From the Koran: Marry the person who quiets your mind.

Now that we have sex out of the way,
let's get onto something slightly more important . . .

Love
Back in 1999, a leading massage instructor by the name of Steve Capellini wrote a powerful book as part of the well-known 'Dummies' series. In his Massage for
Dummies
, he suggested that the greatest principle of a powerful massage is to, in his words, "let the love flow." Certain people, he writes, develop an ability to send a very distinct and palpable sensation of love into their fingers and palms. You can feel it when they touch you. Everyone has the potential to develop this ability. By offering a sustained, intentional, caring form of
tactile stimulation, massage is one of the best ways to impart emotional reassurance.

A recommended text

Despite the title, it's a strong introduction

Part of the problem is that I'm not a natural mushy-mushy lovey-dovey type person, and the word 'love' doesn't pop up in my everyday vocabulary very often. Now most of us might agree with this statement: "I don't know what a good song is, but I'll surely know it when I hear it." Well perhaps the same can go for love, if indeed the
experience is transmittable in a tangible way as Capellini suggests.

It's been said of course that love is a matter of placing the next person's needs on a par with one's own. In addition, said Werner Erhard, "Love is giving another person the space to be who they are,
and who they are not." To me, that latter aspect is pure empowerment. Few people in this world are given permission to be who they aren't.

So let me assert that instead of relying so much on defining love, let's look for its
effects, and one of the first effects is when the space starts to CRACKLE. (As when a dead restaurant suddenly comes alive.) It's not so much the words, but it's the space, the hum, the level of acceptance, the heightened communication in a realm beyond words, the effortless action taking place on the massage table.

This helps explain to me a phenomena I noticed early in my massage career: that at the end of a session, even women who one would consider "hardened" by life, unemotional, respond with a kiss and a hug. They're responding, in my mind, to the 70 minutes of pure acceptance they just experienced, and it's not uncommon to hear them say, "If I had the money, I'd get a massage every day" - and they mean it. (I'm sure almost all practitioners have heard this one.) They've just been listened to for 70 minutes at a physical level that doesn't lie, which kind of reminds me of those famous words of theologian Paul Tillich: "The first duty of love is to listen."

Granny bugging out with the Victrola

Let me also assert that this Snap-Crackle-Pop we're aiming for can't come when we're scheming for it. We need a purity of heart, a dropping of our desire for self-gain, which as we've seen, happens to be a major theme running through the spiritual literature of the ages. This purity is part and parcel of sincerity, with no ulterior motives lurking
underneath. I once noticed this description of an episode with the greatest of
American psychics (for lack of a better word), Edgar Cayce. When Cayce, a devoutly religious man, prayed with great simplicity and sincerity there was such deep peace in the room that nobody wished to leave, and one could see tears glistening in eyes across the room. Something like a
current or field of goodness and promise seemed built up around him at such times, and not by eloquence (a form of scheming). What we're seeing here is an example of entrainment at a group level.

So let me suggest that love is a palpable current, the field of goodness is the higher space we're called to (American Indians had a term for such moments - sacred space) and the promise is the new heights we suddenly feel capable of
achieving. Love is
empowerment.

Now let me repeat a theme that recurs in higher texts on bodywork and is echoed in the spiritual literature:
Mechanics without love (pure
intention / wanting the other person's highest good) is not powerful enough to circulate the
energy channels
. Further, the intention behind the touch must be insistent and consistent.

It pays to wash one's hands

Mechanics with love

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