Dr. Sutherland introduced biodynamic cranial work 70 years ago, which has become a never-ending journey of love coming back home into the body.
Stillness Touch: A Post-Biodynamic Practice
The book STILLNESS: Biodynamic Cranial Practice and the Evolution of Consciousness presents the classical osteopathic biodynamic cranial map. The upcoming sequel, Stillness Touch: A Post-Biodynamic Practice elaborates on a Post-biodynamic domain that was introduced in Chapter 9 in STILLNESS.
Stillness Touch details the evolution of Dr. Sutherland's biodynamics in the Dynamic Stillness School by outlining a Post-biodynamic practice for the evolution of consciousness. I say 'Post-biodynamic' because the biodynamic cranial map no longer applies. Here, the tides disappear and are absorbed by Pure Breath of Love. Realizing this Post-biodynamic domain is by utterly abiding in what Dr. Sutherland taught, or there is a risk of by-passing Pure Breath of Love and entering a virtual shadow biodynamic practice that is created by the thinking brain.
The book STILLNESS points out that "life manifests in the white-hot polarity between the dynamic tension of opposites." Inevitably, there is a shadow biodynamics that opposes Dr. Sutherland's transmission that in essence is that a practitioner is no longer the doer. Do we dare to recognize and look straight in the eye that there exists such a "biodynamics" in which practitioners are taught to by-pass embodied contact with the Breath of Life and instead actively engage in treating clients? We by-pass whenever we orient outward to the nervous system, focus on its lesions and the effected anatomy to treat symptoms without embodied contact with primary respiration.
It is indisputable in professional licensed biodynamic cranial circles that the practice of the biodynamics taught by Drs. Sutherland and Becker require that a practitioner enjoy a living contact with the expressions of the Breath of Life, which is the Source of the potency in the embryonic forces that create the body. In our post-truth era, ‘biodynamic’ schools teach treatment protocols while practitioners do not enjoy body-felt contact with whole-body breathing primary respiration. When contact with primary respiration as a living potency is not present in you during a session, you are not practicing the biodynamic cranial that Dr. Sutherland taught. Inner body-felt contact with primary respiration is the portal that opens your consciousness to Dynamic Stillness, which is the fulcrum to direct embodied contact with Pure Breath of Love, which is a Post-biodynamic domain.
You can call it biodynamic, yet without an inner realization of the whole-body inner breathing, it is an empty phrase, and a dead concept arising from the thinking brain. As he taught it, Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamic cranial session begins the moment stillness pervades your whole inner body space and emanates primary respiration, which is an expression of the Breath of Life. This potency awakens in you a direct inner body contact with the invisible force that made the body and evolves your consciousness.
Orienting to Anatomy is a Form of By-pass: Do You See the Point?
It is radical that a practitioner not orient to anatomy during a Stillness Touch session. Yet, Drs. Sutherland and Becker taught that we do not orient to structure, i.e., anatomy. Rather, we contact the unerring potency within that created the anatomy. Orienting to anatomy recoils our awareness away from direct contact with the potency: as awareness moves outward we by-pass the Breath of Life, which takes us away from contact with the invisible forces that made the body. Efference as by-pass prevents us from contacting the invisible embryonic forces that create the body.
If we desire to practice the essence of biodynamics that Sutherland and Becker taught, then we practice afference: we back up deep inside ourselves where the wisdom of the body dwells as the invisible embryological forces that possess the unerring potency that made the body. This classic biodynamic domain of the Breath of Life is prior to anatomy. If we wish to let the Breath of Life be in charge of our Stillness Touch session, we go inside and contact the Source potency that holds the template of wholeness that made the body. If awareness goes in the opposite, outer direction by orienting to the nervous system, anatomy, or to visualize primary respiration then we enter by-pass, and lose inner contact with potency. Which direction to orient awareness during a session is a personal choice - a point of freedom for each practitioner. Innerness leads to the essence of Sutherland's transmission of biodynamics, and orienting awareness outward is functional cranial work. Both are valid within their respective domains. Yet, unconsciously mixing these two practices have created a mess of confusion in the cranial field outside of cranial osteopathy.
