What Feldenkrais Got Wrong?

Feldenkrais On Meditation

"You live so poorly that you need the drug or the meditation. If you need the relief, it means that you use yourself wrongly, in the state of relief, in the state of meditation; that is how you should live. And if you live like that, why meditate? Why take drugs? Can you see that it is very simple and very idiotic? It is so idiotic that everybody does it."

"First, you do an idiotic thing and then you meditate." (Moshe Feldenkrais, San Francisco training, June 30th, 1977)

Ouch!

Meditation is idiotic?

For those of you who think of Moshe as a kind, gentle, father figure full of love and compassion, take note.

His teaching was full of comments like the one above. He was dismissive of many methods and modalities such as psychology and meditation. And was often dismissive of his students that brought them up.

Even so, I appreciate the man and I am deeply grateful for much of his work.

And that's why I am here.

To speak about the ideas and keep them evolving through lived experience and not dogma.

Meditation is of *huge* benefit to those who do somatic practices. And if you are a research gal (or guy) the scientific evidence of the benefits of meditation is overwhelmingly positive.

Meditation can relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and has been shown to increase the neuronal connections in - and the size of - the prefrontal cortex. There are literally thousands of research studies on the benefit of various meditation practices.

And for us somatic folks it can deepen bodily experience and help let go of habitual muscular tension and emotional states.

And it does so in ways that are both similar and different to what Feldenkrais can do.

Alright, you couldn't be blamed if you thought this blog post was a warm-up to on series on "Meditation for Feldenkrais students."

I have no such series as of yet.

But I do have a very cool and very gentle series of "Feldenkrais In Your Mind." These are some of the most meditative and gentle sessions that I have ever recorded. They are suitable for just about anyone who does Feldenkrais. And if you meditate - or want to - these Feldenkrais sessions might be able to inform and improve your meditation practice. Much like meditation can improve your Feldenkrais practice.

Check em' out below if you are intrigued by the idea:

https://ryannagy.samcart.com/products/mental/

Peace!

Ryan

(Remember, if you are a member of Easy Feldenkrais, and your membership is paid and current, you already have access to these sessions. Just log in to the site. Or go to our private Facebook group)

Feldenkrais Fan, Feldenkrais Critc

Things Feldenkrais Wrong About, Part 1

2 Comments

  1. “First, you do an idiotic thing and then you meditate.”

    Yeah, that’s pretty harsh. As much as I want to think he had a greater intention in mind with that kind of statement (that he was prone to making), I don’t know if it was really that helpful even if that was the case.

    I say that because I think that kind of thing turns people off of meditation and wanting to try to listen to what he has to say so much that the negatives outweigh the positives myself.

  2. Thanks, Jesse. I agree. I think he turned a lot of people off of both his work and the work of others. And some of his direct students from his two American trainings use the same language. I have been repeatedly called an idiot or idiotic – publicly – by several of his student who are now trainers. There is not much room for growth nor relationship when that type of communication takes place.

    Peace!

    Ryan

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