practitioners, are refraining from efferent activity.  The afferent approach i avoids interpretation, doesn’t name lesions or dysfunctions, and doesn’t label a clients process.  We don’t project our hands or our energy inside the clients body looking for insight or understanding about what it happening. We rest in neutral and let what is just be, allowing any information to come to us. The skilled practitioner works with presence and perception and is comfortable and able to maintain a neutral state. From there we learn to become familiar with and differentiate the different tides, neutral, recognize specific processes and stillness. This allows the intelligence of the breath of life to express and reorganize the system to access potency and realign to its original matrix of health.

At the essence of Craniosacral Therapy life begins to teach us about itself
– Roger Gilchrist


Conclusion

This project has been and continues to be a wonderful exploration in seeing how I can bridge the different levels of perception. It has helped tremendously to inquire into the benefits of orienting to health and using resources in a therapeutic context.  My research has been much more far reaching than I have been able to put into words.

These three approaches (SE®, DLT and CSB) are all phenomenological in their approach – they work with the person as a whole unit of function. This means that there is a bridge between the spiritual dimensions and the personality, they have a connection to the whole through the wholeness of being, which makes the movement from one to another integrated and less of a schism.

I have made a chart (page 34) summarizing the different aspects that are health oriented and resourcing. The chart is self-explanatory being a summary of the aspects that have already been discussed in this document.

The chart on page 35shows a summary of the levels of perception in the three approaches and how these are parallel to each other. From left to right, the first column is the name in each modality of the source or energy that is the Divine or God. As this energy is embodied, incarnated in the flesh and differentiates from the undifferentiated unified field it becomes our true nature, an expression of the source – it is whole and complete and manifests as a sense of wellbeing and aliveness. As a result of our conditioning, traumatic experiences and history we disconnect from this and the personality is formed, this is shown in the last column. We move from wholeness to fragmentation, from our true self to personality, from health to patterns of dysfunction. Of course this process is not linear, all of the levels are present all the time, it is our perception that changes. Many healing modalities and therapies work only within the last column, working with the level of the physicality and personality and their layers of defense and fixed patterns of behavior to fix the person or improve the personality.

During the research I have had the tendency to discount my previous experiences of therapeutic styles which may have been more cathartic or shocking. I soon realized that I may be receptive and appreciative of the subtleties of these more refined and respectful approaches now because I have been through so many other experiences already and have this as a background allowing me to feel the gratitude of being met at such a deep level with these ‘new’ approaches. I also believe that there is a time when one modality may be more suitable than another, and that there is no perfect approach that suits everyone all the time.

I have, however, as a client, a student and in my personal life found it very helpful to be supported to look at what works, rather than endlessly trying to improve myself. When I am faced with a challenging situation I am tending to include more of an awareness of parts where I feel good, rather than what is difficult. I am aspiring to see myself and my history less from a negative point of view but with a more holistic vision. Seeing that it is all part of something greater than I am usually aware of and is perfect both in this moment and in the bigger picture. This then brings a more accurate view of myself and the world.

As part of my research I gave a series of sessions. During this time I focused on giving myself permission to take all the time I needed to settle into neutral and do what ever I needed to do before and during a session to maintain a relaxed connection – this then allowed me to sense the inherent treatment plan like never before and from there I was only able to work from a non-efferent approach. My practice changed dramatically as a result of these sessions and shifted my approach much more into a biodynamic mode. The sessions were often clear and magical, sometimes very tangible fluid body (mid tide) processes and at times deep truly religious experiences. The clients reported that these sessions had deep and lasting benefits.

One of the conclusions that I came to is that each person in each moment is utterly unique and the only way to work with someone is to practice being able to be still, with the presence of mind not to interfere, allowing the process and their Being to unfold in each moment according to their own intrinsic essential nature.

We’re looking at ‘a paradigm shift from elimination of pain and suffering to the restoration of health from within’ – Dr Rollin Becker

The question is  – Can we truly let go into trusting this life force that is in a constant flow of recreation, resurrection and repair? –  It is a quantum shift and for both the practitioner and the client – a realignment to health that is a true alchemy.


