Thursday, November 25, 2010


thanks Moshe
and all the babies
of the world
Mozarts one and all
making the new from scratch and sniff
and push and shove

gravity is the game
we learn to play

and then the love

some learn

most don't

oh, well:

if you are a practitioner:
love every stuck pain confusion
chance to learn

every "un-nice" person
who tells you something you
don't want to hear

every place the client's body "can't"

All God
a chance to dive into reality


if you aren't a practitioner,
yes you

in what?

give thanks for all that
then be silent
and let
the thanks

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

does this poem, from, tell tons about giving a good lesson?

yes. ( and there is more to a lesson than just learning from the I don't know
but it's a start.

and without upgrading action, too, it's not a real lesson)

Austin geology: Southwest Parkway

today's poem
in the usual place
we get stuck, mind, body, thinking, feeling:
this needs to be better
this shouldn't be like this
this arm shouldn't...
this relationship shouldn't...
this world shouldn't...

that place

a ripe place,
good poop crap shit
for the compost of:


the good old turn it around question
the good old wake up
to God = Reality = who rules the scene anyway?

as a friend says:
when i argue with God I
but only 100% of the time

and so
the way out of stuck
is always
"right around the corner"
but not "right" as in right vs wrong
that takes too long, too much suffering a lifetime
of agony

but the  right around
like nearby
right around the corner
from our stuckness
from our suffering is
the question:

Is it True?

Tis it true,
tis it true
tis it true,

Is this thought idea belief batch of blah blah in my head
is it reality
(sigh: once more)
the good old
blah, blah?

And the answer

Is "Nah," and we're free

or, "I don't know"
and we're in the world

well: you look feel sense notice

what's it for you,
the "I don't know" world?

when you are in the "I don't know" world
and you don't have the story you "should" know

what's it like?

the verbal answer to that can even
"I don't know"
what it's like to be in the "I don't know" world
which is consistent, if nothing

and it's more

a lot more

because without the words
and with the question:
What's it like to be in the "I don't know" world:

 what's your experience

what's your experience


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cure vs Improvement

I've been exploring this for a long time on this blog,
and here,
in re-reading "The Case of Nora," good old Moshe Feldenkrais lays it on thick,
and with a variation I'd never really articulated,
an understanding of people's preference to be "asleep,"
although he doesn't call it that.

Watch this though:

From Case of Nora, page 51:

Nora wanted or expected cure, not improvement.

"Improvement" is a gradual bettering which has no limit.

"Cure" is a return to the previously enjoyed (practiced) state of activitiy,
which need not have been excellent or even good.

The habitual and familiar we do not question; improvement we grade.

The former is the automatic background for our system; the latter is the
foreground of our awareness.

The two are different dimensions. One is an atavistic sensation;
the other is a learned knowledge that gives us freedom of
which is the major prerogative of Homo sapiens."

That's the quote.

I've often said it like this:
people plod along at some state like negative 3, but
it feels normal.

Then they get in an accident or some such, and plummet
to negative 6.

They want to be cured, put back to negative three,
rather than slowly getting better, negative 6, negative 5, negative 4,
and on and on, plus one, plus two, plus three, and so on.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

side to side: head and ribs and pelvis as a sweet happy aware of each other team

Side to side seems easy
often people get "confused."

Good. As our buddy Albert E says:
"Show me someone who's never made a mistake
I'll show you someone who's never learned anything."

One of the key principles of this work is
to sort of groove
on unknowning
relish ambiguity
to get
about the state of :
what is going on?

In that state,
we can be new
if we are honest
that's always the characteristic of being "now."

side to side.

Sit forward in a chair, both feet on the floor, spine straightish and feeling
as if it is holding up your head.

Lean a tad forward so you could hop up or to the side

Now,  here, more or less on your skeleton,
play with this difference:

Head rotating left and right

Head tilting left and right

In the ROTATION, your nose goes left and right

In the TILTING, your nose stays straight ahead and your eyes tilt
so that when you tilt your head to the left, your right eye goes
up a bit and your left eye goes down.

In all movement lessons, always go "less than your limit."
About 80% at most.
And much less force than you think you need. At cut out
half the force, maybe more.
And go slowly: at least half as slowly as habitual.

And all that slow, and soft and less than limit

At habitual speed, force and cranking out to the limit,
no learning is going to take place.
You'll be a great donkey, but
why throw away the greatest anti-entropy organ
in the universe (that we know so far): the human brain.

Your brain.

So: to repeat: slow,  gentle, less than your limit. Always in something
you want to improve. For awhile at least.

Do the titling very slowly and feel / sense what is going
on in your neck
Be really honest if you are rotating your nose and neck, too.

Go back and forth: rotating, and tilting,
so that you can really, slowly and deliciously tell the difference.

2. Good. Rest. Sit upright, eyes closed and feel what a small
amount of aware and soft and learning oriented and not going to the limit
can do to organize your whole system.

3. Now play with your ribs, as such:
take each hand to the ribs on the opposite side,
and sitting upright,
pull your ribs first to the right,
and then to the left.

