Dr. Sutherland introduced his biodynamic principles 73 years ago, which has evolved into a never-ending journey of love
Stillness Touch - A Post-Biodynamic Practice
My book Stillness contain official osteopathic definitions of biomechanical, functional, and biodynamic cranial work, correlates each biodynamic tide with an expression of consciousness, and introduces Pure Breath of Love as a post-biodynamic non-tidal domain of consciousness (Chapter 9)
Stillness Touch Union of Body & Love thoroughly details the post-biodynamic domain that emerged in 2003 as Pure Breath of Love
Stillness Touch also documents the philosopher-mystics who influenced Dr. Sutherland's biodynamic principles, particularly Swedenborg and Russell. From there, Stillness Touch characterizes the evolution of Dr. Sutherland biodynamics that he initiated in the 1940's.
The bulk of Stillness Touch presents a post-biodynamic practice because the biodynamic tides disappear at Dynamic Stillness and beyond. Why?
Because after Dynamic Stillness engulfs our consciousness the biodynamic tides disappear and are replaced by Pure Breath of Love that emanates a non-tidal pulse in all the cells throughout the whole body. By utterly abiding in Dr. Sutherland's non-doing principles of BE STILL, you realize this post-biodynamic domain of consciousness.
By contrast, practitioner efference bypasses Dynamic Stillness and we enter a shadow biodynamics created by the ego to thwart an embodied evolution of consciousness.
Warning: This blog may infuriate a reader who falsely believes that I am putting down other cranial approaches and I assert that the biodynamics that I present is better.
Fabricated judgements exemplify the dangers of post-truth that operates from the emotions rather than facts. There is not a single sentence in my books or teaching where I assert that the biodynamics Dr. Sutherland created, and I teach, is better than other approaches.
However, I point out differences between the four types of cranial work and distinguish the different biodynamic approaches. Dr Sutherland introduced his biodynamic principle of non-doing in the 1940's forty-five years before Franklyn Sills introduced Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy in the 1990's. I've been a student and practitioner of Sutherland inspired cranial work since 1973, which was 10 years before Upledger's Craniosacral Therapy.
If presenting biodynamic osteopathy that Sutherland introduced, documenting the definitions of cranial terms developed by Dr Sutherland and his students, and sharing my 45 years of cranial experience, based on studying for 20 years with Dr. DeJarnette, a student of Dr. Sutherland's, is considered being critical, a put down, and better than other approaches, so be it.
In that case, my blog screens out anyone who feels that reporting the facts is a put down.
What Is Shadow Biodynamics?
My book Stillness points out a fundamental principle: "life manifests in the white-hot polarity between the dynamic tension of opposites." Therefore, inevitably, a shadow biodynamics would emerge as a polar reaction to Dr. Sutherland's principle non-doing. The essence of Sutherland's biodynamic teaching is
The Practitioner Is Not The Doer
It Is The Unerring Potency That Heals
Do we dare recognize and look straight in the eye at a shadow biodynamics that compels practitioner doing? Given that the shadow prevails in our post-truth times, practitioners tend to unconsciously bypass the potency of the Breath of Life. Bypass occurs by treating for the relief of symptoms in the name of biodynamics.
This is not a conversation about biomechanical or functional methods, which are excellent treatment methods by definition.
It is calling functional methods biodynamic that is troubling
Bypassing potency occurs if a practitioner uses efference to recoil awareness out of its inner-body sanctum to project it toward anatomy and nervous system lesion patterns to treat symptoms.
It is indisputable in professional licensed biodynamic cranial circles that the biodynamics taught by Drs. Sutherland and Becker require a living contact with potency up to Dynamic Stillness, which is the source potency that creates the body.
However, in our post-truth era, biodynamic schools teach practitioners to be the doers, to enquire into tides, to use efference and feel the nervous system and anatomy, and apply treatment protocols to relieve symptoms. In other words they are taught functional work, which is a fine cranial practice, but it is not practicing non-doing biodynamics.
Anyone can assert the post truth claim that treating symptoms is biodynamic
However, it is an empty phrase that arises out of a wounded ego who is terrified of the potency. A Dr. Sutherland inspired biodynamic session begins the moment stillness pervades your whole inner-body space and emanates primary respiration. Stillness carries the unerring potency that makes the body.
Dynamic Stillness Emanates The Template That Makes The Body
Feeling Anatomy Bypasses The Potency of Dynamic Stillness
Practitioner Efference Projects A Field of Inertia That Alters Function
Do You See the Point?
It may seem radical that a practitioner not enquire into tides, or feel anatomy to evaluate the craniosacral and nervous system during a session. Yet, Drs. Sutherland and Becker both taught that instead of feeling anatomy, we contact the potency in the stillness that is prior to and creates anatomy. Dr. Sutherland called this the unerring potency within.
Again, feeling anatomy requires efference, which recoils awareness out of its inner-body sanctum and thrusts consciousness away from a contact with the potency of Dynamic Stillness.
Why does feeling anatomy bypass the potency?
Anatomy is many steps removed from potency.
We sense potency by an inward contact with the presence of stillness that makes the body.
In Sutherland's non-doing, there is no efference.
Instead, we inwardly connect to the wisdom of the body that emanates the embryological blueprint that exists prior-to anatomy.
The potency that makes the body
exists prior to anatomy
To let the potency of the Breath of Life be in charge of our sessions, we withdraw awareness inside, and contact the potency, which is the presence of stillness that holds the template of wholeness that makes the body. If awareness goes opposite, in an efferent direction, out of the body to feel anatomy, the nervous system, or to visualize primary respiration, we bypass the formative forces that make the body and lose contact with potency.
The direction we orient awareness during a session is a choice point of freedom for each practitioner
BE STILL is the essence of Sutherland's final instructions; whereas orienting awareness outward to treat is a wonderful functional method. Both are valid within their respective domains; it is unconsciously mixing the two opposing practices that cause the confusion we see in the cranial field outside of osteopathic cranial circles.
An unconscious motivation for using efference is the ego's fear of crossing the horizon into the unknown, which in esoteric circles is the threshold to freedom from the narcissistic ego.
The Ego is Terrified of Divine Feminine Power
The ego harbors a subtle terror that I will loose control or be extinguished if I contact the power of love that made the body, so the ego avoids potency to prevent contact with Divine Feminine power.
Hence, we unconsciously use efference as a bypass to get us away from any contact with potency. Efference objectifies a recipient to make them separate from us so we can treat them based on skills we learned in our functional training. The ego also employs efference to recoil awareness away from contact with the Divine Feminine essence. Contact with Divine Feminine essence is another way to characterize the biodynamics that Sutherland and Becker taught (See Stillness Touch Appendix 3, Quotes From Osteopaths And Philosophers).
Chronic bypass so alienates us that we cannot find our way back home in our inner-body sanctum of potency. What remains is a shadow biodynamics based on intellectual understanding of anatomy, made-up theories of biodynamics, and biodynamic terms are misused to replace the direct experience of potency. (To gain more insight into bypass, see Ways a Practitioner Bypasses Direct Embodied Contact with the Breath of Life below)
That is why we contact the potency that creates anatomy instead of feeling anatomy
The invisible forces of potency are within us as the presence of stillness. Dr. Becker emphasizes that it is the stillness within that possesses unerring potency. By waiting in stillness, a conversation without words emerges with our recipient. In this stillness-to-stillness silent conversation without words, the potency takes over and guides our sessions. It was German Embryologist Erich Blechschmidt who coined biodynamic after directly observing that biodynamic activity makes anatomy.
Blechschmidt: Function Creates Form
Dr. Blechschmidt's findings validate why we do not orient to anatomy. He observed thousands of stages of embryonic development that refuted the medical dogma that structure creates function. He saw for himself the opposite: biodynamic activity creates developmental motions in the metabolic fields that become functions Thant then creates specific anatomy. For example, the channels of blood created in the protoplasm by the SA Node creates the blood vessels, and then the heart (See Stillness p. 206 SA Node Pacemaker of the Heart).
