Mastering an art is learning to skillfully handle a set of tools, techniques, methods and rules, and afterwards — the freedom to use all that smoothly, integrally, intuitively, and creatively. With no rules and with no commands. When all that is — then we have become real Artists. Masters of Art.
Doing Thai Massage is a lot like that — we start by learning techniques, treatment and session rules, a certain style, and session sequences. We learn a skill, in fact, by copying it from others, our teachers, and it’s usually more or less monkey see, monkey do.
Later on, over time, with lots of additional training and proper massage experience with treating many different kinds of people, we learn to work more freely, more intuitively. Fixed Thai Massage sequences are dropped, new tools and techniques arise spontaneously, our own style develops, and we start giving exactly that what the receiver needs. Then, we ourselves have become Masters. Masters of Thai Massage.
Life and living it, is in many ways the same. However, the tools, techniques, and rules we receive to live our lives are very circumstantial; they depend on the specific culture, say, society we grow up in, negotiated by past civilizations and of course by our contemporary globalized world.
We learn to survive. But to survive physically, emotionally, or mentally, however much needed, is not the same as living life freely, authentically, creatively. Nevertheless, for many of us, it ends just there.
When we want to become Masters of Life, that is, living it smoothly, intuitively, and creatively, we can only do that without attachment to the techniques, methods and rules that were imposed on us. That is, we will need to let go of “what was,” and live it in a way that’s very different of what we think we “should do.”
It’s becoming an expert in “doing nothing” at all. Mastery is in fact total submission to changes, to movement, to new things, to other directions — to that what shows and is needed in the moment.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with control or power. It’s letting things happen in their own right way. Mastering Life also means understanding deeply that there are no absolute “wrongs” or absolute “rights.” It’s understanding that there are only a whole lot of “other sides.”
The true Masters are those who can freely expose all their “sides,” expressing all that naturally. And generously. Authentic Mastery is rather a “spontaneous expression” mirroring that what a certain situation asks for. It’s like seeing a Thai Massage Master giving a treatment in ways that go far beyond your imagination — flow, dance, grace, incredible techniques, spontaneity, efficiency, efficacy. Always something new, always something fresh, always exactly giving that what the situation asks for.
Doing Thai Massage as an Art is an expression of total, absolute freedom. It’s a freedom from fixed ideas and patterns, yet, not the freedom to do whatever you like. Real Mastery is continuously recognizing our true nature; it’s knowing that we are actually no Masters at all, but obedient servants, tools of that which we cannot understand intellectually, but can only express.