Monday, December 31, 2007

A year of sweetness and year of..

sunset 2007
sun almost gone, "year" almost gone

the learning goes like this:
in this moment
i can do this
i can't do that

how can i learn
to know more
about what i "can" do

how can i learn ways
to sneak up
what i "can't" do

how can i learn
to be
not frustrated
when the learning
doesn't come
"fast" enough

which means
i've forgotten learning
and fallen into the old habit
of wanting "things fixed,"
means me changed
like a broken car

instead of what i really am
a miracle of
and abilities
to learn
to be present
to explore
to discover
to expand
all that i ever
was possible




135. Dec. 31: A year of sweetness a year of...

134. Dec. 28: Meaning of Life in Three Layers: A Christmas Present to your Present

133. Dec. 18: 6 awareness days until Christmas

132. Dec. 11: Listening to Ourselves, Now, at the computer

131. Dec. 4: "Resistance" to the Feldenkrais Method (Mainly a post for practitioners) .


130. Nov. 24: What to do about our sleep?

129. Nov. 21: Learning and Becoming a Child again, sort of

128. Nov. 13: Pleasure, Ease and Learning: Group Lessons on Mondays and Wednesday

127. Nov. 12: Yoga in Feldie Land: Triangle

126. Nov. 10: Life is Real only when I am

125. Nov. 6 Moshe's high octane, body/mind/lust powered youth, via Deborah Elizabeth Lotus

124. Nov. 5 Monday Yoga, Feldie feet intro, fun


123. Oct. 31: Where are the Hip Joints???

122. Oct. 18: Stress, Learning and the Feldenkrais Method®

121. Oct. 16: Walking Again

120. Oct. 12: Walking, a miracle we usually take for granted

119. Oct. 11: Waking Up and Feldenkrais

118. Oct. 10: Weight Loss and Wake Up Feldenkrais

117. Oct. 6: Now Knowing: Food for a good life and a good Functional Integration Lesson


116. Sept. 28: Love, Remembering, Feldie Forum, parenting, whatnot

115. Sept. 19: Feldenkrais Method and therapy

114. Sept. 17: Take a Rest, Learn and Be Human

113, Sept. 12: Learning and Love

112. Sept. 11 The Real Terror

111. Sept. 5 Boring is as Boring Approaches


110. Aug 29: New Life, Choice: Learning or Robot Upgrade

109. Aug 29: Feet on Ground, Eyes glued to Computer

108. Aug. 27: mindfulness, moving, healing

107. Aug. 22: Variety and Learning

106. Aug. 20: Health Backs, and the old choice:
Discovery vs. "Doing it Right"

105. Aug. 18: Happier Backs

104. Aug. 14: What Yoga and "yoga therapy" always misses...

103. Aug. 13 Yoga as if we had a
Brain, Heart and Spirit.

102. Aug. 8: This Moment.
Or: Waking up,
in as well as through Feldenkrais

101. August 7: The Glories of Living and the Feldenkrais so called "Method"

JULY 2007

100. July 27: The Power of Feldenkrais Plus Ananda Yoga

99. July 14: yoga training, more learning, la la

98. July 4: Freedom

JUNE 2007

97. June 28: Letter to a Wonderful Parent of a Special Needs Child

96. June 18: One 11 minute "cure" for depression.

95. June 1: What is Possible? A life full of learning, change and transformation. And happiness.

MAY 2007

94. May 22: Human Beings: Designed to Learn

93. May 16: Learning, Play and Love

92. May 16: Nature, Big and Small, always amazing

91. May 2: Improve Your Brain, Get more Neurons, and Move Better: all in one process

APRIL 2007

90. April 25: Awareness and Attention

89. April 18: Happiness Now? Heresy or Sanity?

88. April 5: A Morning's Feast, an Introduction to Awareness Through Movement®

87. April 3: Rolfing and Feldenkrais

MARCH 2007

86. March 26: An Experiment in Learning and Fun, one rolling to sit lesson.

85. March 16: Slow Down

84. March 11: What is the Feldenkrais Method? And Wake Up Feldenkrais? New Version.

83. March 6: Going from -1 to +3 in ten minutes or less

82. March 2: The Glory of Being Human: Bones, Brains, Learning and Gravity: and, We can Change


81. February 26: Learning to Turn, Learning to Learn

80. February 26: Watch the Baby

79. February 25: Waking our Pelvis, Waking our Lives

78. February 21: Thinking and Non-Thinking, and : What Makes a Good Life???

77. Feb. 18: The Enemy Game

76. Feb. 15: The Joy of Improvement

75. February 12: To be Small or to Expand

74. February 9: Life and Love and the Really Good Lessons

73. February 7: The Waking up in Feldenkrais and in the Byron Katie Work, always from within

72. February 5: Porpoise of Life, 2: to Live

71. February 2: A Big Dream: Now and Nature and Love and Learning and Transformation, on the Earth


70. Jan. 30: Lifting Rocks and Having a Good Time

69. Jan. 27: Change and The Anat Baniel Way

68. Jan. 24: Gurdjieff and Feldenkrais

67. Jan. 21: Jesus and Judo

66. Jan. 18: Feldenkrais and Love

65. Jan. 15: Martin Luther King, Racism, Corporatism, some Personal History

64. Jan. 12: Yoga and Feldenkrais

63. Jan. 9: The Feldenkrais Method®, a winter presentation.

62. Jan. 6: Cat and Cow, Yoga 3, Happiness, Mind and Body

61. Jan. 3: Doing "something" (for pelvis, spine, whole self and brain

60. Jan. 2: Doing "Nothing" is more than we might suspect

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Meaning of Life in Three Layers

Marlie's daughter Sari

In the morning, Life’s miracle is here waiting or me, and all I have to do to snatch it is to not snatch it. To just be. That’s all. Not to snatch, but to glide on home to myself, and what is this self, this human being on this planet earth? Well, one very “grounded” way to realize my life in the present on this Earth, is to start with gravity. I have a skeleton that holds me up in gravity, a spine and pelvis over two legs, holding up ribs and arms and a head. First level of be present, for me, is to notice the relationship of this arms legs spine head skeleton to gravity.

That’s my start.

And the next level of here and nowness, and life on Earthness is this: Air. In the middle of me, I have lungs and chest and ribs and diaphragm all designed to breathe me, whether I know it or not. Air in, and I am inspired. Air out, and I expire. In, out, I can notice this relationship to air, in the present, adding that on to awareness of my relationship to gravity.

And now, the top layer, the complicated one, the head. Thinking, thinking, thoughts, thoughts, and really the head is designed to be up high to better notice the world. Eyes for eating and making sense of light. Ears for doing the same with sound. Tongue and smell to sweeten and nourish my life, and to make the world taste good, and my language to reach out.

And to keep it simple, noticing in the present what is my relationship to light, noticing it coming into my eyes, and having an awareness if my neck is free and mobile, for if I want to look behind me, this is necessary. Sound can reach me from behind, whether or not my neck is free and mobile. Light cannot. To live fully, I want to be able to easily and clearly look around me and see all that is available and wonderful.

So, here’s my three layer awareness cake, and where does awareness live? The brain? The self? Who knows, but awareness that I have awareness creates a kind of inner lighting up for me.

