Friday, March 25, 2011

the importance of happiness

there is the happiness when you eat a fresh peach
off a tree

this is imitated by ice cream

and sweet is sweet and the sweetness of life
is something we want

it's good for us

sweet lives don't go to war

and then
there is the happiness
of being present
when everyone around you is all caught
up in worry or hurry
or concern for outside approval
and you're just  sitting there,
watching a bird,
or the clouds,
or taking a walk in the woods or the neighborhood

that's a more sure fire happiness
than the peach,
because peaches only come at a certain time of year

and even though ice cream can be purchased any minute
of any day
happiness that involves driving somewhere and
purchasing something
seems slightly precarious

so, peach
or walk
or ice cream

how about thinking about
and experiencing the feelings that go along
with imagining

thinking about what makes us happy

and then coming back to the present
and just
and don't even "try" to be happy

just BE
and see what happens from that

there is the happiness of puttering in a garden,
seeing some work come along

and the happiness of setting out to do a job
and doing it
the happiness of acting in the world

and often action goes unconscious
but it doesn't have to
and a long string of ideas could make the case
for practicing action in the world
with the kind of movement lessons I speak of in my other
the Life Potency/ Happiness/ Awakened movement blog

you try it is you want:
be present
and move slowly your ribs to the right
and your head to the left
and your eyes to the right
and go a lot slower
and smile
and follow your breathing
and come back to the center
and do the three way turn again,
and just enjoy yourself
and see if this gets you ready
for aware action in the world

and just being
that's a kind of happiness, too
isn't it


Friday, March 18, 2011

giving to get, and giving to give

You have too much
zuccini, say, and you give it away
and it feels good to pass it along
and that's that

you're having a good day
you want another person to be happy
and you smile
and sing them a song
or take them a batch of flowers
or invite them for a walk

and that's nice,

you've got extra and you're passing it along

or, you're just alive
and thrilled with that
and you meet another
and they like your garden
and you can't wait to give them a batch of flowers

zuchini, flowers, hugs, laughs, smiles, walks,
lots of ways to give

and then there's the Gift,
capital G,
and it's "supposed to mean something"
and maybe it does
maybe it doesn't

sometimes gifts come
with no strings
i saw this book and I thought of you,

lots of times they come with
here's some special something because I'm worried
you don't like me enough
and I want to buy your love

or they come expecting
AT LEast

the "oh, you were so wonderful for getting me that"

or, even better,

the BIG THANKS plus a reassessment:
you aren't so bad,
I let you off the hook,
I'll stop being grumpy and
love you again

in Brother's Karamazov
there's a great talk by an old gal
who wants to be nice to the poor,
but is afraid to,
because she knows how pissed off
she'll be if they don't kiss
her ass
with enough gratitude

we can have a lot of fun
recalling when we've been
like that


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

new blog, special needs children

new blog, on Monday's replacing the 4 brain fitness one.

it's called

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Friday, March 11, 2011

A movement game: How are you sitting now: website "improvement"

This is lesson #3 from my book of Moving, Thinking, Feeling, and "Soul" activities.
Link here, if you'd like to see the 108 activities.

It is also on a new page on my website, called Movement Brain. Soon I'll have all the 4 brains on the website. The Website, as you probably know is

Here' a game of improving
as usual
by a little of this
a little of that
and a
lot of
slowing down

How are you sitting or standing or lying down, right now?

What happens if you add on awareness of your eyes, and move them easily in a circle. Then easily right and left. Then easily up and down.

What happens if you are aware of your neck and nose?
What happens if you make a circle with your nose?
What do you feel in your neck?
Which way did you choose?
Try the other way, slower and try different sizes of circles.

Now put both hand on the top of your head, if you can easily do this.
In this position imagine making circles from in front of you and then up and then to the right and then down and then to the left with first
your right elbow,
then your left.

Find the pleasure in this.

Can you do it again and allow and encourage your pelvis to join the party.
Don’t try for “right.”
Try for learning, fun,

And feel the added power when your pelvis is involved, and the change in your breathing.

Enjoy this, and keep moving slowly and with love of learning.


