Your Guru The Body – Part Nine

There is an extension to the Seed Approach. It is to use the basic seed approach in a group format.

When using the starting point of the seed you are giving the unconscious a ready-made structure to work with. Because you may be unfamiliar with a completely unstructured approach to your inner processes, such a structure gives at least some sense of familiarity and confidence. Even so, some people find they want everything fully described, scripted or choreographed. The very point of using this approach, however, is to begin moving beyond the known in yourself, towards creative newness and the unexpected. If you cannot do this, you will not be able to discover what is presently unknown in your unconscious. You will not be able to open the meaning of an obscure dream symbol. So even if some anxiety is felt, you need to gradually move beyond such resistant feelings.

To use this approach a few extra things need to be learned. This is because the group action is an integrated one, and needs some structure to help it in the early stages. So if you are working with a group of three or four, and one of the group is the seed, the other two or three can be in the roles of earth and water to the seed. The aim is to support the growth of whoever is the seed by physical and emotional contact.

Whoever is the Seed starts by standing in the middle of the others, who take time to make contact with her/him. They allow time to find an attitude that enables them to get closer physically and emotionally than in usual social roles. So without forcing or acting mechanically, the members touch and draw near to the Seed. When this is established the Seed curls up on a prepared space – with blanket or cushions – on the floor. The members draw near and make contact again. Get close, cover the Seed’s body with yours, penetrate with your touch, as earth and water does with a seed.

As a guide to this, it is helpful to consider in human terms, if you are in the water role, how you would penetrate the seed to stimulate its growth process? If you are in the earth role, again in human terms, how would you relate to the seed to give it a medium in which or from which to grow? If you are in the seed role, then you allow your spontaneous reaction to this. Allow yourself to move in any way that arises, just as occurred in the ‘seed alone’ approach. Do this without considering what you should do. Trust your inner process. You do not need to hold on to the roles rigidly. If you find you are being led into a spontaneous response, allow it. But remember, it is the Seed’s time, not yours. Do not take over the action, but support that of the Seed.

The group is an intimate one. It has many dimensions of experience possible. Not only is it a meeting of people in a way not usually possible socially, but it is also a place to learn human contact, how to give caring and support to another human being, and how to communicate with others non-verbally. The support it gives can allow a very deep release of inner feelings, of creative spontaneity, of self-discovery.

Because there are so many different ways people experience the seed group, I will quote a few responses.

“I’ve never been with people in that way before. I think it was the first time I really relaxed with a group.” — “When I was the seed I didn’t have any urge to move or grow at all. At first this worried me. I kept wondering if the others would be bored or disappointed. When I told them, the worry disappeared; they were all just enjoying being close.” — “Being the helper was great. I got so much pleasure from supporting and being near the Seed and the others in the group. But when it was my turn to be the Seed I didn’t enjoy that at all. I felt restless and claustrophobic and quickly pulled out. It has made me realise for the first time in my life that I find it difficult to receive that sort of closeness from others. I have to be the giver.” — “Until I became the seed I had never realised how hungry I was to have other people near me. I wanted to hold and touch in a way I had never allowed myself before. Since then it has been easy for me to hold people, babies, my wife, with more giving than I could in the past.” — “First I was just curled up. I felt comfortable, and relaxed into whatever happened spontaneously while the others completely covered my body with theirs. It really was like being planted. After a while a flicker of movement arose pushing my head out. This came in waves, increasing in strength, until my head was pushing out and up like a plant growing. I didn’t try to think what I ought to do, just went with the pleasure of it. In the early stages this didn’t seem to involve the others, although I could feel them close. But by the time I was up on my knees there was such pleasure flowing through me, such joy at being close, being able to feel the soft skin of a face against mine, that my pleasure involved the others. It is the nearest thing to making love without sex I have ever come across. I felt all the flow, the contact, without in any way going into areas that are unacceptable. When I was standing, growing from the sheer energy of movement welling up from within, we all seemed to be one moving, living process. I felt I had given something of myself to the others without saying one word. And I also experienced them as distinct qualities around me. At the end I could sit with them for a long time, holding hands, head on them, without the need to speak.”

