Thursday, July 29, 2010

A sweet way to present the Feldenkrais Method

A Feldenkrais Class by Baby Liv from Irene Gutteridge on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

120: Soul, a framework for meditation, a container as it were

Meditation as providing a surrounding

Let’s try this, both in official “meditation,” as in sitting with eyes closed and following our breathing, and unofficial mediation, i.e. Living.

Try what?

Create this frame around whatever we are thinking and feeling in the moment. The frame is simple: on bones in gravity, our skeleton holding our head up. (In “official” meditation, I’m a big fan of sitting in a regular chair, at the front edge of the chair: this makes it easier to sense the skeleton as upright, for me).

Sensing both arms, our spine and our legs as the upright skeleton that is holding up our head. Might as well add on the pelvis.

Then breathe into the middle of the box that these five lines sort of create. And when thoughts and feelings come up, let them come and go, but have the breathing as an ongoing constant behind and underneath then, and sensing our arms and legs and spine as the skeletal underpinning of our ongoing existence.

Obviously, we could, with a bit of/ huge amount of practice, do this all day.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

119: Practicing thinking, practicing options

what fun it is:

Notice your head in space.

Notice what can notice that.

Turn your nose to the right and your eyes to the right.

Now turn your nose to the right and leave your eyes looking ahead.

Now turn your nose to the right and turn your eyes to the left.

Alternate among these three a number of times, sensing and noticing the difference.

Then rest, and think about noticing differences and how that is crucial to learning, or maybe is learning.

Now take an emotional bothering thing, and play with thinking about it, in alternation, almost as the nose head eyes thing (I.e. don’t take too long on each one): the problem is big and bad and awful. And, the problem is Oh, Well. And the problem is interesting. And the problem is some sort of gift in disguise.

Now rest, and take the inner tone of your thinking words, and come up with three or four difference voice tones for them, and again, in fairly move it along style, practice rotating the reality. Keep playing all day.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

118: Happiness, a sexy possibility

Happiness is not a sin

Somewhere along the line, many of us got in trouble when we were young and enjoying life more than the worn out and weary adults around us and they scolded and yelled or frowned or looked wounded or some darned thing to convey guilt to us about our joy.

And we might have elements of that training still left.

And then again, in various churches and weird interpretations of the Bible, almost anything enjoyable can come up “bad,” be it dancing, card playing, being lazy (surely not the only way to live, laziness, but without at least a bit every day it’s almost as if life is worth living), and especially the big bad “fornication,” which, delightfully, is an F word.

Leaving aside all the complications that sex can create in people’s lives by being confused with approval, or being used for manipulation, or driving people crazy because of dependency, how can we go about today as if we were as happy as if we were having wonderful sex?

This can be if we are with someone on not, are having good sex, or bad, or none.

Just allowing and cultivating that orgasmic and post orgasmic feeling of satisfaction and peace and fullness.

Let’s explore a day as if happiness were the opposite of sin, as if it were the underlying current of who we really are.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

117: Movement Matters, Up and Down with a sweet Twist

Awaring of twisting and awaring of lengthening

Stand somewhere pleasant, perhaps in a yard or a park. Feel your feet and ankles and pelvis and spine and legs and arms and rib cage and head. Breathe. Be present to the wonder of being in a human body.

Now, leaning your left hand on your left knee, and bending both knees, easily and with pleasure, bring your right hand down the inside of you left thigh, down towards the ground, and then bring your hand back up again. Go slowly, let your head hang loose, feel and sense your breathing, and feel how this could lengthen and release various areas in you. Feel going down and coming back up equally with pleasure.

Rest in standing. Close your eyes and feel yourself in gravity and life.

Again: left hand on left knee, take your right hand as before, down your left thigh towards the ground and this time as you come back up, keep your right hand going up and to the right, so you spiral a bit to the right as you lift your right hand above your head and to the right. Watch your hand as you do this. Go easily, and slowly.

Let your neck be soft. Go up and down with this a number of times, and after a while, stop at the bottom and gently move your head side to side, with your eyes moving opposite your head. Same at top.

Rest. Then do the other side.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The self is not the name, nor the labels "they" put on us

The death of me
By “me” July 13, 2010

Once upon a time
Someone told me I was
Christopher Michael Elms

And they told me I was
Good or
Bad or
Smart or
Worst of all, it seemed,

And damned if I’m still not
Of those

And none of that
Anything to do with

Oh, Well
Next question:
Who am I?
Same answer :
Who are you?

Ah, now we’re getting
Which is closer to
Really want

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Wine in Old Skins: Poor Idea, Plus an Amazing Book


How to be kind to yourself after a “big shift”

Sometimes Life throws us what could be called a “big shift.” In the Bible Jesus talks about this “big shift” as the creation of ourselves as a new person, as New Wine. And He says, Why put the New Wine in Old Bottles, it will just go to waste that way. Put the New Wine in New Bottles.

The quote from my version of the New Testament, a highly recommended, The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas by Willis Barnstone, goes like this:

No one pours new wine in old skins,
Since the wine splits the skins,
And both wine and skins are lost.
No, put the new wine in new skins.

This is hugely applicable today, in the era of so many hip, shoulder, knee replacements. This is the New Wine. Because without a New Bottle, we really are not getting any where near all the benefits and improvements we could.

