The Alexander Technique is primarily a preventive technique.
F.M. Alexander said, “Mine is a method for the control of human reaction.”
The more we get to know ourselves, our tendencies, habits, and preferences, the more sensitive we become to subtle changes within us.
We become more aware of tensions that were always there beneath the level of consciousness, and we become more aware of the ease and grace that is also always there.
It is so important to realize that we are free to choose where to place our attention, because what we focus on we get more of.
Most of us musicians (especially classical, I believe) have been trained to be hyper-sensitive to noticing things that are “out of place” – a.k.a. “mistakes”. The more highly trained, the more we notice what’s “wrong”; the more refined our sensitivities, the more we notice our reactions to those misplaced notes that aren’t in tune or in time.
Left unchecked or mis-channeled, that ultra-sensitivity can be the destroyer of our inner peace and also affect the peace of those around us, even as the same sensitivity grants us the potential for creating exquisite works of art.
The Alexander Technique teaches us to be just as sensitive to what is happening within us as we are to the events around us. Perhaps even more importantly, it helps us to become more accepting of and less reactive to what we perceive as “wrong”.
For what is a mistake or a weed but a note or a plant that is being perfectly itself in a place where you wish it weren’t?
Before we begin, let us notice the ease within us, and the silence around us.
Let us find the peace within and without, and let us find the timeless rhythm of that quietude. Let us wonder about the freedom of the world and the self to be it-self, full of paradoxes, rights and wrongs.
Let us wonder about the freedom of the neck… your neck, my neck, the violin’s neck and the cello’s…
And let us know that – just as the music is made of tension and ease – so, in fact, are we.
It is inevitable that we will react and become tight – and then we will remember our freedom once again and release the tension again.
We will forget, and we will remember, and then forget again.
From head to toe, neck to ground, sky above, and wide all around…
Let us notice the reminders, and feel grateful for them throughout.
The paradox is that the more we accept the mistakes and our reactions, and the more we notice Ease, the more easily we can prevent them.
We will react, and we will startle. In accepting the tides, we accept all of life.
And in our acceptance, we will smile, and worry – and startle – so much less. 🙂
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing is a field. I will meet you there.” – Rumi
I’ll meet you there……..in the Being field……of non-doing free.
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