Try the other elbow if you are in the mood.

How are you in sitting now?

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Landmark Forums, or Can You Wake up in a Herd?

This is a beginning impression of the Landmark scene,
or top of many glimpses before I stepped foot into
one of their introductory evenings.

Before I arrived I'd seen people
who used Landmark as a safety,
as a church
as a home for finding safe friends
and a world view that they found "worked"
and that was part of the safe friends thing:
they really really wanted other people to see the world
through the Landmark lens.

And what is the Landmark lens.
Well, you can go online and get the syllabus to the three day training.
And they hand them out when you show up for the intro night.

It's something like this:
we are programmed beings,
and out programming creates our VIEW
and our VIEW determines how we'll perceive and
act in reality.

We have a story that seems to validate the view,
we confuse and conflate the story with What Happened,
and the story is an illusion,
and once we see things the Landmark way,
we can "get on the bicycle" and ride
in the world of possibilities.

All that at the end sounds vague,
and it works,
because in part they are trying to have their cake
and eat it too:
deprogram people
almost with a hypnosis about "and now you
will be deprogrammed once you know it
our way."

It's all words.

Sort of
because they are big on action,
especially making phone calls to apologize for
being lost in "the story" about
some person you've been on the "outs" with.

There are no internal movement lessons
that give a feel for the new in a person.

There is no practice of being present,
though there is gobs of talk about the past and
the future not being real,
they are good on that,

and what about this now,
outside of the leader's words
and our / the audience's words
about the leader's word

is there a way to
to be now
okay now,
to be present,
follow your breathing,
or sense your arms and legs and watch light
and notice the sounds as they are happening.

or sense your big toe and your tongue and your thumbs
as you eat and talk

not really

life as a meditation
or an ongoing experience
is not offered

"transformation" not change are

it's cool stuff
in a way

So, you have a leader,
and he's been through "breakthroughs"
which are the currency of the L F,
you give up the "story"
and you get on the phone
and you apologize to people you've had trapped
away from your love with your VIEW

This is all very good,
and could be done with the Byron Katie work,
but she doesn't say
you need to/ should/ have to
do her work,
she doesn't want you to get everyone you
she leaves that up to you,
the work is to be done any time you are feeling
and only if you want to know the truth instead of suffering

And then the Feldenkrais/ Anat Baniel work
is a set of movement possibilities
that help us feel younger, more free,
clearer in our thinking,
but they are an approach to lifelong

And in Landmark, too,
the world of possibilities is the cool

and it is

the way to that,
the pressure to come to more and more trainings,
to get every one else in so they'll all "get it,"
the push to "get on the bicycle"
all mitigate against real inner clarity.

And it feels good, though,
to belong,
to be around people who are changing,
to be around people who have the same world view,
to be around people who have the same "born again"
not Jesus here, but Landmark.

And there is more
and this is hard to articulate,
but at the end of the introductory evening
the trainer brought up
some new people,
and had them admit an overview
that seemed to dominate their life.

One was: "I'm not good enough"
one was "I can't do it"

These two people were pushed to see
that these statements were illusion
(Which isn't all true:
sometimes all of us aren't good enough,
say, to fly a plane,
or can't do it, like quadratic formulas,
but as a blanket over view, both VIEWS aren't so useful).
And thus they didn't have any power over the people.

When the second person said she was fine when
she didn't believe her story,
the trainer pushed her around emotionally,
told her that wasn't so,
that she could NOT believe or disbelieve something
that was an illusion,

which is bullshit

that's the history of the world
falling apart
 couples and neighbors and nations
all going to war over the illusion:
you should change
you are wrong
I am right and you should see/ do/ feel/ think it my way

So, he's demanding she get with the program
He's denying an absolute full proof way out of suffering,
which is to stop believing the story,
He's promising her the Landmark pie in the sky
if she signs up for her $485 and learns to "ride the bicycle"

But the worst is,
unlike any person in the present,
who can't demand others shape up,
he isn't present to her,
he's present to the problem of solving her
to get her to demonstrate to the audience how
cool his method is

so he's not listening

oh, well.

