Thursday, July 29, 2010

Babies as learning heroes, and they ain't in any hurry


A Feldenkrais Class by Baby Liv from Irene Gutteridge on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Freedom is the other side of being a child once

The underbelly of the golden rule

Moshe Feldenkrais talks about:
(In The Potent Self)
if you want to train a bear, first you have to make it dependent; and from there talks a great deal about human childhood’s huge amounts of dependence and how that leads to frightened and constrained living, thinking feeling and moving.

And what does that have to do with the price of beans in Peru?


We are meant to be happy, I believe, and this could be right or wrong or just nonsense, or a useful lie. Doesn’t matter, I’ll say it again: we are meant to be happy.

Or saying it another way (I’m a Feldie, if I can do, think, say, feel something at least three ways: I’m not free): the underlying current, if nothing is added on is either peaceful or happy.

Or another: if we are unhappy, or in pain, it’s a grand gift of life to us that we are doing something “wrong,” i.e. we could wake up, shift something and have a “better” life.

Okay: so we are meant to be happy. Dependency is a elusive obvious undercurrent to human development.

Where to go from here?

Enjoy your life and when you don’t, look into dependence being at the root of un-enjoyment. Dependence on an idea, or the way we are using and holding ourselves, dependence on others to make us happy.

And so on

If you’re a Feldie, come up with some variations of this understanding for yourself.

See The Potent Self,  by Moshe Feldenkrais, to learn enjoy and change your life.

The Potent Self

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Up and down with a sweet twist to start the day

Awaring of twisting and awaring of lengthening

Stand somewhere pleasant, perhaps in a yard or a park. Feel your feet and ankles and pelvis and spine and legs and arms and rib cage and head. Breathe. Be present to the wonder of being in a human body.

Now, leaning your left hand on your left knee, and bending both knees, easily and with pleasure, bring your right hand down the inside of you left thigh, down towards the ground, and then bring your hand back up again. Go slowly, let your head hang loose, feel and sense your breathing, and feel how this could lengthen and release various areas in you. Feel going down and coming back up equally with pleasure.

Rest in standing. Close your eyes and feel yourself in gravity and life.

Again: left hand on left knee, take your right hand as before, down your left thigh towards the ground and this time as you come back up, keep your right hand going up and to the right, so you spiral a bit to the right as you lift your right hand above your head and to the right. Watch your hand as you do this. Go easily, and slowly.

Let your neck be soft. Go up and down with this a number of times, and after a while, stop at the bottom and gently move your head side to side, with your eyes moving opposite your head. Same at top.

Rest. Then do the other side.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What to do after the Surgery: Or, New Wine in New or Old Bottles/ Skins?


How to be kind to yourself after a “big shift”

Sometimes Life throws us what could be called a “big shift.” In the Bible Jesus talks about this “big shift” as the creation of ourselves as a new person, as New Wine. And He says, Why put the New Wine in Old Bottles, it will just go to waste that way. Put the New Wine in New Bottles.

The quote from my version of the New Testament, a highly recommended, The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas by Willis Barnstone, goes like this:

“No one pours new wine in old skins,
Since the wine splits the skins,
And both wine and skins are lost.
No, put the new wine in new skins.”

This is hugely applicable today, in the era of so many hip, shoulder, knee replacements. This is the New Wine. Because without a New Bottle, we really are not getting any where near all the benefits and improvements we could.

We had the shoulder or hip or knee surgery because we weren’t using ourselves in an ease-ful and pleasurable and efficiently masterful way. Basically, we were using our body as a neglected step-child, not really paying attention to our dis-ease and pain until they became intolerable. And truth be told, for people who don’t know about, or know and haven’t tried yet the two methods recommended here, there is often little effective that can be done.

Come to think of it, a chiropractic “adjustment” could be another way to set us up as New Wine.

And after our chiropractic help, we still haven’t addressed the underlying need to organize and sense and move in easy and efficient and pleasurable ways.