I have used the seed group with just three people, or with a hundred or more. Each group become self-initiating, each person taking it in turn to be the Seed, and to be supported by the others. Whoever is the Seed, it is up to them to determine how long to be in the middle. Obviously this depends to some extent on available time, but also on the dynamics of what they experience. It might take quite a long time for what is unfolding to complete itself. It might be short. So the Seed needs to occasionally tell their supporters what is happening, just to keep them in touch. The Seed also needs to decide when to finish. When this is done sit up and relax for a while, and share the experience by perhaps telling what happened more fully, and what it was like to be in the supporting role.

Everything good is costly, and the development of person­ality is one of the most costly of all things.  It is a question of yea-saying to oneself, of taking the self as the most serious of tasks, keeping conscious of everything done, and keeping it constantly before one’s eyes in all its dubious aspects–truly a task that touches us to the core. Carl Jung, in Secret of the Golden Flower.


-Lindsay 2012-08-25 22:35:02

Hello Tony. This is a delightful website and many thanks for the wealth of information you have here.

I am looking for some guidance concerning prophetic dreams. I have been studying my dreams for a couple of years now and have had a lot of them that come true. This has taken some getting used and has required me to develop that, oh so difficult trait of patience.

My main question, though, is when is a horse actually a horse? I understand that the characters in dreams are often representative of the dreamer but what I have found is they often turn out to be real and exist in there own right in the outside world. They are not symbolic of myself they are actually real. Also when I dream of other people that exist and the stuff of my dreams then happens to them, I can’t very well make it ‘about me’, so I get confused if the symbols I am dreaming are referring to my own process or the person the dream is about.

Now I have reached a point where I want to, and mostly do trust, the stuff my dreams show me but I am also worried sometimes that I am missing the point, and it’s not a ‘future’ dream it’s a ‘symbolic’ dream.

On another note, there was a creature in my dream the other night that was a bit strange and I would love to hear your opinion on it.

It was a strange crane like bird, all black, with long legs running about, chasing some stuff around, in a house maybe, maybe my dogs, not quite sure, but it was running and at first I was nervous, it seemed dangerous and I was standing protected behind a door or something that I could see through. When it moved it’s wings I could see that it was also red along it’s back and the underside of it’s wings. I could tell it was something quite special and I wanted to get a picture so I stepped out of my hiding spot and it came over and pecked me very hard on the left foot. (interestingly enough I woke up with a sore left foot and this is the second time a dream injury has transferred over to pain in my left foot)

The dream then switched to scenes involving a man that has recently come into my life. The dream moves through some difficulties that I handle in a more emotionally confident way then I am used to and ends in the most straight up, sexually satisfying experience I have had in a dream (or in real life really).

My feeling is that the bird was my own feminine nature (which has been touched on quite a bit recently in my dreams) but it had such a fantastic, almost magic quality to it and while my dreams are quite fantastic in themselves they usually use ‘real’ images.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated and once again thank-you for such a great website.


    -Tony Crisp 2012-08-26 9:54:49

    Lindsay – The more I learn about dreams and human consciousness the more I tend to feel there is never one answer to any situation. We live in the middle of a huge paradox, and most of the time we believe in on one truth, not a paradoxical one.

    So I see both your suggestions as true. Let me explain. It helps to understand how dreams form their imagery. So it can help if you realise that just as your eyes do not directly allow you to see, but nerve impulses are sent to the brain where they are translated into living pictures, so thoughts are also translated into images as in our dreams. Nothing we sense in the world is directly known, but it is all impressions that are translated into a sense of smell, sight, hearing, etc. So the eye receives reflected light from an object, which is translated into nervous impulses, which is then received by the brain which translates what are formless nerve impulses into what we feel we see. So with dreams of the people we may be picking their thoughts and these use our own imagery in an attempt to give us an idea of the communication.

    So you may be having real predictive dreams that are put into your own images. I have had some very real experiences that later I realise were symbolical. What I am saying is that Life is a mystery, and it is wise not to fix on any one answer.

    The dream about the bird is interesting. Maybe you could check it out for it real or symbolical meaning. Have you tried ?


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