Blechschmidt discovered that function creates form, and upended the medical structure-function dogma. Anatomy arises to accommodate the already active functioning. Function is an expression of invisible biodynamic, formative forces that make the body from the potency that emanates from the axial midline, which is a column of stillness
Turn attention inside, contact the presence of stillness as the unerring potency that is within you from conception until death
Cranial bones, the nervous system, organs, tissues, ground substance, and all other visible structures of the human body are made by potency, an invisible power that arises from an unknowable Divine Feminine intelligence that holds the template of wholeness, which creates the body. Dr. Sutherland called this the unerring potency of Breath of Life.
Stillness Touch: A Grail Journey For An Embodied Evolution of Consciousness
A living biodynamic session ignites a profound evolutionary journey. Once stillness pervades your whole inner body space, its potency emanates a whole-body primary respiration. If the primary respiration is fluidic, it is known as the fluid tide.
Subsequently, the fluid tide expands your consciousness beyond the ego and nervous system's control of the body. If your evolutionary process continues, you realize the next harmonic of primary respiration called the long tide that expands your consciousness to a vast global luminescence.
If your consciousness continues evolving, it expands and implodes inside your cells, while at the same time awareness spills over the edge of your 'known' and disappears into an infinite black Dynamic Stillness. Inside Dynamic Stillness, consciousness is freed from the ego and false sense of being a separate self disappears. Sutherland characterized this stage of evolution as BE STILL AND KNOW I AM.
I AM is a state where consciousness is freed from the ego. By crossing the threshold of the black abyss of stillness, we realize an infinite unknowable Pure Consciousness. This is Sutherland's "vision through the small end of the microscope, followed by the view through the big end of a telescope to observe the material elements disappearing into endless space." (See Appendix 3 Stillness Touch).
After Dynamic Stillness implodes inside your cells, your Radiantly Awake Self unites with Pure Breath of Love, the primordial pulse that emanates the Divine Feminine Will as the power of love that creates all that is.
You then enjoy a living union between Body and Pure Breath of Love
Realizing Pure Breath of Love is impossible amid efference to feel anatomy, the nervous system, or mix the three types of cranial work together. Biomechanical and Functional treatment methods require efference and objectification to separate the nervous system and anatomy into parts. As such, efference collapses the potency that creates the fractal breathing field that is the motion of life.
Like opposing ends of a magnet, the slightest practitioner efference recoils the potency; after potency withdraws, it creates an empty void that is filled with inertia. Dr. Sutherland was acutely aware of this in 1948, or sooner, referring to inertia as outside forces, as we shall see.
History of Biodynamics
Once biodynamics awakened in Dr. Sutherland, from then on he implored us to be still. He said "do not use any outside force," "you don't even have to test the spheno-basilar joint," and "trust the unerring potency of the tide." In other words, his practice of biodynamics involves no treating of symptoms because the practitioner is not the doer. Becker echos this by saying the highest known element does not need our help.
If it was not part of your training you may not be aware that the essence of Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamic teachings are based on practitioner non-efference (no outside force) and non-doing (the unerring potency heals). Sutherland espoused a biodynamics in which a practitioner does not feel the nervous system or anatomy or apply functional methods. However, this is not obvious without having studied cranial osteopathic history, so it is easy to believe that biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) aligns with Dr. Sutherland’s non-efferent principle of be still.
If you would like to study Sutherland’s original definitions of his three types of cranial work from the osteopathic literature, read Chapter 3 in Stillness. You will see the proof in the pudding: by its own definitions, BCST is functional cranial work. (For a synopsis of Stillness Chapter 3, click here: ORIGINAL OSTEOPATHIC DEFINITIONS OF THE THREE TYPES OF CRANIAL
Again, a functional practitioner, by definition, uses efference to objectify a client and enter their craniosacral system to evaluate the status of the nervous system and feel for lesion patterns. Then, the practitioner applies intentions, suggestions, and physical techniques as outside forces that are projected inside the recipients' craniosacral system to the treat lesion patterns.
Functional work is an excellent modality that Sutherland developed, but he ceased its practice after biodynamics dawned in him
Biodynamics or Bypass into the Empty Void of Inertia?
Clarity, integrity, honor and truth were important principles when I began my cranial studies in 1973. I trained for two decades with a student of Dr. Sutherland’s. Through stories and anecdotes osteopath Dr. DeJarnette, my teacher, brought the living spirit of Dr. Sutherland into the classroom every time he taught. As a result, I enjoyed, by grace, a deeply felt living inner connection to Dr. Sutherland. My felt connection with Dr. Sutherland's living impulse has compelled me to fiercely uphold his non-doing biodynamic principles for 45 years, and I will continue to do so.
The same direct transmission from Dr. Sutherland has sparked the living fire of biodynamics in Dr. Ruby Day, Dr. Rollin Becker, Dr. Anne Wales, Dr. Robert Fulford, Dr. Jacques Andreva Duval, Dr. James Jealous, Dr. Zachary Comeaux, Dr. Bernard Darraillans, Dr. Olivier Forteau, and so many other biodynamic cranial osteopaths. These practitioners consciously cherish and carry Dr. Sutherland’s impulse as a precious living flame that they each keep alive by transmitting his non-doing principles in their own way.
These osteopaths know that they are not the doer because they directly experience that the potency moves the practitioner's attention and hands during a session. In actual practice, even though it may look like functional work, what occurs in a session does not arise as an intention from the practitioner, but rather it is the potency that moves their hands. One could characterize this as non-doing doing, or a moving stillness. This is opposite a practitioner who as the doer feels the nervous system and applies dozens of efferent practices to treat a client's symptoms. This is not a criticism, it is a fact I observe.
In contrast to functional work, biodynamic practitioners use no efferent outside force, even if it arises from the practitioner's intuition; instead they trust the tide to do everything.
Biodynamic means movement of life, which disappears the moment a practitioner applies the slightest degree of efference, objectification, intention, naming, feeling anatomy, suggestions, or visualization.
Primary respiration disappears the moment you orient attention outward to feel the nervous system, anatomy, or to treat. When awareness moves outward, it bypasses the potency within and we avoid direct inner contact with the Breath of Life. Then, an empty void fills the recipient with inertia that tempts us to enter deeper into the client’s subtle body to name, treat, or do something to help them. All these efferent activities collapse inner contact with the whole-body breathing field of primary respiration.
Efference leaves an inertial field of false fulcra that is bereft of life in a recipient
When the empty void of inertia floods a recipient, the practitioner feels a need to fill the void, by feeling anatomy and the nervous system, naming, manipulating, establishing a relational field, creating space, visualizing primary respiration, applying intentions, managing trauma, and on and on it goes.
The empty void, when misused to by-pass the potency leaves a practitioner bereft of contact with the Breath of Life.
Efferent practices take awareness several steps removed from a direct living contact with the invisible essence that created the body, which is the potency of the Breath of Life.
The Breath of Life is prior to anatomy and the nervous system.
Practicing efference is how the ego bypasses to avoid contact with the potency of the Breath of Life.
If the living field of primary respiration is not present inside you as practitioner, the subsequent inner void will also collapse the whole-body breathing field in your recipient. The result is a practitioner transmits an empty void into the recipient that is bereft of the motion of life. While inside this empty void, a practitioner may unconsciously lay down additional efferent tracks in the recipient, called 'false fulcra' that are filled with inertial patterns. This may be confusing to a BCST practitioner when they mistake the inertial void for stillness, or they feel that the tracks of false fulcra are a part of the inherent treatment plan. Repeatedly creating false fulcra inside a client’s system instills practitioner doubt about the boundless power of a non-doing biodynamics.
Although baffling, it seems that working in the vacuum of shadow biodynamics has motivated the BCST organization to add more efferent methods than ever.
I know many BCST practitioners who have become disheartened after an inward realization dawns and they get what it means when Dr. Sutherland says ‘be still.’
This may be particularly painful after an experience of the fruits of 'being still' when it juxtaposed with how much doing a BCST practitioner is taught.
