INTERVIEW WITH SHAKURA
What is Diamond Bodywork?
Diamond Bodywork is an invitation to reconnect with the body, and then celebrate and love it. It's a form of bodywork that happens through a deep, skillful, precise, loving touch, and also gives an experience of something beyond the body. It is experienced as a training, a workshop and as individual sessions.
In the training there are a lot of exercises and meditation techniques for helping participants become present, in the body, here and now. The focus is not on changing or curing the body, and yet transformation and healing happen. Of course, we learn something of the structure of the body, some techniques; it's a mixture of science and intuition.
My aim is to make a fusion between the polarities: male and female, intuition and science, meditation and love. We touch the body in depth, remaining in some areas for a long time. There is a quality of playfulness involved as well; it has to be fun, touching and being touched. It's not a torture, yet many times it's about meeting the place of pleasurable pain.
Anybody can learn this technique and practice it. When I teach, I see that people absorb something, tapping into something that is already inside. Touch is the most simple thing, but in the beginning it provokes a lot of fear, a lot of issues for those who are learning this work – such as their own fears and longings to be touched -- because through touch there is an intimate connection. We have sharing circles about these issues, and this helps people to pass through them.
It is also a cleansing process, a release of things that have collected in the body -- old emotions, anger, fears -- that are held at a cellular level. Memories come to the surface and, just by allowing them, something of the past gets released; energy that is stuck becomes fluid again. In a relatively short time -- in a training of two or three weeks-- people come out with a good basis for becoming bodyworkers. My intuitive approach makes it easy to absorb the work and become proficient.
As far as individual private sessions are concerned, I suggest a series of about ten sessions to start with, then afterwards it is helpful to have another session now and again -- it depends.
Each session is unique and different, with no specific format. Maybe in the first session the entire body gets touched -- that's a possibility -- and then afterwards each part of the body is worked on in depth, with detail, really going into each place, staying a long time, and then connecting this part of the body with the rest.
This means it is never boring to give, never boring to receive. It's exciting for both -- the giver and the receiver -- because one always discovers something more in the body.
I like to teach or transmit the innocence of touch. Sometimes, in a training or workshop, I ask participants to give a session while wearing a blindfold: imagine that you're a child, having a toy in your hands and you're blindfolded, you can't see, but you want to discover what it is. In this way I bring the innocence of a child into that touching.
What else can you say about Diamond Bodywork?
Diamond Bodywork is a door to experience more about oneself. What I like about this kind of work is that it is deep and at the same time gentle. This allows both the client and the practitioner to go into a space of presence.
There are two aspects to Diamond Bodywork. One is the body-mind connection, including emotional issues that are triggered by touching the body. The other is meditation -- allowing oneself to be just present, being here -- both the client and me.
If the practitioner and the client are both in a state of presence, then what is needed happens organically. It may be the release of pain, it may be silence and peace.
Why do people come to you?
For different reasons. Almost everybody likes to be touched; they want to feel the body more; they love to receive a skillful, loving and meditative touch. Those who have experienced, they enjoy the feeling of being present and alive, in contact with their body.
Once they've experienced it, many people want to come back because it is such a beautiful experience. For some, it's the easiest way to meditate, to stop the mind. If touch has these qualities of being skillful, present and deep, it brings a person in a space of meditation, here and now. In fact, the subtitle of Diamond Bodywork is: Reaching Essence Through Touch.
What kind of feedback do you get after a session?
The one I like the most is, "Wow!" with sparkling eyes, because there are no words to describe the feeling -- even though I may invite people to talk about it to help them recognize what has happened. It’s more like aliveness, being more present, feeling the body. Sometimes it's just this feeling that, "I’m glad I'm alive. I'm glad I have a body."
As the practitioner, what do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy this space of doing and non-doing together. Often, during a session, time disappears and even though I have to finish the session within a certain time period, there is a sense of timelessness, of being here-now.
Sometimes, there is a communion that happens with the person which is a very intimate way to be together -- a synchronicity. For example, all at once I know where to work; a communication without words is happening.
What is the meditative part of your work?
Before a session I consciously decide that I'm going to put my mind aside. It IS meditation.
What part does breath play?
I encourage people to breathe a lot, to breathe deeply. The art is to see when it is needed, because that's a way to feel more. But sometimes the client reaches such a depth and such a peaceful space that the breathing becomes very quiet.
As a practitioner, I need to be able to distinguish if the breathing is shallow because the client is disconnected, or because he, or she, has reached that peaceful space. It's important for me to tune into the person, and be empty, without fixed ideas, because each person needs something different and this can change, moment to moment. The client who today needs to breathe deeply and get in touch with some emotions may be in a totally different space tomorrow.
It's about acknowledging that the person who enters the room is a new person -- even if you've seen them many times.