Meeting with Stillness


It’s the first day of spring here in Melbourne, the sun is out and shining and the warmer weather has arrived. Today has been amazing experience for me from seeing two clients and the responses that happened within the sessions. Sometimes things just click and everything seems to go right – that was today for sure.

Previously in treatments stillness would often arise either very briefly or for several minutes. But I never really seemed to be in the same space as the client. I would find myself unconsciously looking for responses, signs of activity, just something to happen. This could be why maybe stillness never really hung around for very long.

Well today it went a little differently. The first client was someone who had been seeing me for a half a dozen sessions or so, with an ongoing improvement with symptoms and just generally feeling happier and healthier after. The last treatment we had was great as well. So much went on during the treatment, with a lot of physiological changes, trauma dissipation, and the whole body being engaged in being connected and active. This time around almost total stillness the entire treatment. That’s about 45-50min. For those of you who don’t do Biodynamic Craniosacral work or meditate, well even if you do, almost total stillness for this length of time doesn’t come easy. I have read of people who have meditated for their entire lives to achieve just fleeting moments of stopping in the mind and body. It was mind boggling as to where this had come from, but the great thing was that I was completely on the same page as the client and I didn’t find myself looking for anything. There was maybe half a dozen changes within her system that arose and these felt like there was a real quality to what was happening. Very quickly though her system would shift back to a deep stillness.

Post treatment I pondered where this change in relationship to stillness came from. It certainly wasn’t something that had shown glimmers of in previous sessions and it wasn’t something that I had been consciously working on in my own system. I didn’t have long to ponder though as the next treatment was ready to go.

My thought at the beginning of this one was ‘I wonder if something similar might happen’, but I made sure that I wasn’t searching for the same response. Well it was different, as is the case with most treatments from client to client and session to session. There was a lot more “stuff” being processed. The difference though this time was in noticing the quality of the stillness that popped up throughout the session. There wasn’t a rush to have to move straight back an active engagement with the body, or when it did, it was a fluid transition. The BIG THING that came to me as I observed the unfolding of expressions within this persons body, was that following a connection to stillness (brief or not) there was an ignition which either continued to be expressed as primary respiration, or a resolution/dissipation of trauma/stress. This processing of trauma was fantastic. It was super slow, well managed and did not unsettle the rest of the body (or my own system). Comparatively to trauma that was process coming out of primary respiration, there was less fluidity to it, potentially agitating to the rest of the body (or my own system) – not that it was uncontrollable, just that effort was involved in managing. Trauma resolution out of stillness was effortless. The other quality that I wondered about is that when trauma is resolving in the body there is a woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, within the clients system. Almost a stuttering, shuddering that we feel. I wonder whether this is ignition trying to kick over like a car engine struggling to start. It needs to warm up a little first before the engine can run smoothly and create drive for the body. The body can now use that previusly trapped energy within the normal system processes.

Following that treatment and whilst writing this, I have ponder some more as to where this connection to stillness might have come from. I think it’s from a couple of sources, but primarily started from me creating an image of what I perceive is the process going on in a biodynamic treatment. This flow chart was scribbled down on paper in about 30 minutes and then I spent a little more time making it look nicer on the computer and tweaking it a little.

It’s been from this image that I have had several great discussions with colleagues and in my own mind in clarifying what is it that goes on in a Biodynamic Craniosacral treatment. One of those discussions touched on Beckers or Sills seven levels of stillness and that there are different qualities and parts to the body/soma that are involved. This was something that I haven’t read about before (still haven’t, but will now), but there had been mentions during my practitioner training at some point. I didn’t really pay much attention to it at the time, but within these two sessions there was definitely discernible differences in the type of stillness, the quality and my relationship to it.

What I would encourage others who practice Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (or even the more mechanical craniosacral practitioners out there), is to do something similar. Put down on paper what you perceive as the organic process that arises throughout a treatment. Don’t just write down a paragraph or an essay describing it, but create an image as it gives you a very different perspective. I think I am going to play with this one further at some point, maybe trying to make it 3-dimensional and/or adding colour to it.

I would love to hear about others thoughts or interpretations on what I have done, as it all creates a fantastic thought process.

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