And for you, with your skeleton and gravity, and your ribs and lungs and air, and your neck and light, maybe this simple and full meditation can help your days be more full and rich and aware and pleasant.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

6 awareness days left until Christmas

water bear Reed College

to be aware while
browsing the stores

to be aware of the guilt
and fear stuff
nagging away to
buy more
give more
do more

to say no
to an invitation
or two

to say yes
to an invitation
or two

where do we want
to be present
and following our breathing

and remembering the three oceans:
calling on bones and brain and pelvis
how are we "grounded"
what is our weight doing
right now

and air
our lungs inside the rib cage
or can it be
a rib basket

and light, sound, taste, smell
the joys of a head
mobile and free at the neck
looking left
and right
even now
on the computer
keep the eyes forward and let your
go up and down
and right and left
and following your breathing
and know
about your pelvis
and be
in love
with the you
right now

what else to do?
love others
love the earth

does that have anything
to do with Christmas?
it certainly could have.

and does awareness have
anything to do
with our ability to love?


Tuesday, December 11, 2007



sitting down at the
what do we listen to?

the more Proper way:

to what
do we listen?

can we listen
to our pelvis?

is it there,
have we played and enjoyed moving it forward
and back
tucking tailbone under
with butt back and up?


and spine,
holding up our head
is our neck free
are our
eyes and jaw and neck
relaxed and mobile?

neck, jaw, eyes,

and ribs
how are they?
what would it be like to wiggle them
a little
before we play too much on/ with/ under the
spell of
the computer?

wiggle ribs?
rib basket
or rib cage?
lean, arch, curve left,
left hip up
toward left ear
this fun
ribs together on left
and expanding
like an accordian
on the right.
can we enjoy
playing that way,

of course
the other way.

and our breathing inside those
and down
into belly/ diaphragm?
is it in our awareness
and now ness

breathing yes
ribs yes
pelvis yes
neck jaw eyes free and easy, yes

can we listen
to healthy and mobile pelvis
aware and relaxed jaw, neck and eyes
spine holding up our head
feet on ground,
butt on chair
breathing in the air

and other words
we listen to what it
is really like
to be here

creatures of gravity
(pelvis, feet, spine, butt on chair)

creatures of air
breathing free the ribs the lungs the air

creatures of light
(free neck
to see easily in a wide variety of directions
on upright and rooted spine)


there's lots to being
isn't there?

of help with this
is to sign up for
DEsk Trainer

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Invitation to Improvement and Joy


Invitation to Improvement and Joy

Let’s say: you have a soreness in your back or shoulders or neck as you move through life, and wouldn’t mind not only having that go away, but could enjoy learning how to function better from head to toe, from pelvis to ribs, from elbow to ear, from spine to sternum, from eye to brain?

In other words: are you game to become a more complete and aware and happy in your body and happy in your awareness person?

If this sort of improvement, about upgrading your nervous system, and rekindling your love of learning appeals to you, come on around and give yourself for awhile to this work, this Way of Conscious and Exploratory Movement.

Let’s say you want to play tennis better, or ski better, or golf with more ease and improvement and success. Again, are you willing to go inside and discover how you are and how you could be more, as this marvel of engineering, all these bones and muscles with a big brain on a planet of constant gravity and a body of two legs, and brain that loves to learn?


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Resistance" to the Feldenkrais Method

resistance so-called
to the Method


now, there is a sort of "resistance"
which is a hideway excuse,
as in : this client is resisting change

famous was Milton Erickson who never had resistant clients:

fun stories:
the man in mental hospital,
grumbled and wouldn't cooperate,
he was Jesus.
great said Milton, since your Jesus,
you're a carpenter, here's a hammer and saw,
get to work

or the young boy in office
stomping on floor,
protesting being there.
Milton: nice stomp, but a big boy could stomp
much harder
of course, the boy stomps harder,
well, that's getting there, but a strong and big
boy could do better than that
and so on and so on
until the kid was begging to sit.

which has some sleazy uses,
(seducing women, say),
has some brilliant ideas:
one of which,
there are no resistant clients
only bad therapists/ teachers

2. on the other hand
and many others have pointed out:
people love to have the idea of changing
with the hidden clause they
don't have to change anything

3. thinking about resistance
as inertia

two passions back
(byron katie's, the Work, in between that
and the feldie method)
I pretty much single handedly stated a large
(3 acre) public garden, herbs, flowers,
food, trees, permaculture, soil and soul,
good place, now beautiful.
since i loved it
i was enthused to invite lots of people to come.
many liked the idea
many said they'd be out "tomorrow" to help
most didn't make it

i discovered one class of people showed
new to town

my theory became:
people have a rut of 3 or 4 main things they do
and it's really hard to break into that

new people don't have their ruts
defined yet
and so are open to somethng new
and wonderful

with ruts,
old and familiar
wins over new

recent article in New Yorker
on a megachurch in New England,
interesting confirmation:
best new members:
people moved recently,
divorced, lost jobs,
i.e. broken from their rut

4.A. resistance in ourselves, part A, heroic overcoming
last month i set out to do this
national november writing month (
where you go for a 50,000 word novel in
a month
i did it
and plenty of days
"resistance," reared it's slothy claws:
too hard, too crazy, novel sucks,
don't know what i'm doing,
etc etc too busy
blah blah
and i did it anyway

old Gurdjieff work thing:
in a group,
take an "aim" sew an hour a day,
talk to three people a week about job,
wear a business suit to all plumbing jobs,
weird or hard or interesting
you publically admit to something
set out to do it (Gurdjieff's idea:
people can't "do,"
are a bunch of I's
one i says, yes, i'll clean my room
tomorrow another set of I's want to watch tv or "has to"
answer the phone or , you know )
and see what happens

another resistance
i do halfway well at heroically overcoming
is an aim
to do one or two alexander yanaii
a day
lots of resistance
glad i do

4.B. then there's part B:
the resistance wins:
for twelve years at least i've been going to
"get around to"
learning piano,
learning guitar,
even writing the novel.

with help of organized event
some progress on third,
but piano
and guitar
and spanish
all languish in the "sometime"

so what is my "resistance"?

one, the ever-ready "story"
story:not enough time
but time to read New yorker,
or see dvd on computer know,
stuff that's part of my rut

i'm not natural, or talented
or .....

and another factor:
non instant satisfaction
as learning curve bites
which actually, once people get to the Feldenkrais lessons,
we have much less problem with
in our work
(and maybe someone teaches music so the immediate
process of discovery is as delightful
as in ours?
don't know yet.)

