The Angel in the Marble
by David Lauterstein


I saw the angel in the marble
and I carved until I set him free.
—Michelangelo

Zero Balancing is a “deep-health” modality. It works with the structure that is deepest within us—the skeletal system. Since most bodyworkers and massage therapists learn only how to work with the muscles and skin, Zero Balancing is an essential skill because it completes your work, enabling you to address the third and final layer of the person—the bones themselves. This is also the deepest tissue, conveying, as all the body layers do, energy. Being the deepest structure, then, the skeletal system also conveys the deepest energy currents within the person. The opportunity to dramatically and positively affect the person’s essence is presented to you by Zero Balancing. The thoughts that follow have been inspired by doing Zero Balancing since 1988 and teaching it throughout the U.S. and England over the last 10 years.

Each person on our table comes in with their own shadows and lights. He/she comes with an injury, with chronic tension, hurt by early life circumstance, or by recent trauma. She or he inhabits a restless culture, ever-changing, and sometimes not for the better. She/he lives in an environment challenged by global warming and the thoughtless excesses of industry. To find the first noble truth of Buddhism—Life is Suffering—we don’t have to look very far!

May this suffering spark our compassion every day! With the spirit of compassion, every day we also see the angelic component in each client and in the world around us. We see it in each flower, in the sunny sky, in the child’s eyes. We see it in clients’ innocence on the table; who they could be if they would only accept themselves; and often, by the end of the session, we see clients with faith restored in their highest hopes.

I remember a psychotherapist years ago smiling at me with compassion and saying, “I bet I love you now more
than you love yourself.”

I thought at the time, “What chutzpah!” Now I know what she meant. In our bodywork we get to love our clients sometimes even more than they do themselves. We see the gift of life as expressed uniquely by each individual.
The gift of being the angel in the marble, however deeply embedded, is reflected back into a client’s structure through our touch.

Angels sometimes need our help. They can be bound, as Ida Rolf said, by “literal thorns in literal flesh.” The higher self can be bound by old thoughts or beliefs that no longer serve us. We can be bound up with fascial tensions that distort the very way we stand and move in the world. We can wrap ourselves up in the emotional atmosphere we grew up in, recreating ancient tensions long obsolete. I recently read, “We are each perfectly adapted
to circumstances in which we no longer live.”

As bodyworkers, we get to inhabit the “radical present.” The radical present is one in which is mobilized the magic and power this unique moment holds. It is not bound by the past. I half-kiddingly tell my clients that one great advantage of the past is that it’s over! The present moment is the only moment in which we act and it is in this special moment that therapy takes place. Bit by bit, muscle by muscle, joint by joint, in his or her very bones, I want this person to awaken to his/her reality in the present moment, to know how marvelous he/she is. Each
person is like a mountain, a river of life. Each person is a walking miracle!

When our clients know and feel how wondrous they are, the angels are freed. They spread their wings and take off to fulfill their destiny, the winds of life full-filling their wings and prayers.


Return to Forum Index | Return to Continuing Ed Page | DSM Home Page