One advantage of learning body work from someone whose second language is
English, is the rich mix of idiom, the sudden clarity of understanding when
things are said in a new way.
"Our monsters are where we hold our energy," my teacher, Dr. Hector
Kuri-Cano of Guadalajara would say. "We all have monsters."
What he was talking about is that part of our self which frequently appears
as the villain in our dream dramas, the part which wakes us in the night,
"Become the monster," Hector would say. "Become the
This was quite all right with me in theory, until I began working with a
monster of my own. In dream work, we frequently talk about the dream, carefully
leaving our feelings subordinate to thinking. A bioenergetic approach to dreams
is quite the opposite, encouraging the feeling rather than denying it.
In a workshop with Hector, with whom I trained in Energetic Metatherapy for
eight years, the twenty or so trainees were working individually on a meditation
exercise. I was lying on my back on a mat.
Suddenly, I was vividly aware of a presence on my chest. This wasn't just a
dream character. This sucker was real!
And a sucker it was too. I later called it a succubus, though I knew
rationally that a succubus is theoretically defined as a female evil spirit
which comes to a man. What I knew at the time was that this creature I'd first
met in a dream had wings, talons, and a sharp beak. And it was sitting on my
Needless to say, I got up in a hurry.
I won't give you all of the steps here that I took to work with my monster,
since they were many, and utilized over a period of time. However, here are a
1) I became the monster, as an actor becomes a role. This was not easy, since
I was scared to death when I began, but practicing was the key.
Eventually, I got to the point where I could stand in front of a full-length
mirror as the monster, and look my "self" in the eye without
flinching. Beyond that, I could allow my monster feelings expression through my
body, raking my talons across the mirror, and beginning to understand why
"I" was angry.
2) I drew pictures of my monster, always looking for the connection between
3) I allowed my monster sound, voicing in both words and harsh croaks and
hisses the anger and frustration I felt.
4) And finally (no kidding) I began to walk my monster in the park--where I
actually walk each morning around sunrise.
My monster began to change, though the physical form remained the same, an
awkward, gargoyle shape, about shoulder height on me. When my monster was
acknowledged, when I began to allow its kinship with me, when I began to hear my
"self" (or at least that part of myself), then I could release the
energy held in this part of myself since childhood, and enjoy a walk in the