With the Thanksgiving holiday just behind us, I return, with gratitude, to the story of my autumn motorcycle adventure – which was both physical and spiritual.
As I continued on the road trip through Central California, I came across the remaining two of the four divine Buddhist states – also called “The Immeasurables”: Karuna (compassion) and Metta (loving-kindness).
As I wrote in my previous entries, I summoned Upekkha (equanimity) when I was stung by a bee, and I experienced Mudita (vicarious joy) listening to a father and son dining in a roadside restaurant. The day after that meal, without expecting it, I was re-acquainted with Karuna and Metta.
I stopped at a craft fair and began chatting with an older fellow who was selling bird- houses he had constructed with license plates as their roofs. His wife made soap out of olive oil and I bought some soap from her at their stand. The husband told me he was a welder and a truck driver. At one point in our conversation, he suddenly said “Are you a doctor?”
I thought for a moment about my work as a healer – a Thai Yoga Massage therapist – and answered, “In a way, yes I am.” I continued by explaining a method that was surely exotic to my new acquaintance. “I do a type of physical therapy that involves Yoga.” The trucker told me he had hurt himself that morning, getting something out of the car. At first I was a bit resistant, but he insisted on showing me where his back was hurting. And then I was drawn to respond.
I went forward with full intention, to a level that allowed me to do a technique best described as a “standing adjustment.” I knew it was what he needed. His back cracked really loudly; it sounded like five or six discs snapping into place at once. A bit shocked, he asked: “Is it supposed to do that?” But before I could explain that the jarring sounds were part of the process, he was already feeling the positive effects. “This guy just fixed my back,” he shouted to his wife and other vendors nearby. “You sure know what you’re doing,” he said to me with gratitude. His whole face lit up. He was experiencing total relief.
Later, I realized where this act had come from: Compassion. I responded to that most important of human imperatives with no regard for potential liability, as would be the case when a chiropractor asks a patient to sign a release. It was a spontaneous act of compassion and loving-kindness.
I felt compassion for the trucker because he was in pain. And it was loving-kindness that moved me from feeling to action. As a result of all the work I had done with Thai Yoga Massage over the years, I knew what to do. And I did it. That self-awareness is what moved me to go beyond my comfort zone and complete the rediscovery of the Brahmavihāras (Sublime Attitudes) as I completed my motorcycle journey through the beautiful Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains in Central California.
May you be open to experiencing these Four Attitudes, while practicing the Art of Thai Yoga Massage, as well as on your daily journey through Life.
Tags: brahmaviharas, buddhism, buddhist virtues, compassion, deon de wet, deonthai Method, immeasurables, karuna, loving-kindness, metta, mudita, sublime attitudes, thai massage training, Thai Yoga Massage, thai yoga therapy, uppekha