Saturday, March 24, 2007

Slow + Aware + Gentle + Playful = Learn Anything

If you want to learn something, you need to mix these four ingredients:
Slow + Awareness + Gentle + Playful

As in the recent essay at WakeUp Feldenkrais, if you try to learn to tie your shoes the opposite way in a rush, you are bound for many hurried failures. If you want to figure it out the inverse way, you are going to have to slow way down and see what's going on, and then slowly try the new way.

Without slow,
we can't do it any way
but the way we've always done.

And why go slow?
So we can check things out, notice, pay attention, i.e. wake up
and be

Without awareness we can be
a high functioning robot
or a low functioning robot.

But to learn, we can't be a robot.

So, we need awareness.
Of our speaking and defensiveness, if we want to improve our communication.
Of our habits of moving, if we want to learn better ways of
playing tennis,
or walking,
or making love,
or sitting in a chair,
or doing yoga.
Of what we aren't yet aware of, if we want to have
a better and sweeter life than we already do.

We need awareness of more than what we are habitually aware of.
We need awareness of what these new ways of being might be like.
We need awareness of how we are actually going about something, anything
that we usually just cruise through.

Gentle doesn't mean you can't learn to lift weights, or do strenuous yoga poses, it just means that you keep your awareness alive by not pushing yourself into the 100% effort box, which always means straining. While we are busy straining, our brains are all wrapped up in "trying," and learning flies out the window.

Here's what I tell people: use 80% of your trying effort, or go to 80% of your "limit," and with the ease this creates, use 300% of your usual awareness.

Playful means that if we do something the same old boring robot way over and over, we won't be interested and we won't learn because it's the fun and play of trying and discovering new ways that makes learning a possibility and a delight.

If we really want to learn, we have to mess around, do things wrong, try out the "wrong ways," experiment with "ridiculous" ways of doing something.

We need to allow right and wrong to step aside and exploration to come to the fore.

So it's fun and it's aware and it's slow and it's gentle and we can learn anything and have a wonderful life.




Combine 20
Functional Integration® Lessons
( Amazing, Gentle, Transformative
Individual Lessons)

20 Minutes a Day of HomePlay ( not Homework)
Move, Think and Feel


April 29, 12- 6 PM

Amazing Parenting
May 20, 12-6 PM

• Improving Backs, Necks, Shoulders
Sports, yoga, health and Learning
June 17, 12- 6 PM

More Details
Workshops and Classes, Coming Up

For the brain
for the "body"
for moving with more ease
for healing
for learning
for fun.

Monday lunch break class
12:30-1:20 PM

includes touch guided and movement lessons
come wishing and willing for transformation

off Broadway
around the corner from the Post Office
and the Art Museum,
the little side street between.

For amazing and transformative
and gentle
one on one lessons,
Functional Integration®
seeIndividual Lessons


Sensitive Strength


Waking up to now.
Embracing Change.
Learning to learn.
Loving to move, improve and transform.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Learning and Knowing

One of the great joys in life is learning something new. The brain gets excited, the heart get happy, our whole life gets stimulated, we feel more alive and free and fresh.

And one of the great tragedies in life is that so often we are so stuck in Knowing, that we have no room left over for Learning.

You've all head the story, the great student who goes to the Master and says, "I go to all these teachers, and they tell me stuff, but I don't seem to be making any progress." The Master orders a glass of water, an already full glass, and then she begins to pour water in, pour and pour. The Great Student yells, "Stop," what are you doing? The Master says, "Teaching you is like filling this glass: no room for anything else.

This often happens when people are introduced to Feldenkrais Work or the Byron Katie work. Instead of going inside and sensing and learning what that can be learning new, they shift it into something they already know: this is just like what I do in …..(yoga, my stretch exercises, something someone taught once in college gymnastics, NVC, 12 steps).

So now they are protected from learning. This is nothing new. They already know everything. The glass is full. No need to waste time on any exploration or discovery, and so they can zoom off and keep doing the same old things they've always been doing.

One minor problem: no learning and thus none of the joy and delight from opening up and becoming new as our life becomes new.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

5 lines, 5 foci: a Meditation to bring peace and smarts


Sit in a comfortable way, in a chair with some firmness to it, or a log, or a stool, and sit to the forward edge.

1. Begin to follow your breathing and count to ten, one count for each breath. If your attention wanders start over and one and keep counting your breaths. If you reach ten, start over at one.

