The Art of Massage in Thailand – Part 3

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Published | Updated February 9, 2019
Statue at the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok
IMAGE BY HELISSA GRUNDEMANN

A series of sayings, proverbs, and aphorisms about Thai Massage.

The fact that something is done skillfully and efficiently doesn’t mean it can’t be done any better. It might be done differently, more gracefully and even more effectively. But apart from that, how many things are done with the heart?

The sublimation of judgement gives birth to the right attention. This mind of non-disturbance is immediate, effortless and non-volitional. It’s in a way a kind of attention-less state, although state is not at all the right word to describe it—it’s not static. It’s much alive and vibrating.

The very essence of our knowledge is unquestionably her practical application. Once understood one should leave the theory behind. It resembles quite perfectly what Wittgenstein once said: “He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.”

It’s probably impossible not to build images—emotional images, mental images, pictures, thoughts and concepts. And it’s surely for the best, as it protects us from danger in many ways. It’s an instrument of survival. It’s recorded experience, which makes us extremely efficient beings. But when we approach every situation with an already made image, it prevents us to see something new, something fresh. And as the years pass by, we become very old, very soon, very stuck—too soon.

Thai Massage is a kind of de-focus, de-concentration—de-contraction as it were. It’s in essence de-constructional work. Removing obstacles. Like cleaning a dirty window to let the light flow in. The work is only a tool. It’s de-blocking, de-hindering—worthwhile in itself. The work is just work though. But justified. It’s good work.

It doesn’t really matter which techniques you use. Use what suites you. The primary objective of a session is to get your undivided attention back to the one who gives. Who gives? That’s the ultimate question that needs to be answered. But then again—who will answer?

As for all these notions of Enlightenment, Liberation or Everlasting Bliss—they are but conceptions. There’s just a body. And bodywork. And if you don’t agree, take in a bottle of rum and you’ll most probably get my point.

This series of aphorisms has a Part 1 and a Part 2.


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