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Who Will Teach Us To Give Birth To Our Souls?

by Mary Reis

“Who will teach us to give birth to our souls,

to be life-giving creative centers of energy

instead of death-dealing centers of inertia?”

—Camille Campbell in Meditations with Theresa of Avila 


mary reis staff photo

I came across this quote at the beginning of “Stillness: Biodynamic Cranial Touch and the Evolution of Consciousness” by Charles Ridley. Having recently finished the Biodynamic Cranial Touch Mentor Course, I was reflecting back on the long journey of my BCT training and picked up this book, which is the required reading. Reading this quote I was transported back to the beginning of my journey into bodywork and the rebirth of my own soul.  

Three teachers have stood out over the course of my education who supported this inner awakening. While none of them caused this birth, they supported it by creating space for an inward journey, speaking to “something more” than the topic of their classes. They put words to things that my heart already knew to be true, yet I had never thought or spoken of them. Their courses resonated so fully with something somewhere, so deep inside of me that they oriented the direction of my life.

Charles Tart taught what became my favorite course at the University of California in Davis — Transpersonal Psychology. It came at a time when I was searching for “something more” because my life had recently changed. I was lucky to be alive after a head-on collision with a drunk driver, and while my physical injuries prevented my return to playing college basketball, those injuries were only temporary — what changed more than anything else was my orientation. Realizing that life could end at any moment, I began orienting towards love, truth, and what felt most relevant in life. As if the impact of the accident awakened and tolled a bell of truth, I began recognizing my path by the people and things that resonated deep within me.

Four months after my accident, I sat in the class that eventually lead me to my profession. With a class of 24 students sitting in desks arranged in a circle, Professor Tart started each class with meditation, chanting, or some kind of mantra. Fostering an open and safe environment for discussion, he invited us to participate without judgment. He facilitated classroom discussion rather than lectured, and he built a bridge for connecting with him and the material. I loved everything about the class and it sparked my interest in incorporating the body into a counseling career. And I looked into massage school after graduation.

Paul Davenport took me on my tour of the Florida School of Massage, leading me through the building and grounds, sharing facts about the curriculum, stories about its history, and communicating the deeper and more mysterious aspects that run through the program. He talked about consciousness and how the state of our consciousness can change during a massage session. Then he started talking about Charles Tart (remember, he was my favorite college professor!) and his ground-breaking research into states of consciousness (another course I took with Professor Tart). I don’t remember what he said after that, but I literally felt the sensation of roots “growing” out of my body and into the earth. And then I enrolled in the January 1993 massage course at FSM.

Like the Transpersonal Psych class, I LOVED everything about the FSM program and my thoughts about grad school disappeared as I dove into studying and practicing massage.

Twenty three years later am grateful for Paul, that tour, and an education that creates space to feel.

It took the profound impact of a head-on collision to jar my heart free. I somehow learned to trust the deeply felt resonance that arose in relation to certain people and things, and followed what felt like stepping stones laid out before me. It led me to Professor Tart who opened up the world of spirit from a strong, scientific background. It led me to Paul D and FSM which helped me land in my feeling body and awareness. And most recently, it has led me to Giorgia Milne and the Biodynamic Cranial Touch (BCT) training.

The BCT Initiatory and Mentor Courses illuminate and expand upon the Biodynamic approach to working in the cranial field, and what is most interesting to me is that developing the skills to “do” this work requires dropping inward into ourselves and orienting towards wholeness.   By encouraging us to be present to all that is, and helping us navigate all that arises in the complex simplicity of this work, it is our inner development that facilitates our development of the outer “technique”. And while these courses are focused around the biodynamic approach to cranial work, the learning can apply to any type of bodywork approach or profession.

The BCT courses have nurtured my soul and bringing this work to Gainesville has been my passion since 2011. Giorgia teaches for the Dynamic Stillness School, and offers several of her own complementary courses. She will be coming to Gainesville several times in 2017 to teach the broadest selection of classes she has ever offered in Florida (Cranial Anatomy, Embryology, The Brain, and Navigation Skills), and will begin another advanced training in July 2017. If you are looking for classes that will build your skills and help you reconnect with wholeness, click here to learn more about Giorgia’s offerings or go to Facebook. These classes just might change your life!

Contact Mary Reis directly for registration:  352-246-6280  or