As per always: slow, gentle, less than limit.
Notice the shape your spine makes when your ribs go
left and when the go right.
Notice which verterbrae move and how.
Notice any tendency to shift your weight as this happens.

4. Rest and sense yourself.
Notice shifts in breathing, ease, sense of your spine  etc.

5. Combine tilt your head and bringing your ribs right and left,
so that you begin to understand


Well: go slow, gentle, aware and less than limit and explore this:
As your head tilts to the left,
pull your ribs gently, slowly, awarely to the right,
so you feel as if the tilting in your neck goes all the way down
your spine making a crescent shape in your whole back.

Go slowly , and at first just do this head tilting to the left (go slowly and gently enough
to catch yourself if you start to rotate the head, and then stop:
just tilt)
as your ribs in the middle are pulled to the right.
Notice that the top ribs and bottom ribs go to the left.

Really explore.
You get an A+ no matter "how you do."
See how delicious you can make this:
tilt your head left to involve you whole torso.

6. Now rest.
I know we haven't tilted right yet. Good.
Notice if the two sides feel difference
and notice any additional sweetness to your whole

7, Now come back to readiness to move,
and IMAGINE tilting your head to the right, while
you pull the middle ribs to the left.
IMAGINE this several times
and then do it ONCE.
Notice in the doing what you skipped in imagination.
Imagine it again.
Do it again.
and once more: imagine, filling in more and more.
Do it once and see what you missed.

8. Rest.

9. Now, hands on ribs, IMAGINE going left and right tilt
with your head as the ribs make your spine into a long
Then do this both ways a number of times.
Each time see if you can feel and notice and enjoy
something new.

10. Rest and feel all of you.

11. If you want to stop, this is a nice place to get up and take a walk.
If you want to continue, all good movement needs
to include the pelvis, so come back later, or forge ahead now to
the seat of you.

Notice your pelvis.
Shift your weight to the right "sit bone" and raise your left hip
a little off the chair.
Now shift to the left "sit bone" and raise your right hip
off the chair.
Go slowly.
Do this a number of times just raising the right hip and pressing in the left.
And then a number of times just raising the left hip and pressing down
the right.

12. Rest

13. Now, make the crescent shape of tilt your head
the full spine by practicing, exploring, enjoy this:

tilt your head to the left
pull the middle ribs to the right
(noticing the bottom ribs and top ribs going left)
put your weight on the right side off your pelvis
so your left hip can raise and complete the crescent shape
in your back.

Just do this way a number of times.
Until it is delicious.

14. Rest and feel your breathing and your spine.

15. as above, IMAGINE  doing the tilt to the right:
head tilt to the right
middle ribs to the left,
right side of pelvis up and toward the right ear
left side of the pelvis pressing down.

Now DO IT ONCE and compare to the imagining.
Go back and forth with doing and improving your
imaginary version.

16. Rest.

17. Go tilting of the whole spine both right
and left,
be slow, gentle, less than the limit, aware,
looking for pleasure and learning each time.

18. Rest.

19. If you really want some fun,
go through the whole thing again, at
each step singing some simple song
you love to sing.

20. Feel yourself in sitting. Compare to the beginning.

21. Come forward onto your feet and stand. Shift weight to the
left and right and see if something solid and easy and connected
has occurred in you.
Walk around.

enjoy you day and your life.

I take questions via email
and invent these lessons to suit what's bothering


Friday, November 05, 2010

Turning and Learning, Again? Sure, why not.

A bit of bio and a sweet turning while sitting opportunity to “wake up” to spine, life, movement…and more.

From October 17, 2009 to October 16, 2010 I lived mainly on an amazing island in the Pacific Northwest by the name of Orcas Island. I will write about it again in April when I go back for the summer.

Now it is fall, turning into winter. I am in Texas and a supposedly magically part of Texas, by the name of Austin. Austin was reputed to be the Berkeley of Texas, and many people said it would be amazing,  and it has been.


I came knowing two people who couldn’t get back to me and stayed three nights with a wonderful couple who didn’t know me but where willing to take a couchsurfing chance on me. This was Bridgette and John. We liked each other and I weeded their garden and gave the Bridgette “lessons” I teach, a form of gentle and awakening body brain movement from the Feldenkrais Method® and the Anat Baniel Method.

She and her husband found me my next stranger with whom to stay and marvelous raconteur and permaculture activist and Texas good old boy if someone who was an MD and PhD and threw them away because of wanting real healing outside of allopathic medicine can be called a “good old boy.”
Anyway. That was Ted. I cleaned Ted’s refrigerator, a more daunting process than you might imagine, and gave him some lessons and he was grateful and pleased and we turned out to be kindred and brotherly friends.

And Ted led me to Sonora, a bright transplanted star from Missouri, who raised four children in Austin and teaches voice and piano out in southwest Austin right next to the Waldorf school (where she sent all her kids). And Sonoma has room to store me for the winter, a teenagers’ house with the teenagers gone and some land we are going to turn into a garden and now I’m ready to stop talking writing about me and let the focus be on you and how you can wake up to your body and ease and pleasure and learning in the moment.

