Touch and the Intelligence of the Heart

Everybody loves to get touched, but it’s more than a luxury. Touching is a basic need for survival and health, so to get touched is healing in itself. We need to be aware in each touch that something very basic is happening just through the gesture – something very subtle, something we often don’t recognize, but something that is of immense importance.

We can touch people in a very “knowledgeable” way, but what is needed is depth.

As Osho Rajneesh says: “Understanding is intelligence moving in depth... Knowledge is intelligence moving wider, it is quantitative.” ∗ We can measure knowledge, but we can’t measure understanding, or the depth of touch, because it’s a quality. Knowledge comes from the mind, knowing comes from the heart. And yet this knowing is often a space of absolute not knowing, of being present and being able to stay with it.
∗Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures, Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 411001, India, 1975, Page 126

This reminds me of two personal experiences. The first was a Acupressure session in which I suddenly got an incredible pain on the left side. I had been getting a strong headache three to four times a year, but until now I had no experience like this. It was becoming unbearable. It felt like my head was exploding. Neither the therapist or I knew what to do and how to deal with it, but we both stayed with the experience. I was just screaming something like, “what is it? what is it?” and then I felt what I had never felt before – the fear of death – and I remembered the car accident I had when I was ten years old. I had been unconscious and for two weeks in the hospital. As I remembered this experience, my body was trembling and I was soaking wet. I passed through the fear, and the pain eased suddenly. I have not had these headaches since.

The second experience was very beautiful and innocent, it came out of the same space of deep, refreshing relaxation. Right after the relaxation, I was supposed to write down whatever came. Though hesitating, I took the pen in the right hand. Then I had to change it from the right to the left and I started to write: “Giving birth and receiving... from the other side. effort... Giving back my left hand... it's so easy." Then the following poem came, as a witness of my own amazement and amusement.

"What a mystery,
It goes and if flows.
No way to stop.
I go to the shop,
I buy myself toys and I play with the other boys.”

Too often in our rational scientific society these child-like, yin, feminine qualities of the heart were rejected, judged, neglected or simply laughed at.

“The ego becomes decorative with the great knowledge, scriptures, systems of thought, but they don’t make you innocent, they don’t bring you the child like quality of openness of trust, of love, of playfulness”...,“ We are being taught to become knowledgeable. We are not taught to be innocent, we are not taught how to feel the wonder of existence. We are told the names of the flowers, but we are not taught how to dance around the flowers... We are not taught how to commune with the trees, how to be in tune with existence.”
Osho, The Book of the Books, Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 411001, India, 1975 Page pages 273-274

Buddha said the ultimate law of life is that the moment you disappear you will find yourself. This means connecting with the intelligence of the heart and not with our egos and minds. The more we nourish our egos and our minds with desires and ambition, the bigger they become. Becoming aware of this process can bring us back to being natural, to being part of nature. Some people say we are just in the birth channel to human consciousness and there is still a long way to go until we recognize that we are not singing our song separately, but are being in harmony with this planet, with existence.

When we touch another person in a way that reaches them, it means we are open with the accepting presence of our hearts. Our presence helps the other to be more present and to look through or even let go of the walls of mistrust and fear. Even while Acupressure works with the inner energetic circuits of a person, on another level, it is the presence of the practitioner or therapist, and how s/he is in touch with his/her self which stimulates the self-healing powers of the other. At the same time, if you feel the inner spaciousness of the other person, it helps you to connect or reconnect with this space inside yourself, this space of Shen, the inner spirit.

“Shen is the ruler of the psychic domain and it is characterized by the passion for life.” ∗
∗The Joy of Feeling: Bodymind Acupressure, by Iona Marsaa Teeguarden, Japan Publications, Inc., Tokyo and New York, page 64.

Losing touch with Shen can lead to over-excitation, most often accompanied by an excess energy in the heart. In this state, people search for strong sensations and look for excitement in order to fill up the inner emptiness. In acupressure theory, this is seen as a hyperactivity of Fire. If we constantly look for exterior things to feel happy or accomplished, we can deplete ourselves and eventually suffer from burn-out and depression. Fire then becomes hypoactive, and there is a lack of physical or psychological warmth. In this case, to balance the bodymind, we pay particular attention to the Fire meridians – the Heart, Pericardium, Triple Warmer and Small Intestine.∗ [See accompanying release example for over-excitation p.14]
∗ However a general assessment is necessary, with special attention on the Kidneys, since Water is the controlling element of Fire; the Liver and Gall Bladder, since Wood is the generating force; and the Spleen, since Earth is the element which is nourished by the Fire.

The warmth of intimate relationships is influenced by the Fire meridians – the Heart and Pericardium. It is part of our human nature to be warm and to have the capacity to give warmth to others. When the ‘ fire as gone out’, then we often experience sexual coldness and feel physically cold, particularly in our extremities. When we choose openness and warmth and can let go of the cultural conditionings we have about sexuality, then man and woman can meet and play.∗
∗Compare: Dianne M. Connelley, Ph.D., Traditional Acupunture: The Law of the Five Elements, 1979, Center for Traditional Acupuncture Inc, Columbia, Maryland, 21044, page 35.

The release of the fire meridians brings us back to our true intelligence and to the feelings of aliveness, joy and innocence.

Growth comes from feeling and trusting our inner self, or Shen – the ruler of the psychic domain. Since Shen resides in the Heart, working with the Heart and the other Fire meridians helps bring back into spiritual, mental, emotional and physical alignment. Working with the Pericardium and Triple Warmer Meridians is particularly important in this regard, because the Pericardium guards the Heart and its partner, the Triple Warmer, guards the other nine meridians.