Wednesday, March 30, 2011

for love of Now: or Awareness unlocks the door

what door?
what lock?

let's say a shoulder is "stuck"
or a mood, like depressed
or a life, like doing the same job someone doesn't like
or a relationship, where A says xxx and B says yyy and A says zzzz
and they get all huffy angry sad
even how they react is a rut

so, life can be rutted
can be stuck

what is the way out?

well the other day,
my gal was in a funk
and I said, oh good,
you are de pressing yourself,
pressing yourself down

how could you do it more?

she came up with some answers:

talk more harshly to herself

tighten chest and belly more

cut off breathing more

I suggested, make the tone of the inner voice more unpleasant

we came up with, dont' see the blue sky
or remember any joy

and so what?

so, by exploring making things "worse"
she's not only laughing her head off,
but realizing, that this "depression" thing
has parts,
and any part she can make "worse"
she can do less of

so  that's an unstuck thing

and with a stuck

ah, so much fun
with a shoulder and our neck
or our ribs
or our spine
or our pelvis

how to get shoulder and these
to know each other,
move in the "easy" way,
the opposite of that way

what sorts of multiple layers of possibilities
can we create

and any old stuck thing:

how to get more stuck

what connections to some other part, way, understanding, approach
might we add on

where will curiosity and discovery take us?

we don't know

can we tolerate the "I don't know"
that sets us free?

I hope so

This is short today,
on a plane back to Austin

the book is pretty good,
link above to the contents

108 ways to play with new actions
toward a more enjoyable
and free
and interesting life


Monday, March 28, 2011

subset of Monday post at special needs children blog, a movement lesson/ demo

On Monday's I post at

here's a movement lesson subset, just to keep building the repertoire of them
on this blog

see Movement Lessons in this blog, for the whole gamut

okay, here's the lesson:

back away from the computer a bit and lift both your right and
left arm one at a time
from your knee, forward and up in front of you

go slowly and notice the difference

pick the arm that is easiest
lift in again up and forward again
8 times

2 times rocking forward on your pelvis as you lift

2 lifts pushing out your belly and smiling and releasing your belly
as you lift

2 times feeling the ribs on that side as you life

and 2 time actually looking down with your head and pushing out your belly
while you lift

then sit quietly

sense both sides

then lift both arms

feel the difference

be happy and excited for yourself and your child
if you have one

you have not been fixed

one side has a lot more connection of
you to you to brain to you to you
than the other

doesn't learning feel great?

short and sweet

happy Monday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

arms and legs from the middle

Lie on your back.

1. Take a beginning impression: here I am.

2. Feel the surface below you.
Feel the top and bottom of you.
Feel the front and back of you.
Feel the breathing of you.
Feel/ sense ( all feel above= sense) the five lines:
2 legs
2 arms
1 spine
Sense your breathing

2.b.Take a next impression: here I am after scanning myself.

3. put a weight or rock in each hand and place both hands above your head,
which means, up in the opposite direction that your feet are down,
as if standing,
so up in lying means hands on the floor above you

rock in each hand

lift the right arm and rock and little bit
feel/ sense this
not high
breathe out as you lift toward the sky
keep doing this until the sensation of doing this from the middle of your stomach oecurs to you
rest a lot
feel ribs back stomach stomach muscles shoulder
leave your head on the floor
make this pleasure

rest ( leave the rocks up there on the floor or ground
and bring the arms down beside yourself each time you rest)

4. Lift your left leg slowly and easily
and just a little
and many times
and slowly
and gently
and find pleasure
and feel the stomach as the center of this

breathe out as you lift toward the sky


5. Lift both right arm plus rock and left leg
feel the connection through your diagonal
the usual:
breathe out as you lift toward the sky
low effort
not much distance
lots and lots of awareness
and learning
and pleasure


6. roll to your belly
same rocks in each hand, same hands and arms above the head on the floor

Same sequence:

lift your right arm and bunch of times as above
feel this into your back
push out your belly
try with tight abs, tight belly
try with loose and relaxed belly
get to know and love your anti-gravity muscles
pause halfway up,
and make the lift low, as only a couple of inches
so pause at one inch
breathe easily
breathe out as you lift toward the sky
move your head side to side,
with your eyes going in the opposite direction
finish going up
notice going down, even two inches is a movement