5. so,
in a way, it seems to me:
that one of the core processes of our method:
the playing open of habits
to create new options
is what's (partially) going on when
people don't want to/ can't/ are "too busy"
and not interested in
opening to having the feldenkrais method
in their life

they have the habit of not being involved
in our method

Saturday, November 24, 2007

what to do about our sleep

on feldy forum
a long discussion
on the "difficulties" of getting people excited
to come to Feldenkrais lessons

" Re: resistance to the Method"
this chain
is an old familiar one:

we have something amazing
and unique and the
world is not beating down our doors

oh, well:

a few other things
seem to have
"resistance" to:

(when they don't get what
they want, from the person
they "love" when they get what they want)

awareness of the present moment
minor exceptions:
first kiss,
first bite of new meal,

self realization
of the
oh, yeah, I lie, scold, hide,
blah, blah, whatever i criticize,

to listen to another
to hang in there with "bad" feelngs
to hang in there with "not knowing"
to be here and not at the next

harder than outer,
neither of much use to many

back to Monseur Gurdjieff
and the whole
question of humanity asleep

a big question

bigger even than the Feldenkrais Method
if you can believe anything so vast

and joking aside
the Method
is vast

and the title of this posting:
what to do about our sleep;


look at the s and the p
of the word sleep
notice the difference

notice the breath
coming in
and out
and don't even notice that difference
the difference
that noticing
our breathing makes

sit calmly
and if
you know
the Feldenkrais
do six or so
in pelvis, neck, ribs, eyes,
belly back
and be
so happy
at the gift
of knowing
how amazng
this brain body thing is

and then
holy fuck
go try to talk to another person
about this
from a noticing
and awake place
knowing they are asleep
and loving
them anyway
or maybe even
they have such an amazing chance
and probably won't take
and we
and the
can remember again


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Learning by Copying, or Learning by Learning

william at play

Life is meant to be enjoyed
and we are meant
as human beings
in a complex environment
and with brains
designed to learn...
we are meant to learn

The boy above is playing

Playing means he is not copying
what someone else showed him
he is
trying out some idea or possibility
that occured out of the play
that led up to that moment

one thing
led to another
and he's discovering
as he
what he's going to do next

in a good Feldenkrais® lesson,
whether the group lessons called
Awareness Through Movment®
or the
individual lessons
called Functional Integration®
the big kick
for the lesson giver
and the
lesson taker
is following one
thing that leads to another
and another
and neither giver
nor getter is
sure just what is going to happen

since we are dealng with real skeletons
and real awareness
and easy movements,
not in the sense of uncomplicated,
but in the sense of not strained and pushing,
that kind of ease,
easy movements
and awareness
and the possibilities
of the human brain body set up
are huge

the explorations are the joy
and if we are lucky
we get hooked on this
and go home
and keep exploring
and learning
and expanding our
understanding of ourselves
and the world
and this miracle

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pleasure, Ease, Awareness and Learning

to be at ease
is a sweetness
that we can access

and yet
often we are in "too much of a hurry,"
or are "in our habit,"
or are "doing what we always do."

if we always feel
comfortable in our body
and thrilled with the new learning
in our life,

come join me
for classes
on Mondays
and Wednesday
at noon, and 5:30 PM

this is Brain Work,
and ReVitalization Work,
pretending to be about our body

Go slowly
work easily
on a mat, usually,
on the floor
slow and profound
and being present:

side effects might include:
breathe better
better posture
walk and sit and run and dance better
creativity up
mood up
pleasure in ordinary activity up

and more,
at Benefits of Feldenkrais®,
rhymes with Paradise

Monday, November 12, 2007

Triangle in Fedlie Land

this boy
is not afraid
to be himself

and so in yoga
the whole fun
is to
just make a mess
of whatever
it is
"they" think
we should be doing
whatever we think
we SHOULD be going
whatever we THINK
WE SHOULD be doing

and just fool around

triangle, Trikonasa
is kind of a pain in the ass pose

like this,
again the words are
harder than monkey see,
monkey do,
too bad
live with it:

1. stand with feet apart and point one foot a direction
you'll call forward
to make life simple we'll say R, right foot, is forward
face that way.
L, left foot, is behind and in a line with R heel.
R heel bisects middle of L foot

2. raise arms up to shoulder height,
facing forward,
rotate arms to face the direction your belly is facing
and rotate your arms to face the other direction
(around the the right)
have fun with this.

4. rest.

5. arms up again, rotate arms so R arm forward, L arm back, keep spine
straight, and tilt at the waist your whole torso forward
R arm will go down by R leg
L arm will come up in air
pointed to Up, up, up

look up at the up hand

6. Have some fun
look up at the up hand
and have eyes goes down,
and look down at feet with nose
and have eyes come up.
then eyes and nose toward up hand

notice other stuff: pelvis, ribs, feet
bend knees
unbend knees, explore

are you breathing???

7. rest

8. the same position, R foot forward, L back,
heel of R in line with mid of L,
rotate arms so L arm is foward direction same as R foot,
L arm back
tilt down at waist
R arm up
L arm down
spine straightish
head looking up at up hand

play with eyes and head
as above

9., play with triangle and reverse triagnle:
once arms one way,
once the other
sometimes head and eyes follow up hand
sometimes they go opposite



have fun

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Life is Real, only when I am

taos church

So spake Gurdjieff

and he
what he was
talking about

and so

little amazing puzzles
to help us

brain improve
movement improve
attention improve:


circles of pevlis
on the chair

feels good

follow breathing



and now


and now
circles of pevlis
be now

head right
and left
and pelvis
be now

and breathe
the head
your head

where is your attention
pelvis circle the other way
head right and left

life is only real
when we know sense
i am

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Juicy from Deborah Elizabeth Lotus, via Feldyforum

A story Moshe told us in S.F., (yes, Eva, gossip!)is that when he was
at the Sorbonne, living nearby on the 'left bank' in a 5th floor
walk-up; on nights preceding lectures, he would read and study until
1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. Then, he would descend the back stairs
and under cover of darkness, he would mount his bicycle, pedal
furiously to his first 'assignation' which had been pre-arranged with
one of many lovely young ladies; most of his assignations involved
climbing up the back fire escape through the bedroom window,(nosy
landladies prevailed, and no doubt added to the illicit thrill!), have
sex for an hour or so, stealthily climb back down, pedal furiously to
the next 'assignation', and so on until first light, anywhere from 3
to 5 back stair or fire-ladder-climbing 'assignations'--a regular
pre-fixed route! until pre-dawn; then pedal home, maybe not so
furiously by then. He would sleep a few hours until late morning when
he would again mount his trusty bike and go for his cafe and
croissants at 'Deux Magots' and then pedal off to his afternoon round
of lectures and lab-work. In between lectures, he would go to the
'Bohemian' Cafe's: Café de la Paix, Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore,
for strong Turkish coffee and sundry sweets.

Then Moshe would go play soccer and/or practice Judo at his nearby
left bank Judokan he helped establish and then pedal home to perhaps
grab a 'cat nap', wake up and study and start the whole 'cycle' all
over again.

So, Silani, I am imagining those thunder thighs came from not only
soccer, but all of the above! What a man! These days it is rare that
a man has a physique to match his intellect and vice-versa!

I hasten to add that Moshe told this story of 'performing sex 4-5
times per day' on himself a bit shamefacedly, using himself as an
example of (then) male immaturity, admitting his "Don Juan" Complex,
and allowed that he was not proud of 'using women' in this
way--although still tinged with pride at his male sexual prowess. So
on the one hand, he talked about this as an example of 'mature
behaviour' NOT, positing that most men get 'just good enough' in their
sexual maturation, by copying their closest model, whether big
brother, father, uncle or adolescent peer, and are 'stuck' in their
adolescence vis-a-vis immature sexual behaviour. He made the point
that of all the animals, only humans have, for the most part,
neglected the developmental process of 'sexual apprenticeship'-- so
the act of sex is all trial and error rather than the high art it can
be of, say, Tantra.

On the other hand, he posited that men of power, John F,Kennedy,
great artists, Einstein, warriors, etc.--all are 'highly sexed' and
this 'comes with the territory' of male leadership--as we see with
Bill Clinton, and even so-called celibate Swami's and Guru's. He was
making the point that we should not be so shocked and scandalized at
such behaviour--it is part of male high personal achievement, and we
can't have one without the other!

