Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dee Jai (Happy Heart) - Thai Bodywork Weekends Three and Four

Ruesri - an ascetic monk reminding us to practice self care.  
Ruesri Daton, or Thai Yoga, developed with the hermits / rishis 
as a way to keep the body limber and healthy for long periods of meditation.  

Put your dreams away for now
I won’t see you for some time
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind

Momma once told me
You’re already home where you feel love
I am lost in my mind
I get lost in my mind

Oh my brother
Your wisdom is all that I need
Oh my brother
Don’t you worry ‘bout me
Don’t you worry
Don’t you worry
Don’t worry about me

How’s that bricklayin’ coming 
How’s your engine running
Is that bridge getting built
Are your hands getting filled

Won’t you tell me my brother
Cause there are stars up above
We can start moving forward

excerpt from:

Holy smokes, I can't believe it has been over a month since my last post!  I knew I was delinquent on keeping up with posting about the Thai Bodywork training.  Between weekends three and four there was Thanksgiving, and I also had a business trip.  I'd better get this done before weekend five sneaks up!  Since weekend four there has been Christmas and New Year's, so honestly, both weekends seem ages ago.  Thank goodness I have mostly keep up with the reading and practice sessions, otherwise I really would have forgotten everything.  

I'm not going to refer back to the notes I took, as I have for the other Thai Bodywork posts. One is in the interest of time. I have been really procrastinating this for the past week or so.  I nearly wrote a post about a new recipe we tried instead, so much easier and flashier.  Enough!  The other is in the interest of not being too "heady.  (I get lost in my mind.  Don't we all!?!?), and just focusing on what were the take-aways from the experiences after this elapsed time.

Scenes from Weekend Three

During Thursday evening sharing time of weekend three assistant Tammy mentioned how she was thinking of her life as a bowl with a small hole in it.  Keep in mind I am paraphrasing, and also remembering through my own lens from nearly two month ago.  As she keeps learning and having new experiences, there is continually room to keep adding, as the bowl never gets entirely filled.

Of course something is being lost through the hole, but there is faith that what she needs will stay in the bowl, or will come back around into the bowl.  I just love this idea for a number of reasons.  One, I love to learn!  Those who have known me awhile know that I am always taking some class or another.  Ayurvedic-ly I am Vata predominant.  Textbook Vata, always on the go.  It's nice to think there is always room to learn.  

More Scenes from Weekend Three

Secondly, I stress about all I am forgetting.  It's reassuring to think what I need is staying with me, or will come back around at the right time.  I've come to think of this as hands cupped into a bowl shape.  Filling the hands, there are natural cracks, some will contents will remain, and some will leak out.  Life is a continual filling-up, having experiences, gaining knowledge.  Are your hands getting full?  

The other main point I remember is a reading Paul did from a book.  Okay, I did look up this one bit in my notes, the author was Michael Meade.  But I didn't write down the book title.  Though as I understand, it is an old parable, so the book or the author isn't all that important.  Here it is:  Some hungry lions came upon a herd of grazing gazelles.  They put the old toothless lions at one side of the field, while the mighty young lions waited on the other side.  The old harmless lions let out some bellowing roars.  Of course the gazelles all ran the other direction, and fell pray to the deadly lions.  The parable:  Run into the roar.  Your fears will turn out to be harmless. 

Scenes from Weekend Four

Between weekends three and four I spent a few hours at an Introduction to Thai Massage class Paul taught.  It was interesting to review some of the points from earlier on, and also to see how far we had come!  I get caught up in all I DON'T know, it is nice remember where I had come from.  Is that bridge getting built?  Why yes, it IS coming along!    

Weekend four, although more recent, actually seems a little cloudier.  I missed a third due to the aforementioned business trip.  It was an international one, so I was a little bit discombobulated as I went right into weekend four.  I wasn't jet-lagged, thanks to a good night's rest the first night back and some Thai bodywork.  :-)   If you've traveled abroad, you may sympathize.  You arrive in the foreign country, you're on sensory overload, and just feel cloudy and have a feeling of "What???"  And then you arrive back home, and it's all nice an familiar, but that "What???" feeling stays with you for a bit.  Hey, I can speak English and not feel rude and everyone will clearly understand me!!!  I'm going to pay in dollars!!!

Here we are, the twelve of us in 
Class Twelve, a.k.a. "The Dirty 
Dozen," at the end of Weekend Four
(photo by either Tammy or Toni, with Larry's phone)

Paul, our fearless leader, was sick during weekend four and didn't join us.  Excellent instruction was provided by the assistants.  Thanks, Toni, Tammy, Katie, and Sarah!  The vibe was different though without his presence.  We finished the entire sequence, and started practicing it in its entirety, timed.  Yowza!  The focus now shifts more to providing a good overall, fluid experience for the recipient.  The sequence is meant to give us a structure, such as learning the scales and basic songs when beginning a musical instrument.  Once the rudiments are mastered, you can riff based on personal talents and client needs.  

This is much like my yoga teaching experience.  At first I carefully planned out every class on paper.  It gradually decreased, and now I go into class with a basic outline in my head, and let the needs of the class dictate where we go.  It took awhile to find my "voice," and best express information to the students.  I think my classes have become more fluid and intuitive over time.  This is an ongoing process, as I imagine giving Thai massage will be.  I think my hands, head, and heart will be getting filled with new Thai massage information for quite some time!  Maybe a lifetime, if I'm fortunate. 

What is filling your hands?  What makes you Dee Jai, Happy Heart?

P.S.  Some photos that have nothing to do with Thai Bodywork, other than I took them after leaving class.