LEVELS OF PERCEPTION

Somatic Experiencing®

G
O
D
L
O
V
E

·    Core intactness – a place
at the core, however traumatized, remains untouched and in tact
·    Innate healing wisdom

E
M
B
O
D
I
M
E
N

·    Wholeness
·    Natural Resiliency
·    Presence in Body
·    Healthy response to perceived
life threatening events
·    Intrinsic healing capacity

T
R
A
U
M
A
C
O
N

·    Fragmentation
·    ANS dysregulation
·    Trauma Symptoms:
·    Shock – dissociation
·    Freeze
·    Loss of resiliency
·    Hyper-vigilance
·    Hypersensitivity

DiamondLogos
Teachings

D
I
V
I
N
E
S

·    The Absolute
·    Buddha Nature
·    Consciousness
·    Undifferentiated field

T
I
N
C
A
R
N

·    Essential Vehicles
·    Essential Dimensions

·    Being
·    Essence
·    True self
·    Essential self

D
I
T
I
O
N
I
N
G

·    Personality
·    Ego identity
·    False self
·    Enneagram Fixation
·    Issues
·    Deficiencies (holes)
·    Defense layers and False essential
states

Biodynamic
CranioSacral Balancing

O
U
R
C
E

·    Inherent intelligence of Breath
of Life
·    Stillness
·    Unconditional forces

A
T
I
O
N

·    Expression of Breath of Life
·    Primary
Respiration
·    Tidal Body -Longtide
·    Epigenetic forces
·    Potencies
·    Neutral in LT

·    Potencies
·    Fluid body – Midtide
·    Neutral in fluid body

H
I
S
T
O
R
Y

·    CSR
·    Inertial fulcrums
·    Inertial patterns
·    Pain/suffering
·    Physical/emotional dysfunction
and symptoms

 

Health
Orientation

Resources
for Practitioner

Resources
for Client

Somatic
Experiencing®

·  Understanding
that client as whole and intact at the core
· Alignment
and focus on ‘what works’

·  External
– environment
·  Internal
– body, support
Bring
to felt sense
· Slowing
down
·  Tracking
and following physiology of client
·  Resiliency

·  External
– comfort, choices
·  Internal
– body, memory, supportive people –  Bringing to felt sense
· Slowing
down the process
· Titration
– bite size pieces
· Orienting
to present time
·  Completing
flight/fight response

DiamondLogos
Teachings

·  Orientation
to the Being
· Focus
on embodiment of essence NOT issue
· The
field of the Absolute as holding environment

· Presence
· Knowledge
of the map
· Experience
and understanding of different states of being
· Embodiment
of essential states especially the Absolute & DiamondBody

·  Presence
(practitioner and self)
· Sensing
arms and legs (widening of perception)
· Knowledge
of the map
· Essence
·  Inquiry
/ tracking
·  Embodiment
– Ability to ‘tolerate’ space and other states

Biodynamic
CranioSacral Balancing

· Seeing
the client as healthy, not as symptoms
· Working
with the system as a whole unit of function, coming from the greater
whole
·  Orientaion
to the Breath of Life
· Following
Inherent treatment plan
· Understanding
that PR is self-regulatory and maintaining inner dynamic balance

· Taking
time to settle
· Neutral
– equally divided attention (breath, spine, skin), midline- earth/sky
· Fulcrums
– neutral, midline, SA node, straight sinus, elbow, 3rd ventricle
· Widening
of perception to include the whole
·  Orienting
to Midline
·  Stillness
at the core

· External
/internal  – bringing to felt sense
· Negotiation
of space & contact
· Neutral
in relationship
· Slowing
down
· Holistic
shift  … unified field
· Potency
· Midlines
· State
of balance
·  Neutral
…  Stillness
· Time
for integration

 

References

A.H Almaas :  Diamond Heart Book One: Elements of the Real in Man, Berkley, Diamond Books, 1987. The Inner Journey Home, Shambala Publications, Boston and London, 2004

The Pearl Beyond Price, Shambala Publications, Boston and London, 2001

Essence – The Diamond Approach to Inner Realisation, York Beach, ME: Samual Weiser,1 1986

Babette Rothschild – The Body Remembers, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, London, 2000

Bruce Lipton – various articles – www.brucelipton.com

Byron Brown – Soul without Shame, a guide to liberating yourself from the judge within,
Shambala Publications, Boston and London, 1999

Charles Ridley – Stillness, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California, 2006

Diane Poole Heller Phd. – articles and notes from workshops

Faisal Muqaddam – The Lataif, a transcript taken from a workshop in 2006.

Franklyn Sills – Craniosacral Biodynamics Volume One, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California and U I Enterprises, Florida 2001

Franklyn Sills – Craniosacral Biodynamics Volume Two, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California 2004

Michael Kern – Wisdom in the Body, the Craniosacral approach to Essential Health, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California and Pacific Distributing, California, 2005

Osho – The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha. Vol.6,  Ancient Music in the pines – Chapter 9

Peter Levine with Ann Frederick – Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California 1997

Roger Gilchrist – Craniosacral Therapy and the Energetic Body, an overview of craniosacral biodynamics, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, California, 2006