A practitioner is too busy with inertia to enjoy living contact with the Breath of Life, despite deeply longing for it.
Subsequently, each year hundreds of BCST graduates take the Dynamic Stillness School Courses despite that a BCST practitioner has to give up all the efferent functional methods they learned. It seems like a big sacrifice, yet a practitioner is rewarded with a living contact with the potency that emanates the whole-body expressions of primary respiration, and can learn to offer a biodynamic sessions the way that Dr. Sutherland taught us. If living contact with the tides interests you, ponder this:
Do you want to feel nervous system inertial forces of death, or yield the ego to Pure Breath of Love that made the body?
It is the nervous system that projects a virtual empty void of inertia that is made of lifeless digital patterns, which create a permanent holographic record of ones past history. The nervous system expresses this hologram as the cranial wave patterns in the tissues (biography becomes biology). In contrast, the Breath of Life emanates from the potency of the full void of Dynamic Stillness, the source potency that creates the body. From stillness emanates the dynamism of the Divine Feminine Power that manifests all of creation.
That is why we repose in Dynamic Stillness.
You can realize Dynamic Stillness if you practice what Dr. William and Adah Sutherland advised:
BE STILL AND KNOW I AM
'Be still' means cease all efference. Do not feel the nervous system or anatomy, do not enter your recipient's subtle body, or listen to the cranial wave, or seek tidal motions, and do not intend techniques or project attention outward into the horizontal environment to visualize primary respiration. Michael Shea beautifully demonstrates the visualization of Primary Respiration here: Michael Shea Contact Demonstration
How is Stillness Touch Different from BCST?
During a Stillness Touch session, a practitioner reposes inwardly in non-doing and not-knowing. This is essential prerequisite for realizing a living embodied contact with whole-body primary respiration, be it expressed as the fluid tide or long tide. Both tides emanate from Dynamic Stillness, which eventually puts you into direct contact with the post-biodynamic domain that we call Pure Breath of Love.
Again, if you want to practice biodynamics the way that Dr. Sutherland instructed, do not feel anatomy or the nervous system, and do not visualize primary respiration. Also, do not add any outside force, or have an intention when touching your recipient. Furthermore, do not treat symptoms or the array of neurological effects of trauma; you do not use a treatment protocol, nor harbor an agenda, or goal. Instead the essence of the practice that Dr. Sutherland taught is "Trust the tide in its unerring potency" inside the disposition of "Be Still And Know I AM."
Sutherland suggests that we develop ourselves until we can fully embody what he and his wife Adah meant by “Be Still And Know I AM.” Their epitaph is pre-meditated conscious advice that they permanently etched on their two headstones in Point Pinos, by the lighthouse in Pacific Grove, California. When you practice what the Sutherland's taught beyond their last breath, it is a biodynamic practice that ignites the evolution of consciousness in any practitioner who is willing to heed their advice.
No Contact with Pure Breath of Love?
Here’s what one seasoned BCST certified teacher wrote about participating in a Stillness Touch post-biodynamic Class:
“You have brought us the illuminated essence of biodynamics. So many BCST practitioners are ready because they have felt the potential of the evolutionary work, but no one teaches the deepest layers except the Dynamic Stillness School. It must have been arduous for you all these years, given that the BCST schools are against your teachings, and, not every BCST practitioner is ready to accept the evolutionary path. I can imagine how many BCST teachers, and the therapists trained by them, must be upset that their therapeutic concepts will have to come crashing down in order to practice the Dynamic Stillness work.”
The above quote sums up what I have witnessed in my Stillness Touch post-biodynamic classes: many BCST graduates have no direct experience of inner-body contact with the living whole-body breathing inside their body. The 'contact' with the Breath of Life is in their minds, which is a virtual, conceptual, shadow understanding. Sutherland warned us about that.
And this unveils another shocking reality and a tragic secret:
The BCST principles of doing have fostered the death of biodynamics.
In shadow biodynamics, neither the BCST practitioner nor the client realizes a living inner-body contact with the forces of life that make the body. All the BCST practitioners I have met in my classes are sincere in their desire to practice biodynamics as taught by Dr. Sutherland, and they are hungry to learn his practice of biodynamics from the disposition of “Be Still And Know I AM.”
At the Dynamic Stillness School, we openly welcome you. We are happy to un-train any BCST practitioner who desires to practice a living biodynamics the way that Dr. Sutherland intended.
To Be Still means Non-doing And Not Knowing, Which Is The Essence Of Sutherland’s Biodynamics
One renowned BCST teacher and author confessed his understanding of Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamic saying “Charles just hangs out in Dynamic Stillness, why can’t he help the Breath of Life out?”
The ego thinks it is the intermediary between God and the recipient
Why don't I help the Breath of Life out? My answer mirrors what Dr. Becker has said ‘the highest known element does not need my help.’ Becker taught us to abide in stillness, in non-doing. When the whole-body stillness of neutral arrives inside him, Becker would take his hands off his patient. He knew that the moment neutral arrived, his participation was no longer necessary because the Breath of Life that made the body is present. Becker characterized neutral as the moment the practitioner and patient’s ego has yielded the nervous system's control over the body to the Breath of Life. Becker emphasizes that a biodynamic session begins when the will of the practitioner yields to the Divine Will.
It is obvious that Becker trusts the tide; he experienced that the Breath of Life does all the healing. The next week in a follow-up session Becker could sense the progress made in the patient by the potency of the whole-body primary respiration, which he called “life in motion.” Becker walked the talk of his teacher Dr. Sutherland who said do not orient to cranial wave, no motion testing, do not apply outside force, trust the tide, let its unerring potency be the guiding force. How do we practice this? 'Be Still and Know I AM.'
Helping the Breath of Life out is opposite to surrendering my ego to the unerring potency that made the body. Dr. Becker did not treat his patients; he did not orient to the nervous system or work with the cranial wave. Nor did Becker mix the three types of cranial work together. Instead, he instructed us to abide in stillness in a non-doing neutral that naturally synchronizes us with the whole-body primary respiration, which are the forces of life that does all healing.
Feeling the nervous system and anatomy is not a biodynamic practice
Do Not Use Any Efference
In a Stillness Touch post-biodynamic class, a BCST graduate student asked me “can’t I use a little bit of efference to treat my client?” I said, “The use of efference is fine if you do not want a living contact with the Breath of Life.”
Functional cranial work is fine in and of itself
However, not until you can ‘be still’ can you ‘know’ the invisible essence that made the body, which characterizes Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamics. Do you want to enjoy living contact with the whole-body expressions of the Breath of Life? Then first clearly realize and cease all efferent practices that by-pass and block the presence of the Breath of Life inside you, and do not mix practices, which oppose Sutherland's non-doing, non-efferent, biodynamic principles.
Prior to an actual embodied felt-contact with primary respiration “be still” is an empty phrase.
It angers some BCST practitioners when I suggest that if they want to learn biodynamics the way that Sutherland taught it, then do not take courses with teachers who are certified by the BCST organization. Osteopathic cranial history reveals why I make that assertion. Dr. Sutherland publicly characterized his non-doing disposition in his writings as early as 1947. In the preface to his 1948 edition of Cranial Bowl Sutherland wrote “allowing the physiological functioning within to manifest its unerring potency, rather than the application of blind force from without.” By the mid-50’s, after Dr. Sutherland moved to Pacific Grove, California, he became emphatic about practicing biodynamics in an utterly non-doing manner: no testing of the spheno-basilar joint for lesion patterns and do not add any outside force.
The practice of non-doing was so unconventional that Sutherland called it ‘uncanny.’ Long before going public with his non-doing principles, Dr. Sutherland orally transmitted his biodynamic impulse to his small inner circle of students. The essence of Dr. Sutherland’s oral instructions are: when you can be still, you naturally synchronize with whole-body primary respiration within you, which is an expression of the Breath of Life. After he realized the boundless power of the Breath of Life to heal, Dr. Sutherland never again suggested in any way that we feel the nervous system, anatomy, or intend cranial techniques. No longer did he treat symptoms, or mix the three types of cranial work, biomechanical, functional, and biodynamic (See Teachings in the Science of Osteopathy, p.166).
