Mantak and Me – Part 4: Training

January 1992 continued.  I found it hard to believe it was happening.  I’m going to lectures, talking with, eating with, hanging out with the man who has made fundamental changes for the better to the lives of so many.  I found him to be warm, friendly and approachable, interested in everything, always on the lookout for what he can learn, and with lovely clear energy.  Physically, about my height, well built, strong and supple: a great advertisement for his teaching!.

We have interesting talks about shiatsu – he says he knows Saul Goodman.  I had already noticed he copied Shizuto Masunaga’s hara diagnosis diagrams from Zen Shiatsu in his book Chi Nei Tsang, and said he really ought to have acknowledged Masunaga.  He did in a later edition but I heard rumours about other cases.

His teaching is brilliant.  In company with 50/60 others I listen to him speak and demonstrate, 8 hours a day for 4 days, and feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity.

Two other shiatsu therapists are on the training, other body-workers, a bunch of people from more esoteric fields, and various business people including a Chinese industrialist from Taiwan who who asks me to check out his shoulder.  Mantak suggests I give him a treatment.  This results in a busy program of me giving treatments to fellow-students at lunch-times and evenings, with Mantak helping me with the diagnosis from time to time.  He really knows what he’s talking about about but I was surprised he doesn’t practice any more, just teaches. (25 years later I understand – it’s the same for me!)

His advice about my practice was just what I needed at the time.  He told me I should not do more than two or three treatments a day, to avoid the burn-out suffered by so many practitioners.  I replied I needed to do five or six to make any kind of a living. He simply said, ‘Charge more!’  I did, and it worked.  We had discussions about business things.  He had been making his living from this work since his mid-twenties, and I, at 51, was about to start.

At the end of the week he said, ‘Come with me to New York. Do some more training.’  I said I would love to but it was beyond my budget. His reply changed my life.

Next week – Follow the Money!

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About Kris Deva North

Author, Meditation Coach, Teacher of the Taoist Arts and NLP.
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