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Why am I so motivated, full of energy, and productive these days? No idea. Most people are winding down at 73. That said, all of my teachers seemed to be just getting going round about the age I am now. Maybe it has something to do with having had good role models. Maybe it has something to do with that famous Tea Ceremony story that goes like this:

How should one study Tea? For the first 10 years, strive to do everything exactly the way your teacher does it, without question. For the second 10 years, strive to do everything exactly the way your teacher does it, but begin to wonder about it. For the third 10 years, begin to change, imperceptibly, your approach to Tea. For the fourth 10 years, your approach should be as different from your teachers’ way as East is from West. 

That story aptly describes my training as a movement artist and educator. But I am now embarking on my sixth 10 years of study! For 20 years, my work has been noticably different from that of my teachers. But now, as I begin my sixth decade, finally, my work is entirely my own. There is this deep sense of having arrived, of being home. These remainly years, I suspect, will be about living in my home and welcoming people into my world.

As a lifelong educator, one of my tasks has been the creating of environments, both physical and social, that are conducive to learning and unlearning. Inside of the right environment, learning and unlearning happens effortlessly. In June, in our Walking Way Gathering, the environment in which we lived, studied within, and opened ourselves to granted all of us an experience that was deeply moving, I dare say, transformative, life-changing. Listen to how these students described their personal transformations, and how it was for them to study with me:

“The gathering in New Mexico was such a profound experience that it’s difficult to put into words. At this gathering, Bruce welcomed us into his life, into the amazingly beautiful surroundings where he lives and into his way of seeing beauty in the world. Through this gathering, I’ve learned to recognize beauty in ways I hadn’t before. I’ve learned beautiful ways of conveying Alexander’s work with my hands and through language and movement. It’s given me a lot to practice and experiment with.

Through this gathering, I also have found a level of comfort and ease in walking that I hadn’t known existed—and I think that’s a high bar coming from an Alexander Technique teacher! I’ve found greater comfort in actual walking and in walking through the activities of my day, including teaching, which needs time—especially for clients dealing with pain.

Bruce teaches Alexander Technique applied to life—including the way we relate to time. Learning to truly take time and walk well with Bruce has changed my life. While I cannot quickly change all the conditions in my life to be as I would like, this experience has been transformational. I am back on the path toward the sustainable life I want to live.

I feel inspired and I have recovered my trust in and enthusiasm for my work and for myself. I feel like I can come up and into my true self with confidence. Thank you so much for that.”

Mari Hodges – Pain Management Specialist  and Alexander Technique teacher.

“I will walk and I will find my own Way knowing that the world will always be with me. I know it is there, this deep peace, always. I can choose to sense it at any time.

Bruce is above all gentle. He will find a way into the depths of your unknown by walking you through the wide open doors of your senses… He gives time. And a little bit of nothing that can make the whole noisy chaos of a person dissolve instantaneously…”

Lauren Colace – Alexander Technique Teacher/New Zealand

“Bruce, the teacher, and Bruce, the person, are one and the same. 

In a gentle, natural, and approachable way, Bruce provided mental images, physical exercises, tactile contact, and beautiful experiences in nature that  brought each of us into a closer relationship with each other, with our movements and body structure and with our individual and collective relationship to the Earth. He helped each of us to exist more comfortably in our bodies, which expanded our field of available choices at each moment, giving us a way of living more fulfilling lives. In these ways, Bruce’s teachings address the act of living itself, not movement alone. His aversion to rigid dogmas, receptivity to each person’s experience and how they express that experience, his thoughtfulness, and sense of humor made the Walking Way gathering an inspirational experience that will affect my life for years to come.

Kurt Stallmann – Professor of Music Composition and Theory – Rice University

Most of you, I am sure, have made your plans for August and September. But just in case you are still thinking about joining us this year, two openings do remain in August and two in September.

If you have any questions, write to me at bruce@brucefertman.com. We can also have a zoom call and talk.

Yours,

Bruce

Photos: Feature photo I took driving home from a walk while passing by Abiquiu Lake, one of our walking paths, about 20 minutes from our guest house. Mari is hiking in Christ in the Desert on a trail few people know about. Lauren standing by an old adobe wall on Canyon Road, and Kurt is out with the gang at The Shed, a famous New Mexican restaurant on the Plaza. Finally, the last photo is of Shin (大橋 しん ), a gifted man who spent many years studying with me in Japan. Here we are on our way up to Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch with my old dog Rusty leading the way.

 

 

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