why ‘red door’ therapies?

A Red Door is not a door you walk through to get somewhere. It is a doorway you walk through to leave things behind.

A Red Door is a place we feel anger, pride, doubt, self-deceit, frustration, judgement, prejudice. We are in conflict. The knots in our body and mind our caused by these ‘internal formations’ or samyojana in Sanskrit*. Everyday is an opportunity to leave these behind.

Yet this is no simple task. It is easy to find relief, go on retreat, but really dealing with Red Doors is not so easy. The Buddha, a great reformer of his own ways, said we need to be deeply aware of each Red Door, its effects and affects, when we are feeling it, when we are not feeling it, and when we are neither feeling nor not feeling it!

I have said elsewhere on this website that we are not here to take away your suffering, it is yours to encounter, we are not surgeons working on you whilst under anaesthetic. The best practice therefore is a regular meditation and yoga situated within your daily life. The next best practice is good bodywork!

Good bodywork supports your meditation. Yet it is not just sitting there, holding the space, it is doing something. But we need to be mindful of what we do and how we feel when we do it. We need to have sufficient time for compassion to develop. Without your self compassion you will never let go of an attachment, and without our compassion you cannot share your vulnerability, and release is impossible.

Zenthai Shiatsu practitioners are blessed to have been trained by Gwyn Williams, who’s training passes this on from his Buddhist and Hindu teachers. His insistence on personal development, clarity and mindfulness makes Zenthai Shiatsu a useful practice for encountering their own and supporting others at their Red Doors.

In Daoist medicine the colour red is associated with the Fire element. It is a rareified energy; the fruiting or combusting of the Wood Element. A fire can burn steadily from dense fuel, regulated by moisture (Water) or it can burn out of control; wreaking havok on our equanimity and health. When we work on our own Red Doors we seek a place of calm steady burning of life essence. We sit with awareness and find acceptance for those issues that disturb our Fire.


* Reference: Thich Nhat Hanh, 2006, Transformation and Healing, Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness. Parallax Press, pg 100.

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