Terror of Feminine Power
The ego instills the terror that we will loose control if we go within to contact the power that made the body, so we avoid it, which prevents the feminine power from intimately touching us. Hence, in by-pass, we get ever-further away from contact with Source. We objectify the client and treat them based on skills we learned in our functional cranial training. As such, we recoil awareness from contact with the feminine essence, which is the biodynamics that Sutherland and Becker taught ... do you see the point? By-pass can so alienate us that we cannot find a way back to inner-body contact with the Breath of Life. What remains is a shadow biodynamics, an intellectual understanding derived from the study of the theories of biodynamics that are based on anatomy. To gain more insight into by-pass, see "Ways to By-pass Direct Embodied Contact with the Breath of Life" below.
That is why the practitioner orientation of the Dynamic Stillness School is a direct contact the invisible forces that create anatomy, instead of teaching anatomy. These invisible forces are within us, and Dr. Becker taught us that we first need a direct contact with stillness, which is the unerring potency within. He taught us to wait in stillness until a conversation without words arises within between us and the one we are touching, and it is this conversation between the invisible forces of potency that guide Becker's biodynamic sessions.
Blechschmidt: Function Creates Form
Embryologist Erik Blechschmidt's validates that we not orient to anatomy by his discoveries. He personally observed thousands of slides of stages of human embryonic development and realized that medical dogma that posits that structure creates function had it backwards. Instead, he saw for himself the opposite: that the developmental forces come first, and then these invisible forces create the form. Blechschmidt's discovery, function creates form, upended medical thinking. He saw that anatomy is formed to accommodate the already active function. Function arises as an expression of the invisible formative forces that make the body around an axial midline of stillness. That is why we orient within to the invisible embryological forces during a Stillness Touch session, which are within you until death.
Cranial bones, the nervous system, organs, tissues, ground substance, and all other visible structures of the human body are made by an invisible power arising from an unknowable Divine Feminine intelligence that holds the template of wholeness that creates the body. Biodynamics call this power the Breath of Life.
Evolution of Consciousness
A profound evolutionary journey begins the instant stillness pervades your whole inner body space and ignites the potency of life as a whole-body primary respiration that is known, at first, as the fluid tide. Subsequently, fluid tide expands your consciousness beyond ego and nervous system's control of the body. This evolutionary process continues until you realize the next harmonic of primary respiration that is a vast global luminescence known as long tide.
If consciousness continues to evolve, it expands inside you as the long tide until awareness spills over the edge of your 'known' and consciousness expands into an infinite black Dynamic Stillness. Inside Dynamic Stillness, the ego as the sense of a separate self disappears while consciousness crosses the threshold into the abyss of black emptiness and becomes infinite unknowable Pure Consciousness, which is known as I AM. When the ego re-emerges, it is suffused by the Radiantly Awake Self of Pure Consciousness that is irrevocably united with Pure Breath of Love, which is the primordial potency of the Divine Feminine Will that emanates as 'the beyond' as a power of love that creates all that is.
You realize the evolution of your consciousness only after you enjoy a living embodied inner contact with the Breath of Life.
Hence, realization of Pure Breath of Love is impossible if you orient outward to anatomy or the nervous system and its expressed cranial wave, or if you mix the three types of cranial work together. Functional treatment methods require objectification and efference in order to orient to the nervous system and anatomy. Such intending outward will collapse our inner contact with the subtle fractal breathing field that is the motion of life. Like opposing ends of a magnet, the slightest functional efferent activity on behalf of a practitioner repels embodied contact with primary respiration. As the Breath of life withdraws from awareness, it creates an empty void. Dr. Sutherland got this clearly.
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 the practice of biodynamics involves no treating of symptoms.
You may not be aware that the essence of Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamic teachings are based on practitioner non-doing and non-efference. In the biodynamic cranial practice that Sutherland taught, you do not orient to the nervous system or anatomy, nor do you apply functional methods. However, this is not obvious without having studied cranial osteopathic history, so it is easy to believe that craniosacral biodynamics and biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) align with Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamics.
