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Thich Nhat Hanh

I came across this beautiful article written by Thich Nhat Hanh today. It was an article entitled: Imagine a Pine Tree, published in the January, 2012 issue of the Shambhala Sun. This is at the core of CranioSacral Therapy, which is why I share it here with you today in my blog.

In CranioSacral Therapy, we work with the client's intention and desire to heal, not only on the physical level, but also on an emotional and spiritual level. When we bring attention to the pain, fear and anger inside of us, we start to heal on all levels and the physical body naturally follows. When we heal our childhood wounds and our erroneous perceptions of who we think we are, who we think others are and what we think the world is, we heal the wounds in our bodies as well, whatever ways they tend to show up. And... as Thich Nhat Hanh says, when we take care of it, we are taking care of the world.

I hope this inspires you on your own journey to heal, grow and evolve.

"As activists we want to do something to help the world to suffer less. But we know that when we’re not peaceful, when we don’t have enough compassion in us, we can’t do much to help the world. We ourselves are at the center. We have to make peace and reduce the suffering in ourselves first, because we represent the world. Peace, love, and happiness must always begin here, with ourselves. There is suffering, fear, and anger inside of us, and when we take care of it, we are taking care of the world.

Imagine a pine tree standing in the yard. If that pine tree were to ask us what it should do, what the maximum is a pine tree can do to help the world, our answer would be very clear: “You should be a beautiful, healthy pine tree. You help the world by being your best.” That is true for humans also. The basic thing we can do to help the world is to be healthy, solid, loving, and gentle to ourselves. Then when people look at us, they will gain confidence. They will say, “If she can do that, I can do that too!”

So anything you do for yourself, you do for the world. Don’t think that you and the world are two separate things. When you breathe in mindfully and gently, when you feel the wonder of being alive, remember that you’re also doing this for the world. Practicing with that kind of insight, you will succeed in helping the world. You don’t even have to wait until tomorrow. You can do it right now, today.

The Buddha proposed so many ways to practice to reduce the pain in your body and in your emotions, and to reconcile with yourself. We have learned in this retreat that you can reduce physical pain through the practice of releasing tension in the body. Pain increases as a function of tension, and it can be reduced if we release the tension. You can practice relaxation in the lying or sitting position. You can also practice relaxation when you walk, and with every step you can help release the tension. Walk like a free person. Put things down, don’t carry anything, and feel light. There is a burden we always carry with us. The skill we need is how to lay down our burden in order to be light."

~Thich Nhat Hanh

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