Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Portal Into A Change In Perspective

When life is at it's most difficult, or merely just redundant, a change in perspective transforms crisis into opportunity and the mundane into a thing of transparent beauty.

One of the many things that is so alluring about the practice of AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT (ATM) is that it draws on principles from all sorts of different areas of human knowledge. Some are more recent additions to the treasure trove of human experience: physics, child development, kinetics and psychology for example. Some have been handed down generation to generation through the centuries: acupuncture, martial arts and the ancient healing pracitces based on movement such as Tai Chi, Chi Gung and the work of Gurdjieff.

It's not that Feldenkrais, D.Sc. blended all these together to come up with a new field, this is not a composit body of work, rather it is something entirely original that makes use of existing principles and laws that all physical bodies are subject to. Yet, as physical bodies animated by a spark of some unidentifiable magic, it seems some of these principles translate to living not just to moving. How so, you ask?

Whenever I am stuck or in emotional turmoil I think of my experiences over the years as a student of the Course in Miracles. In that text there is a spiritual principle that you cannot find the solution to a problem at the level of the problem. In the FELDENKRAIS METHOD, this principle is expressed in terms of not focusing on the problem, but finding what works and expanding on that. In other words, if you have pain when you move, in your ATM practice you adjust or modify what you are doing so you are comfortable. You find a way to move that feels good and focus on that.

Feldenkrais, held the first Europen black belt in Judo. The concrete Judo/Aikido counterpart to this principle is that when faced with an opponent, you endeavor to find a way to use the force of their bodyweight in your favor. The Taoist counterpart to this principle is that you go with the resistance rather than fight it. The force of water finds it's strength in adapting slowly, gradually, ever so persistently to the lowest place it can flow through, thereby wearing away rocks that have withstood the tempest of time for a million years.

ATM is a portal to a change in perspective. By focusing on the present, on the movement, on what works in spite of a world in apparent chaos and confusion, a door is opened into a change in perspective regardless of what seems to be at issue in any given movement. If you submit yourself to the process, you create an opening for new visions of reality to emerge as concrete learnings rooted in your innate ability to regenerate, to morph and to adapt.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:53 PM

    I was looking for blogs about tai chi and came across yours. I have whats referred to as a hard style Karate School and this is something we've been contemplating adding to it. Great blog you have and I've enjoyed reading the posts on it.


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