However, if you study Sutherland’s original definitions of his three types of cranial work in the osteopathic literature or in Chapter 3 of STILLNESS, you see the proof in the pudding: BCST practices are, by their own definition, functional cranial work. Click here for the ORIGINAL OSTEOPATHIC DEFINITIONS OF THE THREE TYPES OF CRANIAL
Again, in functional work, a practitioner objectifies a client to enter their subtle body, the craniosacral system, to evaluate the status of the nervous system by feeling for lesion patterns. Then, the practitioner applies intentions, suggestions, and techniques - as outside forces - that are projected from the practitioner inside the clients' subtle body system to treat them. Functional work is an excellent modality that Sutherland developed, but he ceased this practice after biodynamics took hold of him.
The classic functional cranial work taught by founder Franklyn Sills, that he calls Craniosacral Biodynamics, clearly characterizes the functional principles in his writings without calling it functional cranial work. Yet, to appreciate this you have to understand the original osteopathic definitions of the three types of cranial work. Then it becomes crystal clear that BCST is functional work. Back in his formative days, Franklyn Sills asked James Jealous for permission to share his article "Around The Edges" and Jealous said yes but do not call what your work biodynamic, which created a huge conflict.
Functional cranial is an excellent treatment method, yet functional methods are not Dr. Sutherland’s non-doing biodynamics.
I recall in the late 1990’s when the professional licensed biodynamic cranial community pointed out to Franklyn Sills, the founder of BCST, that there is a discrepancy between Dr. Sutherland’s non-doing principles and the functional methods inherent to his BCST practices. Instead of correcting his error, Sills dug in his heels by adding more layers of efference, which further alienated his BCST from Dr. Sutherland’s non-doing biodynamics. Now in 2019 the BCST organization has gone all out and presents a post-truth "shadow biodynamics" that offers lip service to Dr. Sutherland’s non-doing while in practice they teach dozens of efferent practices.
Is it important to appreciate craniosacral biodynamics and biodynamic craniosacral therapy for what it is, rather than believe it is the biodynamic practice that Dr. Sutherland left us? Again, it is not that BCST is flawed, it is calling it biodynamic that is dishonest.
Living Biodynamics or By-pass in the Empty Void?
Clarity, integrity, 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 is what compels me to fiercely uphold his non-doing biodynamic principles.
This same direct inner transmission from Dr. Sutherland spurred 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 many other biodynamic cranial osteopath giants. These practitioners consciously carry Dr. Sutherland’s impulse and they each keep his non-doing principles alive in their own way. This does not mean that all these practitioner sit in stillness that way Dr. Becker modeled, rather these DO's know that they are not the doer, and have experienced that it is the potency of the Breath of Life that moves them during a session. In actual practice, if something was 'done' even though it looks like functional work, it does not arise as an intention from the practitioner, but rather the Breath f Life moved their hands. One could characterize this as moving stillness, or doing, non-doing. That is a far cry from what I have witnessed hundreds of times with BCST practitioners in which it is the practitioner who is the doer, based on the dozen efferent practices involved to treat a client's symptoms.
In contrast, the above DO practitioners know that in Dr. Sutherland's biodynamics, a practitioner uses no outside force as efference that arises from the practitioner's ideas, and instead they trust that the tide will do everything. Biodynamics, as the movement of life, will disappear the moment a practitioner applies the slightest degree of objectification, efference, intention, naming, orienting to anatomy, suggestion, or visualization. Primary respiration disappears from your awareness when you orient to the nervous system to treat, because to do so your awareness moves outward into a by-pass, avoiding direct inner contact with the Breath of Life. Then, amid an empty void, you are tempted to enter the client’s body to name, treat, or do something to them - all these efferent activities will collapse ones contact with the whole-body breathing field of primary respiration. It also leaves behind in the client an inertial field of "false fulcra" that is bereft of life. When the empty void of inertia is present, the practitioner may feel a need to fill the void by orienting to anatomy, 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, as by-pass, is bereft of a living inner contact with the Breath of Life. All of the above are not only conceptual practices, they also take awareness several steps removed from a direct living contact with the invisible essence that created the body, which is the Breath of Life.
Breath of Life is prior to anatomy or the nervous system.
