May 1, 2021
A purple zafu and zabuton, meditation cushion, sitting on a wooden floor.

Meditation and Your Bodywork Practice

Many years ago, and after I had returned home from being overseas for nearly 3 years, one of the absolute first places that I stopped by was the local New Age store.  Despite my confidence that had grown from experiencing my newfound abilities at the time, I had spent the previous several months living in a culture with a distinct language barrier, and with that comes an even more distinct barrier with any information that I could digest on these topics.

At first, I spent a lot of time online, reading about psychic phenomena and finding small New Age communities that I could share my experiences with.  Then, with time, and from the messages that had been channeled from these experiences, I began to seek out other seers and readers in what would become the beginning of my spiritual inquiry, and my practice of shamanism.

At this New Age store, I consulted with an in-house psychic reader whose first piece of advice was, in fact, to practice meditation.  Meditation, she said, would help clear the channels, open chakras, and generally improve the psychic experience for a fellow medium on the path.  It was such a relief to finally hear someone say what I had been reading about.  Not only did she empathize the importance of meditation, as an awakened being of light, but she was also an important reminder along the path of self-mastery.

Up until that point in time, I, as many of you will resonate with, was mostly coming from a place of intellectual understanding rather than spiritual knowledge.  I had been reading books like Dan Millman's classic Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and philosophical works like Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World, but I had no awareness.

Looking back, it could be best summed up as a series of cerebral experiences that were mostly informed from reading books that had been written from another person's perspective.  And it's not that these aren't great things, this is how most people begin their spiritual inquiry – by consuming mass media – it's just that they weren't my own experiences, yet.

Types of Meditation

Throughout the years I've tried a few different types of meditation, but it wasn't until I was introduced to the American Dharma, and Zen Buddhism, did I find even an inkling of discipline to practice meditation consistently enough where it could alter my perceptions, and transform my life, so that it could become a benefit to others, and those that I surround myself with.

Before I began writing this article, I did a quick Google search on the various types of meditation.  I was surprised to see that some articles pertaining to this subject listed as little as a few, to as many as several dozen different types of meditation.

For our purposes, and for the purposes of this article, I will only share with you those things that I've experienced myself.  Of course, there are many great meditation styles, techniques, instructors and lineages, although for where we're coming from in this moment, I'll only provide insight on zazen, or the zen style of meditation.

And this brief article should not be taken as a replacement for receiving the intricacies of formal zen training, or instruction in zazen.  Those resources can be abundantly found, both in the States and abroad, and is a topic that will be covered at a later point in time.

Meditation with Music

It goes without saying that silence is golden, and this is just as true for your sitting meditation as it is at your local movie theatre.  For this reason, and for the process of learning how to concentrate on just one thing, and this one thing will be your breathing, while simultaneously letting go of your thoughts – and all of the preconceived notions that come along with them – I don't recommend meditating with music.

There are times when music is appropriate, and there are styles of meditation that do include the use of soft, ambient music, but from my own experience, and outside the use of liturgical bells and clappers, I don't find the use of music while meditating to be necessary.  It will only further distract you from what's happening inside your own body, and ultimately your client's.

There are almost no goals with this style of meditation, there's no place to go to, and no place to hide behind.  It simply serves as a moment in time when you're returning to your breathe, and allowing yourself to confront this unfolding moment as it is.

Waking up in the here and now allows us to remain at ease with our physical surroundings, including the client on the table, and remain in a fluid state of consciousness while working with one's own guides and allies, that are many times eager to assist in the healing process.

Clearing Energy and Emotions

When working with the public at large, and with the hands-on nature of any type of informed touch, it's absolutely necessary to know how to, and to have the space and time to, effectively clear yourself of your client's energies and emotions.  Not everything that we take on from a client is bad, but it's important to learn how to disseminate what is your own emotional and energetic take, and what is not.

As intuitives and empaths we are literal psychic sponges and often remain vulnerable to the emotional and energetic state of the person that we are working with.  This is one of the main points of working with the body in such personal ways – we take away pain and suffering with the warmth and softness of our hands – while creating space for the client's body-mind to reside in.

Meditation is one way, and perhaps the most consistent way that I know of, to actively clear your body and mind from your client's psychic residue.  There are, of course, other techniques, including those that are located outdoors and closer to nature, that are also effective at clearing your personal energies, and actually increase your energetic reservoirs.  For now, though, meditation is key for your personal success and growth.

Coming Soon...

Watch this space for upcoming videos on sitting meditation and your bodywork practice!

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