In this day and age of PC, I don't know how this idea would go over in
a Feldenkrais training, but I still find it relevant and accurate,
whatever one makes of it, and helped me forgive Bill. And it still
epitomizes Moshe with all his personal paradoxes!

As a possibly redeeming foot note to my above gossip, here is another

Cafe de la Paix is where it is (rumored!) that Moshe the student first
overheard and eavesdropped on Gurdjieff holding forth to his students
over said Turkish coffee and pastries.

Such Cafe's allowed for such
pursuits; I can't quite imagine this level of conversation in a
Starbucks! It is probable that Gurdjeiff did not acknowledge MF's
keen attention, but spoke in a way that he could be 'overheard' from
his nearby table, where ostensibly he was reading his University

It is (rumored!) that Moshe missed a few Sorbonne
lectures in favor of listening to Gurdjieff and learning about what
came to be called "The Fourth Way"-- this intriguing "new" psychology
of mind which was a melange of Sufism, other Eastern mysticism,
philosophy, psychology as then understood and being created by
Gurdjieff as different from Freud's "analysis" --which Moshe thought
got nobody anywhere except wallowing in past insults and injuries to
the psyche. He thought the most useful thing Freud discovered was "lie
on your back"!

Gurdjieff's philosophy was that man is asleep, and
needs to wake up!
A philosophy of action, not analysis! Such thinking
to which every Feldy owes homage, imho. For a good article on the
Fourth Way, where you may see some similar concepts as espoused by
Moshe please see:


I vouch not for the total veracity of my posting; yes, it is 'gossip',
but gossip Moshe told on himself, so at least has historical interest!
Of course he wrote at more length and more 'scientifically' on his
ideas about sexual maturation in Body and Mature Behaviour and the
Potent Self, which are as revelatory today about human nature as when
he wrote them.

All of the Zest,

Deborah Elizabeth Lotus

Monday, November 05, 2007

Feldie Feet, Monday Yoga, Brain time again, Friends


this is a no picture (of the movement,
pic above is
the pic above)
monkey see monkey do
is a lower level
than hearing
or reading
and figuring that to the real world:

we go:




1. Stand somewhere beautiful.
Look ahead, sense down, listen to feet and eyes and head.
Shift weight to the right foot, right heel.
Notice what happens in breathing as go to right,
and come back to middle.

2. Do the above and bring weight to right heel.
Again, watch, listen to breathing. Going and coming back.

3. Do these two to the left.

4. Rest between all. Walk around, sit, lie down.

5. Cross Right foot over left, i.e.
in front of and a bit to the left of left foot.
Now, shift weight right and left,
with the feet on the opposite than usual side.
watch breathing.

6. Do this and keep weight mainly on the heels.

7. Do this and keep your head in the middle, so pelvis/ butt
goes side to side
and weight shifts,
and your head stays in the middle.

8. Now, like this:
as you shift weight to your right foot, which is over to your left,
let your head flop to the right,
as in right ear toward right shoulder,
not rotating neck,
tilting, easy does it
slow and follow breathing

9. As you shift weight to the left foot, which is on your right,
let your left ear tilt down easily and
toward your left shoulder.
Notice breathing.
Weight mainly on heels.

10. Do this other feet around,
if you are so inclined.

11. Go back to beginning,
shift weight left and right,
now keeping head more or less in the middle
and weight more or less on your heels
and noticing
and being calm in
your breathing.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where are the hip joints

A chapter from
Up: Improving Mood, Posture, Sex, Sleeping, Thinking, Backs
and Saving the World

This time we’ll go to both hip joints. We’ll be approaching them, with our awareness and our movement, in a number of directions. So, as usual, get out the timer, figure out the directions, and then click on and explore for at least 11 minutes.
Can you do more?
Can you do this several times a day?

16.1. On back, feet standing, rounding and arching your back. This we did on one side in the last lesson, and you almost can’t do a slow and aware rounding of your back too often. In a chair, in the car, on a seat of a bicycle, or on your back in bed, or on the floor: this is great for our backs, our pelvis (and hence sex, to say nothing of most coordinated activities that involve the top and bottom halves of our bodies), and our breathing and ribs. To make the floor comfortable you’ll probably want a thick blanket or mat to lie on, or outside on grass or a deck, this could be nice, too.

16.2. Rest and notice how your back rests on the floor/ ground. Now do the same movement as above. Round and arch your back, so you feel your lower back coming to the floor, and then lifting up from the floor. Notice how your legs stay more or less fixed as this movement takes place, so it is your pelvis moving forward and back. Where is this happening? The hip joints. See if you can notice them in there. Where are they? Focus on the right hip joint, the left hip joint and then both. As always, rest before the next section.

16.3. Sit up and hold one arm in front of you, exploring what a joint is. Here’s the thing: one arm out in front of you about chin height with your palm facing down. Try two movements: one, move the tips of the fingers up and down, but keep the forearm straight and horizontal. So, notice, one side moves, the hand, one side stays still, the arm. Where does this happen? A joint. Now, bring everything straight again, and keep the hand from moving and the wrist stable, and let the elbow rise and fall. This might require holding the hand with the other hand, if it doesn’t want to cooperate and stay steady. But again, same joint, different movement.

16.4. Down on back again, legs standing, lift one knee at a time and study for the hip joint. Now, the pelvis stays relatively stationary and the leg bone, the big femur bone we call the thigh moves. Poke around a bit in the rear end area and see if you can discover where there is movement, that’s the leg, and where it is stable: that’s the pelvis. Do one side at a time. Occasionally alternate with the 16.3 movement of pelvis moving with the back arching and rounding, for a contrast, again with hands exploring: what is moving, what is staying put? As always rest between. In the rests, let your legs go long. Be still and aware.

16.5. On back once more, legs standing, tilting legs. Again, one at a time, tilt your legs at the knee, tilting in and out, and explore just where this reveals your hip joint as your leg moves and your pelvis stays stationary. After doing both legs, again alternate with 16.3. And then rest.

16.6. On back, soles of feet together, arch and round your back. If your soles won’t quite touch, get them at least in that direction. Tilt and untilt your pelvis so your back lifts from the floor/ground and comes back down. Notice and discover all you can about your hip joints, now once more the pelvis is mainly the mover and the legs are mainly the unmoving.

16.7. On back, feet standing, try for this, the pelvic clock. Go slow, because this can be a whole lesson in itself, but sensing where the pelvis is pressing into the ground/ floor, push the top part down (lower back to floor), and then the right side, and then the lower part of the pelvis into the ground/ floor (lower back coming up from floor), and then the left side pressing in. Go slowly. Enjoy. Get the idea of the round movement, and then go back to discovering where the hip joints are. Rest.

16.8. Pelvic clock again, other direction. Come to feet standing, and first visualize and imagine going to the opposite direction of circle with your pelvis. Enjoy this imagining, visualizing. Now, do the movement. Notice what you left out in your visualization. Stop, rest and visualize again. Then do it again, once more noticing what you left out. And so on, until you’ve had enough. Rest.

16.9. If any more time remains in the eleven minutes, do more pelvic clocks.

First 12 pages of the book for sale:
$3 online
$5 in the mail

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stress, Learning and the Feldenkrais Method®

happy ganesh
Stress, Learning, and the Feldenkrais® Way

Life is a bowl of cherries, if you are a bowl filled with cherries. Otherwise there are elements of learning that at first might seem “stressful,” and yet, once learned, are a sweet and ongoing part of life. For example, we come out of the womb, and the air thing: new. Stress. Lungs don’t know how to breathe air. If we don’t breathe air we die. New situation. Luckily we don’t have cell phones to call up another baby and complain how stressed out we are. Instead, we handle it, learn to breathe, and another Life begins, the life in air.

