fbpx
a

Grace of Sense 2

Notes, Recordings & Zoom Links

Week Ten

Grace of Sense 2

Week Ten

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Nine

Grace of Sense 2

Week Nine

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Eight

Grace of Sense 2

Week Eight

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Seven

Grace of Sense 2

Week Seven

Recordings & Notes

*Notes and recordings will be available soon.

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Six

Grace of Sense 2

Week Six

Recordings & Notes

*Notes and recordings will be available soon.

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Five

Grace of Sense 2

Week Five

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Four

Grace of Sense 2

Week Four

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Three

Grace of Sense 2

Week Three

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week Two

Grace of Sense 2

Week Two

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Week One

Grace of Sense 2

Week One

Recordings & Notes

European & Asia Class

Americas & Asia Class

Notes

Click to view

 

GRACE OF SENSE

2022

CLASS 11


In the Beginning and Toward the End

Let’s take a look at our central mobile from its very beginnings through unto its inevitable end.

An embryo at eight weeks has just the beginnings of a tiny central mobile. Its expanding brain and its beating heart are anchored together via taut arteries. Compressed between them are minute folds and furrows, three small ridges. One will become the brow, one the nose, one the chin, the face sculpted by the expanding brain and the beating heart.

At a certain point, the pressure between the brain and the heart becomes so great that instead of growing toward one another, they begin unfurling, growing away from one another. The head leaves the heart. Between them now organs begin to form in the newly available space. Space precedes substance. First there is nothing, then there is something.

The baby enters the world, C-shaped, one simple curve.

Over the first few months, through Olympian effort, the baby acquires the needed strength to lift its head and look around, gradually forming a flexible and stable cervical curve. The lumbar curve develops as the baby begins creeping and crawling, but only fully establishes itself through the Herculean task of learning to walk.

The head becomes the center of orientation, the pelvis the center of locomotion.

We grow, we evolve from zygote, to embryo, to fetus, to infant, to baby, to toddler, to child, to teenager, to young adult, to adult, to maturing adult, (young-old), and if lucky to very old adult, (old-old).

Somewhere between young-old and old-old another spinal transformation begins, as natural perhaps as all the other spinal transformations. In Onsens, Japanese hot springs, I have spent hours studying the shapes of boys and men of all ages, the children with arching lower backs and rounded bellies, with soft, supple necks, their heads balancing loosely atop naturally upright spines. The young men, unbeknownst to them, but evident to me, already foreshadow how they will sit, stand, and walk as old men. And the now old men, some more, some less beginning to wilt, droop, sag.

It’s as if the thoracic curve wants to re-incorporate the cervical curve into itself, making the head, and with it the mind, the eyes, and ears orient inward, away from the outer world, toward the world of in-sight and hindsight.

It’s as if the sacral curve wants to re-incorporate the lumbar curve into itself, tilting the pelvis under, making locomotion more difficult, venturing out more trying, increasing the impulse to sit, perhaps to read, perhaps to write, perhaps to listen to the stories of others, or to give counsel.

I have begun to feel the pull of my primary curves wanting to reclaim my secondary curves. Is it natural, inevitable? I don’t know. I’ve chosen, however, not to give in to this subtle, seductive undertow. I want my head above water. I want to continue orienting outward to the world. I want to walk onto dry land, feel the earth beneath my feet. Perhaps one of the reasons four out of five of my mentors taught into their mid to late nineties was because they knew how to feed and nourish their secondary curves. Perhaps those curves allowed their eyes to see and to care about others. Perhaps those curves provided more space for their organs, allowing for greater oxygen intake, better blood flow, good digestive motility. Perhaps those curves helped lengthen their legs under them, kept those feet firmly on the ground.

If our primary curves pull us back to the past and our secondary curves beckon us forward into the future, then having a balance between them might bring us into the present.

Yes, perhaps it was their secondary curves that kept them so vibrant, so engaged, so present, so here, here with us, for so long.

