We don't know what we don't know
Updated: May 31
From today's meditation with Jin Shin Jyutsu. Just to give you a taste. I left out the questions and sharing after the meditation, but kept in what I said about combining Jin Shin and meditation. Jaya: I'd like to give if couple suggestions for hand positions from Jin Shin before we get too settled in, so that we can have little bit more quiet for meditation today than last time.
And one possibility is just holding the upper arm—anywhere around the front to the back, the inside.
If you want to, give a little bit of gentle pressure. Just feel where might really enjoy the contact more. Or if there’s somewhere that feels tender or hard or rocky. So this is just in general with Jin Shin and hands-on, as well as right now in this particular place. If something feels fluffy or rocky, for example, or painful to touch, tender… or it just feels good to have your hand just like that...maybe it's good to trust that and then let your body find a position that's comfortable to be for a while so you could just have a hand on each upper arm.
Or—this is a flow that I do quite often—with the my left hand on my right upper arm…(or you might have your right hand on your left upper arm, which then is really good for the heart..) and then my left hand would go to the opposite inner knee.
The inner knee is here, right where the knee bends… on the part of the knee that would touch the other knee if you were standing with your legs together.
So, one hand on your opposite upper arm, and then the hand that’s free on the opposite inner knee. That can be comfortable lying on your side. Maybe there are other ways of doing that with cushions while lying on your back. Or for a sitting posture, it could be like sitting leaning against a wall perhaps and having cushions to help your legs stay up. Or wrapping around your knees so that your legs can relax bent and that your hand can reach your knee comfortably. So that's one option: maybe just as we’re arriving, feeling what happens, holding the upper arm and inner knee.
Sometimes holding the upper arm can be really great for releasing if you feel kind of like pressures or a balloon up in the upper body, chest and head. That can kind of deflate and have some relief. You might start to feel your lower body differently—start to feel more connected.
And while we are with the inner knee, that can be a really interesting area to gently comb through with your fingers a little bit—below the center of the inner knee coming up, a little bit behind, and a little bit above.
Gently letting your fingertips touch…or in a way you could say, let your fingertips be touched by the inner knee rather than the fingertips going in and doing something invasive. Letting your inner knee caress your fingertips, like a cat kind of rubbing up against the hands. Letting your inner knee rub up against your hand. If you notice places that feel tender or rocky or fluffy or kind of gummy—or just full with any texture—that might be a great place to keep your hand on.
You don't need to keep putting pressure. It doesn't need to hurt. But you might know there is an area that wants some help.
And the idea is that energy comes through our hands without any intention on our part. But if we’re more relaxed and open—and kind of humble, humbly happy—to let some kind of greater energy or intelligence come through, maybe it just comes through. And reminds our inner wisdom to come back to harmony.
Sometimes with the inner knee, there might be a sense of the breathing having more energy and being less work. The breathing kind of surfing deeper into the cells and into the body. And also digestion: things that seem like they would never digest—physically, emotionally, psychologically, historically, energetically, spiritually—might just start to get a bit more slippery. They might start to kind of feel like they want to move. So this is one position that can be really great.
I’d also like to introduce a series of hand positions as another option. We’ll start with just the first and last hand positions for today, so that there's time for meditation as well.
This is the first and last step of a really simple and important sequence of hand positions, which is called a flow. And this flow is called the “main central vertical.”
Just finding a way to be comfortable and relaxed with the right hand on top of your head and the left hand between your eyebrows.
Any part of your hand is fine. It could be the back of your fingertips. It could be one finger; it could even be that your hand is not quite touching your head. If you're within a few centimeters that's good enough. Let's say, if you’re lying on your back and your hand needs to be a little bit farther from the top of your head to be comfortable, that's fine. It's the energy that were touching with energy, rather than the physical and physical needing to be in contact.
