Reflections on the Alexander Technique
Night thoughts of a teacher . . .

May 2024
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Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:40 am

“I see [and approve] the right way, but follow the wrong.” (Ovid)

I believe that this was one of Frank Pierce Jones’ favorite quotes–and one of mine today!  I was all set to jump right in and write this blog on a regular basis, every Monday.  And what happens–I forget to write as soon as the opportunity presents itself!  Sorry.  I have not yet integrated the writing of this blog into my thinking; it has not entered the rhythmic movement of my week (seven totally different rhythms for each week–and then the next week is yet again different!).

I speak to students about this very thing with respect to stopping periodically during their day to lie down for a few moments (constructive rest, we call it) so as to begin their process of re-education–ending the old “I’ll just finish this and then . . . ” or our end-gaining ways-of-being.  It works best, especially initially, to find a consistent time (or more) to lie down so that constructive rest simply becomes a part of one’s normal routine.  And this may be different on a daily basis in a consistent way, etc.

Well, it looks like I am good at giving advice to others, but not at following it myself.  It does help make me more aware of the difficulties students have with this concept of rhythm–such as finding a lesson time and making a weekly commitment to that time.  Little things creep in and one becomes totally involved with the distractions.  I will not begin to elaborate on my own set of distractions yesterday; it would only be a set of excuses (or as my brother calls them “Cheltenhams” in honor of my address!). 

Thus, I will work in this first month of writing on finding a rhythm which will foster the work–and not become a burden.  Forcing writing on a strict rhythmic basis is an example of end-gaining anyway.  Best to work on writing when something interesting pops into my mind (reflections)–and, hopefully, things of interest do present themselves to me!  Right now, I think I will continue to think about rhythm–both macro- and micro-rhythms in my life.  While reflecting on this, I will go warm up my massage table (yes, I have a heated pad on the table for the winter months) and lie down for a while–releasing the strain from thinking on these things! 

Ciao for now.

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Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 9:09 pm

How strange it is to be writing about the Alexander Technique (AT)!  But, I have decided to do just that on a weekly basis.  Perhaps some of my students will be encouraged to join me.

So, let us begin at the beginning–end-gaining/means-whereby.  Our governing principles, but which one?  One the path of violence, the other non-violence.  A first lesson and standing in front of a chair, not knowing what to make of it.  As Alexander said, “You can’t do something you don’t know, if you keep on doing what you know.”  I chose those many years ago to suspend wanting to know what it was in order to explore other possibilities, to engage in (without expectations) my standing in front of the chair.

And so, I stand again in front of the chair for the first time, exploring without expectations. 

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