7. Lift your leg slowly, which leg, your left leg
all the same slow, feel into back, release stomach muscles,
use your back,
breathe out as you lift toward the sky
awareness expanding
pleasure increasing

many times


8. Right arm with weight, left leg
breathe out as you lift toward the sky
learn how beautiful and awake to the present
slowly and aware can be
enjoy your back
and the diagonal that is so intrinsic to walking
and throwing a ball
and all sorts of other moves

many times


9. Go back to your belly
and two times do each
the arm
the leg
arm and leg as before right arm, and left leg


10/ take impression of yourself now
notice differences:

one: the right arm left leg diagonal and the left arm/ right leg diagonal

two: the youness of you now vs before the lessons


The importance of options

Something goes wrong
in our emotional world,
and it's usually a rift on the same darn thing:
we don't get out way,
don't get what we want,
someone disapproves of us,
or doesn't like us,
and the last too are just:
Me no get my way,
once more.

What are our options:
The downhill slide: discouraged, angry, sad, withdrawn

And then real options:
curiosity: what's with the person

Being present: oh, well, they are what they are and I'm in the
of my breathing
and sensing gravity
and knowing my arms and legs and spine

the joy of a movement lesson

or taking a walk

or remembering all the things we love

or doing the Katie work and seeing that what the "other" is
"doing wrong"
is something we do, too

All these options
stopping/ pausing/ inhibiting the automatic downhill slide
using more of ourselves: attention, thinking, moving

And now we return to the world
of eliminating pain
and refining and making elegant and pleasurable our moving
and our

and guess what:
it's the backing off from the way we always do it
and using more attention
trying a new action
adding on the whole of ourselves to our movement
using less effort and more awareness
using less speed and more awareness
taking rests, being aware of the moment
at one with ourselves

This is short and not "enough" if you came here
looking for a deep insight today
think of times you turned around an emotional deal
that could have gone bad
times you released yourself from physical pain
or used classes or private lessons to

an think of times
you created something new and amazing in
your life

and YOU
search for the commonalities

happy hunting

and won't it be fun,
this looking for how we work
when we work well
instead of the "normal" way
of paying gobs of attention on how we "Don't do well."

maybe even apply the principals
you are discovering
to the next
new thing
that is coming into your life?

what is that?

And if you don't know,
aren't you lucky,
you'll get to find out

and I said I'd have an invented lesson for you today:
check back way later in the day
and i'll have one

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday's posting at my new special needs children blog

Even on the road
and out in CA
being support staff for Anat's amazing new training
I'm getting out my blogs

On Mondays
it's now my new special needs children blog

Tidbits from Anat's first day,
not counting the movement lessons and
the hands on the spine demo:

Moshe Feldenkrais invented his system
when his cruciate (? spelling) ligaments
on one knees were worthless.

What did he do:
thought through
and then set out to discover
how human beings could walk ,  stand and move
if they all didn't have cruciate ligaments.

This about how our work can use
brain plasticity
and learning
and awareness to have suberb
function even though
"Something is wrong"

Two: In the middle of the first movement lesson,
which she calls TMLs
Transformative Movement Lessons,
which can sound pretentious until you experience
how one is taught
she was coaxing and or demanding people slow down
and she told the story
of a young boy
who come to her very limited
and by six
was amazing and could speak 2 and a half languages
and did better work in school
that all the other kids,
except he was slow

So his teacher,
wants him to speed up
and work as fast as the other kids,
whose work isn't as good

Anat, via the parent back to the teacher
teach the other kids to slow down,
so they too can do excellent work

I'll have an invented lesson for you all


And a little p.s. in here:
Anat's book, though simplified a bit,
gives a grand overview of how lifelong learning
takes place
in a 90 year old
in a world class athlete or musician
and in a special needs child.

