Being grounded, being centered, being present… I know those words very well. I know those words because I used to practice that, and because I underwent trainings where teachers talk about that nonsense all the time.
Of course, if you do not feel what they feel, that is because you are not grounded enough. So those people will teach you techniques about being grounded. People who believe that you are a muppet are not different from people who believe you are made of energy, or from biodynamic teachers, or yoga teachers, or meditation teachers. It took me a few years to realise that, but eventually it happened. I know this article will not necessarily be very popular, but I am not here to be popular, I am here to be successful.
“You will understand in 10 years”, “you are not centered enough” “Being more grounded you need” etc, are the kind of things you keep on hearing when you undergo these trainings. This is exactly the same as the classic “your back is weak” kind of bullshit most patients hear from some osteopaths, doctors, chiropractors or physiotherapists. And this is not supporting people, this is not holding space for them.
This is osteopathy or meditation based on models. And if you are really able to listen, you will feel how models can harm people as no models can encompass life. Even a bigger frame is still a frame.
No more models
There is a very strong idea in our society that one needs to evolve and to go through suffering to finally feel stillness, or reach enlightment. Even the way we practice yoga follows that path: you move for one hour and finally end the session with a meditation or a relaxation. But I would like to offer you an alternative. I do not think you will be more present in ten minutes, happier in ten years, or anything more later. What if everything is now?
We apply so many models on life. Energetic model, mechanical model, biodynamic model, religious models, biopsychosocial model. We practice meditation to try to feel calmer, we go for a run, light up a cigarette, or eat chocolate chips cookies. How many techniques do we create and use in order to avoid life? Going to India to study yoga, driving fast, partying. Anything but what is here.
One day, I will be like that. One day I will write a book, one day I will… But there is no time for “one day”, no time for doing anything. No time for trying to be more present, no time to imagine that we have a midline going from the sky to the center of the earth. We will not be more spiritual tomorrow, or feel more tomorrow.
This is the old way. This is a way of separation. It is all based on the idea of being broken, of being separated. So we start from a fake idea of separation and we try to find wholeness. We use broken words, broken ideas, and we try to unite them. But this is a dead end that will not bring you anything else than more separation. You are going the opposite way you try to go. You will not find wholeness going that way.
“And maybe they are right, but I can’t help but think that referring to our approach as humanistic, rather than biopsychosocial, has the potential (at least for a pedantic, like myself) to actively remind oneself that their patient is an emergent being, not the sum of a few discreet parts that can be itemized and categorized in research studies and patient charts.”
Letter To Barrett Dorko by Keith Waldron
Start from the whole
My body changes. My thoughts evolve. So many things I used to believe as true are now nothing but some memories that allow me to laugh at myself. Everything is in constant movement. What I feel, how I treat my patients. I have lived in France, Malaysia, and now Ireland. I used to eat French cheese, then Chaw Siew, roti Canai and dim sums, and now, I… live in Ireland so I would rather stop talking about food. What I call myself is a never ending dance that was different from even five minutes ago.
Is there anything in me that is Still and does not belong to time? Is there maybe a silent part that is watching that dance? A part that holds space for life to dance? Can I be grounded that way?
A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me an email. His email was about being centered, being aligned, being present. He talked to me about the different layers of space. He was talking to me from a separated point of view. My friend was talking to me using models just like I used to do when I wanted to feel the same things as my teacher told me I should feel. And then suddenly he told me something beautiful:
And lastly, there is this natural state that I can find instantly and always lasts in time, in my everyday life, in my actions…
That is it. This is your chance. Let that emerge through the parts. Do not try to reach that from the parts. Stop being grounded, centered or aligned. Start from the whole, revert the current.
“Leave any spiritual path. Stay home. Throw away your tofu and your pretentions to find peace through diet, yoga or tai-chi-chuan. See. Feel. See how you are running away from your daily reality. No receipe, no exercise, no specific way to be. Be lucid. Feel the sorrow, the sadness, the fear. This is God in activity. This is your chance.”
Eric Baret, Le sacre du dragon vert : Pour la joie de ne rien être
It is not beyond, not something to be found once your chakras are aligned, not something to be found this summer during a yoga retreat. It is not something to be found one day. It’s here, now, always. It’s not something more, it’s you before you start to seriously believe that you are a husband or a wife, an adult or a child, a body and/or a mind, an osteopath or a patient. It is not more, it is less.
Osteopathy, yoga, meditation, life, and not being more grounded or aligned
If you are an osteopath, try it. Forget all the bullshit you have been told by your teachers who have been told bullshit by their teachers. Keep it simple. Support your patient from there. And do not give it a name. Remember that osteopathy is based on nature, osteopathy emerges from it. Not the opposite. And it does not matter if you use a very gentle approach or some joint manipulations.
If you practice yoga, try to start from that too. Start by listening, and see when you start losing that natural state. You sit in this very calm part of yourself, and start moving slowly toward an asana. Feel when you lose that natural state. Now you can start exploring your body.
See that no one ever meditates. There is meditation but no one meditates. That is a total different way of experiencing life. Try it if you are brave enough.
Ultimately, try to apply that to your life. Stop pretending, stop projecting your wills on life. Give life a break, and let it unfold.
Throw away your biopsychosocial model. Throw away your biodynamic osteopathy, your biotensegrity model. Burn your books about fascias (please do) and cranial osteopathy. Throw away your midline and your grounding techniques. Stop talking about energy, or angels or spirits. Throw away your law of attraction. Stop breaking life into parts on which you will apply other models that break those parts in smaller parts and so on.
If you dare, start to do nothing and see how it allows so many things to happen. Samuel Beckett said that, “Not one person in a hundred knows how to be silent and listen, no, nor even to conceive what such a thing means. Yet only then can you detect, beyond the fatuous clamour, the silence of which the universe is made.” See if you could be that one person in a hundred.
As Rollin Becker, a famous osteopath, used to say:
Not in 10 years, not after your meditation, not once you have done your yoga, not after your coffee. Not after suffering, not in your afterlife, not when you will be wiser or richer. And certainly not when you will be grounded, centered and aligned.
Stop running away from it. Stop being grounded using techniques. Now is your chance. If you dare taking it. And if you need some support, I’m here.
About Jules RampalMeditation teacher and osteopath
I am an online meditation teacher and an osteopath currently working in Cavan, Ireland. My courses are for people who want to learn meditation with guided sessions, and for therapists who want to delve into the way they feel and the knowledge they can gather for their clients.
Learn more about me here