Practicing the above efferent activities is by-pass to avoid being in contact with the Breath of Life.
If the living field of primary respiration is not present inside you as practitioner, the subsequent inner void of inertia will collapse the whole-body breathing field in the client. The result is a practitioner transmits an empty void that is bereft of the motion of life to the client. While inside this empty void, a practitioner may unconsciously lay down efferent tracks called 'false fulcra' that are filled with inertial patterns. This may be confusing to a BCST practitioner when he or she mistakes the inertial void for stillness, or she thinks that the tracks of false fulcra are part of the inherent treatment plan. Repeatedly creating false fulcra inside a client’s system instills doubt about, and fear of, the boundless power of biodynamics.
Although baffling, it seems that by working in a vacuum of shadow biodynamics, it has motivated the BCST Organization to add more efferent methods than ever.
Many BCST practitioners become disheartened after an inward realization dawns by which they get what it means when Dr. Sutherland says ‘be still.’ This may be particularly painful after the fruits of 'being still' are realized when juxtaposed with how busy “doing” that a BCST practitioner is taught to be.
A practitioner is too busy to enjoy living contact with the Breath of Life, despite deeply longing for it.
Subsequently, each year hundreds of BCST graduates take our Dynamic Stillness School Initiatory, Mentor, and Post-biodynamic Classes, 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 whole-body expressions of primary respiration, and can learn to offer a biodynamic cranial session the way that Dr. Sutherland taught us. If living contact with the tides interests you, ponder this:
Inquiry: Do you to want work with the nervous systems' inertial forces of death, or yield to the Breath of Life that made the body?
The nervous system field is a virtual empty void that radiates inertial, or lifeless digital patterns that create a 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 the full void as Dynamic Stillness that is 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 realize Dynamic Stillness if you practice what Dr. William and Adah Sutherland advised:
“Be Still and Know I AM.”
'Be still' means cease objectification and efference, do not orient to the nervous system or anatomy, and do not enter a clients’ subtle body to listen to cranial wave or seek tidal motions or the movement of potency , and do not intend techniques in the cranial wave, or visualize primary respiration. Michael Shea beautifully demonstrates visualization here: Michael Shea Contact Demonstration
How is Stillness Touch Different from BCST?
During Stillness Touch, a practitioner reposes inwardly in non-doing and not-knowing, which is the essential prerequisite for realizing a living embodied contact with whole body primary respiration, be it expressed as fluid tide or long tide. Both tides emanate from Dynamic Stillness, which eventually put you into direct contact with the Post-biodynamic domain that we call Pure Breath of Love.
Again, if you want to practice biodynamics in a way that Dr. Sutherland instructed, do not orient to anatomy, the nervous system, and do not visualize primary respiration. Also, do not add any outside force or have an intention when touching the client. You do not treat symptoms; you do not work with 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 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 had 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 the Breath of Life?
It is curious that as mentioned, each year several hundred graduates of Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy (BCST) enroll in our Initiatory, Mentor, and Stillness Touch Post-biodynamic classes. Enrollment has exploded; in 2018 alone over 450 BCST graduates took the Dynamic Stillness School's Post-biodynamic courses, not counting the Initiatory or Mentor Courses. Is it because these practitioners have no contact with the Breath of Life?
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. Namely, many BCST graduates have no direct experience, meaning an inner-body contact, with the living whole-body breathing inside their body. The 'contact' is in their minds, which is a virtual, conceptual, shadow understanding of the theories. 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 amid Practitioner Non-doing and Not Knowing is the Essence of Dr. Sutherland’s biodynamics.
One renowned BCST teacher and author confessed his BCST practice orientation by 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 client.
My answer to 'why don't I help the Breath of Life out' mirrors what Dr. Becker has said about it, ‘the Breath of Life 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 because in neutral he knew the moment had arrived where his participation was no longer necessary because now the Breath of Life that made the body is present. Becker characterized neutral as the moment the practitioner and patient’s ego has yielded 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 and patient surrenders to the Will.