The founder of craniosacral biodynamics or biodynamic craniosacral therapy says he discovered BCST, which is true. However, Dr. Sutherland discovered and developed all three cranial types beginning at the turn of the century that, to this day, are the source of all cranial practices that exist. So Sutherland knows what he is talking about. Cranial osteopathy precisely defines each type of cranial work based on Dr. Sutherland's original work. Again, these definitions are in Stillness Chapter 3, and you can read the sources yourself by obtaining the osteopathic references included.
If you are not aware of these distinctions because you were not taught them during your BCST training, it does not mean they have not existed for decades in the professional licensed cranial field. As Dr. Jealous says the tide never does the same thing, the same way, twice; neither does a master.
The BCST organization pays lip service to Dr. Sutherland’s non-doing, non-efferent principles, and misuses biodynamic terms. Review the 2-year BCST curriculum at the end of this piece to see how obvious it is that students are taught the exact opposite of what Dr. Sutherland suggested. Here is a letter I received that illuminates the confusion that the BCST curriculum creates when a medical approach is called biodynamics:
What confuses me is how you say that biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) is a medical model. In my experience, any biodynamic teacher worth their weight in salt is going to practice a non-intervention, non-medical therapy that is absolutely aligned with the principles of evolution you write about. So it's confusing, especially to the public, who practitioners like me are serving, to label it medical model.”
As part of my response to this sincere BCST practitioner, I sent a copy of a BCST sanctioned 2-year curriculum, and here is what he wrote after reading it:
“It's clear after looking at the BCST curriculum you sent that it is tissue oriented, and feeling into it, I would have to guess that it maybe has 5-10% "in common" with the biodynamic teachings I've received, although that might be generous.
The curriculum you sent helps me to be grateful, and appreciate what I've been given. My teacher offers true non-doing biodynamic principles, and he begins his teaching with the doorway of the neutral. It is amazing to me how the BCST curriculum jumps into some elements on day one that, in my opinion, shouldn't even be brought up until there is the cultivation of a strong practitioner neutral and the development of afferent consciousness. And it is even a little horrifying to me that they would jump into working on infants as part of the core curriculum, even if at the end. Yikes!
The whole thing seems resonant with Sills' books, which are useful resources. However, I honestly have a hard time reading them and most other BCST texts and am super grateful that I've had the guidance to be able to tell when the writings are self-contradicting and muddled with conflicting principles. What a mess for unsuspecting students trying to figure it out without a real guide!”
This BCST practitioner perfectly characterizes the tragic fact, a secret if you will: a BCST sanctioned training prevents the tides of primary respiration from arising in your awareness, which explains why so few BCST practitioners enjoy a living embodied contact with primary respiration.
An example of this occurred in 2013 when I taught a Stillness Touch Post-biodynamic class in which all 64 students were BCST graduate practitioners. It was shocking to me that most of the biodynamic practitioners had never experienced a living, inner, embodied contact with primary respiration. The problem seems to be that the BCST training involves orienting to the nervous system and anatomy, whereas Sutherland's biodynamics does not in any way involve working with it. Let us examine why.
The Cranial Wave is a Dead Record of the Past, not a Living Tide in the Present
The cranial wave (CW) is a compensatory neurological reaction to stress, be it emotional, physical, chemical, environmental, etc. The CW rate changes based on the amount of stress that is present. CW expresses digital, electro-charged, automatic patterns that create a holographic record of your past - a permanent record of your history - that is etched in the ground substance that affects all cellular function throughout the body. CW, therefore, is a fossilized record of your biography (history) that is frozen in time inside an inertial empty void.
By contrast, the living tide is a whole-body breathing of potent fractal expressions of the Breath of Life that emanate out of Dynamic Stillness in NOW. Indigenous people unexposed to modern life do not express the cranial wave, says James Jealous. But for argument’s sake, you might ask “But we are in the modern world and people have cranial waves, don't they? Why can’t I feel for the nervous system lesions and intend in the cranial wave?”
Practicing that way is fine, but it is not biodynamic.
Why do I say it is not biodynamic? First, the cranial wave, that Sutherland calls the cranial rhythmic impulse, is a neurological motion that constantly modulates its rate and quality in response to the degree of stress present. The cranial wave is not a fractal tide; rather, it is a digital reaction to stress that etches a hologram as a recording of the event into the tissues. The breathing fractals of life are modified by the nervous system’s reaction to stress.
Second, the cranial wave radiates electro-charged digital signals that are so crude that it cancels out the delicate fractal expressions of the breathing tides in the affected areas of the body. So nervous system activity collapses the whole-body field of primary respiration, leaving an empty void inside the client’s subtle body system.
Third, canceled fractals leave behind digital tracks inside client’s subtle body that are laid in the ground substance. These tracks are known as false fulcra, which are electro-charged, digital, inertial patterns that turn the ground substance from liquid to a gel. The motion of gel emits digital patterns that create cellular dysfunction and eventually symptoms and disease arise.
Finally, and most importantly, if you wait in a non-doing neutral without expecting cranial wave patterns or tides, the cranial wave will not appear. Instead, neutral deepens as a whole body stillness, out of which primary respiration breathes the fractal forces of life body-wide.
Therefore, if you feel the nervous system and expect cranial wave or biodynamic tides to appear, or if you visualize primary respiration, that is an efferent activity that lays down inertial tracks of false fulcra inside the client, that adds to the fossilized record of the past, which is already entombed in the ground substance. The result is increased dysfunction, more symptoms, and the potential for disease, all of which accelerates the onset of death.
The cranial wave is a record of the past that exists in an inertial empty void;
it is motion past, not the motion present
To contact primary respiration, be still and wait without expecting any motions, which includes not expecting tides or visualizing primary respiration. When neutral arrives, as a whole body stillness, it spontaneously ignites whole-body primary respiration, the first expression in the biodynamic field called fluid tide or the vast luminous global breathing of the long tide.
The Term "Mid-tide" is Misleading
The term is 'mid-tide" is non-sensical. Mid-tide re-names of Dr. Sutherland's term fluid tide, which is the first biodynamic tidal expression. "Mid-tide” implies that there is a tide before it; however, the cranial wave is not a tide.
In summary, expectation is efferent. When you expect cranial wave or a tide, it creates false fulcra, the inertial forces of death that turns the ground substance from a liquid to a gel. Gelled ground substance emits digital electro-charged cranial wave patterns that cannot transmit fractal instructions from the Breath of Life to the cells. Only liquid protoplasm accurately conveys healthy fractal function that is emanating from the whole body primary respiration to all the cells. ANY expectation is efferent, and it depletes cellular vitality, leads to symptoms that become disease and death draws that much closer. This is why Sutherland told us to trust the tide.
Here is a letter from a biodynamic cranial osteopath who clarifies zero efference:
“I was in a group of post-graduate osteopaths in Holland and Belgium between 2003-2011 lead by Dr. Jealous. From day one he made it very clear that transmutation, disengagement, synchronization, and augmentation are all effects of the Breath of Life, primary respiration, through neutral. We augment by synchronizing. What you teach is not different from what he has taught us, and it is in perfect alignment with the later teachings of Sutherland: no forces from outside by the practitioner are used whatsoever!”
It’s your choice how you practice, yet be honest and do not tell your clients that you offer biodynamic sessions when they are functional. If you deceive your clients, it perpetrates post-truth era behavior we are mired in today. Haven't we had enough of that? Just because the BCST organization uses the word biodynamic does not mean it is a non-doing practice the way that Dr. Sutherland defined it. When you practice Sutherland’s non-doing biodynamics, it evolves consciousness, and that requires having an embodied contact with the living whole-body breathing tides of primary respiration.
To practice biodynamics requires an embodied contact with the tides, which means you have to give up every form of efferent by-pass that impedes contact with the potency.