So here’s where the Feldenkrais Method, or the Anat Baniel Method come are crucial.

They are the most powerful, and most gentle ways on this planet to create inside of ourselves a new organization, a New Bottle for the New Wine of post operation, or post chiropractic. (Post alcohol, and post dis-ease, too, and during cancer and depression, and that’s a longer story, but thing of this: if we improve ease and comfort and breathing and pleasure in life, how much will that help our Whole Life.)

Almost invariably, people who have had one knee or hip replacement, need the next, and it is almost always from not having created a new organization from the one that created the stress and dis-ease and harm that necessitated the first operation.

Does that mean after two knee operations, or the second hip operation you should do FM or ABM? Only if you want to have a low level of ease, comfort, awareness and functioning for the rest of your life.

Don't worry, also from the Bible, but that doesn't mean "do nothing," it means: put your energy into love and improvement and into making the world a better place, and stop fretting. See, if you'd please, yesterday's posting: Don't Worry, Be Happy


Friday, July 09, 2010

thinking as action, life as options

This is a post from, the ongoing blog,
it is about the power of the method of Feldenkrais
in that
one: it uses thinking as an action we are doing
two: it plays with options to habitual action
three: it creates a new context (walking) for the ongoing "worry/ thinking" wasting of our lives
four: it creates a demand, taking 3 walks a day, that shuffles up our own habit of just doing what we always do


Don’t worry, be happy

In the Bible, Jesus urges people to think of the lilies of the field, urges people not to worry, counsels: Who by worrying has added an hour to their life.

And Mehr Baba said the famous: don’t worry, be happy.

And, easier said than done, though I’d venture that a vast percentage of drug and alcohol and over eating is based on trying to get the worrying to go away. Which means: it’s not easy.

Good. Something to learn.

Here’s the ticket: take a walk today, three times. That will spring you from the rushed schedule you think you have to maintain.

And on that walk, look at what is present, and listen to what is present and feel your feet on the Earth.

And notice: when does thinking as worrying creep in. When it does:

One: say hello.

Two: shift the words to a sort of gibberish that conveys the tone but not the particulars.

Three: See if a no thinking/ no word option is briefly available.

Four: one all three walks compare: empty, worded, gibberish. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Be not good, if you can stand it

In this moment,
we are neither right
nor wrong

We just are

This can be a wonder
a relief,
to just
in this moment

Because the experience
we are having
is life
and us
experiencing life

any add
is from the word world
telling us:
this is the "right"
thing to do,
or this is the "next" thing to do
(or feel, or think)

The voices telling
us what to do

What if we don't listen
and follow
our present based experience?

And if a lesson,
we are interested in
the variety of ways we
can do it

Because if one way is
then everything else is "wrong"
and there are hundreds,
millions of
"wrong" ways,
all of which
might be leading to a better
or an easier way,
a more pleasurable way.

This applies to movement lessons
almost anything


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Head pelvis, two ends of a beautiful stick, and where is awareness in all this?

Pelvis, head, spine, eyes

Sit in a chair, and do whatever you “naturally” do. Lean back, or not, sit forward in the chair or not. From that position, see if you can sense your head and pelvis and spine, and begin to do these two motions:

One: bring your nose toward your pubic bone (sex area) and tilt your pelvis (pubic bone/ any other name) toward your nose, and let your belly come in and your back round out behind you.

Two: unfurl from this, and bring your nose up, maybe toward the sky or the top of the wall or window in front of you, and push your belly out and arch your back and tilt the back of your pelvis, aka your rear end, toward the back of your head.

Go back and forth on with these two end points, looking for an easier and more interesting and pleasant way to do this movement each time you do it.

Rest after six or eight or ten or twelve times.

Then come to a sitting at the front edge of your chair, and do the round and arching, slowly and pleasantly a number of times, while moving your eyes, slowly and as continuously as you can, in the opposite way as your nose (up when nose down, down when nose up).

Rest and consider eyes and head and arching and rounding all day.