By Elmer Postle, BCST
(This text appears in the Autumn 2019 edition of The Fulcrum magazine.)
I am a Biodynamic Craniosacral therapist as well as a Student of the metaphysical text ‘A Course In Miracles’. For those who don’t know the Course, it is a channelled work comprised of a Text, a Workbook and a Manual for Teachers. It offers a profound psycho-spiritual course of enquiry. There are daily lessons which are intended to serve as a deepening of the philosophy to do with forgiveness. Getting a ‘handle’ on forgiveness is key and I find this is supportive to my BCST in practice.
Getting a ‘handle’ on forgiveness has really helped me in my BCST practice.
Forgiveness, as proposed by the Course, involves releasing judgements about others. It teaches that we create a cloud of judgments about others and conclude that these together form the reality about them – this is essentialy fear-based. Sunshine-like truth creeps through but I spend time not receiving others as they are. The Course suggests that the practice of releasing judgements will enable access to a truth or love that frees both parties.
While working as a film maker and participating in a project with Biodynamics pioneer Franklyn Sills a few years ago, I was moved by the way the Course’s references to forgiveness and Franklyn’s teaching on compassion seemed to harmonise. The Lesson shown below recently spoke to me of this. I have been doing these lessons for years and yet feel like an absolute beginner!
So, Lesson 98: ‘I will accept my part in God’s plan for salvation’.
The first three words on their own: ‘I will accept..’ This resonates for me with the first part of a session in Biodynamic practice where I orient to a midline, the health in ourselves and the client as well as the relational field. With a grounding in technique, I am accepting to be in the service of a plan I don’t fully understand. Interestingly, the Course radically speaks about how free will is God’s will. If so, the first two words; ‘I will’ are already a joining-with-something-bigger statement.
A recent treatment session provides an example of how the Course lesson helped me as a therapist stay present and spacious in a challenging situation. A new mother came for a treatment for her upset baby. She had undergone an emergency C-Section to give birth, and subsequently her baby had been taken to another room in the hospital. Her history touched my own birth story. During my initial contact in the treatment session, she seemed to be running from something in the way the Primary Respiration flowed for ‘flight’. I sensed that her delivery was unresolved / still very present in her: she wanted to be with the new life she had borne and couldn’t get there to look after it because her body was incapacitated – she was and continued to be in a fix. Orienting to health together, I found ways to forgive my judgements about her system and myself that allowed us both to reference something beyond ourselves that could be a resource able to support both mother and child to safely connect. Seeing myself as a part of a plan related to love had the potential to help me as therapist to stay present.
….my part in…. For me, these three words speak to the radical nature of the Biodynamic perspective Franklyn Sills, my teacher Katherine Ukleja as well as the early originators of osteopathy teaching. The core of this teaching is the shift from the therapist being a force to be centred by the client to one working together with the intelligence within. The ‘holistic shift’ is being part of something. The Course proposes we are One with all life. We have just mistakenly believed we are not, and can work on correcting that. The ‘something’ in the Craniosacral Therapy lexicon we could also call God, love, anatomy, peace, joy – they all work. They point to a connection beyond measure. Interpersonal Neurobiologist Daniel Siegel defines health as a ‘re-membering of cilliant parts’; i.e. health is re-connection.
God’s plan… That there is a ‘..God’s plan..’ is such a key part of the Course. Because there’s so much fear attached to authority and human-level abuse attached to the notion of God, it can be hard to allow the possibility of a One-ness (or ‘something’) that is safe. Much of my practice is involved with trauma and whether someone feels safe or not. When I am working I find the Course’s razor sharp differentiation between how love and fear can each have definitions of what safety is, helps me navigate. Holding the possibility of an intelligence and plan beyond understanding helps me through my fears.
When we say; ‘something happens’ at the emergent point in Biodynamic Craniosacral work, are we really saying; ‘something is happening that has an intelligence more miraculous than we know with our minds?’ In sessions the logical mind says: ‘I can see this problem: I can’t do this (in a way it’s right)’ Another baby, for example, ‘cries all the time’. Forgiving myself, the mother, the doctor, the baby, there is an allowing of the ‘intelligence’ to enter. There is a miraculous movement I had no idea would happen. The two-month-old (induced birth) baby pushes my hand with his feet to propel himself along a mattress towards his mother. He looks relieved and stops crying for the first time. When he restarts it’s with less intensity. This process has technique and practice in it but/and is primarily an acceptance of an unfolding plan.
As an experiment: what happens if we change the ‘G’ word in the sentence to ‘Health’? ‘I will accept my part in Health’s plan for salvation’. It has a little less authority, perhaps; but it’s something I can accept easily as a BCST practitioner. It is a prayer or a reminder of intention that I can make during a session.
…for Salvation. Salvation is a ‘miracle’ in the language of the Course; a re-membering of what is true behind the clouds of the body’s perception. The words ‘forgiveness’ and ‘salvation’ are interchangeable in the Course. In my cranial work I think there is forgiveness happening when healing is taking place. The baby in pain, the rigid muscle or torsion pattern under my hands is forgiven for its once-appropriate response. I seem to say: ‘you really had to do that, for reasons I don’t totally understand. Right here, right now I am not going to want you to change or give it up’. If I can stay present, compassionate, expanding my capacity, that’s when the miracle of ‘something happens’ may take place and a ‘pop’ or an ‘ahh’ or ‘that’s new’, or there is a shift in the field and a call two weeks later saying ‘it’s different’. Salvation is forgiveness; healing is forgiving the person or pattern and myself for everything; and in doing so allowing the whole truth its expression. This is why the work can feel miraculous – it is.