It is obvious that Becker trusts the tide, given that he experienced the Breath of Life do all the healing. The next week in a follow-up session, Becker could sense the progress made in the client 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 again, 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. Nowhere in his two books does Dr. Becker imply that he treats a patient, orients to the nervous system, or works 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 him with the whole-body primary respiration, which are the forces of life that do all healing.
Orienting to the nervous system is not a biodynamic practice no matter how you cut it.
Do Not Use Efference
If you desire to practice Sutherland's non-doing biodynamic cranial, stop all functional cranial practices. At the last afternoon of a Stillness Touch Post-biodynamic class, one 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.”
Again, to practice Sutherland’s biodynamics, do not work with the nervous system or anatomy. Rather, stop all efference, cease intending, and curtail any and all 'doing to' that involves treating a client. If you are a BCST practitioner who wants to practice Stillness Touch, all efferent practices must be eliminated, such as do not establish a relational field, cease applying BCST intentions, stop suggesting still points, do not negotiate space (zones), and quit visualizing primary respiration, and stop telling the client what you think they are feeling during the session, and, you have to give up trauma management, which is the nervous systems' domain. All of the above practices are aspects of functional cranial work, which is fine in and of itself.
That seems like a lot to give up, yet it reveals how far the BCST organization has drifted into by-pass in the opposite direction from Dr. Sutherland’s original non-doing principles of “Be still and know I AM.”
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 then cease all BCST practices that by-pass and block the presence of the Breath of Life inside you, and do not mix functional 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 was 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 considered 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 orient to 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.
If you are a BCST practitioner, and you desire to practice biodynamics as Sutherland taught it, again, you have to stop all efferent ‘doing to’ a client, including all the components that are inherent to a BCST session. 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 by the misuse of 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.
Cranial Wave as a Record of the Past is not a Tide in the Present
Cranial wave (CW) is a compensatory neurological motion that exists as an precise reaction to the degree of stress in the body, be it trauma, emotional, physical, chemical, etc. The rate of the CW changes because the nervous system is constantly reacting to life based on the amount of stress that is present. CW expresses digital, electro-charged, automatic patterns that create a holographic record of your past - your history - that is etched in the ground substance of your body that affects all cellular function throughout the body. CW, therefore, is a fossilized record of your history that is frozen in time inside an inertial empty void. In contrast, the living, always changing, whole-body breathing tides of primary respiration are 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 orient to the nervous system and intend in the cranial wave?”
Practicing that way is fine, but understand that it is not biodynamic.
Why do I say it is not biodynamic? First, the cranial wave, that Sutherland originally called the cranial rhythmic impulse, is an impulse of the nervous system that constantly modulates the rate and quality of the cranial rhythm in response to the degree of stress. The cranial wave is not a fractal tide, it is a digital compensatory motion that is holographically etched into the tissues, which is created when the field of 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 may arise.
Finally, and most importantly, if you wait in non-doing without expecting cranial wave patterns, the cranial wave will not appear. Instead, neutral arises as a whole body stillness out of which primary respiration breathes the fractal forces of life body-wide.
Therefore, if you orient to the nervous system and expect cranial wave or tides to appear, or if you visualize primary respiration, that efferent activity 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. Cranial wave, being the fossilized record of the past, exists in an inertial empty void: it is motion past, not the motion present, nor is the cranial wave an expression of the dynamic fractal fields of life that express as primary respiration.
The door to primary respiration is be still and wait without expecting any motions, and that includes not expecting tides or visualizing primary respiration. When neutral arrives, as a whole body stillness, it spontaneously ignites whole-body primary respiration, as the fluid tide, the first expression in the biodynamic field, or the global breathing of long tide.
The Term "Mid-tide" is Misleading
The term “mid-tide” is a re-naming Sutherland's original term, fluid tide, which is the first biodynamic tidal expression. So "Mid-tide” implies that there is a first tide before the 'mid,' yet that would have be cranial wave that is not a tide, which is non-sensical.