So what is “stress” anyway? Well, we all know that it’s “bad,” because when people say, “I’m so stressed,” they imply that they are in a tense and worried and poorly functioning place. And yet, if the stress of breathing in air had not presented itself and been solved, we’d all need to keep the umbilical cord with us. Not a pleasant way to live.

Okay, let’s resort to the dictionary. Well, maybe not. The first couple of meanings are along the lines of emphasis, “I’d like the stress that….” Or where we put the oomph in a paragraph, sentence or musical line. Finally, though, in physics, stress is “An applied force or system that tends to strain of deform a body.” And then the last definition in my dictionary: “A mentally or emotionally disruptive or disquieting influence.”

As part of this life out of the womb, we swim in three oceans: gravity, air, and light. The gravity ocean takes us longest to figure out: how the heck can we move around on two little feet and this long tall cylindrical body, with a big heavy head thing at the top? This is a stressful situation, having a human body in an ocean of gravity. Most of us handle this, often stopping our learning when we’ve gotten the mere basics of walking from chair to bed to feeding trough to automobile, but we know how to move in gravity. Sort of.

And if we step off a curb and aren’t paying attention, or suffer a stroke, or are born with some neurological limitation, the gravity thing can be more than we can handle.

So we start life in stress, handle it, and have the stress of a long tall top-heavy body in gravity, and sort of handle it, and then life keeps throwing challenges our way. Is this stress or opportunity? Well, having to learn a second language in ten minutes might be stressful. Have three months in a new country in which to immerse ourselves and learn, an opportunity.
What to wear to the party you don’t want to go to: stress , opportunity? How to build up a new business? How to learn to ski when you are over sixty? How to live with the loss of a loved one, either through death or divorce?

When the Oakland fire of 1989 roared through the hills and destroyed thousands of home there were two reactions. One, was what you’d expect, “Lost everything. Devastating. All the family photos. Years of work and memories.” And so on. The other was rather more charming: “Wow, I was dreading cleaning that back room and the garage, and now I don’t have to do it. This is a great chance to start over.”

And so stress seems at least in part in the eye of the beholder.

And if seen right, small doses of stress are exactly what we need as human beings that want to expand and grow and thrive in our lives. Interestingly enough, and not surprising for a system developed by a physicist deeply interested in judo and the biology of living systems, the Feldenkrais Method® could be called the intelligent application of small and useful stress to break old habits, discover new ways of moving, being and thinking.

So, for example, we could turn our heads to the left and see how far we turned, and with what ease. This is a useful skill when driving a car, the ability to look behind ourselves to the left. If we then turned our head halfway to the left, picked something to look at there, and then began to move our nose to the right of that point and our eyes to the left, and then brought nose and eyes back to this reference point, and then took our eyes to the right and nose to the left of this point, and so on, back and forth, this movement, if we haven’t done it before might seem “stressful.”

And if we slowed down our efforts, and took rests, and allowed ourselves to do this in little smaller bits, we might find ourselves learning something we didn’t know we could do. And then as this head and nose in opposition thing became easier, the stress feeling might completely dissolve and a feeling of ease and expansion might appear.

If we once again look to the left, and allow our eyes to go in synch with our nose, we might discover that turning to the left has become easier. Stress set us up to learn.

(There is more to this lesson, as many of you know: try turning to the left with your hands each hugging the opposite shoulder, and spend a little time with the stress of practicing moving your hugged shoulders to the left while you head goes to the right. Or: push out your belly and arch your back and roll a little forward on your pelvis and alternate that with slumping forward and pulling in your belly and looking down. Then look left again.)

So, we are designed to learn, and often avoid the opportunity, and if we are smart and/or lucky we will set up challenges to stress/ expand our lives. And strangely and wonderfully enough: each time we do this, we get less “stressed” out about almost everything.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Walking again



To walk is part of the miracle
of being human
in a planet where gravity
is one of the big three
along with sunlight, and air.

This is who we are,
long tall creatures,
ready to fall forward,
again, and again,
and if we stick one foot after another
out to catch us,
it's called walking.

Walking is fun,
and it's good for us.
Personally, I'm not that fond of walking on concrete
and asphalt,
my feet are softies
or spoiled by years working in a garden I created,
where I made the paths as moisture retaining
and weed supressing areas by
using cardboard covered with woodchips.

I like to walk on grass and sand
and dirt
and even gravel.

And that's my preference.

Be that as it may,
some people say that walking is the best exercise,
and I might agree.

It's certainly the best for remembering this:
we live in gravity, air and light.
Feet pushing off against the earth,
skeleton holding us up in gravity,
air coming into our lungs,
eyes up top,
scanning the world,
hopefully bringing in some beautiful impressions.

This is walking.

Walking is also great for a spinal
Walk a bit and pay attention:
the top half (or so) of your spine rotates one way
and the lower half the other way.
Shoulders one way,
pelvis the other.
This is good,
this gives us power,
this gives us grace.

This also stabilizes us,
because when we bring one foot forward,
the weight of that leg going forward needs to be
balanced by something going back,
which would be our hip,
and that would make walking awkward,
to say the least.
So the shoulder goes back on the side
the leg goes forward, and that keeps the hip stable.

So when you see people naturally swinging their
arms with great flair
as they walk,
they are doing what we are designed to do.

Then again,
some really flail at the air thing
and turn walking into a huff and puff kind
of thing.
Well, that's their kick,
and it's probably good for the old cardio

Though, when people talk cardio,
I can't help but think of the New Yorker cartoon,
where one hamster, spinning wheel in the background,
is explaining to another hamster:
"For my workout, I like to do two hours of cardio,
and then four hours of cardio,
and then another two of cardio."

La, la..

So, what are contenders with walking for

Well, swimming and

Notice both these are in the fish world,
the horizontal world.

The earlier world in our evolution.

Sex is kind of like the dolphin
swimming, lots of nice undulations in the spine.

Swimming can be the dolphin, again the undulations,
but more tiring that sex with les the perks,
or it can be frog fun
with the breast stroke,
or some nice lenghtening and stretching and
strengthening all of us at once in
the Australian crawl or the backstroke.

Problems with swimming and me:
again, I want salt water
or a clear lake of river.
This chorine swimming,
or swimming laps,
ah, here come the hamsters in my mind.

Oh, well.

Anyway: you might have another favorite exercise.

can also be a fine meditation.
Which foot is touching the ground,
and where is our breath:
coming in or out.
What are we taking in with our
eyes as we notice which foot and
which way the air.

That's a lot.

Life often
gets richer
and richer
when we can do a lot
with our attention,
lighting up our awareness,

of NOW.

as I wrote in the last walking essay:
you are a miracle, and walking is a miracle, and learning and awareness can make both miracles even better.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Walking, a miracle we usually take for granted

rotated blossoms

Most of us can walk. If we can’t walk easily, or suddenly have trouble, we realize how precious is this skill that so many take for granted. To walk on two feet, circus tigers and trained bears aside, is a uniquely human ability.

This ability is amazing. Try, as I often say, to make a sculptural model of a human being, two little feet way down there holding up this long body. It will topple unless you give the statue a huge pedestal base, or put a staff in the model’s hands. Then, with the kind of huge feet we don’t have (the pedestal solution), or with three legs (the staff solution), the model can stay up.