We had the shoulder or hip or knee surgery because we weren’t using ourselves in an ease-ful and pleasurable and efficiently masterful way. Basically, we were using our body as a neglected step-child, not really paying attention to our dis-ease and pain until they became intolerable. And truth be told, for people who don’t know about, or know and haven’t tried yet the two methods recommended here, there is often little effective that can be done.

Come to think of it, a chiropractic “adjustment” could be another way to set us up as New Wine.

And after our chiropractic help, we still haven’t addressed the underlying need to organize and sense and move in easy and efficient and pleasurable ways.

So here’s where the Feldenkrais Method, or the Anat Baniel Method come are crucial.

They are the most powerful, and most gentle ways on this planet to create inside of ourselves a new organization, a New Bottle for the New Wine of post operation, or post chiropractic. (Post alcohol, and post dis-ease, too, and during cancer and depression, and that’s a longer story, but thing of this: if we improve ease and comfort and breathing and pleasure in life, how much will that help our Whole Life.)

Almost invariably, people who have had one knee or hip replacement, need the next, and it is almost always from not having created a new organization from the one that created the stress and dis-ease and harm that necessitated the first operation.

Does that mean after two knee operations, or the second hip operation you should do FM or ABM? Only if you want to have a low level of ease, comfort, awareness and functioning for the rest of your life.

Don't worry, also from the Bible, but that doesn't mean "do nothing," it means: put your energy into love and improvement and into making the world a better place, and stop fretting. See, if you'd please, yesterday's posting: Don't Worry, Be Happy


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Saturday, July 10, 2010

116: Soul: As on Earth as is in Heaven.... huh?

What can a beautiful flower teach us about connecting at the same time to Heaven and Earth, and the oneness of It All?

On Earth as it is in Heaven

What does that mean?

It means what you want it or understand it or sense it or intuit it to mean.

This book is a second go round of 108 ways in 108 days of living life to the full, using the underlying concepts of BEING PRESENT and lifelong learning through the concepts of the Feldenkrais Method, which are, among other things: learning as noticing differences that make a difference, and finding connections we previously were missing.

Today we’ll try out one way: the be “on Earth” is to bring us closer to being “in Heaven.” Which means what?

Sense your relationship to gravity all day, every moment if you can. You can’t, I can’t, but give it a go. Sense your feet, or your rear end, or your bottom and your back if you are in the usual slumping/ sitting posture: sense them all as how you are relating to gravity.

That’s “grounded.” That’s the Earth.

And as you do that, have some connection, in your understanding/ intuition to a connection to “Heaven.” Awaring of light. Awaring of the vastness of Life. Awaring of God. Awaring of silence underneath all.

See if you can feel at once Heaven and Earth and their oneness.

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Thinking and Walking: Words, Gibberish, Silence

Don’t worry, be happy

In the Bible, Jesus urges people to think of the lilies of the field, urges people not to worry, counsels: Who by worrying has added an hour to their life.

And Mehr Baba said the famous: don’t worry, be happy.

And, easier said than done, though I’d venture that a vast percentage of drug and alcohol and over eating is based on trying to get the worrying to go away. Which means: it’s not easy.

Good. Something to learn.

Here’s the ticket: take a walk today, three times. That will spring you from the rushed schedule you think you have to maintain.

And on that walk, look at what is present, and listen to what is present and feel your feet on the Earth.

And notice: when does thinking as worrying creep in. When it does:

One: say hello.

Two: shift the words to a sort of gibberish that conveys the tone but not the particulars.

Three: See if a no thinking/ no word option is briefly available.

Four: one all three walks compare: empty, worded, gibberish. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

114, emotional learning: choices at the unhappiness node

When to ease away from unhappiness

What if we back off when we are headed down a road that is going to make us more and more unhappy.

This sounds like such idiotically obvious advice, we should suspect that everyone would do just that.

And they don’t.

So, let’s us begin to explore three or four ways we can do this, since if we can only do something one or two ways, we aren’t really free beings on this amazing planet Earth.

So: we are headed down a path that is going to make us more and more unhappy. The first try, might be to notice if we are present to light and sound and our breathing, and see if that might make a difference.

Second: What if we noticed how we were holding our bodies and noticed where they were tight, and made some actions toward helping the tension be less.

Third: we listen to the tone of the voice in our head with which we are ranting, or whining, or worrying, and change that tone.

Four: you figure something out.

This is exploring.

This is living. Learn and have fun. And see what happens.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

113: Moving

Pelvis, head, spine, eyes

Sit in a chair, and do whatever you “naturally” do. Lean back, or not, sit forward in the chair or not. From that position, see if you can sense your head and pelvis and spine, and begin to do these two motions:

One: bring your nose toward your pubic bone (sex area) and tilt your pelvis (pubic bone/ any other name) toward your nose, and let your belly come in and your back round out behind you.

Two: unfurl from this, and bring your nose up, maybe toward the sky or the top of the wall or window in front of you, and push your belly out and arch your back and tilt the back of your pelvis, aka your rear end, toward the back of your head.

Go back and forth on with these two end points, looking for an easier and more interesting and pleasant way to do this movement each time you do it.

Rest after six or eight or ten or twelve times.

Then come to a sitting at the front edge of your chair, and do the round and arching, slowly and pleasantly a number of times, while moving your eyes, slowly and as continuously as you can, in the opposite way as your nose (up when nose down, down when nose up).

Rest and consider eyes and head and arching and rounding all day.

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