Friday, December 30, 2005

Dec.30: More Fun on All 4's, wagging and learning

To stand on all fours is to be in a deeply balanced state, a reminder of what most of the animal kingdom is like. Are you willing to get back down on hands and knees and learn and play and experiment a little more? I hope so. This can set a tone for this book, an understanding that we can go for really under standing, what stands under this amazing ability of ours to walk about upright on two small feet.

Not a small feat at all.

So, let’s do it, friends, let’s get us once more to the floor and begin to crawl a bit, forwards, backwards, noticing the pattern of which hand is followed by what leg. Let’s go for the pure here-and-now of sensing the feel on our hands as they touch down and the feel as they leave the floor or ground, and begin to pay attention not only to the lifting of our knees and legs from the floor, but where that lifting is taking place. Connecting more of us to more of us will be an aim throughout this book, as well as an aim of the Feldenkrais work. So let us enjoy paying attention to pelvis and back and ribs and even neck and head and eyes as we fool around, letting ourselves be crawling people once more.

Okay, let’s give it a go.

How was that? If you experienced yourself in the here and now, that is enough of a start. If you began to sense what this is like, to be on all fours and to be moving around, so much the better. In this book, the goal is to return to that joy of life where discovery and attention is the core of who we are. We don’t have to accomplish anything that can be put into a verbal framework, though that is sometimes nice. All we are after is the pure sensory input of our lives in this moment, now as we read or write, now as we crawl, later as we get up and go about our day to day lives.

Try this, now, in the all fours position. Move your head from side to side. Let your right ear move toward your right shoulder and your left ear move toward your left shoulder. See how far down into your back and spine you can feel this. Do this slowly and enough times to come to an enjoyment of this side motion.

Now go on back down and try this; keeping your right knee on the floor, lift your right foot just a bit, and let it move out to your side and back. Do this enough times to get a sense of it and to enjoy it. Then rest. And then let your right foot come up and swing across (over) your left leg toward the left. And rest. And now do the same with your left foot. First swing it to the left, and then across your right leg and to the right.

Now, bring your head back into the picture by swinging your right foot to the right and turning your head to watch your foot as it comes out, and then bringing your head back to the middle when your foot returns to the middle. And rest. And then let your left foot swing to your left and let your head and eyes go to the left to watch your foot. Notice what’s happening to your ribs and spine as you do this.

And rest.

And then let your right foot come across to the left and wag your head to the left, as if to watch your foot through your body. And rest. And then the left foot across the middle to the right and turn your head to watch this on your right side.

And rest. ( What are all these rests about? Letting your brain recompute. Letting new patterns and learnings have a chance to sink in. Letting the quite sensory part of ourselves have a chance to make literal sense of the movements we are making. And this too: to get out of our rush, rush, get things done, do-do framework of mind, which is often no more than mind-less-ness.)

Now rest even more, on your back, on the ground. Sense yourself again the floor, and enjoy this. Then come to all fours again and do a tail wagging thing, leaving your feet out of it. What do I mean? Wag your butt to the right as your turn your head to the right, turning your head from way down in the middle of your back, so your right side shortens and your ribs do something on this side and your ribs do something else on the left side. Notice this, and then swing back to the middle and wag tail to the left and head and eyes to the left and notice what’s happening to your ribs as you fold to the left side and then back.


Then go back to bedel-asana, head up and butt up, head down and tailbone tucked under. Get the sense of your spine and ribs as you do this. See how many vertebrae you can sense in this arching and bending of yourself.

Then go back to side bending and side wagging of your butt and your head. Allow yourself to exult in having a mind that can follow this, and a pelvis that can allow and enjoy this, and a spine that has so many possibilities. Consider this a metaphor, if you wish, for a life that can move in many directions, with pleasure and learning and grace.

Moving with ease and grace. This is what we deserve. This is what we love. This is what you are invited to learn as we progress along through this exploration of now ) and love and nature ( our human nature of being in a mind and body that function as one when we function well, as well as the nature of trees and earth and water and sunlight and bees and rain and ocean and desert, of garden and wilderness, of north pole and tropics, of snail and elephant. How do you feel? Love yourself for feeling however it is and come back to your breathing if you wish.

What difference does coming back to your breathing make? This is learning: noticing differences. With learning we can never be bored.


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