But, two feet are unstable. That means: a huge increase in mobility. It also means walking is easier than standing (we don’t need to go into that now, but think of it this way: since we are inherently unstable, falling forward from one foot to the next and that being what our walking is, is more what we are designed to do that stand stable on these two small feet of ours). It means that even walking is much more complicated than we realize, again until we have trouble, or if we have a neurological condition that makes the enormous learning which walking requires even more difficult, cerebral palsy or stroke for example.

So, how can the Feldenkrais Method and the Anat Baniel Method and Wake Up Feldenkrais come to our aid in improving our walking.

The same way these all come to our aid in improving almost any movement, or pattern of thinking, or even emotional state.

One, slowing down, we can start to discover what we take for granted. Two, with awareness, we begin to find connections and possibilities. Three, by going on a search instead of just cranking out the usual, we train ourselves to appreciate what we have and what might be possible.

So, just to walk more slowly (or rapidly, actually, a change from the habitual always helps see the habitual) we can begin to focus on just what IS this walking thing?

Elusive obvious: one foot is holding us up, while the other one swings forward.

Slow that down. Pick a stable foot and let the other foot go forward as if you are stepping forward. Which part of the moving forward foot will come to the ground first. When does the knee bend in this m.f. (moving forward) foot? Where does the swing in our hips come from? Where are our hips? Does this side of the pelvis roll forward or backward as the m.f. leg moves forward?

Reverse the usual. Now practice taking the m.f. backward, so it is a m.b. leg and foot, moving backward leg and foot. What can we discover about our hip joint here? What part of our foot touches first when we walk backwards? Which part of our middle helps this, our back muscles or our stomach muscles?

And now, begin to walk a bit around a room, or outside in some pleasant and interesting place. Notice the tendency of your arms. When your left leg comes forward, which arm likes to come forward? Try both possibilities: left leg forward and left arm forward, and left leg forward and right arm forward.

Walk some more and pay attention, one at a time, to your right hip, your right shoulder, your left hip, your left shoulder. What can you learn about walking from this?

Sit in a chair and “walk” forward and backward on that chair by lifting one sit bone and then the other and moving forward to the front edge, and then back to the back of the chair. As if your butt had two feet at the sit bones, “walk” back and forth and see what this call forth in your spine.

Will all this improve your walking?


Will it help you understand how much more there is to learn about this amazing activity? Hopefully.

And another way to improve walking? Come to the mat discovery lessons, whether called Awareness Through Movement, or Transformation Movement Lessons, these lessons, usually on the ground and OUT of gravity, allow our brain to discover aspects and relationships that we might never find under that gravity and balance demands of normal walking.

SEE Current Classes and Workshops

So you are a miracle, and walking is a miracle, and learning and awareness can make both miracles even better.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Waking Up and Feldenkrais

This moment comes once
and is gone.
We are here and awake to notice that,
or we are missing in action,
or missing in inaction.
Either way, if we are missing the moment,
our life is going on,
and we are not there with it.

To be awake is so simple and yet so
from how we mostly live our lives.
It is as easy as the slightest shift,
to noticing how we are sitting, standing or lying right now,
to noticing how we are breathing right now,
to noticing the five lines of two arms and two legs and one spine,
to noticing the ways we push against gravity,
to noticing the reflected light in the world
coming into our eyes and the sounds coming into our ears.

That shift, and these and
in its many other forms and possibilities,
is our birthright, our challenge, our gift.

The Feldenkrais work,
by allowing us to slow down
and actually put our attention on small movements, or sometimes large,
and by allowing the rests between the movements,
and by encouraging an attitude of experimentation rather than “getting it done,”
and by again and again playing with
variations that trick (wake) us into
paying attention
to something that before we took for granted,
all these aspects are a wonderful and
waiting training ground to
the opening of awareness.

As the lessons are called,
we have a chance to develop our
Awareness through Movement.

But not donkey movement.
Not crank it out exercise movement.
Not struggle and rush movement.
No, movement that is going to bring learning,
which is to say,
movement that is going to create
opportunities for us to change
and transform
and get more flexible
in our minds and our whole lives,
this movement has to call upon
and live in awareness.

So, at any moment
we can wake up,
and usually we don’t.
A Feldenkrais lesson is a chance
to open up to the pleasure
and expansiveness
of being awake to each moment.
It’s a question of living a life,
or being taken through one by…..?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weight Loss and Wake Up Feldenkrais

river gang
We can move and stay overweight.
We can be aware some of the time and stay overweight.
We can’t, however, be aware while we eat and stay overweight.

To be aware while we eat is
to feel the weight of the spoon or fork or chopsticks
in our hand,
the weight before the food is on and after.
To be aware is to sense our arm
and hand
as we bring the food to our mouth.
To be aware is to chew, slowly,
and taste each bite, not just the first bite of of each mouthful.

To be aware while eating usually means
a lot less talking than those who eat publicly,
and no reading nor television watching
for those who eat alone.

To be aware while eating calls for
putting down the chopsticks or spoon or fork while chewing.
To wait a bit after the bite is finished being chewed and swallowed.

To be aware while eating means this:
we can sense our bottoms on the chair while we eat,
and notice what we are seeing while we eat,
and follow our breathing while we eat.

And with all this awareness,
to notice when we have had enough is no great shakes.
We chew a bite, enjoy, stop, breathe,
how nice that food is making us feel.
Chew another, and more pleasure and noticing.

Taking breaks between each bite to set down our utensils,
and to breathe and to sense our bellies and our posture,
we will discover ourselves easily aware
when pleasure starts to slip over into stuffing ourselves.

Then we take a deep breath, get up from the table,
wash the dishes and go about our lives.

If we panic between meals,
because some slight hunger
comes that we aren’t used to because we haven’t stuffed ourselves,
we can do the Work of Byron Katie
on: “I have to eat something right now.”
If we find out that this isn’t true,
we can keep breathing and
a nice space of time, three or four hours between meals.

I could write another essay on
what to do with the pretend hunger between meals,
but I’ll say this for now:
find something physical to do,
and do it slowly and with awareness.
This could be
tai chi,
golf practice,
Awareness Through Movement® lessons,
some version of dance we know
or are inventing,
almost anything with awareness and pleasure,
ride a bike,
putter in the garden,
sweep the sidewalk,
walk the dog,
go for a run (pleasure run, not kill yourself run),
lie down and invent some movements,
do the five rhythms movements,
belly dance,
pretend to belly dance,
take a walk,
take a walk,
take a walk.

With awareness.
Sense the pleasure of being alive.

We can learn to
wait until our next meal to eat
and it doesn’t need to bother us a bit
if we are doing pleasurable and useful activities
such as those mentioned above and
then there is always gardening.
Nothing like some puttering outdoors
to heal the mind and calm the spirit.

When we eat out of emptiness the solution is simple:
fill ourselves with awareness and love of life.

I offer coaching on weight loss,
if you wish assistance. Please see:
Fitness and Weight Loss

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Not Knowing: Good Food for our life

bridge to ???
Not Knowing

When we do the Byron Katie work, a big conclusion is :”I don’t know.” The first question asks: Is it true? And the answer is often: I don’t know.

If we truly live in the present, what the future is going to be: I don’t know.

Brendan remembered from a book on Leonardo diVinci that one of his abilities was to live in the state of, you guessed it: I don’t know.