In summary, when you expect cranial wave or a tide, it creates false fulcra, which are the inertial forces of death in a client that turns the ground substance from a liquid to a gel. Gelled ground substance emits digital electro-charged cranial wave patterns, which cannot transmit fractal instructions from the Breath of Life. Liquid conveys healthy fractal function that emanates from the whole body primary respiration to all the cells. ANY expectation is efferent, which depletes cellular vitality and can lead 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 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 calls what they offer craniosacral biodynamics or biodynamic craniosacral therapy, does not mean it is a non-doing biodynamic cranial practice the way that Dr. Sutherland defined it. When you practice Sutherland’s non-doing biodynamics, it becomes an evolutionary approach, and that requires having an embodied contact with the living whole-body breathing tides of primary respiration, which spontaneously evolves your consciousness.
To practice biodynamics requires an embodied contact with the tides, which means you have to give up every form of by-pass that impedes contact with the Breath of Life.
If you want to offer biodynamic cranial in the way that Dr. Sutherland taught, you must give up all of the following impediments:
Ways to By-pass Direct Embodied Contact with the Breath of Life:
* Objectification, efference, visualizing, and treating.
* Establishing a relational field.
* Naming or describing what is occurring during a session.
* Seeing the body as a set of separate anatomical parts, such as bones, dura, CSF, nervous system, muscles, organs, fascia, spine, diaphragms, evaluating the nervous system functioning in each part to treat it, tides, primary respiration, etc.
* Orienting to the nervous system.
* Treating symptoms, or using an intention to heal.
* Holding an idea or expectation of motions, orientating to or intending anything during a session.
* Feeling for, or visualizing tides, primary respiration, seeking midlines, establishing fulcra, creating a relational field.
* Shifting into a tide at will.
* Entering the client’s inner subtle body space - the craniosacral system - to look for inertia, cranial wave patterns, tides, still points, midlines, fulcra, the status of the anatomy, etc.
* Treating any specific anatomical compartment of the body.
* Suggesting stillpoints to a client internally or verbally.
* Intending cranial techniques to balance cranial wave inertial patterns.
* Negotiating space or zones.
* Conversation skills during a session, such as asking permission to make a contact and to remove a 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 the protective functions of trauma operate on the level of nervous system and 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.”
Based on a review of the published BCST curriculum that I include at the end of this piece, there are dozens of efferent, tissue-based, anatomical, 'doing to' treatment methods designed for symptom relief, which are part of the practice of biodynamic cranial sacral therapy (BCST) and craniosacral biodynamics.
However, to enjoy living embodied contact with tides, all functional methods have to be given up, and there is more to it than that.
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 all sincere practitioners who 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.
But if we have the courage and can be still and wait, we will 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 are motions that express life and contain the patterns of health, and they 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 she is receiving biodynamics when she is not, 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 Inquiry
Tough love is based on reality and not on post-truth, so reality may feel brutal to 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 in my body to the living Breath of Life, or is it in my mind?”
“With a 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?”
The Death of Biodynamics
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 look at all that training, money, and time you spent to learn biodynamics? But the death of biodynamics is not your fault; it 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 we witness in the bodywork field that is perpetrated by the 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 - that of efference - of Sutherland's 'be still' non-doing biodynamic principles.
I know US biodynamic cranial osteopaths who will not give a BCST graduate practitioner a paid session if they find it out ahead of time. One BCST practitioner told me she was speaking on the phone with a 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 on the fulcrum that was prevented from being published by US biodynamic osteopaths because a 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?' can leave a practitioner confused and full of doubt.
When a BCST practitioner gives a session, and in the slightest way expects a cranial wave, orients to the nervous system, or intends cranial wave patterns, it forces the client to experience cranial wave, which create false fulcra. The presence of cranial wave not only deprives a client 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 client 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 in herself.
Facing this fact may feel harsh, yet it is the reality if you as a practitioner are efferent in a session, and you orient to the nervous system or the cranial wave. Because 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.
Ask Your Client to 'Tell You the Truth'
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 have to exaggerate all this 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 in a biodynamic cranial 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 right as I quote it from their website:
What is BCST?
Here is the BCST definition from their website: "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 realize andpractice 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:
Then, try this experiment with sincerity and humility: tell your client you are conducting some research.
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 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.
Here are 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 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.
The two examples above exemplify how 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 the 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?
This 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