Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So I am starting a bodywork practice

After studying and practicing Breema bodywork for 10 years, teaching bodywork and self-Breema for the past 4 years at Pendle Hill , and giving Breema freely to friends and family as way opens, I have decided to take a leap into the unknown and start a bodywork practice.

This opportunity was made possible when I decided to quit my job at Pendle Hill  as of September 1st.  I was clear to leave Pendle Hill.  I was less clear about what to do as a next professional step.  With the support of family and my clearness committee, I am taking a fallow time to listen to spirit and explore building a life that is both challenging and life-giving.  It will probably include salaried work of some sort.  I have two daughters to help get through college and I actually enjoy teaching, program development, and non-profit management.

But this fallow time allows me the opportunity to try on some new things.  I will be working with the Germantown Clergy Initiative supporting a more healthy environment in our local public high school.  I will be worshiping a few mornings a week with the local Evergreen Worship Group.   I am enjoying doing my member hours at the Weaver's Way food coop and think I might volunteer at their urban farm even after our family's 12 hours are done.

And I am going to respond to the nagging voice in the pit of my stomach which wonders am I supposed to be doing something more with my bodywork?

I have given two sessions to friends in the past two weeks.  One to a friend living with a serious cancer diagnosis.  One to a professional massage therapist and bodyworker friend of mine.  The work feels clean, deeply nurturing to me and to the recipient.  I know that I have much to give -- but just as much to receive and to learn.  Mutual Support -- giving and receiving no difference.

I definitely have something to learn about fear and courage.  It feels a bit scary to put myself out there as a 50-year-old man, starting a bodywork practice with Breema -- an esoteric modality with a funny name that is deeply nurturing and delightful to experience, but unknown and hard to describe.  My mind is filled with the voice of the adversary -- you are not good enough, no one will want to receive your work, you are fooling yourself.

Still, we have a nice apartment with a big living room that fits a Breema mat.  I have to learn about controlling the heat in various weather because we do not have our own thermostat.  I have to stay very respectful of the neighbors but still get clients into the front door of the building.  Well, I have to find some clients first so that they have a need to get into the front door of the building.

I have applied to the Mt. Airy Learning Tree to teach a series of bodywork classes in the winter term.  I have always preferred to teach the bodywork, but it did not really feel right -- as Dean of Students, spiritual nurturer, and faculty member --  to teach partnered body work to students at Pendle Hill.  I hope they accept my application -- they seem quite interested -- and that some students show up.

I developed a tag line for my business -- simple. nurturing. enlivening. bodywork. I look forward to feedback from folk about it.  I hope it is descriptive and enticing.  Breema is wonderful, but it is hard to explain.  It is not massage, not energy work, and not well known.  Like any bodywork modality, it is not for everyone.  Some people want a more vigorous workout, the table, the oil, and working directly with the skin.  That is good and I like that too but Breema is a somewhat different species of bodywork.

Breema is the practice of being present in each moment, supported by the body, the breath and an ever deepening relationship with the nine universal principles of harmony which are constantly available to nurture life.  The bodywork is practiced comfortably clothed on a padded floor.  The recipient lies on their back, supported as needed with pillows for comfort.  The practitioner uses gentle holds, brushes, stretches, and leans with the natural weight of their body to create a nourishing atmosphere of acceptance which nurtures deep relaxation and awakens life.  To find out more, check the youtube video at the bottom of the page or the video on the home page of the Breema Center website

It will take people a while to hear about Breema and get to know me and my work and then decide whether to give it a try so they might find out if in fact it is for them.

I have developed a sliding-scale fee schedule (see the bottom any page of the blog).  I think it is very generous.  I am offering discounted rates for first time clients.  I hope it encourages you to try it out.

I have started this Blog.  I would appreciate feedback and comments.  Once you try a Breema session, I hope you will share from your direct experience. I have posted pages where you can do this and .

So I am very excited and I am a little bit scared.  I have taken a number of steps and there are a number more to take.  I do not know what it will end up looking like either during this fallow time between traditional employment or later should I take on some salaried work.

But I am starting a bodywork practice.  I hope to be faithful.  I look forward to learning the lessons what ever they are.  And I look forward to doing bodywork.  Perhaps with you.


  1. Way to go, Walter! What a fruitful time this will be for you. Nice blog, too. I'll schedule a session when I am in your area. I'm taking the day off on Friday Oct 22 and have an appointment from 2 to 3 in Chestnut Hill. Are you available at 3:15 or so? Blessings on your journey, Eleanor

  2. This is wonderful, Walter. Blessed be.

  3. Walter, your blog speaks to me, especially the parts about being scared as the journey unfolds. As a recently retired person, I'm undergoing similar discernment around where I'm meant to spend my energy. I love the tagline, by the way, find it very descriptive. Best to you, Barbara.

  4. I am very excited for you Walter and can't wait to come in for another Breema session!

  5. Please let me know if/when you offer a breema course/workshop at the Mt. Airy Learning Tree.
    Thanks! Stephanie

  6. I hope to hear from them in a few weeks and will post information on the blog and contact you personally. Thanks for your support. Walter