Quiet Mind Meditation

This is a quiet space .. designed to inspire, nurture and support your meditation practice so that you might find your own quiet mind

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

My Massage Meditation

Photo Stock_xchng – Calm & Relaxation1 (by mancity id 899192)

"When we actually let ourselves experience the body, we realize that it is not at all solid. Instead, body can be directly felt as a whirling mass of minute sensations, ebbing and flowing, surging and subsiding, pulsing with the energy of life." In some profound ways, it is a "coming home" to an embodied aliveness long forgotten, says Will Johnson (a writer and Rolfer).

Last weekend I had a most amazing massage session. Now I am someone who LOVES a massage. I have studied and worked as a massage therapist myself .. I find great stillness when I am doing bodywork on someone... I don't get time to practice massage very often. I haven't had a massage myself for about a year... life has just been too busy!
But I had long heard about this wonderful massage therapist who lives just near me, and a few weeks ago when I found my shoulders living somewhere up near my ears (and hurting too) I knew I had to see this woman ... I just had to wait three long weeks until I could get an appointment.

With mindfulness as my focus at the moment ... and as a big fan of touch and bodywork ... I knew that not only would I get the chance to have a great massage... but I could make the whole experience a form of meditation by allowing the sense of touch to be my focus.. my anchor to being ‘in the moment’.

In my massage I was going to allow my mind to focus on the sense of touch as the object of my investigation … feeling the body being touched, pressed upon, rubbed, moved, stretched and brushed.

To get my ‘massage meditation’ started I first took a few moments to settle my body and find my breath. I reflected on my intention for the next hour – to allow the body to really ‘let go’, to relax first the body and then the mind. To find stillness ~ and heal my shoulders too. I spent a few moments expanding my sense of hearing .. I opened the ‘ear windows’ and really listening to the birds in the trees outside, acknowledged the trees rustling in the wind, and the water lapping the pool. I noted my sense of smell had explored and found some wondrous, exotic scents in the room around me. I felt very safe, warm and cocooned from the outside world. My intention to leave the outside world outside seemed relatively easy at this point.

As the therapist started the session with the most blissful attention to my feet (ahhh) I took my focus from my breath at my nostril – and 'found' my breath at my feet. And as the therapist moved from my feet across other areas of my tired body, stopping at times for areas that called out for extra attention; I continued to be the gentle observer.. breathing in attention to her work, breathing out and releasing any holding. I watched my breath and I explored the feelings from the inside out … I listened to what my body told me in response to her touch.

Massage allowed me to open my attention to really ‘be’ with my body, to sit with any pain and not judge it, or try to argue with it... I tried to release any holding, to allow my breath to move, find gentleness and ground my awareness in the present moment.
In fact I found little difficulty to being present in the moment... I found it surprisingly easy to rest my mind and not get caught up in any thoughts!
I have found another welcome technique in my meditation toolbox... and I have booked another session in three weeks time!

Massage allows us to :

· Discover again the importance of being in the present moment
· Learn how to listen again to our bodies cues
· Become more attuned to our senses

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