My partner has recently taken up meditation. As he embarks on this journey, he asks if I am willing to join him. I have to admit, initially, I was resistant, even teasing him as he stode heartily into his new practice. Soon, understandably, he pointed this out to me. I have,
at other times in my life, sat regularly, and was baffled at my hostility towards his new undertaking. Then, during a massage session, it occurred to me: I was, in that moment, meditating.
My partner and I do lots and lots of things together. I was distraught that he was partaking in a new endeavor without me. And I, unusually, didn’t want to go along with him. Over time, I realized I have had my own meditation practice for a while now: while working on massage clients. It’s not like this at all times, but in the quiet setting I practice in most often, I have copious amounts of silent thinking space. If I am unsettled and/or upset, my monkey mind takes over and perhaps, once or twice, I got myself into a tizzy thinking crazy schemes and conversations up in my brain. Then it occurred to me that, of course, I have the brain power to turn all that off.
Though it’s not the same windshield wiper effect I use during a sitting meditation, I am able to easily focus my thoughts back to the client and their needs. I tried actual clearing meditation, but that lasted for not long, as the client is lost from my thoughts too, so client focus is key. At times, I find that monkey mind trying to wrench her way into my focus. I can quickly shoo her away. If she gets too big for a swat away, providing her with a positive thought process often soothes her into pacification until she can be dealt with, or ideally, she vanishes into her banana house-forever. As soon as I am securely client focused again, I find a new move or a helpful idea for the client or issue at hand appears, sometimes with immediate client approval!
Noticing and utilizing this casual form of meditation has improved my massage work, as well as strengthened my ability to deal with monkey mind at other times too. Amazingly, or perhaps expectedly, as I realized how meditation played a part in my daily life, Massage and Bodywork‘s latest issue has an article on page 66 about the very same topic. I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses massage practice to calm and renew the body,as well as to strengthen the power of the positive brain.
Go check out this informative article and find out if you are able to harness the monkey mind in any practice that you may keep. Have a namaste!