If you want to offer biodynamic cranial in the way that Dr. Sutherland taught, you must give up all of the following impediments:
Some of the Efferent Ways that a Practitioner Bypasses a Direct Embodied Contact with the Breath of Life:
* Objectification, efference, enquiry, expectation, visualizing, and treating.
* Establishing a relational field.
* Naming or describing to a recipient what is occurring during a session.
* Feeling the body as a series of separate parts, such as bones, dura, CSF, nervous system, muscles, organs, fascia, spine, diaphragms, tides, primary respiration, etc.
* Feeling the nervous system and anatomy to evaluate the functioning in each part to treat it.
* Treating symptoms with techniques or intention to heal.
* Holding an idea of motions be it cranial or tidal.
* Orientating to anything that is outside a practitioner's inner body space during a session.
* Feeling for and visualizing tides, primary respiration, midlines, fulcra.
* Shifting into a tide at will.
* Entering the client’s subtle inner body space, or the craniosacral system, to look for inertia, cranial wave patterns, tides, still points, midlines, fulcra, the status of the anatomy and nervous system, etc.
* Treating an anatomical compartment of the body.
* Suggesting stillpoints to a client internally or verbally.
* Intending cranial techniques to balance inertial patterns.
* Negotiating space or zones.
* Conversation skills during a session, such as asking permission to make a contact and to remove that contact, or telling a client that you feel the presence of tides, lesions, activities, states, etc.
* Using a treatment sequence during a session.
* Trauma management, be it pre-birth, birth, or present life trauma. Trauma is organized and controlled by the central nervous system in the brain stem, limbic system, hormonal system, and the stress fight or flight regulation system, and manifests as the freeze response, shock, titration, soothing, etc,.
All protective functions of trauma operate on the level of nervous system as the cranial wave
An Enlightened View on the Resolution of Trauma by Catherine Fehrmann, MD
"Many of us don't have major episodic trauma, but rather developmental trauma from childhood as the repetitive lack of needs being met with something aggressive or shaming coming in throughout the phases of development. This includes early infancy attachment wounds. These patterns live in the nervous system and determine the tone of physiology and psyche. These patterns also reflect our karmic patterns and our habitual conditioning.
So, rather than us needing to take something in (from out there) to heal, we need to work with the obscurations, be it trauma, bugs, toxins, or habitual conditioning to access our true nature (Buddha nature, Christ consciousness, etc.).
Obstacles are not negative things to be eliminated. They are the source of our awakening. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the "demon" is fed and an encumbered pattern transforms into a Wisdom Dakini. Not conceptually, but energetically, in the body.”
Following the Parts Without Sensing the Whole
For example, suppose you do not expect cranial wave, you are not orienting to it, nor are you being guided by or intending in the cranial wave. Instead, you wait in stillness in non-doing. Neutral arrives as whole body stillness and fluid tide arises. You follow the fluid drive and the motion present. If you are not also synchronized with the whole-body or global excursions of primary respiration, you can fall into the trap of unconsciously creating inertial motion that leaves false fulcra in the client. Even amid a biodynamic cranial practice, if you have no contact with whole-body breathing of primary respiration you are only tracking the footprints of inertial motion, which in and of itself does not reveal the living potency of the tides as a presence that expresses the forces of life and health throughout the whole body.
Potency is a subtle substance, a living ‘fluid within a fluid,’ and to sense this potency you must be still and wait, … for nothing ... then your attention will become soft, unfocused, unfixed, and free, and then the potency of life may by grace reveal itself to you and become your guide. Here, your free attention is moved by the potency of the Breath of Life, which expresses through the midline and distributes as the whole-body motion of life that brings coherence and healthy function to all systems throughout the client’s entire body.
You sense primary respiration as a living fractals that simultaneously well up the midline longitudinally and breathes in the transverse body-wide. Although primary respiration contains the fluid drive, it is distinct. By analogy fluid drive moves like a small stream inside the pond of primary respiration. Primary respiration is the potency that invisibly shifts the fluid drive from point to point in the client’s subtle body, and if the fluid drive dwells in particular local area, which is the motion present, it resolves specific inertial motions, or fluid lesions, in the body.
By contrast, an inertial motion is, by definition, an automatically repeating pattern that is frozen in time, which drains the life forces from the body. The potency of primary respiration restores the forces of life by transmuting inertial patterns back to their original ever-changing fractal state. In the body the process of transmutation liquefies the gelled ground substance and returns it to a functioning whole body fluid (See Ground Substance in the Appendix of Stillness).
The following analogy points to this indescribable living fractal process. The path of a fish as it moves around in an aquarium is the fluid drive. The fish’s particular undulating bodily motility is the motion present, and the tidal motion of the entire fish tank is primary respiration. If you only focus on the fish’s journey in the tank (fluid drive) or on its specific bodily gestures (motion present).
As interesting as it may be, without the larger perspective that simultaneously includes all aspects - the effects that the tidal forces have on the entire fish tank, the path of the fish, and its body - you lose the perspective that reveals why the fish is behaving as it does, and why it is heading where it is—the inherent treatment plan.
Have The Courage To BE STILL
We are sincere practitioners and want to help the little fish, to nudge it a bit, to direct it along its path, and we long to fix its bodily lesion patterns that cause it suffering - we are compassionate and we think we know how to help. However, if the highest known element that made the body is present, she does not need our help.
Do we have the courage and can be still and wait ... for nothing? If we do, we enter what Dr. Jealous calls the mysterious metabolic fields of life, which move in a perpetual fractal flow in synchrony with primary respiration. These fractals motions express life, contain the patterns of health, and are not predictable. Since this motion of life contains the ancient intelligence in all living organisms, certainly you would agree that the Breath of Life is capable of resolving the dilemma of the fish without our generous, yet misguided, assistance?
Again, you must give up objectifying and all efferent methods to practice biodynamic cranial for the evolution of consciousness.
If you offer cranial sessions for symptom relief, fine, tell the client that your work is for the relief of symptoms, no big deal. But do not call that biodynamic. Anytime we tell a client they are receiving biodynamics we we are treating them for symptom relief, it betrays our fundamental oath of 'do no harm.'
Practitioners are innocent when trained to practice BCST this way.
The Proof is in the Pudding
This letter was written to me by a BSCT trained practitioner who is also a BCST teaching assistant that demonstrates what I have been pointing to:
I will be a participant in your training next week. I have many questions about biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST). I have taken the two-year certification training that is approved by the Biodynamic Association of North America based on the work of Franklin Sills; I also took some training with Michael Shea. I paid a good deal of hard earned money from teaching and practicing massage and bodywork for the last thirty-five years. I am feeling disenchanted.
I read your book Stillness and felt a resonance with your approach, so I signed up for the workshop. After two years of biodynamic study, one year of practice, plus presently being the teaching assistant for my original teacher in her newest training, I am not sure if I am feeling a tide, able to observe a fulcrum, or know what to do when I "think" I “see” one.”
And my answer:
Thank you for writing so candidly. I wish I could say that your situation is unique. However, it is common, given the training you have received, that you are not sensing the whole body breathing tides. I regularly receive letters just like yours that express your exact frustrations.
So it is not surprising. If you practice the medical treatment orientation that is offered as the BCST approved curriculum, then actually sensing the Breath of Life is impossible. There’s too much interference amid that degree of objectification, efference, doing to, and protocol-based session stages that BCST practitioners are trained to offer clients.”
Tough love is based on reality, not on post-truth. Reality may feel too brutal to bear if an ego incapable of feeling uncomfortable. Yet, maybe you have an open mind and you realize that I am not putting down other cranial methods; and perhaps you have the courage to answer the following questions with respect to your use of BCST functional methods? If so, ask yourself:
“Am I really connected inside my body to the living potency of the Breath of Life, or is it in my mind?”
“With strong conviction do I actually sense the whole-body expressions of the fluid, long tide, or Dynamic Stillness, inside my body, or do I ‘think’ I feel them?”
