Friday, June 19, 2015

Touch in the Now, wow, no hurry, no worry, just "feel"

The book is once again, Love, Lust and Enlightenment
and it still wants you to have a marvelous relationship
a body brain teamwork that helps you feel younger and smarter and happy
each and every day.

Here's a chapter, day six.
It's going to be thirty day's worth of couple delight and anti-aging fun.

Day Six: Touch in the Now 

Life is now.
We know (as experience) that we are alive,  moment by moment—call that awake.
We are lost in our hurry or our inner chatter, and missing our experience in the moment --- call that asleep.
Someday we will die, and all these moments of having a chance to sense and know and feel ourselves as bodies and beings on this marvelous messy bright beautiful mysterious blue sky green lead infinite laughter flower and bird song planet Earth will be over.
Dead , finished, over.

One of the surest ways to know we are alive, and to be present is to follow our breathing.
Now. Try it. Notice your breathing and what does that do for you? Notice that difference. (Who notices that?)

Another constant of life on earth, is gravity. What do you feel now about your bottom pressing into the chair, or your feet into the floor?
What does noticing you are a real live body, in breathing and in gravity, what does that do for you?
(Who notices that?)

Always there. Always an immediate way to “wake up” to now.


And from here, let’s touch today.
Try two turns of three minutes each of touching the other’s foot.
Go slowly.
And In the first turn, do what you did in prior touches. Take turns verbalizing what you are feeling as the toucher, and as the touchee.
So, go three minutes each each way with that.

Second turn:
Each time you verbalize what you are noticing, start with three verbalizations
One: about your breathing
Two: about what you notice about the other person’s breathing
Three: what you notice about your connection to gravity.
And then four and five:
What you notice either in your touching, or in being touched.

Take turns sharing these five statements.

Realize what a relief this can be, not to have to think. To simply be reporting on breath and gravity and touch.

Go back and forth this way several times.

At the end share for a couple of minutes, what it was like to be touched and to touch in the two different ways.

Even now, even in this sharing, you might want to walk of now as gravity, or now as breath, and then go back to sharing about your responses and inspirations and realizations in this “game.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Radical Presence via the Gurdjieff Meditation "Plus"

From my forthcoming book:

Day Seven: Enlightenment as being
“In Your Body”
The Gurdjieff Meditation Plus….

Here’s how to enjoy being more awake in your day: be present to your arms and legs.
And spine
All day.
Get out of your head and come to your senses.
Get out of those words in your noggin and sense your feet and toes, as far away from your head as you can get and still be in your body. Sense your spine holding them all together.

The party of being human.
The “five lines” that a child often draws when they first draw people: a head, a line down from the head. Two legs off the bottom of that line. Two arms up higher off the line.

Sense the five lines of you.
This is why people like yoga: it kind of makes a game of the various shapes you can put the lines in.

This is why the Gurdjieff meditation “plus” is so useful: Wherever you are you are in some “shape.”
What is it?
What is it now?

The “plus” is because the Gurdjieff meditation as the standard and amazing practice is both arms and both legs, and “meditation” days are painting houses, and building decks and digging ponds, as chances to practice being “in” the arms and legs.
The “plus” of the spine in from Moshe Feldkenkrais and that work I mentioned in the chapter on the weekend where I felt like I was twelve again. Moshe likes people to see themselves as five lines.
He understood that as the way the brain organizes movement most quickly.

This book is about enlightenment.
Enlightenment is about coming out of our heads and into our senses.
Arms and legs and spine are a huge percentage of our real estate and always in some configuration.
And we are usually unaware of these big chunks of us, unless we are lucky enough to have a physical job.
And when we put out attention on our five lines, vast chunks of our brains are lit up.
And our attention is vastly sharpened.

Don’t believe me.
Give it a go.
Sense those feet and toes.
And legs.
Sense those finger and hands.
And arms.
And spine/ head/ pelvis.

Wiggle around, talk, stand, sit, talk, write.
Sense them as you do anything. Everything.

Let’s do the morning meditation.
This will help Love. You want need to drag for attention. You’ll be giving it to yourself.
This will help Lust. You’ll be in the full body, not just genitally driven.
This will help enlightenment. Not just meditating with your eyes closed, but all day, how much more delightful time to “wake up”

Here goes:

Sit in a chair. Or anywhere, feet on the ground/ floor.
Close your eyes.

