The Dharma of Gravity



Dharma is a vast subject. What exactly is it? In Buddhism it means, "Cosmic Law and Order". Also, the teaching of the Buddha about the way of things. 

The Dharma upholds us. We uphold the Dharma. Buddhist or not, Mother Nature rules. The sun starts to shine at dawn. Rain falls. Gravity ... pulls.

At a turning point in my life I got in touch with the simple fact that I was not paying attention to "The Way of Things", to my True Life needs. I was neglecting my spiritual life. I hated my job as an advertising executive. I wasn't taking care of my health. Things changed rather suddenly and abruptly. Not the least being a divorce and that heartbreak. 

Around that time I had tremendous success with my own Rolf Structural Integration treatments. It helped resolve lower back pain. And, I discovered how my body could change to be more graceful, powerful, and effortlessly upright. I chose that profession to support a way of life which contributed in a tangible human way; one grounded in reality. 

Structural Integration trains individuals to have an efficient and workable arrangement in the makeup of their bodies. 

That's where Gravity comes in.

Structural Integration was originated by Dr. Ida P. Rolf with the aim to educate human beings into a constructive and healthful relationship with that prime ecological fact — the constant and ever present pull of Gravity.

In a very real sense the force of Gravity is an item of Dharma. It is the Law. Ignorance is not an excuse. Ignore it at your peril. It will pull you down if you're not paying attention. Or, you're not in balance.

It's always there. It goes unnoticed as such. We take it for granted. Unless you want to go to the Moon, or you drop your groceries. Unnoticed or not, we do have to deal with it. Even a child learning to stack blocks is in a learning relationship to Gravity; albeit, it is a non-verbal process.

Dr. Rolf spoke eloquently. It sticks with me something she said, "Consign you body to Gravity". I take her to be saying, trust the force of Gravity. Trust enough in fact that when your body is stacked up in balance, you can see your way to letting go. Then, Gravity will heal you and support you. In a very real sense, the entire profession of Structural Integration is a project to demonstrate what it would look like to see humans correctly organized in their relationship to Gravity.

And, what I know of spiritual matters, a central point of the Dharma is letting go. Surrendering to what is. 

Oh, yes ... key point. Dr. Rolf had the genius to observe the obvious. Humans are not truly upright. In terms of the Anatomical design of their bodies. In terms of Basic Physics and what it takes in simple spatial terms to deal properly with the pull of Gravity. You can see for yourself. Most individuals live short of their easy natural potential for balanced order in their bodies. 

Quoting Dr. Rolf, "Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity."

In order to balance your body with Gravity you have to think in architectural terms. Just what is it about the body — which, by the way, is just like any other physical structure on Earth — that needs to be there to work with Gravity. Work so well, in fact, that you could just surrender it to Gravity, and ... find yourself supported. Most of us would assume that if you let go you would fall down in a heap. And, for most of us, you would be right.

In order to "consign" your body to Gravity you need to see to it that it is arranged in alignment according to the dictates of Gravity. In the design and construction of buildings it's called Plumb and Square. At their very center physical structures need to be stacked up neatly in a straight line, all even and level. No less so with your body.

From that balanced position you can give your body over to Gravity. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, it is normal according to the basic design of the human body. So, it's healthy. Also, it's a platform for top performance. Full creative expressiveness. Also, maybe, that's were it gets into more spiritual concerns. 

In the following video a respected teacher from my school, the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration touches on the spiritual side of the work.


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