Thursday, January 06, 2011

First four games in my 108 page book, coming out in April this year

A dance of Learning:
Waking up to the Glory in us and in Life.
Are you alive? How do you know this? When you realize this miraculous “fact,” are you thrilled?
Whether or not you are thrilled, would you like to move and feel better in your body? Feel younger? Feel more flexible? Improve skills in tennis, golf, getting up from a chair, walking or running in the park?
Would you like to feel happier? Would you, could you tolerate being happy more or less all the time? Could you stand a life of loving yourself and everyone around you, no matter how “good, bad, pretty or ugly” you and they are?
Would you like to have fresher and newer thoughts? Could you, would you enjoy breaking free from various habits and doing new and unusual and non-habitual activities, and having new and unusual and non-habitual thoughts? Would you enjoy ‘thinking’ better, even to the point of having a much clearer sense of what ‘thinking’ is?
Would you like to feel more connection to your ‘real self?’ To your ‘soul?’ To your ‘higher, spiritual’ nature? Would you like the peace of mind that being free of externally and internally conditioned pictures and ideas about yourself cause? Would you like to feel the “peace that passes all understanding?” Or return to the joy in being alive that I consider everyone’s birthright?
Then, come on it to 108 Ways. This is a book of games and activities, something like meditations, to create and open you to the new and now and wonderful in yourself.
You can do one activity a day. You can do ten. You can repeat the ones you like daily or when the whim calls.
This is a feast for you. Please jump on it and thrive!!!

The Game / Activity/ Meditation Plan
We are 4 brain beings, at least. Let’s spread out the feast.
You can find many books on how to “improve” emotions, or “deepen” your spiritual practice, or “feel and move better” in your body. There are even a few books on how to think more clearly and better, though the paucity of this genre and the over-all idiocy of our level of public discourse and private conversation might say something about each other.
And that’s another topic, really, except to point out the obvious: our brains are miraculous, perhaps the most miraculous small bit of matter in the Universe, and to use them better is something we admire in Beethoven and Mozart and Shakespeare and Einstein and the Dixie Chicks.
Life is good. And thinking clearly when our conditioning wants us to accept the standard propaganda, whether political, social, or just plain old “you are not good” enough thinking, is disastrous for our world and our own happiness.
So here’s the game plan. Activity/ game/ meditation One, and five, and nine, and so on will give you a way of moving that will:
a.    bring you to the present
b.   help you move better in many aspects of your life
c.    show you how to connect to yourself in a sweeter, easier and more pleasure way
d.   more, lots more

Then, in game two, six, ten and so on, you’ll be given an emotional exercise to improve:
a.    happiness
b.   awareness
c.    love
d.   more, lots more.

Activity three, seven, eleven and so you will improve thinking such that
a.    you’ll be clearer what thinking is
b.   you’ll think about lots of things in new ways
c.    sometimes you will experience and practice ‘thinking’ without words, which is  great way to more clarity on what ‘thinking’ really is
d.   more, much more

And one the meditation/ activity/ game numbered four, eight, twelve and so on, all the way up to 108, you will have a chance to nourish your ‘soul,’ to the tune of more
a.    happiness & peace & love
b.   connection to emptiness & freedom and your “real” sellf
c.    connection to “God,” if that’s a concept / presence that works for you
d.   more, much more.
And that’s all the preface you need, let’s get playing/ learning.

One : Moving
Standing and awaring gravity and feet:
Stand comfortably, in your bare feet or just socks. Close your eyes. Feel the weight of yourself into your feet. Shift, ever so slightly, your weight from your right foot to your left, and then back again, many times.
Do ALL the games in this book, especially the movement ones at about half the usual speed you do things. Slow down, slow down.
And less effort than usual. Be without strain and efforting.
Be with all the pleasure you can find.
As you gently and pleasurable shift your weight from one foot to another notice with delight: your breathing and your skeletal support of your spine and head, and your feet at the base of this.
Get as joyous and present a FEEL (as sensation) of yourself as you can as a being in the world of gravity and awareness.
Now, move the length of yourself, only at your ankles, like a stick, forward and back, so you sway a bit, and feel the weight going to your toes and then your heels.
Small is better than big.
Slow is better than fast.
Aware is better than “just doing it.”
Pleasure is better than “trying,” “straining,” or efforting.
Now, lift up on your toes and fall easily onto your heels five or six times. Rest. Feel how you feel now. Do this again, maybe even twenty times. Or thirty. Slowly, slowly, pleasurably, pleasurably. Rest.
Take a little walk around the room or wherever you are. Feel your feet and your skeleton and your awaring in the world of up and down.