Just doing the first step is considered to be doing the whole flow, the whole sequence. And sometimes it can also be nice to finish with the last step as well, to kind of bring it to closure. It's sort of like sending out that reminder to our innate intelligence to come back into harmony; and then to finish is like, “and, oh yeah, this is where we land. This is where that could really be whole and complete with the last step.”
Maybe I'll even show you briefly the whole flow, and we’ll go over the whole sequence more slowly another time.
To start with, the right hand on top of the head, left hand between the eyebrows.
And then after some time, the tip of the nose with the left hand.
And then the left-hand to the base of the throat, then the high heart or upper chest.
Then the place in the very middle base of the rib cage in the front.
The hara below the belly button.
And then the left-hand comes to the pubic bone. At the end—which might be after a few minutes, it might be after 20 minutes, or might be after an hour—comes the last step. Which I'm encouraging today as one option, just to move the right hand to the tailbone.
You might just want to get comfortable for meditation, which again might be possible lying on your side with the right hand on top of your head and the left-hand between your eyebrows. And if you feel like moving, at some point, to have your left hand on your pubic bone. Does everybody know what “pubic bone” means? The lowest bone in the main body of the pelvis, just near the genitals. And then the right hand comes to the tailbone. You can use the backs of your fingertips there, which is not necessarily super comfortable for a long time, but can be a good closure.
I want to also say that you might not want to do either of those now because they're not as great to combine with a good meditation posture.
You could do the first step of that. and then later on to the last step at the end, or when you feel like.
You could do the upper arm (called the “high 19’s”) with the opposite inner knee—probably lying on your side. You could do it for a while and then unfold into a meditation posture. Or you could just come back to all that Jin Shin stuff later and get comfortable for meditation in the way that feels really good to you now. Putting the meditation as a priority, and then, from there, really feeling how your hands and your feet would would feel kind of honored. How would they be in a place of honor, a place that brings out the best or the dignity of what can come through hands and what can come through feet.
For example, if you feel like you'd love to hug your inner ankle with your other foot, then you might need to adjust some cushions to protect your knees and back so that that would be comfortable for a while.
Or if you feel like you'd love to hug your inner knee with your opposite foot—bending one leg up and placing your sole of your foot on the inner knee of the other leg—then giving some cushions under your bent and straight legs.
And of course if that's an experiment, it might not go well. So if after some time you realize it’s not going well, then please shift to a safe position for you, for your body, especially your back—sooner than later.
And with the hands: do they feel like being off the body, or on the body? Which part of the hand touching where? As if the hands are kind of like holy messengers, arriving in a landscape, and where do they want to go? Where do they fit in with your best meditation posture for now?
And then, Aaah, the possibility of really getting out of the way. Enjoying that the hands and wherever they’re touching can be in conversation, without our needing to know what's going on.
Sometimes a hand might just want to be in contact with itself like holding the thumb. Or making a ring with the thumb on your ring finger, or another finger. Or one hand holding the other hand. Wherever those messengers want to fit and slide in and be comfortable and feel kind of a whole.
We can enjoy the feeling of met-ness of hand and feet and body or air or ground, but not demand an explanation or translation of the conversations that are going on.
Letting a great intelligence…letting great intelligences beyond our comprehension start to act and move towards a wider harmony.
And maybe allowing your breath to be like a lazy stream or wave of water. Lazily washing out, and lazily washing in. So lazily that it can kind of maybe soak into some new places.
As you let yourself catch a ride in your body and in your breath and in the moment, in the now, maybe dropping the investigation into what's happening with where your hands are in contact and where your feet are in contact.
Letting that be in the background.
Noticing where you feel drawn to connect. If you want to stay mostly with the breath, or the breath in some area of the body.
Or if you feel drawn to a kind of vertical sense of your body down the middle, the center, or the backbone, for example.
Or just a sense of length, of being long. Long beyond our physical form perhaps.
Or if you perhaps feel drawn towards a sense of being wide, to the sides. Perhaps a sense of the breathing in the sides of the main body.
