Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CC: On a More Practical Level

There are eight of us standing in a room with four beds. The walls are covered in pictures of the human body, yoga charts, and cryptic drawings with notes scrawled on the side. I notice a banner of the blue Medicine Buddha next to me (my time at Tushita paid off after all!). It looks as though there’s a pair of girls and another couple who have come together. That leaves three of us guys and one other girl.

Ten minutes later as I’m lying half naked on one of the beds watching one of my fellow male participants rub oil on another hairy man’s chest, I say a silent prayer of gratitude to the massage lesson gods. There’s a Texas (massage?) oilman looking out for me somewhere (Sorry, inside joke. If you read our Ryersonian article…)

After learning some very simple, relaxing massage techniques and practicing them on our partners we move on to a few more dubious sounding parts of the traditional Tibetan massage. We’re taught to locate our partner’s top four chakras and instructed to just touch a finger to them without pressing at all and just hold it there for 3 sets of20 seconds.

Alright, now the bullshit hits the fan, I think to myself. A minute later our teacher is over at our table showing how it works on me. “You have asthma” he tells me from touching my lung chakra. “You’re gonna wanna hold your finger here for about a minute every day and it will start to get better in a couple weeks.”

Ok, so maybe there is more to this than ancient superstition. As a number of other techniques that hardly even involve touching the body start producing their advertised effects I’m already starting to doubt whether Western medicine is everything it’s cracked up to be. And so nice to spend the time involved in a practical hands on practice after a week and a half of abstract Buddhist philosophy.

So if any of you want to sample a bit of Tibetan massage from someone who’s spent ten days getting fully (alright, barely) certified in the practice be sure to pull me aside for a couple hours next time you see me.

Diploma and Everything - I must be good!

No comments: