Mary Easton, of Bozeman, Montana, reflects on “The life that is unexamined is not worth living” (~Plato), and shares her thoughts with us in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 47, Winter, 2005:
How lucky we are that Jiro Murai dedicated his life to the study of Jin Shin Jyutsu! Without his drive for the pursuit of knowledge, we might have only been handed down the finger postures that he used in his terminal condition. Instead, that became the beginning of a continually evolving study. The accomplishments of his research were made possible by a rare combination of high intellect and great sensitivity to self-awareness.
As practitioners of this Art, there exists a delicate balance between intellectual understanding (what to do) and simply being present in the moment and receptive to the Source of life (how to apply). Applying jumper cables and “getting your mind out of the way” will “allow the Universe to open up to me”. However, in this modern age, life has become very busy and fast paced. With so much to think about, quieting the mind often requires skill. We must intentionally quiet down.
I’d like to address this concept of self-awareness and its applications, as this is still relevant in our own study of Jin Shin Jyutsu today. Self-awareness allows us to know what we are doing. While paying attention to myself and others, these are some observations I have made:
Presence ~ When you are giving a session, where is your attention? Some people like to be chatty, while others are quiet. Either way, it seems most important to remain “in your hands” and attentive to what you’re doing. Mary would talk while demonstrating in class, but she would also become very quiet and focused on what was happening between herself and the student. You could see how involved she was whether she talked or not. As I receive Jin Shin Jyutsu, I can feel the flow of a session more clearly when I’m quiet and present. I don’t want to be planning dinner or solving world problems.
Focus ~ I used to think that during a Jin Shin Jyutsu session invisible “energy” was moving within the body. This energy was inside, but separate from our physical manifestation. Now I realize that what is affected is the physical body itself. That’s why a “full” 9 or a “rod” along the 10 area can be felt to soften as you hold. “The 12 organ flows are actual body fluids (Tai Eki) which circulate throughout the body in distinct pathways.” (See Betsie Haar – Spring 2004 Main Central.) My intention and focus during a session includes the awareness that changes in the physical body are taking place.
Quality of Touch ~ What kind of pressure do you use when making contact with someone during a session? Light or deep pressure is a matter of personal preference. Mary didn’t get the nickname “Iron Fingers” for nothing. However, her assistant, Pat Meador, has a velvety light touch and can melt me down as fast as anyone. Quality and clarity of touch is important. The common denominator seems to be a combination of presence and focus. You can more deeply affect/assist someone if you’re clear about what you’re looking for in your touch. One part is deciding how you’ve come to find the location of, say, the 9. Is it a spot of puffiness or knotty tension? Another part involves the touch itself.
Do you use a lot of pressure simply because you think it’s the only way to make a good connection? Try this experiment. Sit comfortably. Place your right forearm in you lap. Rest your left hand on top of your right forearm and curl the fingertips downward, anywhere over the arm is OK. Over clothing is fine. Bring your attention into one fingertip, or two if you prefer. feel for the skin beneath your fingers. Use light pressure. Notice the texture. Without changing the pressure, sense the muscle underneath the skin. Bring your awareness deeper. You may move the fingers very slightly across the skin if that’s helpful to sense the muscle without adding downward pressure. Now, bring your attention even deeper to feel the bone beneath the muscle. As your attention goes deeper into the body, your focus does the same. Try this on your 21s, 22s, high 19s. If you intend to reach deeper physically, you will, whether you use pressure or not.
We learn Jin Shin Jyutsu from study and application. Both are equally important. Knowing what it feels like from the inside helps immensely when treating others. After a week of 10 sessions, when I come back to my private practice, my sessions seem to improve as well. Embodying what Jin shin Jyutsu has to offer allows me to direct my focus more clearly. I can feel the intensity of change in my body, emotions and spirituality. Jin Shin Jyutsu is not mysterious, but physically present. Study. Work on yourself. Receive work from others. Find out what IT IS.
Thank you, Mary Easton.
Thank you, Mary Burmeister.
Thank you, David Burmeister.
Gassho, Namaste, Blessings
All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at http://www.jsjinc.net.