Here is is:'

Move Into Life

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

new blog, a movement lesson in using your hip and brain

I have started a new blog, on Mondays,
about special needs children.
It's label is

The first posting was about a 5 session weekend I spent
with an 11 month old baby, of name Maggie

there's some pictures
like this:

And here's today's message/ essay/ idea

This is the one thing I recommend to people to improve
it's this simple movement:

Lie on your back

Start with the nicest, easiest, least injured leg,
bring that foot to standing
push on that foot

here's the start:
foot pushes into "ground"
(like life, eh, standing up for yourself,
getting grounded,
moving forward)

(weird things happening in blogger, enjoy the big foot standing demo)

push with that foot,
rotate your hip to the opposite direction,
push your belly out
(try it with belly tight)
and sense, feel, notice, enjoy, improve:

foot connection to "ground"
what happens in ankle
in knee
in hip joint
in pelvis
in lower spine
in mid spine
in ribs
in upper spine,

which way does your head want to turn

do it slow

and sense at least 6 areas,
one by one
foot and toes
hip joint

and coming back down,
is a movement too
sense at least six areas,
both one at a time
all at once as you come down

lengthen your leg
feel the differences
then do the other side


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What Can We Learn, Right Now

All this moving and learning
is so great

and then the grand question:
why aren't we in awareness and learning
all the time?

Think about how great you feel when you do a movement
BE curious: what would it be like to be
that all
the time

Or, hey, since perfection and always
is the hobgoblin of the attached ego mind:
more of the time.

(Remember the discussions in here about "getting better"
as a lifelong joy
vs "getting it Right" as lifelong hell).

So, you sit in front of a computer reading this.
I sit in front of a computer writing this.

What shift can we create by awareness and variation
and a bit of playful exploration?

What shifts if we become aware of our breathing?

Notice this isn't about: Thou shalt be aware of thy breathing.

This is about: what shifts when we become aware,
this now,
even before this sentence ends,
as this sentence is unfolding,
of each breath?

It goes in.
It goes out.

We don't command it, and it goes
and goes.


And curiosity is our game here:
what shifts when we wake up to our breathing?

Okay, that's one.
Next must be two:

Let's do two things at once as per the hint
of the number two.

Let's look up, and beyond the computer, and look for the farthest away
thing we can see.
Let's pay attention to how we use our backs to be part of/
or not to be part of looking up and beyond.

And then come back to the computer.
Two objects of attention in looking: the computer, the up a bit and farthest away thing,
and two places of attention in our bodies: our neck shifting
and something happening or not happening in our bodies.

rest a bit, and see how the idea of following our breathing is faring.

Good, breathing awareness in the movements and in the reading this
and in the rests and in and out throughout your day
THAT BEING AWARE of your breathing brings.

Pleasure should/ could/ might/ delightfully be a motivator in
our lives, think you / feel you not?

feel your pelvis on the chair.
Rock forward and back a bit on your pelvis,
and then make this more pronounced by pulling in your belly and
slumping down a bit in the front
as you rock back on your pelvis
and then
when you rock forward on your pelvis
push your belly out a bit
and raise your sternum some.

Do this slump and unslump
back and forth
two ways:

way the first:
breathe out as you slump down
breathe in as you unfurl up

way the second:
breathe in (feel it in your back lower ribs area) as you slump down,
breathe out as you rise up and push your belly forward

and breathe
and notice
whatever you notice

Now combine
looking up beyond your computer
to the farthest thing away
with unfurling a bit and pushing your belly forward,
and then don't curl up/ slump,
but do come back just a little on your pelvis
as you look at the computer
and then come forward on your pelvis a bit as you look up
and let your belly come forward

This is enough for playing with now
and movement today.

I hope you enjoy this.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A learning/ awakening game for a tennis player

Stand easily as if about to hit a right handed
forehand shot,
which is to say,
left foot forward and toward your direction of hitting,
right foot back, and more or less, facing to the right
of the direction you want to hit.

Pretend to have a tennis racket in your right hand
and come back for the swing
in this and all movements of this lesson,
go at about a third to a fifth of your normal speed.

Bring your right hand and arm back,
and feel the weight shifting into your right foot.

Do this several times, from arm in "neutral" to arm
and feel the shifting of weight in both the left and right feet.


Do this again,
and see if you can differentiate the various areas
of your foot
where this pressure is in each foot.

Both preparing to hit,
and coming back to neutral.

Now come back as if to hit,
all the while going so slowly
you can feel what's happening in your feet,
and add on
awareness of your pelvis and ribs and arms and eyes.

