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Tag: Self Awareness

The Alexander Technique: realign your body

The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change movement habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a reeducation of the mind and body. It is promoted for the alleviation of back pain, rehabilitation after accidents, improving breathing, playing musical instruments and singing.

The technique dates back to the 1890s when Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), an actor who began his career as a Shakespearean orator, developed chronic laryngitis while performing. Determined to restore the full use of his voice, he carefully watched himself while speaking, and observed that undue muscular tension accounted for his vocal problem. He sought a way to eliminate that restriction. Over time, he discovered and articulated a principle that profoundly influences health and well-being: when neck tension is reduced, the head no longer compresses the spine and the spine is free to lengthen. From this work on himself and others, he evolved this hands-on teaching method that encourages all the body processes to work more efficiently - as an integrated, dynamic whole.

The Alexander Technique is not something you can learn from a video or a book. You need a teacher to review your own personal situation and guide you, so taking lessons is very important. If you are in the New York area, I suggest you contact Mark Josefsberg who is a certified Alexander Technique teacher. You can find a lot of informative articles and videos regarding this topic, as well as his contact information on his website at www.MarkJosefsberg.com .

You can find a detailed guide about the technique at AlexanderTechnique.com. Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV explains it more in the video below:

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Krishnamurti’s 1985 speech at the United Nations

I would love to share with you a talk by one of my favorite speakers on spiritual subjects: Jiddu Krishnamurti. For those who don’t know him, he was born in 1895 in India, and was a well known writer and speaker on subjects that included the purpose of meditation, human relationships, the nature of the mind, and how to enact positive change in global society. He died on February 17, 1986, at the age of 90, from pancreatic cancer.

In 1984, shortly before his death, he was awarded the United Nations (UN) Peace Medal, and at the age of 90, he was invited to give a speech at the 40th anniversary of the UN in 1985. In his speech, he spoke of how mankind, through its evolution some fifty thousands years ago till now, has not found peace on earth ‘pacem in terris’ and how it still lives in conflict. He stressed that if there is no radical change at the present time, the future will still be what it is now. He questioned whether human beings can live peacefully with each other, and that organizations did not solve this problem. According to him, “there can only be peace when mankind, when you and I, have no conflict in ourselves.”

You can find more information about Krishnamurti on Wikipedia. Watch the 30 minute video (with French subtitles) of Krishnamurti’s speech at the 40th anniversary of the UN in 1985:

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Life and Music as told by Alan Watts

For most of us, we think of life as a journey that has a serious purpose of the end, and the thing is to get to that end. We go to kindergarten, then we head to school, then high school, then university, then work, etc… as if the great thing is coming at the end of each grade.

But, we miss the point the whole way along. It is a musical thing, and we’re supposed to sing or dance while the music is being played.

Watch the animation below by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of the famous animation South Park) on top of a short narration by Alan Watts, best known as a foremost interpreter of Eastern philosophies to the West:

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