If, after your 2-year training in BCST, do you feel beyond any doubt, an embodied contact with the whole body breathing tides with total confidence? In not, you may feel heartbroken; after all that training, money, and time you spent to learn biodynamics? But it is not your fault; that is the responsibility of the founder of BCST and the 45 sanctioned teachers of Craniosacral Biodynamics and Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy (BCST). Their organization has impacted the biodynamic cranial field outside of osteopathy.
I say outside of osteopathy because cranial osteopaths have ferociously guarded Sutherland’s living biodynamics against this tragic post-truth dilution of biodynamics that is perpetrated by BCST organizations. It is beyond the scope of this piece to reveal in detail all the expressions of indignant rage aimed at the BCST organization on behalf of US biodynamic osteopaths that I am privy to. However, biodynamic osteopaths grimace when they hear that the BCST training is called "biodynamic." Because in truth, a BCST sanctioned practice grossly misrepresents Dr. Sutherland’s non-doing biodynamics. BCST teaches the opposite principles - efference - of Sutherland's 'be still' non-doing biodynamic principles.
I know US biodynamic cranial osteopaths who will not give a BCST practitioner a paid session! One BCST practitioner told me she was speaking on the phone with James Jealous, prominent biodynamic osteopath, author, and teacher, and when she told him she was trained by Franklyn Sills he started screaming at her, and finally he hung up the phone. I know a Canadian-trained osteopath who wrote an incredible book that was prevented from being published by US biodynamic osteopaths because a single BCST author and teacher was quoted in it.
You may know BCST colleagues who have experienced harsh treatment from US biodynamic osteopaths. However, the osteopaths are righteously furious because of the deceptive tactics used by the BCST organization that betray Dr. Sutherland’s original biodynamic principles, which justifies their indignant rage.
Death of Biodynamics is Transmitted to Clients
This blog is not meant to criticize sincere, unwitting BCST practitioners who innocently transmit the death of biodynamics to clients when they offer sessions. That is how you were trained.
How does one transmit the death of biodynamics, you ask?
When, as a BCST practitioner, you “think” you feel a tide yet you are not actually sensing it inside your body. When you ‘think’ you feel a tide without deep conviction because it is not a living embodied contact with whole-body primary respiration. This lack of conviction 'is a tide really happening?' leaves a practitioner confused and full of doubt.
When a BCST practitioner gives a session, and in the slightest way expects a cranial wave, feels the nervous system, or intends cranial wave patterns, it forces the client to experience cranial wave, which create false fulcra. The presence of the cranial wave not only deprives your recipient of actual embodied contact with the living whole-body breathing tides of the Breath of Life, also, the client misses the Breath of Life’s evolutionary power.
When neither the practitioner nor recipient has actual embodied contact with the living whole-body tidal expressions of the Breath of Life, by definition that is not a biodynamic session.
Every year, hundreds of new BCST practitioners are trained to unwittingly perpetuate the myth by telling clients that they offer biodynamics. A practitioner unwittingly reinforces this myth by applying ‘conversation skills’ that involve telling the client what is happening during a session by naming cranial wave lesion patterns, tides, midlines, suggesting stillpoints, etc.
The naming of powerful biodynamic terms during a session are like mantras that mesmerize a client into believing the practitioner. However, a sensitive client will feel resentment about being told what they feel, especially when they sense that the practitioner is making up what they 'think' is happening and the client is not experiencing the living whole-body tides.
Facing this fact may feel harsh, yet it is the reality if you as a practitioner are efferent in a session, and you feel anatomy, the nervous system, or the cranial wave. There is no way on earth that a tide can be present amid the harsh digital static of the nervous system. Be still is the only practice that invites the possibility for a tide to express in neutral.
Perhaps you do not believe me? Maybe you think I have an ax to grind because all I want to do is put-down a "competitor," or I say these 'unfair' things because I have such a huge ego, so I exaggerate to make myself look better? In reality, much like the osteopaths, it enrages me to see Dr. Sutherland's precious transmission distorted. Thankfully, the Dynamic Stillness School cannot keep up with all earnest students who are hungry for a training that is based on Dr. Sutherland's principles. Already, hundreds BCST trained graduates have woken up out of the illusion of the shadow biodynamic organization called BCST. Don't believe me? Read the BCST definition of biodynamics as I quote it directly from their website (now removed since publishing this blog):
What is BCST?
Here is the BCST definition quoted from their website which was removed after I published the blog:
"Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle profound non-invasive, hands-on treatment for the whole body. Performed on a massage table, the client is fully clothed and the touch is generally light and still. The treatment is focused on supporting the health of the whole being, especially the nervous system. This is the system that dictates all of the body’s functioning, constantly sending and receiving information. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists understand how an optimally functioning healthy nervous system performs. We are trained for years on how to use acute perception skills to perceive subtle physiological changes. We also are aware of the energetic map that underlies one‘s basic health and symptomology. We believe that health is never lost no matter what the ailment. We use our ability to identify the parts of the nervous system that are not functioning optimally and our awareness of the “always available health” in the body to assist the system in bringing itself back into balance. This supports greater ease and helps the body decrease symptoms."
Do you really want to practice Sutherland's biodynamics? First, study Dr. Sutherland's Osteopathic definitions of the three types of cranial in Chapter 3 of STILLNESS, or read the original Osteopathic definitions in the references for yourself: CLICK HERE FOR OSTEOPATHIC DEFINITIONS of the Three Types of Cranial
Then, try this experiment with sincerity and humility. Let your your client know that you are conducting some research.
Ask Your Client to 'Tell You the Truth'
Since you need them to tell you the unedited truth, ask your client to promise to tell you the absolute truth when you ask your question. Once he or she agrees, ask your client, “Are you experiencing in yourself what I am telling you is happening during my sessions?”
But you have to possess the courage to hear the truth, which means you ask the question from neutral. Also, watch that your body language is neutral too because sincere clients are desperate to please you, their beloved and trusted practitioner, and they will hold back if there’s even a whiff of a bodily sign that you do not want to hear the truth.
This blog is about the Death of a Biodynamics that Dr. Sutherland gave to us. Offering a living biodynamic session involves actual embodied contact with the whole-body breathing of primary respiration, which is also experienced by the client. It is impossible for a client to realize living contact with the tides when a practitioner is telling them what they are experiencing during a session, or, a practitioner orients the nervous system, expects, orients to, and intends in the cranial wave, and works with the nervous system’s reaction to trauma.
Again, I want to reemphasize that this is not your fault as a BCST practitioner: you were trained by BCST teachers. Inside this powerful consensual group field you were led to ‘believe’ that tides exist without having an actual embodied contact with them because the BCST teachers use biodynamic terms like a mantra that invoke virtual experiences of tides in the mind. BCST practitioners are trained to use words such as flow, shimmering, spraying up the midline, settling, stillness. mid-tide, long tide, Dynamic Stillness, etc. that "tell" the client what you think is happening in them during a session.
For example, a BCST practitioner may tell their client, “Shimmering light is spraying up your midline.” And perhaps that is supposed to mean that long tide is present. Or, “waves of mid-tide are moving to and fro in you.” This is supposed to indicate fluid tide. “There is a settling in you, would you like to take a pause and drop into stillness?” So a practitioner makes suggestions to their clients.
Even though the misuse of mantric phrases and suggestions to a client can mesmerize them, it is a mental belief that is not an indicator of the living presence of tides, or of Dynamic Stillness. Characterizing an actual body-felt tidal realization of the tides is more complex than naming it by using mantric words like the fluid tide, the long tide, Dynamic Stillness, spraying, shimmering, settling, stillness, pause, etc.
Let’s characterize some of the aspects you experience if you are having an actual embodied contact with the tides.
How to Verify if you are in a Living Embodied Contact with the Tides
When a living whole-body breathing tide is actually present in your body, it is so powerful that you are left without any doubt. Why no doubt? Because actual contact with a tide as a living presence alchemically transmutes and expands your consciousness.