In other words, come back, aware of all of your body,
keeping special focus on the pattern of weight bearing in
each foot.

This time
aware of feet

take a practice forehand shot all the way through,
and go so slowly you can track
and be aware of
your feet, hips, pelvis
ribs neck back
arm hand
head and eyes.

Do this with your eyes open
and your eyes closed.

Once you get a deep and true
and hopefully pleasurable map in your brain
of how you do this,
begin to swing in pretend
at slow speed
and create variations:

sometimes your pelvis keeps moving and the arm lags back,
sometimes you take an entire swing and keep your weight back on your right foot,
sometimes you let your arm get ahead of your pelvis
sometimes you raise your head up "too high"
sometimes you let your head drop down so your chin in on your chest

and in these
and any other variations
feel your feet
and toes
and neck and back and pelvis
and hip joints
and knees
and arms and shoulders
(what about the "unused arm, and it's shoulder blade,
what about the lower and upper ribs on both sides)
and head and eyes

Is your mouth and jaw and neck
are your eyes

Can you keep feel exactly what's happening
in your feet
and pelvis?

Do this, rest, do this rest.

in the same stance,
play with a left handed back hand.
All the pieces and patterns as above.

Then switch around to face the other way
and play/ experience/ experiment/ discover
first a
right handed back hand
a left handed forehand.

This can take at least half an hour
and can be like a meditation.

Afterward walk
or nap

Stay away from cars and computers
and even the "real" tennis racket.

Just let your learning sink in.

Get excited about all you don't know
and how much you can learn the next time you
play this game.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Landmark Forum thoughts, with two links to Moshe

Link one:
in Potent Self,
the contradiction between being in school
forced to be a good little robot
learning about "great people" in history
exactly those who threw off their robot

Link Two:
Werner at an EST gathering saying
"All you asshole don't even know how to walk"
and Moshe's reactions to that:

read on,
if you wish,
and don't stone me
if Landmark changed your life

the technology is there
but there's a reason so many people are repulsed
by the cult thing
(hey, it even happens when we practitioners really
"get into" Feldenrkais. or Anat Baniel)

here goes

Well, I went to the Intro Evening
which with diabolically clever packaging,
was the last 3 hours of a weekend training

people were all whoopie do about their 
and for some good reasons

and their last night assignment:
bring in the newbies

and it clearly had 
(recall a statement I annoying make now and then,
our three choices as humans:
low grade robots, high grade robots, awake--
worked meant, it appeared to me, radically upgraded robots)

And yet,
and yet,
this work is obviously hugely effective
for those
not having done anything like the work of Byron Katie
or encountered, apparently,
the difference between attachment and non attachment
or story vs not believing the story
or identification with programming vs not identifying

a huge gob of people
had woken up to their pre-judging
and had made phone calls to parents
and so on
apologizing for narrow mindedness

needless to say,
lots of breakthrough

but back to the diabolical
because the "sharing" some of these breakthroughs,
plus the clever pitch that this was an invitation not a demand
and then throwing in some hints about the power of
realizing we are run by our "view" of reality
and the frenzy built

and by the end
the pressure was on:
if you came,
as a guest and didn't sign,
your life was forever lost, you'd blown it,
you really were making a mistake

huge pressure
after the promise of no pressure

I'll talk some in tomorrow's slow sonoma essay
on the difference between trying to push (hard)
someone to give up their story (done in the example time
at the end by Mr Trainer, an ex-Marine with all the 
suitable breakthroughs)
and Byron Katie's loving the person with and without their
and having no attachment to them "getting it"
doing her work

But, if you've come this far,
the thing,
and the way it's set up for a lifetime of associates
and friends who all "get it"
in the way of Landmark speak/ understand/ breakthrough
(dating services, huge crowds, endless keep up with it courses)

reminds me of Moshe in Potent Self
 talking of "great men" in history,
studied in books in school
in exact circumstances to stiffle the originality
and thinking for themselves that made the "great men"
(or women, of course)

the wild weird contraction:
wanting to bring freedom
to a herd
and not giving them the internal experiences
that say
a movement lesson
could give

leaves people in a weird bind
almost a double bind

 a cult devoted to deprogramming you from the ongoing

I'll have to mull it over
because it's fun seeing how useful and effective their 
work is
and how
convoluted the pressure to bring in everyone you know
is compared to / distinct from the thrust for freedom

and if you are still reading
here's a
story from Denis Leri on Moshe at an EST
and Werner up front ranting about "all you assholes don't
even know how to walk"
and Moshe standing up and walking across the floor
"All you assholes except one don't know how to walk."

