Sunday, January 28, 2007

Change and Anat

I am now redoing a training in the Feldenkrais Method, except that it is not the Feldenkrais Method. It’s the Anat Baniel Method . Anat Baniel is a woman who has known Dr. Feldenkrais since she was three years old, and out of luck and circumstance and pluck and intelligence and a certain disinclination to “fit in,” came to develop her own version of this work.

To her, this work is about miracles and about changing and transforming lives, the lives of the practitioners and the lives of their clients or patients or students, whatever you call them: people who want help. The Feldenkrais Way is not about “fixing” a shoulder, but about bringing alive connections in a whole person, in the so called “body” and the so called “brain,” bringing alive connections and easier and more biologically sound and internally pleasing and easeful ways of moving. And with these improvements , the shoulder takes care of itself.

In Anat’s work, the whole system expands out to include a discussion of the emotional issues that keep us from participating fully in the chance to change. These issues and embedded patterns / behaviors keep us from letting change unfold and transform our lives.

In her training, people get emotional, and that is “dealt” with,
not in a, “let’s stop and have a big cry fest,”
nor in "this is emotional garbage and besides the point,"
but as a chance to understand
what is keeping the sadness going,
or what is the difference between our sadness now and our original troubles,
or as a chance to clarify different degress and flavors of our sadness,

Actually, I’m not sure how all the ways Anat has of dealing with emotional issues, I just know she expects the feelings to be a big part of the process of transformation. And she is clear that the insights that make the Feldenkrais Way so powerful, can be applied to the emotional realm.

And the thinking.

If you’ve read me for awhile, you know how important I think is the Work of Byron Katie. Her work allows us to take the thoughts with which we prolong our suffering and do something with them besides fight them or believe them or even just “watch” them, as some systems suggest.

In Katie’s work we are given a way to be free of our suffering, to use the mind to heal the troubles of the mind.

In Anat’s work, we are encouraged to see the world as a place where well developed thinking is one of the strands of healing and success as a healer.

There is more to this, obviously.

I’m in the work again, starting in a third training really, since in addition to my regular four year training, I did a complete first year with the Russell Delman training as well. Now I’m up to 124 days of training beyond the 160, and 47 of those have been with Anat. The journey is sweet, re-discovering the depth to this work, and discovering a deeper and more powerful way of understanding it.

At least that’s what I think.

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