I have spent my life as an electronic product inventor and bodywork therapist. Bodywork healing is my primary meditation practice, but I do ecstatic dance meditation weekly too.
My father was a United Church of Canada minister who also was a Buddhist. Because of this background I have delved into Sufism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Quakerism over my 71 years on earth.
After studying various religions, meditations, and philosophies for over 50 years, I was given the “Dhammapada” translation and commentary by Eknath Easwaran when l was 66 by my partner Barbara. The book covers the historical background of Buddha’s life, including his last hours.
After reading the summary of the end of the Buddha’s life where he advises, “Everything that comes into existence, passes away. So be diligent.”, I was transformed! It affected me such that I gave up religion as a tool for spiritual discovery.
The Buddha did many other things, but this statement in the last few hours of his life has simplified my life. I have great admiration for him, but I am no longer a Buddhist.
I decided that since “Everything that comes into existence passes away,” it would be best to give up studying complex philosophies and just help people.
It’s been the best decision of my life. I now teach bodywork healing, practice it as a meditation, and design electronic products to speed healing and help with pain. My heart has become the guiding force in life. Intuition has become active.
How this came to pass is an interesting story!
Rajneesh AKA OSHO Experience
When I was in my early 30s, I worked briefly with the notorious Rajneesh, also known as Osho. For a few brief months, I learned useful meditation techniques from his books. This led me to embrace dance and bodywork as meditations.
Rajneesh felt untrustworthy, and I abandoned working with him when he moved to the United States. I continued, however, to explore other spiritual realities.
I played with meditation of various types and worked with several Sufi and several Buddhist groups in Victoria, British Columbia, and the Quakers. I have been a Quaker meeting attender since age 17 when I was attracted to their silent meditation meetings.
As time passed, bodywork and dancing became my primary meditations. I delved deeply into Buddhist studies and for a decade or so thought I was a Buddhist.
I finally read the Dhammapada, which is regarded by many as a text for the “common person.” This sounded like my kind of book. The translation includes the Buddha’s life story and quoted his words such as:
“Who could be a better guru than yourself well trained.” and “Everything that comes into existence, passes away. So be diligent.”
This led to me connect the idea of doing bodywork diligently as a spiritual practice, allowing the heart to be the “Guru”.
The Ultimate Guru, The Heart.
I worked for many years, feeling and developing a deeper and more profound sense of working through the heart as I did bodywork. Going deeper into the heart and letting that connection guide the healing process was the key. The ultimate guru in assisting with healing work was the heart.
The Buddha may have been referring to a heart-centered practice when he said, “Everything that comes into existence, passes away. So be diligent.” and “Who could be a better guru than yourself well trained.”
Working as an inventor
I worked simultaneously as an inventor of electronic products. For many decades I did industrial product design. I was always careful to avoid designing weapons or anything that was damaging to the environment. I worked in renewable energy technologies at the National Research Council in Ottawa. I have always let my heart be the guide as an inventor too.
In the last few years of my life, electronic designs have been centered around developing tools to help people. I just finished a blind assistive device that I am donating as an open-source design to the Canadian Federation of the Blind and the CNIB. I often build these kinds of tools too. I like working with both people and machines. I like to work with guidance from the heart.
These two occupations of bodywork healing and electronics have become interwoven. In my bodywork healing, I learn about various health problems. This knowledge triggers intuition for creating inventions to help people.
Bodywork for Trauma Recovery
It is possible to address problems such as trauma and other emotional injuries with bodywork. The magic of human touch can help to release deep-seated suppressed emotional injuries. Sometimes I collaborate with verbal therapists.
By focusing on the health and well being of the client, it is easily possible to slow the mind and move deeply into your own heart. By working with the heart, you intuitively feel your way through a healing session. Many bodyworkers, including massage therapists and chiropractors, experience this way of working.
It was not until I was in my 60s that I finally could work intuitively from the heart. I am a slow learner, and perhaps a guru might have helped to speed my learning.
Perhaps I’ve taken the path of Karma Yoga that I rejected when I was young as being “not cool.” It was too simple an approach to catch my attention back then!
Playing for a Living
The path I have taken in life is fun and does not engage the philosophical mind. What could be better than having fun while helping others! All my life, I have never worked at a job I hated. I played for a living. I continue to play with bodywork, electronics, on Facebook and magazines and am really enjoying life. At 71, it feels as though life has only just started a few years ago. I won’t be retiring any time soon!
Keeping it Simple
This suggestion may not be for everyone. We are all different!
My advice is also the basic advice offered by the Sufis and the Quakers. Both groups express that “God” or “The One” dwells in the human heart. I suggest keeping it simple and not delving too deeply into esoteric philosophies.
Awaken the heart and let it be your guru. Try to have fun too. This approach certainly has worked wonders for me.