About Moshe Feldenkrais, it has been said that he had a huge tolerance for ambiguity. He didn’t need to know. He loved not knowing, that meant he got to attempt to learn something.

With a client in WakeUp Feldenkrais and the Anat Baniel Method, we don't have to know the specific outcomes. That is impossible. But we try lots of variations, to create some outcome, some change, some (maybe even radical) opening of possibilities. If we try something and it "doesn't work," great, we are in the I don't know state: we try something else.

Always something to learn, for ourselves and our clients.

A lot like a real relationship, and keeping love alive.

About life: the “such and such is too hard” story often gets undone and dissolves, with the Work, into a state of excited curiosity: I don’t know how to do this YET, and what am I going to do to learn what I don’t know yet.

What I don’t know yet, is the field of potential glories of my life to come.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Remembering Ourselves, love, and The Feldenkrais Method®

if you are a participant in FeldyForum,
for practitioners and trainees,
you are subject to a lot of people
putting forth their ideas, opinions,
feedbacks, attacks, counter attacks,
apologies, demands for apologies,
self serving nonsense, self serving wisdom,
axe grinding, strutting and posturing,
and whatnot

oh, well:

what would it be like,
i wonder
if people took a
breath before they wrote each

no, not just took a breath
but took a breath,
and knew they were breathing,
and what the heck:
since we're feldies:
took a breath, knew we were breathing
and sensed the five lines

you aren't a feldie

what does this have to do
with you?

i was talking to a mother
who was honest enough to admit
the parent thing is really hard

all i could offer
was Freud's observation
that parenting is the impossible task,

and my idea
that the only cure
for parenting's difficulties
is to be present
as if in continuous meditation

i gave an example from the
people who work with Thich Nhat Hahn:
when the phone rings,
before picking up:
two conscious breaths.

my idea:
when the kids do one of the
fifty things that
get the chain yanking,
take two conscious breaths
before doing, or saying anything

as per the Feldenkrais
method of learning:

take some time
between idea of acting
and acting
and scan for options

and what does that have to do
with love:
well if love
wasn't going to be the immediate
habitual reaction,
taking a couple of breaths before we act,
might allow
a loving
(i.e. one that is concerned at least as much
with the other as ourselves)

waking up,

so much good
to have in
our lives

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Feldenkrais Method and therapy


This a letter to Feldy Forum:

Therapy and the Feldenkrais Method.

Lots of wonderful conversations on this. FM involves touch. Therapy involves talk. Boundary issues. Cross possibilities and prejudices. And so on.
Some elusive obvious comments:
What do Feld and therapy have in common that helps create real change?
Creating options.

Now, a cynical and realistic way of seeing most of therapy is: someone paying to be listened to.
More harsh, and also true: paying someone to listen to their crap.
(Necessary corollary in therapy training: how not to be a human toilet).

But, not to run too blithely with this, let’s notice how non habitual, indeed, how remarkable ANY listening really is.
Take Ms. Teardrop with the statement: “My husband verbally abused me again last night.”

Here are the gamut of habitual responses she might get in the “real world.” Notice that all are forms of non-listening.

1. You should get out of the relationship, fast.
2. You should tell that bastard off.
3. You should tell him off, and dump him.

4. Oh, you poor person. You have such a hard marriage.
5. Dual victimization: Me, too. My husband is… We are so…
6. Dual and competitive victim: You think that’s bad, my husband…
7. Historical victim: You probably had a mother/father who was …, let’s dwell on your rough past
8. Historical dual victims: We both had really tough mother/father, let’s dwell on …..
9. Historical competitive victims:

(We aren’t talking therapy here. We are talking the main set up for work place “romances.)
10. Oh, poor you. He doesn’t really understand you. I do. Let’s get really close and you’ll feel all better.
11. Oh, poor us. My mate doesn’t understand me, yours doesn’t understand you, let’s get together

Actually: this is a common, poor me and poor you, let’s talk about our bad past relationship and then get together strategy, even if it’s not the adultery route.

Anyway: in common to all the habitual responses: not listening.

Elaine has called therapy, my rephrasing, the rebuilding of a person via the chance to have a good relationship. This, at least in the times I’ve read, hasn’t been defined, but by combining the above examples, and her list of what you can’t do in therapy (abandon, scold, sexualize), you could take another elusive obvious step and say, a good relationship is relationship that is not a bad one.

Actually, just to fill out the not listening possibilities in the “real world,” now I’ve remembered the abandoning and scold/belittling thing, we’ve all seen those:’

12. I’m sick of hearing about your problems . I’ve got too much on my plate. Bye.

SCOLD/ BELITTLE ( often done by a family member to whom one goes for “help”)
13. That’s so stupid of you to keep putting up with his crap.
14. I told you not to get together with ….
15. When are you going to realize….

16. What you need to do is this…..

So good therapy would preclude all the not listening possibilities that “real life” often offers someone who opens the conversations with the “my husband verbally abused me again” complaint.

Now, Carl Rogers had an ingenious way to do this listening: He’d just say, I hear you say your husband ….
This seems silly. But in contrast to all the ways of not listening is actually fairly profound, and indeed couple to couple arguments can be radically dissolved by people taking turns listening to each other and then feeding back what was said before they have their chance to put in their “defense”, which is often their attack.

Traditional therapy can go off into unproductive waters if the Carl Rogers, “I hear you say…”, is followed by: how do you feel about that?

Because it’s missing the second of the elusive obvious steps: CLAIRIFICATION:
What did your husband say that you felt was verbally abusive?

Say she says,
He said I was selfish, and a liar, and only cared about myself.

Okay. Now we have clarification.

What to do from here gets interesting. You could go the, to me, unproductive, how did you feel when he said you were selfish route.
You could Gestalt: how do you feel and what are you aware of now, as you talk about that. Or the Gestalt, hop back and forth on two chairs, and get some communication going.

But, in a process I’ll talk about in some later posting, that I find accomplishes most if not all that therapy does, and then some, here is an amazing way to get some options, and go into non habitual territory.

Have a discussion with Ms. Teardrop about: is it true you are sometimes selfish, as am I and everyone on this planet. Is it true you are a liar, as am I, and …. Is it true that sometimes you only care about yourself, as it is true for me and everyone on this planet.

Then what happens to the verbal abuse.
It turns into words we didn’t want to hear.
Oh, well.

There is more. But this is a start.

Next step: What Ms. Teardrop dislikes about her husband, and how that can all be turned into awareness and self realization. Later, for that.

Anyway: touch or no touch: if you keep the person doing what they always did, they’re stuck in the poop. If you get them to slow down, feel validated for being a person who does whatever they do (listen), get some clarity on what’s going on, and provide new ways of ACTING IN THE WORLD, then you've provided some real and wonderful help. (I like Paul’s thing of ACTING as one of the big four).

So: car keys, weird dad, mom hostage. Calls for action. I could go into this one and have a lot of fun, which again is non habitual, since this is supposed to be real bad stuff, but, one of the first things I’d ask is: is it true you need to do anything about this?