Flying By/Standing Still

You may have noticed that it is easy to fall back into living unconsciously, habitually, automatically. Our butler’s can disappear on us, leave for days, for weeks. The sense of our fluid body, of our soft, changeable central mobile. All the inanimate entities around us that we rely on so much can quickly turn into lifeless, unfeeling objects not worthy of our appreciation. Why is that?

I am not sure, but I suspect often it has to do with our relationship to time, how we think about time, how we sense time, how we use time.

Time Standing Still

I invite you to find an hour and to sit and watch this film. It seems to capture a long forgotten sense of time for which we all long.

The Hamster 

What do waiting and hurrying have in common, I ask my students?

A long silence blows into the room. Then,

They’re both not fun.
Something about time.
A fear of being late?
When we’re waiting, we collapse and when we’re hurrying, we tense up. So, they both bring us out of balance.

In both situations we want to be in the future.

Exactly. We want to be somewhere we are not, somewhere in the future. When we’re waiting, we put our body, our car sort to speak, in park. Our mind opens the door, leaves and tries to get where it’s going. When we’re hurrying, we’re flooring it, but the car is stuck in first gear. We want to shift into an easier gear, relax, look around, turn up the radio and take off down the open road, but we’re worried about being late. The car’s overheating, overworking. Sure, we’re getting to where we’re going, but we’re looking at some wear and tear, expensive repairs, or a breakdown down along the way. Time pressure.

Let’s return to the act of waiting. How much time do you think we spend waiting? Again, a long silence. I can see people looking within, at their own lives, trying to see when they find themselves waiting.

Let’s go room by room, place by place. What do we wait for in the kitchen?

…for the water to boil so I can have my cup of tea.
…for water to get hot from the faucet so I can wash the dishes. …for the toast to pop up.
…for the microwave to finish baking a potato or whatever.

Keep going.

…for the kids to wash their hands and sit down.
…waiting for my teenage daughter to finish what’s on her plate.

Good Luck.

…for my partner to come.

There you go.

…to fall asleep.

Good luck.

…this is weird, but for the alarm to go off.

Are you getting the picture? Okay, let’s go outside. Car?

…for it to start.
…waiting at stop lights.
…traffic jams.
…for the defroster to actually defrost. …toll booths.

Stores?

…checkout lines.
…waiting for someone to help you with something.

Good luck. Restaurants?

…waiting for the waiter.

Hmm…why is a waiter called a waiter?

…waiting to be seated.
…waiting for the menu…waiting for a glass of water. …waiting for a beer.
…waiting for a margarita.

Good one.

…waiting for my friend to stop talking about their problems.

And then we have train stations, and airports, and baggage claim areas, and elevators, and doctor offices, and emergency rooms. We even have waiting rooms. As the father of a teen-age daughter, I think I spent half my life waiting for her to finish whatever she desperately needed to finish before we could leave the house to go anywhere.

When I am in Japan, I wait for my students to answer a question I address to the group. I wait endlessly for some brave soul to break that painful silence. In America, I wait for my students to stop talking. And very often people wait for me to start talking! I am infamous for my long pauses, when I am quietly waiting for divine intervention, which I need. Or, and this is a tough one for me too, I wait impatiently for my translator to finish translating so I can continue to say what I want to say before I have forgotten what it is I wanted to say.

Add all that up and that’s probably a good bit of time, don’t you think? Here’s the thing…when we are waiting, we are not really living. It is unlived life, life unlived. Sensory receptivity plummets when we wait. The world around us vanishes. No great thoughts are gracing us with their presence. Nothing is going on except for discontentment of some sort, boredom, frustration, which is usually disguised anger, feelings of entitlement, anxious thoughts about what might happen if I am late, or if I don’t get done everything I have to get done.

Waiting is time not well spent. And we have just determined it’s a lot of time. How much? I don’t know. Find out.

This week, take pleasure in noticing when you are waiting. Just laugh and say, Ah, I am waiting! What is happening throughout my body when I am waiting? What would happen if I stopped waiting? Then, find out.

 

 

Let’s inspire each other & study together.

Share your thoughts with the Teacher Training Community.

Experience

Enroll

Read

Schedule

Ask

Login