that's my view,
and man do I fail at it,
don't we all,

this listening to others less enlightened than I

and that's always a false story of mine,
and to my mind,
was a false story of his

So, that enough.
Except the huge dishonesty of saying at the beginning of the night
that this wasn't a pressure thing,
and then pretty much making it almost impossible
to leave
if you didn't sign up at the end

And yet,
they were so happy

one almost wants to join the cult
to get that "oh, my, now I fit in" rush
and to
"get with a program"
that opens a lot more doors than "ordinary living"

and not to "disappoint" all the smiley faces,
if you'd just join our club
we'd smile even more
and love and hug you
and take you in

and there are boyfriends, girlfriends
a whole world,
like a megachurch
all is contained

come on in
come on in

all is safe

join the Hitler Youth
the born again
the we love the 49ers
the Tea Party
the communist party
the party party

join us
join us
and we will love cherish accept
take care of you

the Scientologist club,
wow, that's probably the closest

and then again
to just

be present

and including the ideas of making small changes
and noticing differences
and slowing down
and living in the emptiness of
and no story
and waiting and seeing

life as it is in the moment,
and seeing what happens,
in movement
in thought
in emotions
in spiritual work

that, too, will set us free

but without that warm mob family tribe feeling

and we can always do the work
as in (Byron Katie, again,
and you don't have to do that,
and you CAN do that
all on your own,
and Katie/ me/ others
won't love you more
if you do or don't do it)
on any feelings that it's wrong/ bad/ scary/ hard
to be alone


I thought this was going to be short

Oh, well

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Some preliminary thoughts on attending a Landmark Forum "guest night"

Well, I went to the Intro Evening
which with diabolically clever packaging,
was the last 3 hours of a weekend training

people were all whoopie do about their 
and for some good reasons

and their last night assignment:
bring in the newbies

and it clearly had 
(recall a statement I annoying make now and then,
our three choices as humans:
low grade robots, high grade robots, awake--
worked meant, it appeared to me, radically upgraded robots)

And yet,
and yet,
this work is obvously hugely effective
for those
not having done anything like the work of Byron Katie
or encountered, apparently,
the difference between attachment and non attachment
or story vs not believing the story
or identification with programming vs not identifying

a huge gob of people
had woken up to their pre-judging
and had made phone calls to parents
and so on
apologizing for narrow mindedness

needless to say,
lots of breakthrough

but back to the diabolical
because the "sharing" some of these breakthroughs,
plus the clever pitch that this was an invitation not a demand
and then throwing in some hints about the power of
realizing we are run by our "view" of reality
and the frenzy built

and by the end
the pressure was on:
if you came,
as a guest and didn't sign,
your life was forever lost, you'd blown it,
you really were making a mistake

huge pressure
after the promise of no pressure

I'll talk some in tomorrow's slow sonoma essay
on the difference between trying to push (hard)
someone to give up their story (done in the example time
at the end by Mr Trainer, an ex-Marine with all the 
suitable breakthrouggs)
and Byron Katie's loving the person with and without their
and having no attachment to them "getting it"
doing her work

But, if you've come this far,
the thing,
and the way it's set up for a lifetime of associates
and friends who all "get it"
in the way of Landmark speak/ understand/ breakthrough
(dating services, huge crowds, endless keep up with it courses)

reminds me of Moshe in Potent Self
 talking of "great men" in history,
studied in books in school
in exact circumstances to stiffle the originality
and thinking for themselves that made the "great men"
(or women, of course)

the wild weird contraction:
wanting to bring freedom
to a herd
and not giving them the internal experiences
that say
a movement lesson
could give

leaves people in a weird bind
almost a double bind

 a cult devoted to deprogramming you from the ongoing

I'll have to mull it over
because it's fun seeing how useful and effective their 
work is
and how
convoluted the pressure to bring in everyone you know
is compared to / distinct from the thrust for freedom

and if you are still reading
here's a
story from Denis Leri on Moshe at an EST
and Werner up front ranting about "all you assholes don't
even know how to walk"
and Moshe standing up and walking across the floor
"All you assholes except one don't know how to walk."

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