That’s our life. This being in the moment is our life, whether we notice it or not.
Many enjoy noticing it and find freedom and pleasure and ability to love and forgive and be creative and discover the joy of the new when they are present.

We’re all going to die, and each moment is a gift and a miracle, and moving slowly and with attention can wake us to that miracle. And if the movements are designed to pattern and reawaken natural “functions” that make our life full and vital and easy, as the movements are in the Feldenkrais Method and the Anat Baniel Method, then this waking up can be not only a coming to the present, but an upgrading of your whole nervous system so that we feel younger and taller and lighter and more at home in our “bodies” and brains after the little lesson.

And here’s one.
Here’s a game in which you can begin to come back to you.

What a gift.

One: sit at ease at the forward edge of your chair. Feel your arms and legs and spine and pelvis and ribs and head. Sense yourself. Sense your breathing. Be aware of being alive. Be aware of being aware.

Two: turn your head to the right and to the left, slowly and easily and less than the limit Go for pleasure and learning and awareness. “Range of motion” is a strange and awful trap. Don’t fall for it. Slow into the delicious present of each time you move being brand new. Notice differences in turning right and turning left. Notice differences as you slow and ease into paying more clear and curious attention. Notice the moment.
Notice being alive.
Rest. Feel what slow and attentive movement can do for your mind and body.
It is good.

Three: turn your head, in sitting more or less upright, just to the left and back to the middle. Several times. Each time slowly and with pleasure and learning.

Four: put your hands each under the opposite arm pit, so you feel your ribs. Now slowly turn to the left and back to the center. Sometimes just turn “the head.” Sometimes pull the ribs to the left so that your torso and head are a team.
Go slowly. Gently. Pleasurably. With learning.
Notice your spine in all its 24 vertebrae glory.
Notice the difference in “just head,” and head neck and torso and ribs as team.
Rest. In the middle. Eyes closed. Sensing the all of you experience: head spine arms legs pelvis ribs feet hands breathing.

Five. Take the hands the same way as above and rotate your ribs to the left, not to the gosh darned “limit,” but over there comfortably, and leave your ribs and torso and sternum facing that way.
Now like this, rotate slowly your head back toward the center, and then a little to the left of where your chest is pointing.
The usual: slow, gentle, pleasure, learning.
Come back to the center and rest.

Six: Take your head and eyes to the left and let them rest comfortably there. And now, hands on opposite side ribs as before, rotate your ribs to the left and back to the center, keeping your head to the left.
Slow, gentle, pleasure, each time new and a learning.
Rest in the center.

Seven. Tilt side to side as you sit, so that your weight is sometimes on your right “sit bone” and sometimes on your left. Enjoy this. Think of the “sit bones” as the two feet on which you stand when you sit.
Enjoy this.
Slow, gentle, etc.

Eight: Tilt to the left sit bone and stay there , and with your weight over there, begin to bring your right knee forward, by pushing your right hip forward. Go gentle. If you don’t get it, just imagine something, anything. But go slowly, and keep your right foot on the ground, and slowly push your right knee a little bit forward and then back and then forward again so you feel your hips rotating to the left.
Go really slowly. Go really gently. Don’t demand you “get it” if you don’t. Find the pleasure. Find the learning.

Nine: Take your hands to the opposite arm pits and rotate the torso to the left and when there, tilt to the left sit bone and bring the right knee forward, and stay rotated in both hip and torso, and now bring your eyes left and right while your head stays pointing where it’s pointing. Many times. Slow and easy.

Ten: sit in ease and awareness. Turn your head to the left with maybe knowing your ribs can help, maybe knowing your pelvis can help, maybe knowing your eyes can help.
Take lots of time to enjoy this.
Take a mini rest.
Turn both right and left and notice the difference.

Eleven: stand up and walk around and see if somehow life isn’t lighter and brighter and more clear and happy and easy for you.


Monday, November 01, 2010

the newness of learning aka transformation

Color boats on Barton Creek, in Austin, TX

This system
this work
is based on  learning.

Learning means realizing
a difference
that makes a difference.

That's a nice thing to know.

People come to us practitioners,
and they have aches, and pains:

Our job is not to undo the ache, and pain,
but to provide an umbrella of upgrading
that allows them to function in a way
that makes the pain

That can mean a whole
of themselves

Which is to say:
becoming a new person.

Scary, in a way,
not "whole new person,"
just new, in functioning with more connection,
ease, awareness and pleasure.

Which is new?

And what are humans about?
Lots of us
want to change
as long as we don't have to change.

Oh, well.

Something's got to shift
and in the world
what if
that change seems riddiculous or scary or impossible

In the present
we don't even notice
we are new

we just are

And boy:
doesn't sitting around in groups
that talk
about how profound they are
because they done made these shifts
in the past:  BORING.

and to be present:
free fall,
not what we expected

and with a flavor we
even know

the flavor:
our real selves

And does that have anything to do with
and being
present to moving
with more ease, grace, skill and pleasure?