Sunday, 14 August 2011

" Our feelings and our bodies are like water flowing into water. We learn to swim within the energies of the (body) senses.
-Tarthang Tulku

Sensing a disturbance in the surrounding space, their bodies become aroused, tense, ready to flee. As soon as the deer realize it was a false alarm they relax back into their mornings grazing, but if you observe closely a transitional phase is seen, when their bodies ripple or shake. It is as thought to be caused by the releasing of the tension or energy that had been summoned for the aborted flight.

I remember reading (many years ago) that when you get a bad bump or fall, that you should jump up and down tapping the injured spot or shake your whole body for a few minutes. Doing this would help the wounded or traumatised area to recover and ensure less bruising. Reading about the deer's behaviour in Peter Levine's book Waking the Tiger I got a sense of where the Taoist's advise had come from.

According to Levine when we have a physical or emotional trauma large amounts of energy are summoned in the body in order to flee or fight. If we don't actually flee or fight back this energy can become trapped in our bodies and can lead to trauma. In his practice he works with trauma victims to help them release this trapped energy. If we can learn to become more like the deer and release the excess energy it will not become trapped or frozen in our bodies. To do this we need to be listening with our feelings, tuned into our bodies so we will feel tension as it arises, then we can shake it off and let go.

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