Start at the tips of your right toes.
Sense them all, and keeping the attention always where it’s been before, move your attention bit by bit up through your leg to sense all the inside and outer flesh of your toes, until you reach your feet.
The whole foot, all of it, inside and out.
The ankle.
Up, up, keeping all you’ve sensed so far.
The lower leg.
Knee. ( No words, just sense it as…..sensation)
The upper leg, all the way to the hip joint.

Sense this entire chuck of you, toe tips to hip joint. Fill it up with attention.

Keep the entire right leg lit up with attention and add on the fingertips of the right hand.
Move up, through the ‘
Lower arm
Upper arm, to the shoulder socket.
And now, add on

Starting from the top, this mediation sometimes being called, “around the world.”
The left upper arm from shoulder down to the
Elbow and then
Lower arm, wrist, hand, fingers, finger tips.

Now, finishing the “circle”
Upper leg at the hip joint, down through ALL of it to the
Lower leg, ankle, foot, toes and toe tips

Now sense all four, fully, for while, then add on
Start with your pelvis. Feel how it connects to both legs, which you are keeping in sensing.
Find the spine rising out of your pelvis and sense up, as much vertebra by vertebra as you can, to the base of your skull.
The spine doesn’t attach to the arms, but feel their proximity, and sneak in the ribs if you want.
Feel the skull, your skull on top of your spine, as if pelvis – spine – head are your central line.
Which they are.


You now have inner and outer attention.

Bask in that for awhile.

Four windows out into the world , two ears and two eyes.
Five bastions of inner attention, two legs and two arms and one spine.

Hang out in this fullness.

Now get up and go about your day staying in all this attention.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Past thoughts on "the book"

Hello, happy Wednesday

I am moving along on a book that has changed titles twice.

First is was Love, Lust and Relationship.
Second, is was Love, Lust and Enlightenment: Falling Back in love with your mate, and becoming “almost enlightened” to boot.

Both those versions started like this…
“This is a book about enlightenment.
No, wait, this is a book about great sex.
No, wait, this is a book about being a great friend to that person who is driving you crazy—your partner.
No, wait, this is a book about being a great friend to another person who is driving you crazy—yourself.”

It’s was an exciting title, and the book filled up with touch games and talk games and even some games to get people clear on how amazing and important it was to be in their bodies.

And then it need to be a bigger book. It need to include a big synthesis of all I have learned in all these years as a Movement Coach and a Relationship Coach.

And what everything had in common was what I realized could be called Radical Listening.

Thus the new title:
The Power of Radical Listening:
Creating the Magical Bedroom,
The Magical Boardroom, & the
Forever Young Body

Radical listening to each other’s talk for a magical bedroom and magical boardroom/ workplace. Radical listening in touch for that revitalized and magical bedroom. And radical listening to your own body, via present awareness of movement, for the forever young body.

And how did this “forever young body” come to the bedroom and the workplace?
Well, obviously, a body that works well, is better in the sack. And a body without neck, back and shoulder issues is much more happy at work.

And it’s deeper, it goes to the principles that make Radical Listening so powerful.

I lucked into all this when I was 55 and I took a weekend workshop, after which I felt as if I was 10 years old again, in movement, and acuity of thinking.
This led to 9 years of training in two systems, the Feldenkrais Method and the Anat Baniel Method, that created a platform for helping high performing musicians and people with back, neck and shoulder issues, and children with special needs.

How did it do this?
By bringing people into the present, deeply.
By creating situations of non habitual behavior and new options.
By connection of places that usual aren’t connected.

And these are how Radical Listening will work in talking and in touching and in movement.

For example in talking to a loved one, or an estranged one, or a person with whom things are kind of blah and you’d like to have REAL connection, here’s a major game in the book.

Listening back and forth for 18 minutes.
Take a timer, and commit to three turns of three minutes each.

In the turns one talks and the other listens.
We apply all three principles of Radical Listening.

Being present:
Both the talker and the listener attempt to be present to their bodies, to the melody of the words, to each other’s breathing.

The listener, says nothing and does not “think” about their response .

The talker does NOT talk about:
The other person ( if it’s a troubled issue, there are patterns of way too much talking about the other)
The relationship ( ditto)
What the person said in the prior turn

This last constraint brings about much better listening because we aren’t formulating what we are going to say in response, because that’s off the table.
It makes easier talking because the person speaking doesn’t have to worry about what the other person is going to “think” about what they said. ( Later, of course, this might want to be in the game)

To make things even juicer, a non-habitual recommendation for the speaker would be:
Talk about present noticing. ( I feel my hand on my pants. I feel my breath coming in. I see your brown eyes. I see your breathing--- noticing about the other person is a far cry from the usual commenting about their personality)
Talk about what they like. (This a far cry from the habit of much of talking to be about complaining)

And the third part:
Connecting: Look each other in the face or eye as you talk, and as you listen.

