"Open-Eyed Doing Nothing"
Deeply embodied changes in myself after a course of 25 lessons
by Rod Leslie (2018)
(Picture: Rod and Flora outside her office.)
To discover the fluidity of turning at the ankles, rather than twisting at the hips. To witness that 'Skelly', Flora’s skeleton, connects to the foot at the ankle and not at the heel. To experience the head pivoting freely at the ear level terminal point of the spinal chord like a bobble-head doll. To become aware of that juncture of the neck, head and torso as well as the point where the other end of the spine encounters the pelvis (like a bathing suit).
And to experience the amazing power and freedom of these points.
To pause, and to wait, to encounter the body self, the environment, and one’s immediate intention before commencing an action. To slow down. To neither plop nor lunge. To investigate the interim segments of any process between the start and the end point. To awaken to the possibly for equipoise and choice within each moment of this process.
These are the kinds of understandings which Flora explores in our sessions together. Through delicate touch, show-and-tell instances, and the transmission of subtle energies, nourished with her uniquely infectious delight.
My purpose for taking Alexander Technique lessons was to improve my balance and my voice. I got so much more from this remarkable teacher and person.
What teaching and what experience most affected me through this encounter?
To once again regain the opportunity for unlearning. To “debarnacle” the hull of being, and to sail free with the rhythms and circularity of wind and wave.
To awaken to the substantiality of emptiness: the open-eyed doing nothing resting on the table, releasing tension through Flora’s touch. To know that lessons are learned in stillness.
To pattern Mr. Monkey in my daily standing up and sitting down. Not to forget wonderful conversations and self-sharing moments.
Thank you Flora, for your generosity and kindness. I am changed.