2. As you do this sense your five lines. (To sense means to pay attention to the inner feeling of ourselves, the shape and length and warmth and relationship to the rest of us. For example: sense your right hand, would mean to put awareness on the inside of your right hand. To switch to sensing your left hand, you put attention in the left hand.) The five lines are our two arms and our two legs and our spine/ head/ pelvis. Now the meditation is up to two sets of awareness: sensing our five lines and counting our breathing from one to ten.

3. Now add on a slight shifting of your spine, like this: as you breathe in, let your belly come forward, fill it with air, and let your head and chest come up just a little as you rock a bit forward on your pelvis. Don't panic if this isn't immediately obvious, just play around, with getting a little arch in your back, a little air in your belly and a little tilt up in your rear end and a slight raising of the sternum and chin. Just a little . And keep counting the breathing and sensing the five lines.

Three is a split movement, because on breathing out, you slump a little forward, rock back a bit on your pelvis, let your chin come down, and your belly come back as your back comes back. You let your air out and fold and curve forward. So, each in and out breath find you in a different shape as you massage your spine and ease and clarify your mind.

4. Now, getting a bit more fancy, as you breathe in and raise your chin a bit and arch your back and let your belly come forward, let your eyes open.

And as you fold and slump forward, and let your back round and your head and pelvis come toward each other in the front, let your eyes close. And keep up awareness of the five lines and the counting of your breathing.

5). Now, for the final touch: as you breathe in and arch and lift your head a bit and open your eyes, let your hands open just a bit.

And as you fold in and breathe out and bring your belly softly back and your back to the back and your chin down, and front of your pelvis rotating toward your face, let your hands close a little.

So you are

Counting your breathing to ten.

Sensing your arms and legs and spine.

Arching and folding with the breath.

Opening and closing your eyes with the breath.

Opening and closing your hands with the breath.

This is a lot.
It won't come instantly, but the benefits in stress reduction and increasing of focus and attention with be huge.

How much to do this?
Five minutes to twenty. Whatever you enjoy.
How often: once to three or four times a day if you do it in little doses.


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Glories of Life and Being You

What do you enjoy?

What are you grateful for?

What do you wish you could improve?

What is fun, and how could you have more fun?

What is really important?

What do you love about yourself?

What do you love about some other people?

What do you love about
animals, plants, streams, parts of nature?

What would you love to learn?

What are you enjoying learning?

If you look through the essays in here, I hope you can find lots of food for pondering and healing.

If you want the physical and brain work of WakeUp Feldenkrais, please take advantage of that site, too.

(The Feldenkrais Guild has a superb new website at

For fitness, health and food possibilities the Tai Chi Yoga Health Weight Loss blog is a possibility.


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Monday, March 05, 2007

March Email to Look at In Color

March is here.
That's good.
We are moving toward equinox,
which means spring. Hmm.
The blossoms sure think that's so,
and maybe it won't snow again.
Maybe it will. Everything changes: how about us?

Change is wonderful and a little scary, because we
become something that is new,
and even if we are happier,
and move in easier ways,
and have nicer relationships,
and are healthier,
we feel a little lost without our old
familiar tension and suffering.
Oh well.

Peace is in the air, the local air, care of Terry and Melissa,
the gals bringing us our chance to help create a U.S. Department of Peace. See them Friday mornings at the Farmers' Market, and/ or check out: Department of Peace. So far 18 city councils have backed the idea. Wonder about ours? I do, too.

Tomorrow's, the day,
to walk on over to the polls,
breathing the good air,
smelling the blossoms,
and vote YES on the parcel tax.

As usual, I have many options, for you to consider using if you wish to explore, learn, enjoy, use for your wishes and aims

For amazing results. And a gentle path there:
Try Functional Integration lessons.
Four lessons and transformation will be well under way
Not just "fixing," but learning to be a younger, smarter you
Ten lessons and you could easily feel and move 20 years younger.
For those curious about the Feldenkrais Method, the Feldenkrais Guild has a brand new (several days old) website at Feldenkrais.Com.
And here can explain part of it:
Back, Neck, Shoulder Pain, Carpal Tunnel

For couples, parent teenager conflict pairs, and groups.
Business upgrading, in group morale and team functioning
and stress reduction
Click atCouple and Parent / Child Communication

3) Weight Loss and Health Expansion
A ten week program.
Examine beliefs, heal with Feldenkrais, nature connection,
real foods, habits, enjoyment, hypnosis, exploration, the Work of Byron Katie, and more.
Fitness & Weight Loss

4) There's more. Like straight Byron Katie work. If you are in the mood to heal and transform, and be happier and more of what you really want to be in your life.
Group Meetings Friday evenings, 2nd and 4th Friday night
7:15 to 8:45 PM
$25 first person in family, $5 each additional>
Call to reserve and make sure we're ON.

