Massage and Meditation: Sacred Science and Art

Bodywork is in some respects a sacred art form, like mandala painting. Sacred art forms are themselves pathways for self-growth, ultimately vehicles for enlightenment. In the Western world, sacred art was the predominant art style until and through the Renaissance.

Dance throughout the world has been the Path of movement. I recall reading about an African man who was anticipating the monthly sacred dance in his tribe. He said, “I long to be myself again!” Music, certainly through the time of Bach, was predominantly devotional and in many instances, ecstatic. Indian music to this day is a testament to the spiritual force of music. And, at their most transcendental, so are rock and roll and gospel music.

Massage and bodywork is such a pathway. It leads the practitioner to higher and deeper self-development. Done well, it is transformational for the doer. Of course, the great beauty of bodywork is, as the practitioner grows, so does the health and happiness of their clients. This makes bodywork one of the most unique activities when done with a spiritual basis. Most spiritual activities are designed primarily for the participant. In bodywork and massage explicitly, however, the receiver benefits as much or more than the giver. Sometimes after a session, I’m not even sure who is receiver and who the giver, so grateful and satisfied am I at the experience.

To do this kind of bodywork requires and cultivates compassion, courage, curiosity, honesty, excitement, love, understanding, groundedness, and openness to influences beyond one’s everyday self. There is no activity I know of that holds such enormous evolutionary potential for both the practitioner and those with whom they work. Because our medium, our prayer carpet so to speak, is firstly the human body and also the mind and spirit.

In this developmental and rejuvenative workshop on Dec. 12 we explore the Path of bodywork. We will learn a number of important meditations; breathing, basic focusing meditation, and meditation with awareness in motion.

We will discuss and practice working at “interface”. At interface, your awareness is centered on the meeting place of your structure and energy with the structure and energy of the client.

We will look at the body mechanics that most skillfully support the spirit in your work. We will also explore the “psycho-mechanics” of your work to enhance the choreography of your thought and emotion while you work.

We will be exchanging bodywork in this meditative context. In our busy lives, let us give ourselves a “breather” of the best kind – a deeply nourishing excursion into the sacred art of massage. Let us rest on our laurels, celebrate our achievements this year, and begin the year anew in the spirit that bodywork done beautifully evokes.