The Cranial-Sacral Rhythm and the Location of Consciousness (comment on Tao Bums)

The energy from the ground up, I look for that sometimes when I’m dancing. When I’m sitting, I sometimes look to feel like my whole body might clear (the ground) on inhalation, and like my body as a whole might cleave (at a point) on exhalation. I came up with this as a feeling-explanation of these two sayings:

“Miraculous power and marvelous activity
Drawing water and chopping wood.”

(Pangyun, a lay Zen practitioner, eight century C.E.)

“Cleave a (piece of) wood, I am there;
lift up the stone and you will find Me there.”

(The Gospel According to Thomas, pg 43 log. 77, ©1959 E. J. Brill)

Just lately, I find myself embracing the recollection that the cranial-sacral rhythm is present with the location of consciousness. John Upledger wrote that he was able to palpate a location in the body where the cranial-sacral rhythm was moving well, and add the pressure of 5 grams (the weight of a nickel) to the movement at that place in order to open the movement at other places in the body- places that were not moving so well, maybe even places that were stuck. When I recall that the cranial-sacral rhythm is present with the location of consciousness, I accept that the free occurrence of consciousness can by virtue of its location act like John Upledger’s hands in adding movement to the cranial-sacral rhythm where the movement is good. I allow this to act to open places where I feel movement is needed, and the witness of activity and feeling born in this relationship reinforces my trust in the free occurrence of consciousness.

Koichi Tohei the Aikidoist taught four recollections: 1) keep one point; 2) weight underside; 3) relax; 4) extend ki. I never liked what I took to be the exercise of will implied in these recollections, but I now see that some of the time (at least) my consciousness cleaves to one place, I am aware of an underside like clearing the ground, I am looking to relax like waking up or falling asleep, and I recognize that the movement of the cranial-sacral rhythm where consciousness takes place opens movement appropriate to what is felt.

At least Tohei’s approach has brevity!

One Reply to “The Cranial-Sacral Rhythm and the Location of Consciousness (comment on Tao Bums)”

  1. Checking the Arizona Ki Society webpage, I see that I misstated the order of Tohei’s four points; the order should be:

    1) keep one point
    2) relax completely
    3) weight underside
    4) extend ki

    The Arizona Ki Society webpage then says “Note: Doing one properly means you are doing them all!”

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