A Meditation on Massage
I have found that massage can be a wonderful meditation. It allows a connection with equines that I haven't found with other techniques or methods of work. It can also soothe and calm the nerves of the people performing the massage. Passive touch is a wonderful technique that can be used to build the bond between you and your equine and soothe your own stress when the world around you is angry and experiencing unease.
Stand near your horse. Breathe slowly in. Then breathe slowly out. If it helps, close your eyes, and allow your other senses to take over. Notice the smell of fresh hay, leather, and horse hide. Listen to the twitch of a tail, the soft inhale of breath as your equine stands next to you. Focus on how the air feels on your skin. Slow your breath. Feel how the small of your back softly expands with each inhale. Breathe in. . .2, 3, 4. Breathe out. . .2, 3, 4. Now take another breath. In through your nose, 2, 3, 4. Out softly through your mouth, 2, 3, 4. Those who spew hate and fear depend on those of us who preach love and tolerance becoming overwhelmed and losing our perseverance. These quiet moments spent with your horse, these moments of calm and stillness, will recharge you for the fight to come. Remember that self-care is an act of radical resistance. Allow your shoulders to relax. Breathe in, 2, 3, 4. Allow your feet to sink into the ground. Breath out, 2, 3, 4. Step up to your horse, so that you are facing their side. In a smooth, deliberate motion, place one hand on their withers, and the other at the top of the croup with a light pressure. Or, place one hand on their chest, and another at the withers. Feel the texture of the hair, the skin, muscle, and bone under your fingertips. Breath softly in, 2, 3, 4, and back out, 2, 3, 4. As your breath slows, and you allow peace to enter, notice how your horse's breathing may change to match yours. They may release a soft sigh, or lick their lips, or yawn. Allow your horse to process. Allow yourself to process. Breathe in, 2, 3, 4. Breathe out, 2, 3, 4. Feel the warmth of your horse's body, and allow that warmth to enter yours. Horses by their nature are 'in the moment.' Allow this moment to stretch and last. Let the peace wrap around you and your horse. You may notice a change in the temperature of your horse's skin under your hands, or the muscles may become less resistant to the light pressure. Allow yourself to acknowledge these changes. Your feet may sink deeper into the ground, your back may softly round, your chest may open up. Allow your body to accept these changes in posture. Breathe in, 2, 3, 4. Breathe out, 2, 3, 4. Focus on the contact where your hands are placed on your horse, and feel the connection build between you. When you are ready, you may want to slowly stroke your horse with a soft, light pressure, and thank them for sharing their calm with you. Breathe in, 2, 3, 4. Breath out, 2, 3, 4. Take this peace with you, allow it to bolster your determination, and share it with others.
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