And now,
ala Landmark:
an ad for "something to buy"

over to the right
a book
an ebook
written by yours truly,
has 108 practical and deep
activities/ meditations/ games
to "Wake Up"

there's links to a table of contents
and plenty of chance to try out the first eight

go there and play/ learn/ wake up
if you so wish

no cult approval for having done
and then again
it might up your happiness/ being present
which, after all,
is the main
"inner weather" of our own going life

that and love
and there's TONS
in the book to improve love



Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Feldenkrais' Contribution to Humanity: Gurdjieff, Jesus, Buddha, Moshe and more !!!!

What was the Buddha's contribution to humanity?

That we live, as it were, behind a glass darkly,
hidden from our real lives,
in a slumbering existence,
disconnected from the Present,
and that from that,
ta da
we can Wake Up.

What was Jesus' contribution?

Well, that gets messy:
it could be the lesson that beautiful words
can lead to ugly Inquisitions,

or it could be the idea
that this is possible:
Love your neighbor,
Love your enemy,
Let go of all your possessions,
come into the Kingdom of Heaven,
which is within us right now.

that's sort of spiritual stuff, isn't it?

Why am I setting up Moshe,
a great skeptic in these matters
in such a way?


one: various places it has been said that he mentioned
in an unpublished Playboy interview (wouldn't he have been
great there?) that Gurdjieff was his foremost influence.

And what was Gurdjieff about?

We are asleep,
wandering along with no real center
at the mercy of every tide that sways
first one personality one way
and then some other personality the other.

solution: remember ourselves and wake up

and Gurdjieff also said,
to the staid St Petersburg crowd to whom
he taught in the early part of the 20th Century:
what we are after
is to be real Christians,

by which I'd say he meant,
really able to love

And what's that go to do with rolling around on the floor?
And being touched very gently and with great intelligence
and listening?
Or touching others with gentle intelligent listening?


Say you clarify rolling your head to the right,
and lifting it just slightly.

And you stand your feet,
and clarify tipping your knees to the right, so that
your right knee falls almost to the floor,
or to the floor.

And say you get this idea of the , of your, left arm coming across you
to the right,
as you lift your left shoulder and bring it forward and down

and you begin to do
legs to the right
and left arm to the right
and head to the right and toward your right knee as if to
kiss it

and your right elbow kicks in as something like a hand,
and you
go slowly
and roll your head so it is near and then above your
right knee
you are something like sitting
and then you are sitting

You have changed.

You were a lying down person.

Now you are a sitting up person.

You know and love and like
and understand your arms better,
your head better
your knees and legs and pelvis better
and they
with your awareness and knowing
all come together
and you are sitting from lying down.

That's change.

That's practical being present.

That's loving yourself in this way of a child:
oh yeah, let's just lie in the sun
and all is groovy,
but let's learn to jump across a pond,
let's learn to climb a tree,
let's learn to fingerpaint with a new color,

it's the love of life
that comes from expanding out into more
of living

And is that like Buddha?

yes. Waking up in perhaps its easiest form,
with aware movement.

And is it like Jesus loving the enemy?
But it does take you away from all thought
of enemy
and help you make friends with all sorts
of parts of your body
and when you body feels sweet and friendly to
is it easier to love anyone
and everyone.

I'd say so.
You say what you want to say.

But if we are all a genius inside
and were that genius when we were children
learning to roll over
and come to sit
and crawl
and walk
and talk

surely recovering that genius
(and didn't Jesus say, become like the little children)
again, is
to my mind
Moshe's gift to humanity:

You are never to old
to re activate
and the genius of learning that we had
as children

This is our birthright:
to be awake
to be in the joy and thrill and fun
of learning
and waking to now
and loving ourselves more
not as vague "self esteem"
but as happily more potent people
able to do something we couldn't do
an hour ago.