Today I took a walk at dawn. I took a walk just where the night meets the day.
The philosopher and teacher, Martin Buber, said it is not the educational intention but it is the meeting which is educationally fruitful. In therapy we can say also it is not the therapeutic intention, but it is the meeting which is therapeutically fruitful. Indeed studies have shown it is the client-therapist relationship quality that is the best predictor of positive therapeutic outcomes.
Each sense has a place of meeting – the place where the sound can first be heard, the place where we first see something illuminated by light – and every time we’re met, whether by sound, smell, light, or touch, we come to a point of awakening – with conscious contact we wake up. We come to the meeting point where we identify the smell, the taste, the voice, the touch.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s Amore.
Well, we’re not precisely looking for amore, but it is certainly common to see the restoration of self-appreciation, of self-love as the client meets him/herself again through our touch-reflection.
“This is indeed that unknown person I was – and so close to me!” – Jacques Riviere
It is said that the Buddha upon being asked if he were enlightened, refused all claims except to say “I am awake”.
Experimentally finding just the right pressure is a large part of the art of massage – whether it be the right touch quality for this person here of a butterfly or a gentle wave or a paw or a pointer or a fist – everything we do becomes a call to consciousness. Everything we do becomes an opportunity for awakening.
Soft tissue manipulation has its limits as our definition; rather what if we were just pointing, pointing the way here, here, here, we meet.
The poet Issa said, “The man pulling radishes, points the way with a radish.”
We point the way with our carefully chosen pressures.