The Act of Bowing: A Component of Brief Constellations
by Jamy Faust, M.A. & Peter Faust, MAc.
Brief Constellations are a method of working with Family Constellations that get directly to the heart of the client’s issue. Brief Constellations can be used in groups as well as with individuals in private practice. Our presentation at the 2015 North American Systemic Constellations Conference Nov. 12-15 in San Diego will demonstrate the key elements of these brief, but profound Constellations. The following is excerpted from our forthcoming book: The Constellation Approach: Finding Peace Through Your Family Lineage.
The practice of bowing has been used since ancient times as a way of showing respect or gratitude for someone or something that is deeply honored or admired. In The Constellation Approach™ the Act of Bowing is used particularly with our parents, but can also be used to acknowledge a phenomenon or force greater than ourselves, such as a Representative for a congenital illness, an ancestral homeland, or even death. The Act of Bowing creates an opportunity to release ourselves from our attachments to judgment, superiority, resentment, or victimization. Bowing to another does not absolve them from responsibility for their behavior. Rather it helps us to release our attachment to wanting something to be different than it is or has been.
There’s three ways in which a bow may be enacted in a Constellation: lowering the head, bending at the waist and fully prostrate with the Representative standing before you. Each bow begins with sustained eye contact then softly lowering your eyes and chin. This first position is the Head Bow. To enact, allow yourself to pause in this humble posture; relaxing, noticing your thoughts and feelings and taking a few full breaths. Next, raise your head and resume eye contact. The Head Bow engages the Third Eye and Throat Chakra. Lowering your eyes turns the focus inward while bending your chin can begin to break up energy blockages in the throat. This is a simple movement, yet a very powerful act.
Next is the Waist Bow. Just like the head bow, it begins, for example, by connecting with a Representative for your mother, through sustained eye contact; then, slowly lowering your chin to your chest. By gently focusing your eyes on her feet, it helps the mind not to wander. Bending at the waist, bring your head lower than your heart. The Waist Bow can open the Heart and Solar Plexus Chakra and align the Crown Chakra with the Heart Chakra of the Representative of your mother. This circular movement softens the emotional defenses and places you in a position of vulnerability—a prerequisite for deep healing. The ritual is completed by slowly returning upright and lifting your chin to connect with the eyes of your mother’s Representative.
The Deep Bow is with full prostration and the most respectful bow of the three. It can be a vulnerable posture that requires your full attention and intention during this precious and sacred work with your parent’s Representative. Continuing from the Waist Bow, kneel, and then lower your upper torso until your forehead touches the ground, arms extended. Your palms face upward in a gesture of openness, and willingness to receive. Breathe deeply, staying inwardly focused and surrendered to Soul consciousness. Finally, gently touch the feet of your mother’s Representative. This modest act of reaching for and holding her feet allows a transmission of energy to flow between her Soul and yours. Conclude the Deep Bow by rising to your feet and looking into your mother’s eyes. Performed with sincere intention, a successful bow will reveal your parents differently to you.
Here’s a practice enacting the Head Bow:
Find a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes, take a few minutes to quiet your mind through breathing easily and gently. Come into the present moment by saying your name in this way: “I am ______________ the son/daughter of, and then say your mother’s full name __________________.” Repeat this sentence three times, slowly while allowing an image of your mother to appear in your mind’s eye.
Keeping your eyes closed; imagine she is standing before you and as you step toward her until you are face-to-face. Imagine lowering your eyes from hers, letting your chin lower as well. Breathe more fully now as your chin comes to your chest while your head bows deeply. Allow whatever thoughts and feelings to arise without judgment, remaining in this posture until you feel complete. Begin returning your gaze to hers. Though her image in your mind’s eye may start to fade, sense her Soul essence deep within your heart.
You may repeat this as often as you’d like. Consider practicing the Bow with your father too.
Jamy Faust, M.A. is a constellation facilitator, teacher, healer and psychotherapist. Peter Faust, M.Ac. is a constellation facilitator, teacher, healer, and acupuncturist. They completed their training in the Family Constellation methodology with Bert Hellinger and many of the original facilitators. Together they facilitate The Constellation Approach™ through their TCA Immersion Program and Seminars. Jamy and Peter each have private practices offering their specialties including Family Constellations in Belmont, Massachusetts. Their book, The Constellation Approach: Finding Peace through Your Family Lineage will be available at the Conference. They have been together over 30 years. Visit them at www.ConstellationApproach.com