Books available to purchase
The Empty Chair and The Feminine Principle, (a little book of aphorisms) are still available to purchase from Barbara, Mike's wife directly. Contact Barbara
Audio version of The Empty Chair
The English audio version of his book 'The Empty Chair' can be ordered through Ryan Hallford's website
Getting in Touch
Is the generic title for Mike’s series of advanced courses. There is no aspect of the human being, Spirit, Mind or Body. that does not reveal itself in the body. To touch someone is to use the verb in the active sense. To be in touch suggests something more passive, a receiving or, at best, joint practice. Joint practice is what these courses are all about. The courses are designed to improve our abilities to hear the story told by the Spirit, Mind, Body through palpation of the body. We shall touch the body with such a deep and present sense of awareness that its story is told and heard as far as its original intention. This allows a return to that original intention and an appropriate modification, in the present, of habits formed out of past experience. The Buddha said that enlightenment is in the body. The mystic poet Rumi quoted God as saying of the prophet Mohammed, “He is an ear.”
Basis of Teaching
What Mike was trying to present was a teaching style somewhat different to most others but, he hoped, entirely complementary to them. It seems that, embriologically, sensation is present first, followed by feeling, substantially later, thinking and conceptualisation and then intuition. Intuition only matures as the relationship with it deepens.
The whole package, is presented as an apprenticeship, where the Master is the Spirit itself and we are all exploring its revelation. Mike was merely a facilitator. We are talking about joint practice with each other and very specifically, are talking about joint practice with the patient/client. The main thrust of the work is to encourage a stillness and space in the practitioner in which the patient trusts herself to be heard. In this being heard lies the healing. Intelligence knows, the intellect can only ever know partially. The basic model for these courses is the revelation in the body of Bodhidarma. In no way is any other model denied or devalued. In fact, much will be gained from reference to other ancient traditions and to modern science.
If we accept that at an energetic level the two great potencies are the masculine and the feminine principle (in some traditions they are called yin and yang), then it becomes very clear, after only a short reflection that, particularly in the post Cartesian world where the focus is almost exclusively on the intellect (masculine) rather than feeling (feminine), that we are out of balance. If we are out of balance then we are not whole.
The function of medicine, whether allopathic or alternative, is to heal. That is a noble endeavour. What we find, however, is that most intervention is geared to identifying and modifying a symptom which is the end result of a long line of malfunctions, this is useful and this is the masculine approach, that we tend to ignore the being and its original intention that is manifesting its lack of harmony.
Mike’s work attempts to rectify the imbalance by focusing on the wisdom that is resident in the heart rather than the intellect, which is resident in the brain. Modern biology demonstrates that embryologically the heart starts developing in a superior position and is then gradually enveloped within the protection of the spine and the soft tissues leaving the brain on top encased in its bony protection. Many scientists now rank the heart as the prime motivator rather than the brain.
Neuroscience, Biology, Psychology combined with Epigenetics shows that our health and even our identity are dependent on the relationship between nature and nurture (genes and the environment, the masculine and the feminine). The expression of the genes and which genes are expressing is governed by the relationship which the genes have with the protein in which they sit. We only use (express) a quite small percentage of our genetic potential at any one time. The make-up of this percentage, can change. Changing the genetic content itself, is a heavy-duty mutation.
Parenting, particularly in the early years of formation, is extremely important, in fact fundamental, to an optimum outcome in terms of maturity. The prime need is to be heard and to be held. When that is present, the foetus and the child grow in safety.
Wherever a pathology arises, due perhaps to a lack of those optimum conditions, then the skillful body worker, who both listens and holds, is ideally placed to facilitate the recovery of health. The model presented by Mike outlines a safe route to the digestion and modification of trauma at a very deep level.
To succeed in this work we ourselves as practitioners must undertake a journey of digestion of our own processes. It is perhaps the most important journey we can ever take.
Mike Boxhall. May 2016.