Or see
Byron Katie / Happiness


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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday a Good Day of Rest

So I'll rest the blog sites on Sundays from now on.

And after March 21, I will go to writing less if I wish: perhaps one essay for each blog each week.

Marlie knitting a sock
Marlie knitting a sock. One of the many things in life that are creative rather than consumer oriented.


March 17, Saturday ( St. Pat's)
10 AM- 11:30 AM

Lecture and demonstration of learning
stress reduction
flexibility enhancement
creativity support
self connection
pain transformation,


the the Feldenkrais Method,

Wake Up Feldenkrais

and more.

At Pharmaca.
(303 West Napa, Sonoma, Ca.)
Tele: 707-938-1147.


Transformational Movement Series
2 Classes
Sundays Noon- 2 PM
March 18 and April 1
$50 for the series, prepaid, $55 at door.
$30 single class.

Learn to move
and think
in easier
Undo pains,
increase skills,
feel younger
and happier
and healthier.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A few good questions: And a Department of Peace

What can we do to help make this world a better place? This is a question that has come to us all. Working to understand our own abilities to change and transform is the most effective step. And also: creating change, real and healing change, out in the world: this is another wonderful challenge.

Last night at the library a wonderful start took place, a meeting of the evolving Sonoma chapter of a movement to create a Department of Peace as a cabinet level department in the U.S. government. This department would be charged with promoting peace locally, reducing gang violence and spousal abuse and the whole mess of frustrated lives spilling out into guns and knives and the wounding and maiming of other human beings. The department would also work throughout the world to bring peaceful solutions to issues that have been endlessly leading to war and conflict.

How it would do the international thing, I have no clear idea. But just the idea of the word
and the actuality of a
Department of Peace,
out in the world,
could be a very positive force.

That it could be of huge use in internal violence, I have no doubt.

For that reason alone I think this is a fine idea.

As I think about what it would take to create world peace I think of two things: happiness and a social system the was set up for equality and basic human dignity, so that clawing one's way to the top, and having more stuff, and getting more profit for the corporation, and having more goodies in one's life were no longer driving forces in the world.

How can that shift take place?

I don't know.

Does that mean that it isn't worth the effort?


As we say in the Feldenkrais work, the real satisfactions in life often come in making the impossible possible ( a frozen shoulder that can move), the possible easy ( now the shoulder moves well), and the easy elegant ( and now the formerly "frozen" shoulder moves better than it ever did).

World Peace is "obviously" Impossible, which means, we have an idea that it's impossible. And as we learn to ask in the Byron Katie Work: Is it true? Is it true that this is impossible?

I don't know.

It better not be.

We don’t have room for the global warming that war is creating, for one thing.

But: we have too many people on the planet.

What if Gurdjieff's creepy idea that some cosmic force eats dead people if not enough people are living lives of consciousness, and so all these wars are the sucking in of the cosmic need for food from a humanity that can't wake up. Can't wake up to the moment. Can't wake up to love.

Can't wake up to being good to the Earth.

And in a way: this is the root of war, this unconsciousness, this lure of the Enemy, that if we just kill enough of The Enemy then The Problem will go away.


This isn't so easy an issue is it?

We have almost every economic system in the world pegged to survive and thrive only by expanding, which is a drive for more stuff and more people, and more potential conflict over land and resources to get and control and use all this stuff.

We have armies and covert operations designed to help corporations keep the goods flowing. We have a whole new system of World Trade agreements that don't even let local farmers grow the kind of food that need for a local people to feed themselves. How can there be peace in this sort of world.

I don't know.

Is this impossible?

I don't know.

I believe, have a hunch, a feeling that humanity is pressing up to the edge of eliminating itself, and that waking up, and learning a new way to live, a way that doesn't demand so much from the planet, will be necessary for us all the survive.

Can people learn growing their own food instead of going to the mall?

Can people learn to be happy with a walk to a neighbors and not have to roar off somewhere in their car?

Can we have kids that are allowed once again to play in and lose themselves in and find comfort and learning in nature?

Can we come to enjoy sharing, and helping others, in real, life shifting ways, not just charity?

Can we learn to do the simple things again: walk, dance, sing, read, make music, make plays, make love?

Can we peacefully create a Department of Peace?


And how?

I don't know.

How do we make that shift?

I don't know.

Does that mean we shouldn't try?

Hell no.

Meet the good local people (Terry and Melissa and soon more to sit at the booth, I'm sure) who are starting up our small group to help
Department of Peace
at the local at the Farmers' Market on Friday mornings.

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