“As long as we are alive, the journey of spirituality always returns us to the body: we are of the Earth.” –Christina Baldwin, The Seven Whispers
There’s an idea which says 250 million years ago the Earth’s land mass formed one supercontinent called Pangaea. The continents now separated by oceans were once connected.
After a weeklong massage and reflexology training at Esalen Institute I think this idea applies to humans too. What is in one is in all. What is in all is in one. Each individual body is a microcosm of our embodied Earth. Our individual and collective bodies need re-membering. We are longing to experience our wholeness from the inside out.
Sarah was completely new to practicing massage when she signed up for the training. I could feel her struggle to learn the mechanics of technique with her head while trying to stay present with her heart. Her gentle touch and caring intention balanced out the tentativeness in her hands, and my body felt that spark of interconnection with a greater whole.
Yes, I am a distinct individual with boundaries. Yet a deep experience of bodywork reminds me that the interconnection of one and all is by infinite design and we can experience it through the body.
After receiving 6 hours of massage in four days (as well as offering 5 hours), my body feels like a temple. When I came home from the workshop I found myself naturally drawn to healthier foods, with no need to “should” on myself about what to eat. There was even a day where I arose from bed with the sun without the aid of an alarm feeling thoroughly rested. I can’t remember the last time this has happened. Even though I still have aches and pains and lapses of energy, my body feels re-membered, put back together again in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.
The truth is I already am whole. I already am enough. But I constantly need to be reminded, and receiving the supportive touch of massage helps me remember who I really am. It helps me gather all the fragments of myself scattered about, sheparding them out of the dark corners into the clearings. Then I can feel the wholeness naturally from inside.
I know of some professional bodyworkers who offered George W. Bush complimentary bodywork every year he was president. Not surprisingly, he didn’t accept their offer. But sometimes I wonder, what if he had? Would a man in touch with his interconnection with the whole be able to wage global wars and perpetuate massive injustice?
Sitting here in this rejuvenated container called my body – a body that’s been touched abundantly for several days – I wish that all beings may inhabit a body blessed by nurturing, supportive touch and feel the sweetness of this basic human need being met. I wish that for each of us, including George. I claim for us all an inner acknowledgment of the need for touch and the willingness to have it.
Pangaea still exists. We are Her. She is us. Touch helps us connect and reconnect the ruptures. We are ready to be put back together again.
Copyright 2009. Beandrea Davis. Please check with author before re-printing.