Tides are sensed as overlapping expressions of consciousness in the client and practitioner.
The powerful presence of a living tide in your body cannot be created in your mind: tides are not delta brain waves, and tides cannot be shifted into at will, nor do tides manifest by naming or visualizing them during a session.
The living presence of fluid tide can only be considered to be present if several aspects arise at the same time. The long tide may be confirmed as a living presence if aspects of fluid tide are present and you also realize a shift in your consciousness from personal to transpersonal (See STILLNESS, fluid tide, long tide, Dynamic Stillness, and Pure Breath of Love in Chapters 6-9).
You have to sense all the indicators of a tide simultaneously before assuming that a tide may be present. Otherwise, it is a figment of your imagination concocted by the thinking brain, and this fantasy is amplified in a consensual group field, as I noted in STILLNESS on page 41 in the class I took in Maui with Franklyn Sills.
I’ve heard BCST students say, “Oh, so and so (insert a teacher’s name), teaches from the long tide.” That is preposterous! No one can teach from the long tide by will it into existence, the Breath of Life, the Divine Feminine is not subject to our will. And who told the student that?
Below are factors that must be present simultaneously before you can consider the presence of a living whole-body tidal expression of the Breath of Life.
Conditions to be Met before Verifying a Tide ‘may’ be Present:
* The degree of depth and inclusiveness of stillness inside your whole body.
* Stillness expands from whole body, to global, to infinite, to all of them at once.
* A particular tide expresses out of a specific depth of stillness.
* Whole-body primary respiration emanates from whole-body stillness.
* The excursion of a particular tide originates inside the inner body space at midline, suffuses the whole body and everything in it, expands beyond body, approaches the horizon, spills over the horizon into infinity, and from infinity returns renewed to become all expressions simultaneously.
* The ebb and flow tempo matches a specific tidal rate, no rate, or all rates at the same time.
* The presence of parts and the whole are simultaneous as both/and.
* Your awareness expands from the whole body into the infinite beyond yet, you are still referenced to the midline of stillness.
* You realize ever-expanding and inclusive aspects of consciousness.
* You inwardly sense the living qualities of consciousness inherent to the elements earth water, air, fire, ether, including all of them at once.
* Your disposition spontaneously shifts with your perceptual field of consciousness.
* Your perceptual field of consciousness evolves from personal witness, to being witnessed, to becoming a transpersonal being, to an infinite consciousness that includes both/and/and neither.
* Your inner realizations are specific to each enfoldment of consciousness.
* You realize extraordinary sensory, visual, auditory, and tactile experiences that merge until your whole body becomes an organ of perception that transmutes and operates as one sacred sense that is known as Spiritual Touch.
* As Unwavering Presence, you can be with increasing degrees of intensity, intimacy, and paradox.
There are many more indicators in STILLNESS Chapters 6-9 and in the Appendix charts. The above is what minimally must be present at the same time before assuming that a tide may be present. Again, living tides are extremely complex; they do not appear in one dimension.
You cannot think or imagine tides into existence by naming them like a mantra; a tide is not evoked by talking about it, and you cannot shift into primary respiration by visualization it, nor yield to Dynamic Stillness at will, ... except in your mind, as fantasy, by which you create a virtual tide that does not exist.
Whole-body breathing tides are beyond the perceptual capacity of your brain, only your heart perception can sense tides by synchronized entrainment while you are in neutral.
Tides are subtle experiences, an invisible fluid within a fluid, yet at the same time, they are extremely powerful.
Actual embodied contact with the tides are realizations of consciousness that are so profound they overtake you and leave you with an overwhelming conviction and zero doubt of their living presence.
Ego May Co-opt Your Realization
As a caveat, the ego will co-opt your realizations by collapsing your expanded state into a less coherent one.
Here is an example: a BCST graduate took my yearly Kripalu Stillness Touch Lay Class. After the class, she wrote me to say that her body is trembling with ecstasy as a whole body erotic pulse of love, and she feels deep peace all at the same time. She mentioned her new realization to a woman who markets delta brainwave workshops, and the promoter told the student BCST practitioner that she was experiencing delta brain waves and convinced her to sign up for a training on delta brain waves, and off she went.
The next example occurred during a special class for doulas, gynecologists, and midwives. One midwife's consciousness expanded to the black infinity of Dynamic Stillness. After she reported her realization, an Italian osteopath, without being invited to share his opinion, told her that her experience was the result of hyperventilation. He was not in the room where the woman experienced the black stillness.
These two examples above exemplify how the ego, due to fear, will co-opt a realized expanded state in an attempt to diminish the experience and reduce it to a physical explanation. It epitomizes the difference between a medical model cranial work that is based on the nervous system, the cranial wave, and materialism, versus an evolutionary biodynamics that is based on embodied heart perception of the Breath of Life.
An expanded state is not better than a less expanded one,
but it behooves us to understand that there are differences between them
As mentioned above, here is a copy of a curriculum downloaded from a BCST sanctioned school's website.
After reading this curriculum, answer for yourself the question I suggest at the end:
Course 1 – relational touch
Explores the phenomena of touch, space, perception and Tidal forms. Looks at the craniosacral biodynamic concept in depth.
- The relational field
- Holistic shift
- Unfoldments of the Breath of Life
- Perceptual Fields
Starting to look at:
- Patterns of Experience
- Inherent treatment plan
You will learn how to:
- Establish a state of balanced awareness and practitioner fulcrums
- Be able to achieve a settled state within your own system
- Negotiate the contact space with your client
- Be able to sit back and listen to how your client’s system is
- Establish a clear relational field
- Notice expressions of primary respiration in your own body and others
- Recognize stillness in yourself and others
- Invite systemic stillness in your client's system
- Offer a wide perceptual field
Course 2 – the midline
Explores the spine as a unit of function and natural fulcrum for the whole body’s health as well as a conductor for the primary energies of the bodymind system. Looks at how natural adjustments take place around this axis.
- Embryological origins
- Original health and blueprint
- Primal midline
- Holistic spine
- The two poles - sacrum and occiput
- Spinal motion dynamics
- Fluid spine
- Key Joints
Starting to look at:
- Natural states of balance
- Tissues, fluids and potency
- Body learning
- Recognising and treating trauma affects
You will learn how to:
- Recognize how the health of the spine affects the health of the whole body
- Become familiar with recognizing expressions from the primal midline.
- Listen to the spine as a whole unit of function.
- Relate to the health of the spinal curves and the continuity through the spinal column helping you identify spinal joint patterns.
- Recognize the horizontal relationships of the spine, that is, facilitated segments and irritability in visceral and somatic nervous arcs and how to meet them therapeutically.
- Learning skills of assessing your client’s health.
Course 3 – whole body dynamics
Explores the phenomenon of holism. When the body communicates and moves as a whole, there is access to greater health. Looks at continuity of tissues, whole body patterns and shapes. Also looks at reciprocal motion through the body.
- Connective tissue
- The Fascial web
- Reciprocal motion in membranes
- Horizontal and transverse structures
- Whole body whole field
- Resolving whole body patterns
- Trauma models
- Hip and Shoulder Joints as key nodes in Fascial Web
- Wide perceptual fields and the Long Tide
- Practice development: skills of assessment, diagnostic baselines, language for touch, recording treatments
You will learn how to:
- Recognize how the health of the connective tissue matrix can affect the health of the whole system.
- Become familiar with assessing connective tissue health.
- Feel whole body patterns.
- Differentiate between longitudinal and transverse strains in the body - appreciating their convergence and inter-relationships.
- Recognize the qualities of dural membrane, being able to relate to the falx and tentorium as key structures for cranial health.
- Listen to the dural tube, observing dural glide as a way of assessing mobility.
Course 4 – craniopelvic resonance
Explores primary respiration around cranial and pelvic bones. Looks at how the two poles of the midline mirror each other and create health when there is synchrony.