With touch.
These three are great:
Non habitual

With movement
Non habitual

All to be revealed in the book. Call for a sample of each type of exercise in the first four chapters. 360-317-4773

Monday, June 08, 2015

Working with Special Needs Children, or High Performers: The whole person, not the "problem"

When I was 55 I took a weekend workshop in the Feldenkrais Method.®
I knew and loved this work. It had helped me with back and shoulder issues for years and I always recommended it go someone who had a movement issue.
I thought it was great stuff.

AND, after the weekend workshop I realized: THIS COULD BE ABOUT ME!! I  felt and moved as if I were ten years old again.

This was an invitation to a four year training, which I enhanced with a doubled up first year of training with a man who combined Zen and Feldenkrais.
Then I discovered Anat Baniel, whom I think has advanced what is already one of the most amazing systems on the planet.
Another 4 years.

So 9 years of training and I know this:

A high level musician or a special needs child come in.
They have a brain.
They can learn.
A rock can’t learn, a tree can’t learn, a car can’t learn.

Many “body work” systems treat the person as a car, with a wheel or carburetor that needs to be fixed.

In the Anat Baniel and the Feldenkrais system, we are working with a whole person, whose brain and hence whose life can change.

The change happens a number of ways, and a simple version is the change comes from using these three essentials of radical listening:
Deep presence
Non-habitual options

So, an autistic boy who answered “Not Quite” to every question was not fixed, by being told his answer was wrong or nonsensical.
I looked at him in presence, connected with him by touch, and played with non habitual wordings.
How about
Not not quite
Not quite quite
Not not quite quite quite

At first he was confused. Then delighted. He started to hear what he was saying and realizing that there were other choices in the world.

And a child with a tight/ spastic fist, from cerebral palsy.

To fix, would be the pry the finger loose and massage or something.
This is nice, but, not any use to the brain.

But, slowly playing with a little little movement in the thumb and then the pinkie and going slow enough the child can feel the difference.
Moving the whole hand in a way that connects to the back and elbow and shoulder.
Moving the hand in many patterns, many options, all with tons of presence and searching for opening up connection in the child’s brain between that hand and other parts of the body…

This is transformation for the whole person.

Works just the same with the highly skilled fingers of the best violin player or pianist in the world.



Friday, June 05, 2015

Awakened Relationship

Let's say a couple wants to play one of the sweetest games in the world.

They want a relationship where they can learn to be better at being present, to be better at being kind, to have great sensual connection, to be at ease and peace with each other, to have a deep and fascinated and loyal friend, to have someone to pull them out when they are going to shit.

Love, touch, friendship, support, joy.

All the good things and in the context of "almost enlightenment."

Why "almost enlightenment?"

Why the enlightenment part:
We can be mindful or mindless.
Mindless means by definition we are on automatic, which means almost always big fat ugly doses of Ma and Pa.
So mindless = suffering.
Unless we had fairly miraculous Ma and Pa.

So enlightenment sets us free from the conditioned past and gives us a chance to chose reality, and love.
Awake we can be awake to choices in the moment.
We can make them.

Asleep we are programmed and don't have choice and in a couple who is not awake, it's my robot vs your robot, and that's a mess.

Why the "almost" part?
Because "enlightenment" is just one more concept and if we have it as the ideal and are measuring ourselves against it, we are lost, once more in that sticky world of "thinking" that is really nothing more, usually, than auditory hallucination.
And while listening to our thinking, even thinking about "Am I enlightened right now," we miss the sweetest of listening to our partner.
Or our breath.
Or gravity
Or our arms and legs.

Thinking is a thief and almost enlightenment is a hint: wake up to now and see, hear, taste, feel, notice was is here.

that's the game: you are your partner loving be present together.

And your commitment: to help each other in this vast sweetness of now.

Now in talk.

Now in touch.

Now in sitting around knowing not what to "do."

Now in having a great plan of something to do.

Now in the joy of helping each other out of the shit when the other uses stress as an excuse to go mindless.

And kindness in this
We have gone there too.

It's a good game.

Almost every post on this site has a way of playing that game.

What would you like to invent today to help create awakened relationship in your life?