What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
— Vincent van Gogh
For the past few days, the morning AY a Day peer study group has been listening to the recordings of Moshe Feldenkrais’ 1981 workshop in Washington, DC. A colleague from Central California, Laura Willard, has been playing the cassettes from the four-day seminar, which was one of the last public courses that Moshe taught, if not the very last.
His voice fills the room of more than 200 participants as he instructs, cajoles, challenges, chides, philosophizes, instigates, and engages. The ATMs he chose for the start of the workshop are neither familiar nor particularly easy, and the positions are challenging. He keeps pointing out the importance of the nervous system in learning and skillful action.
Hearing Moshe brought me back to the Amherst training in the giant gymnasium at Hampshire College that same summer. Once again, I’m immersed in the brilliant ideas, intriguing experiences, sweeping claims, casual revelations, and incongruent behaviors that enthralled, annoyed, and inspired me and so many others. Listening to the founder’s words and following the itinerary of self-discovery he creates, I find myself reflecting on how his approach lands more forty years later, marveling at how deeply the lessons touch me — across all that time, and, in particular, appreciating the gifts he gave us.
There are 13 lessons and several talks, so you have time to participate if you’re a Feldenkrais teacher or trainee: This special event runs through the end of the month. If you have not joined the group yet, you can register here. If you’re not a member of the profession or if the hour (8:00 AM US Pacific time) doesn’t work, you can purchase the recordings from Feldenkrais Resources.
Starting with the image on the Feldenkrais Resources webpage about the Washington DC Quest workshop, I created the image above.
Shout out to Roger Miller, who created the original recordings. We wouldn’t have these recordings (and the many others he’s responsible for) of Moshe’s teaching if it weren’t for him. Thank you!
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