Ryokan Poem

{Poem} First Days of Spring, by Ryokan

A lovely spring poem by the Zen monk Ryokan to remind us that the essence of a child is alive within us and that joy is always right here, right now…


From the Book
Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf: Zen Poems by Ryokan

First days of spring—blue sky, bright sun.
Everything is gradually becoming fresh and green.
Carrying my bowl, I walk slowly to the village.

The children, surprised to see me,
joyfully crowd about, bringing
my begging trip to an end at the temple gate.

I place my bowl on top of a white rock and
hang my sack from the branch of a tree.

Here we play with the wild grasses and throw a ball.
For a time, I play catch while the children sing;

Then it is my turn.

Playing like this, here and there, I have forgotten time.
Passers-by point and laugh at me, asking,
“What is the reason for such foolishness?”

No answer I give, only a deep bow;
Even if I replied, they would not understand.

Look around! There is nothing but this.

-Ryokan

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Scarlets birth story

{Birth Video Share} Scarlet’s Birth

One thing that continues to inspire me about pretty much all of these birth stories shared here is that the father is often involved with the whole labor and birth process in such a tender and delightful way. Scarlet’s Birth is no exception. There is something so magical about seeing a couple, a family really— as the infant is very much involved in the birth process, move together through this amazing life transition.

Feldenkrais Tweet  My own method of coping with the waves came from deep within, something not practiced in class and something that I can only describe as primal. -Valerie Larenne, Adventures in Natural Childbirth

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Josh Shreiber Feldenkrais Practitioner

The Road to Effortless Musical Mastery

We musicians tend to think of making music as inherently strenuous. That the way to musical mastery is paved by hard work.

We train through countless hours of solitary practice. We drive ourselves to do better, never accepting ‘good enough.’ We know we should be relaxed as we play or sing, but our tight shoulders, sore necks and tired backs tell a different story, even if our fingers or lips seem as nimble as can be. Like athletes, we drive our bodies to the limits of our ability, to do essentially unnatural things (I remember when it hit me that we did not evolve to play the viola da gamba. Our instruments evolved to produce a certain aesthetic ideal, not to be ergonomic).

We hold our breath and grimace with the emotion of the music we are expressing, because otherwise, why bother? How can I express sorrow or suffering if I don’t feel it myself?

And we accept that this is just the way it is. No pain, no gain. It’s a sacrifice we make for our art. Gotta make a living….

But is this really true?

Read more

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Home Birth Video

{Birth Video Share} A Birth Film by Kalimana

This short and touching Birth Film by Kalimana is  such a wonderful display of how the whole family can nurture and support the mother. One thing I bit about this Birth Video that I really enjoyed, was how comfortable the daughters were with the whole process.  What a wonderful way to subtly shift the world, allowing birth to be a natural part of being a family. Simply Beautiful!

Feldenkrais Tweet  Babies are born by women, not delivered by doctors. – Valerie Larenne’s Birth Story, Adventures in Natural Childbirth

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Feldenkrais MEMAP

An Introduction to The Body Scan

Body Scan Meditation

Finally, a good excuse to lie down and do nothing! Ok.. Maybe not quite nothing.

Exploring the art of Body Scans is a wonderful way of developing skills such as embodied awareness (i.e. being able to sense yourself), concentration, and focused attention. Plus, body scanning can be used as an effective ‘pre-movement’ strategy or end of the day stress-reduction practice.

Whoa!

Did you say stress-reduction? So is this a relaxation technique?

Not exactly. The body scan is actually a form of meditation or mindfulness practice. It is also often used at the beginning, and throughout, a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson. However, one of the big-ol-perks of this practice is that all that sensing in the horizontal tends to help relax our busy minds and sooth our stressed out soles (yes as in soles of ye feet).

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Conscious Quote 8

Conscious Quote 9 Moshe Feldenkrais

This quote is from the book, The Master Moves with Moshe Feldenkrais (pg 192). To be honest it isn’t the easiest read. Actually, it is a transcript of a five-day public workshop taught by Dr. Feldenkrais at Mann Ranch in northern California in 1979. It is a interesting read if you are serious about the Method, but not one I would recommend for the novice.

All that said, I LOVE this quote! It is a wonderful reminder of just how interconnected we are with others and our environment.

 

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