Two: Emotional Learning
We are not alone
Think of two of three things you really like and enjoy about another person. Or several other people. See them doing and being the way the are. Notice, feel, delight in them being “who they are.”
Write down several traits you like in these people you have picked.
Good, now the hard part: look inside yourself and find these same traits.
It might not be as much, but we all have traces of everything. So look and find this in yourself. If so and so is “kind,” find and acknowledge the kindness in yourself. If they are “happy and creative,” find the happy and creative you.

If you happened to pick admiring someone who can high jump eight feet or play concert violin, find the parallel in any level of ability you have; So the slightest jump or musical humming “counts” as part of your expanded picture of the wonderfulness of yourself.

That’s the game, simple and sometimes “hard:” Think of traits you like in others, and find these in yourself.
Don’t be tough on yourself. Be open and embracing. We all have it all, the good and the bad. Let’s start by looking for the common good.

Allow a sense of unity and harmony, like-ness, to come from that.
Does this help you realize that ‘we are not alone’ in this big and beautiful and sometimes messy thing called life?

Three: Thinking
Getting a more alert and active brain.
A lot of improving and making more happy our thinking will, at least at first, involve the moving our “body” in movements with a great deal attention and out of habitual patterning.
These practices come from my training as both a Feldenkrais Method™ and an Anat Baniel Method practitioner. These systems use brain plasticity (= learning) to help people feel younger and more clear in movements that were before painful or limited. They help professional athletes and musicians come to even more skill and ease in their work. They also help writers with writers block, lovers with heart block, old timers with “newness” block, bored people with “stuckness” block, and anyone with “I didn’t know there was so much more to life” block.

And here’s the “thinking” game that appears to be a “movement” game:
Please start like this: sit comfortably and more or less upright (i.e. don’t lean back in the chair, if you can do this). Turn your head easily right and left.
Notice the difference in feel, range, and quality of turning left and turning right.
Rest a bit.
Now just turn to the left and back to the middle. Do this many times and see if you can notice something “new” each time. See how that feels.
Again sitting “up” at the front edge of your chair, put your hands on top of the opposite shoulder, and turn to the left in this sequence: first your eyes go to the left, then your nose, then your shoulders. Then come back slowly in the same order, noticing each part of you. Go slowly, and notice each part moving, and notice how your range and ease increases.
Many times, with ease, pleasure and learning. Then rest.
Now, hands again on opposite shoulder with the other way around of which arm is over the other, turn to the left in this sequence: ribs first, then nose, then eyes. Then come back to the middle and do this many times. Notice ease, learning and improvement.
Then rest and feel yourself alive in the present moment.
Now try something that requires even more “thinking without words” and attention.
Sit upright, and turn your eyes to the left and back to the middle a number of times. Feel how easy you can be in the rest of yourself.
Now, keeping your eyes forward, looking at something fixed 9and they can be closed, your eyes, and imagining looking at something straight ahead), move your nose and head a number of times to the left and back to the middle.
Go slowly.
Go gently.
Find the pleasure, follow your breathing, get “into” the discovery. Enjoy this.
For finishing: just turn your head right and left and notice two differences:
1.            Is there a difference in your whole self feeling of ease and clarity?
2.            Do you notice a difference in ease and clarity of turning left and turning right

Get up easily and walk around, letting your walking be a finally rest and chance to enjoy any “newness” and any “now-ness” in yourself.

Four: Soul
The world of sky and “Outside” the walls.
Wherever you live, there is a door somewhere that leads “Outside.” Get whatever clothes you need for this, give yourself fifteen or twenty minutes of no cell phone, no chores, no hurry, no worry.
Walk out this door to the “Outside” and take a walk that lasts at least twenty minutes.
If this walk can take you to a nature area or park, so much the better. No matter what, the walk is just a walk from your door out into the world ( If at all possible resist the habit of driving to a “nicer” area and then walking).

Just walk. Go out the door, see the sky, feel the ground under your feet, breathe “easily,” and walk “easily.” Feel sky above, Earth below, the smallness of a human form.

On this walk, with as few “words in your head” as possible, keep your attention on the present moment. One present moment after another. Experience your experiencing of the present. Feel, smell, hear, look, sense: what are you experiencing now, as experience.
Please avoid and abandon as much as you can using any words to describe the experience.
Stay in the good old huge immense and amazing now: what is the experience of you being you, as you walk “Outside?” 

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