Or the back, as if were spreading out on the ground. As if the wide awareness of our deeper mind is like an immense blanket that we’re resting on. Spreading into the horizon. The wide horizon of awareness that's already here, already in touch with our bodies.
And the possibility of a wide and long back and body and being and mind. As if there's kindness accompanying you, on each side. The warmth, the heaviness, the coolness, the movements of body, as if lying on an immense blanket or ground of an awareness that's already here. Is already happening by itself.
And if we can allow the body to soften a bit. Perhaps there can be a sense of as the body softens, the softening of the sides of the body into good company, into kindness accompanying us.
Walking every step of our path in an accompaniment.
Kindness on each side, as if the air or space next to us is friendly, well-meaning… really close and welcome to have close… as if we were lying right next to volumes of kindness and friendliness. Respectfulness. Breathing with us. Breathing with you in the simple feeling now and here—the warmth, the volume, the coolness, the weight, the lightness, the presence, the aliveness—all happening by itself. Including our possibility as humans to receive and perceive as it is.
Leaving room for all the different areas of experience to be as they are. While tuning into the simple physical or so-called physical frequency and moment, but also leaving room for a sense of your own presence. A sense of something soft and buttery or juicy or sweet in this intimacy with now, with aliveness with yourself.
(A long silence...)
May all beings be in peace open to receive an inner calling towards awakening for the benefit of all.
(After some questions and sharing...)
Maybe it’s helpful to mention as early on as possible.
Sometimes introducing something like Jin Shin, it can subtly or really obviously shift our attitude to be more like, “Oh, I'm giving myself a treatment or healing because something's wrong.”
And if we can get the generous Jin Shin sense… like if I'm listening to the pulses of myself or another person, to feel what's happening. The intention is to feel for the harmony. You're not feeling for what's wrong. You're listening for the harmony.
It might be listening through some mixed signals for a wider harmony. It might be hearing what would like some support to unfold or come to flow. So even if you find that you're really unsettled and you have the feeling that Jin Shin can be really good to settle it. If you can kind of slide in with the feeling that the way this helps is by uncovering something that's already in you. Like you’re your sliding into another layer of what is in yourself that's already okay. Already an intelligence that can go to the next breadth of harmony. There might be turbulence along the way to uncovering another page or breadth or petal of harmony.
To be aware of the tendency to kind of narrow down to the feeling that I’ve got to fix this agitation or this discomfort. But maybe how is this leading to or a calling towards an underlying harmony, a wider harmony. Sometimes in Jin Shin one can make little word games and sometimes it can be a little too cute for my taste, but I do sometimes like to play with the word treatment or the word treat—like I am treating myself and giving myself a treat.
Towards the delicious melting into another wider discovery of harmony.
Maybe just to be aware of our attitude, when things are less pleasant. Inside and outside, inside or outside.
Just to be aware of when there's an attitude of being against something that's unpleasant. If we can undo that, if we can ask, if it's unpleasant, do we know that it's something wrong?
So often something unpleasant is part of a transformative process.
Or just by our very openness to it, what was unpleasant comes back into being part of a transformative process.
In Jin Shin, attitude is really key. And maybe our best attitude is remembering that we don't know what we don't know.
That that could be a lovely inquiry for the week…maybe a not-so-mental inquiry. Maybe heart or feeling or body inquiry.
Sensing what is it that we do know and what is that kind of knowing?
And what is it like to know we don't know about what we don't know about.
I think the two go together well.
I think there's a knowing in us that we often forget or we’re hazy about.
So enough permission to know what we know.
Which won't necessarily be up here in the head in an explicit kind of way. But somewhere knowing what we know and staying simple and humble and clear.
A nonverbal knowing, and sometimes letting that come into words.
And then what about all the times that we thought we knew because someone told us so? And how is it knowing that we don't know?
So much of what we call knowing is just adopted information.
Cool, okay, thank you for being here and for being yourselves. Hopefully some of you will be on retreat with me tomorrow looking for to that. Take care.