Monday, September 17, 2007

Take a Rest

field and sky

have you been to
a yoga class
where the teacher
likes to wear you

and some students
out of
a wish to be using themselves hard,
or guilt,
or lack of moving in the rest of
their lives

this is what i call:
donkey work.
are good at working hard,
people, too,
but it's kind of sad
when in a yoga
two cores to
the human essence:
our ability to
and to

are neglected

i've seen this too
in tai chi
chi gung
and 'trance dance'
keep moving,
and don't pause,
don't rest,
don't take time to distill
what you are doing

don't slow
and imagine
and examine
any new way
of doing something

same old,
but with lots of huff
and puff

what a waste
of human

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Real Challenge of Nine Eleven

fava beans

Are we asleep to our lives
right now
are we awake

when we give or
take a Feldenkrais class
or a yoga class

are we awake
going into the class,
during the class,
and especially,

this is the hard


or do
we open our mouths
start to talk
and go
to sleep?

so nine eleven:
how can people
do awful things to
other people:

only by being asleep.

and the retaliation,
the war on
the excuse for Iraqification

what's that all about?

being asleep

and so
what are the real weapons
of mass destruction?

our poor little
wanting to love
that in their hurt,
don't want to admit their
or fear,
or confusion,
and find it a
to lash

(if there can be comfort
in living in hell,
there can't)

so what can we do:
wake up

it's that easy

what's the alternative,
stay asleep
and march off the cliff,
human leemings


a fine choice
and so obvious
until someone gets our goat,
or we get a parking ticket,
or our "rival" gets a step or two

la, la
what to learn

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Learning and Love

lake at reed

To learn
is to fall

into the new

maybe a new way
of thinking about

someone you used to "hate,"
and you realize:
they've got issues
and they not only treat me
but treat themselves
and you decide to just send them
wishes for the best

you always brush
your teeth
with your right hand,
you try it with your left
it's slower,
and then
more interesting

you sit at your computer
and kind of hunch over
you decide
to try rolling your pelvis
for and aft
belly out,
belly in,
feeling shifts in your spine
and your ribs

and then you sit,
with a slight arch in your back
and it
feels new

it's learning

and love
that butterfly
and just really grooving on it
or the
of someone
you know, well,
or don't even know at all

just lit up
by the wonder of
it all

this is what we strive for
in Feldenkrais
and in life
and in meditation
and in coming home to now:

that lit up feeling:
it's wonderful

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Real Terror

flowers on edge

Happy Nine Eleven,
the day
we had a chance to wake
and didn't

wake up
to the riddiculousness
of the
Enemy Game

wake up
to the weird truism:
death and gravity,
these are part of the deal

wake up to
a realization:
we think we know
what's going to happen
and we don't

wake up to the
this moment
this is our life
if we drift
or charge
or "busy"
or numb
or robot
our way along

doing today
what we did yesterday
(different chair,
same way of sitting,
different food,
same way of eating)

thinking today
what we thought yesterday
(same resentment,
perhaps rotating blamees,
same worry,
perhaps rotating worry schemes,
same planning,
perhaps rotating
same regrets,
perhaps rotating stories)

and forgetting
the minor detail:
this is it

we are alive
and breathing
and having five lines
and being upright in gravity
and having feelings and impressions
and thoughts and sensations
and movement

way cool
to be

way cool

and from that comes:
people live,
and die
and maybe
don't wake up
to the preciousness
of their own
and everyone's life,
until the last few moments,
if at all

(postulated by G. Gurdjieff,
Russian sage, philosopher,
tearer outer of his hair
over the dilemma:
how to wake up sleeping humanity,
see either: Wikipedia Gurdjieff
Gurdjieff Legacy Journal Gurdjieff)

to the terror:

is that every now
is equal


See also:
Dennis Leri's
article on Gurdjieff's influence
on Moshe Feldenkrais

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Waiting for ....????

brendan funny

One of the most interesting complaints
sometimes make about the floor work,
the group sessions,
the Awareness Through Movement® lessons,
is that they are

The lessons involve slow movements,
often small movements.
Not a lot of muscle is
though some can be quite

And even the demanding ones,
the goal is to slowly
go about mastering
something difficult,
instead of the usual and common
of powering your way through.

So, what is boring about slow?
If you do the same thing
over and over again,
it can be boring.
If you do something slow enough,
and hence have time
to pay attention to subtle
in how you are using say breath,
and ribs,
and spine
and pelvis,
and eyes
each time you move,
to me,
that's a chance to learn,
and it's interesting.

And after about a minute at most,
the slow repetitions
will stop,
and you
can savor
what you have learned in a resting position.

And then, there is
the same theme,
but with a different twist.

So unlike an "exercise"
same, same, same.
This is slow, pay attention,
something different, slow, pay attention,
something different.

To some,
this might not have enough razzem dazzem
so be

For me,
this is fantastic.

To some it's boring.

Oh, well.

The chance to learn
and be aware
is not for everyone.

Thus is life.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New life: learning, or upgrading our robot?

hike in twilight christmas day

As per my
version of life on Earth:

we have three choices:

high functioning robot

low functioning robot

awake person

The huge temptation
in all the "healing" and "helping" work
is to give people a program
a recipe
a rule
a set of rules
that will get them from low functioning robot
to high functioning

believe it or not
this even happens in the Feldenkrais world,
though hopefully not
in the Wake Up Feldenkrais world

one example of this
is a back help DVD
which luckily I get to return,
and i will return
because though purporting to be
a blend of Feldenkrais and Physical Therapy
ends up giving people
set rules
and set programs for their legs and hips
as the way out of back pain

it might even work,
except this isn't "working"
the way a baby learns to crawl
by discovering and exploring
and having deep organic
natural learning

this is:
I'll show you the Right Way
which is quicker
and maybe makes immediate changes more
but in the long run,
you've just substituted a higher level
of automatic behavior

So, now
today's main topic:
a new fad on Feldy Forum
is the combo of Feldenkrais and
when Moshe Feldenkrais met Milton Erickson
whom i've written about in my healthetc blog
( see
Ericksonian hypnosis
which actually presents a picture of hypnosis
as a more aware process than
I'm critiquing in the following mini-essay)

anyway both are genius
and both access new behaviors
and allow people to make amazing shifts

and here's what i came across in an
old Feldenkrais Journal (#8, 1993)
from an article called
Getting Ourselves Out of Trance
a book review by Carl Ginsburg
of the book :
Trances People Live: Healing Approaches
in Quantum Psychology

(excuse me while i gag myself a little for the "quantum"
but hey,
this was before Deepak
and the Secret
and what the bleep bleep):

Anyway, here's a central quote from the book:
Really Important,
I opine:

"In the Ericksonian model, I learned that trance states
could be induced or facilitated as a therapeutic intervention
to interrupt the symptom structure
and access
unconscious potentials and resources.

In my breakthrough moment
those puzzle pieces came together in an entirely new pattern:

I saw that although trance states can be used
to evoke resources and change
on an unconscious level,
they can also be --are used--
to create the symptomatology with which we all struggle.

I saw that the person who brings his or her problems
and symptoms
to me
is already in a trance state, and
it is this very trance state that is interrupting
his or her experience of the present moment,
blocking unconscious problems and symptoms.

The therapeutic intervention then involves working
with the trance state
the person has already created
(which de-hypnotizes them)
rather than inducing or facilitating another
kind of trance that may or may not
be pivotal to the patient's symptom structure."

La, la:
this means:
in we go,
in a trance:

do we want to come out with a
better trance
(witness the popularity of trance dance,
and even trance dance yoga)

or do we want to come

rhetorical question
that we can be asleep
when we give
what sounds like
the Right Answer


if you peruse
the links
you'll find one to an article
by Mark Reese,
may his soul rest in Peace,
on Milton and Moshe.