- Mobility and motility of cranial vault and pelvic bones
- Patterns of experience
- Specific resonances
- Bipolar contact
- Integration and resourcing
- Bony-membranous expressions
- Core-periphery resonance: midline and limbs
- Practice development: structure of a treatment session, treatment processes, safety in practice
You will learn how to:
- Start to recognize how bones feel and express healthy motion
- Recognize how the health of the Reciprocal Tension Membranes affects the bones of the midline.
- Feel whole body patterns through craniopelvic resonance.
- Recognize how the falx and tentorium are key structures for healthy motion of the vault bones.
- Learn to listen to the dural tube as the core link between the pelvis and cranium.
Course 5 – birth, ignition and original health
Explores how we develop in utero and the prenatal conditions for health. Craniosacral therapy can form a relationship to these early forces and facilitate a re-ordering of early affects. Looks at the process of birth and how the body shapes itself in response to this unique event.
- Pre-natal experience and the psyche
- Cranial base patterns and their resonance
- Whole body birth shapes and posture
- Understanding entrainment
- Ignition processes
- Attachment and bonding body affects
- Relating to the transpersonal
- Pacing and containment
- Practice development: developing trust in body intelligence, diagnosing health and assessing change
You will learn how to:
- Work with the vault hold (Sutherland’s hold) and modified vault hold (Becker’s hold) to explore cranial distortions.
- Work with whole body shapes and patterns, exploring links to the cranial base and perinatal events.
- Orient to the cranium as a fluid membrane bag, appreciating the effect of birth stages in distorting the fluid filled bag that is the baby’s cranium
- Start to get a sense of compression, side-bending and torsion patterns.(physiological strain patterns of SBJ)
- Start to get a sense of lateral and vertical shear patterns of the cranial base (non-physiological strain patterns of SBJ)
- Deepen your appreciation of Long Tide through relationship to a ‘horizontal’ perceptual field
- Deepen skills around facilitating resources, presence and understanding pacing and containment
Course 6 –visceral intelligence
Explores how organs feel and move - their embryological origins and primary health expressions. Looks at how treatment can change their physiology in a profound way.
- Visceral nervous system
- Fight or flight response and the brain stem
- Limbic system and emotions
- Individual organ expressions and clinical considerations
- The gut and umbilical affects
- Physiological affects of stillness
- Practice development: acute and chronic conditions, dealing with serious illness, relationship with short, medium and long term clients
You will learn how to:
- Work precisely with the pericardium and its connection to other structures, especially the link between the cranial base and the diaphragm.
- Orient to the fluid nature of organs and the physiology of the body.
- Relate to the peritoneum as a visceral reciprocal tension membrane system.
- Sense of the gut tube and its particular, potency and movement expressions.
- Deepen your skills of listening from CRI and mid tide to body structures.
- Appreciate the integrative affect stillpoint has on organ physiology.
- Orient to body cavities as internal spaces.
- Understand the holistic nature of viscera, fluids, nervous system and potency.
- Deepen your skills of differentiation.
Course 7 – neural matrix
Explores the fluid/electrical phenomenon of the central nervous system right at the heart of us. In particular how the brain feels and responds to light touch. Looks at how to relate to neural patterning to bring about smoother neural flow dynamics.
- The whole brain
- Neural flow
- Ventricles and deep potency reservoirs
- Blood and brain
- Brain states
- Nerve facilitation
- Psycho-neuroimmunoendocrine response
- Stillness in the central nervous system
- Sea of stillness
- Practice development: being a successful fulfilled craniosacral therapist, how to survive as a self employed therapist
You will learn how to:
- Feel the ventricles of the brain and the deep potency that resides there. Following the potentization in the ventricles during stillpoint.
- Recognise how the health of the third ventricle can affect the health of the whole system.
- Become familiar with nervous tissue expressions of health. Learning to recognise states of balance and work with different parts of the brain, including the eye.
- Relate to venous sinuses. Assessing their freedom of movement and encouraging greater mobility and flow, potency and movement expressions.
- Identify brain stem activation and how to tone down the nervous system.
- Relate to the hypothalamus and pituitary and detect endocrine changes in the body.
Course 8– the facial complex
Explores the dynamics of the face and the special senses. Looks at how the face functions in relationship to the neurocranium, the whole body and a plethora of inter-relationships. Particularly looks at the pivotal relationship of the jaw and throat to the whole body and how it is the fulcrum for powerful physiological and psychoemotional expressions and repressions.
- Cranial nerves & special senses
- Motions and emotions of the face
- Hard palette dynamics
- The jaw and TMJ harmonics
- Emotional entrapment and its expressions
- Shock and the jaw
- The pivot of the throat
- Key joints of the lower body
- The empathetic practitioner
- The power of acknowledgement and non-action
- Practice development: framing the physiology of emotion and pain, developing presence and simplicity in the treatment session
You will learn how to:
- Recognize birth patterns in the facial complex
- Recognize TMJ compression and its affects
- Understand ramifications of chronic jaw tension and its affect on all systems of the body including the in particular the immune response, digestion, posture and emotional repression
- Work with the hyoid as a natural fulcrum for the structural and emotional health of the throat
- Be able to listen to the face as a whole and be in relationship with all the different facial tissues
- Become more precise in your ability to name patterns of expression and their quality and direction
- Define BCST through the spoken and written word
Course 9 – the holistic system ~ neuroendocrine immune response
Looks at how the body is holistic in its very nature. The nervous system, the endocrine system and immune system are intricately linked and complementary, co-influencing our emotional and psychological states. New biology and new science will be examined as theories to help us understand what lies behind physical and emotional conditioning along with practical ways to bring this knowledge into the treatment room and meet your clients system in a truly holistic way.
- The phenomenon of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis
- Metabolic fields and the thyroid
- Immune system potency and the immune organs
- The hormonal molecular fluid matrix
- Regulation of the neuroendocrine immune system
- Understanding the stress/inflammatory response
- Practice development: building your practice, legal requirements, ongoing development
You will learn to:
- Feel the HPA axis and be able to assess its level of biodynamic health and stress response
- Recognise how the potency connection of the third ventricle is pivotal for the health of the whole system.
- Become familiar with the immune response and its expression of health. Learning to work with the immune organs.
- Relate to the lymphatic ducts. Helping to free them and encouraging greater mobility and flow, potency and movement expressions.
- Learning to identify the pineal gland as a fulcrum for natural balance and rhythm.
- Relate to the body at a molecular level.
Course 10 – working with mothers, babies and children
Pregnancy, birth and early life are profound and formative times. These first moments can determine many aspects of our health and nature that condition the rest of our lives. Craniosacral Therapy offers a profound understanding of these events and through a unique and deep contact with the human system can help the expression of the innate life force within each individual. To be able to use these skills effectively can help the development of the embryo, foetus, baby and mother.
- Mother and Baby Resonance
- Treating Mother and Baby for the first time after the Birth
- Health Expressions/Trauma Expressions in Mothers Babies and Children
- Postnatal Period and Changes that Occur
- O-A Birth
- Natural Labour
- Paediatric Conditions
- O-P Birth
- Labour Complications and the Medical Model
- Pain Relief
- C-S Birth
- Antenatal Care Profile – Women’s Choices
- Physiological Changes during Pregnancy
- Treating Pregnant Women & Acknowledging the Baby’s Presence
- Conditions that developed in the Antenatal Period
- Clinical practise
- Case taking of the Woman and Baby on the first visit
- Treating Mobile Infants
After reading the above BCST sanctioned curriculum, is BCST a tissue-based functional medical treatment approach, or is it a non-doing biodynamics that Dr. Sutherland left us?
The BCST curriculum may be what you are looking for. If so, by all means, go for it.
Recall in his letter quoted above in which the BCST practitioner said that any professional biodynamic cranial practitioner worth their weight in salt will call the above officially sanctioned BCST curriculum functional cranial work, which amounts to tissue work in the cranial wave, ... and that is what it is through and through.
What epitomizes post-truth is the opposite of the truth is promulgated as truth, yet Dr. Sutherland said, "Do you see the point?"
Be Still and Know I AM