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On A Good Day

Joanna-Macy-300x3001.jpg

Joanna Macy, a Buddhist scholar and deep ecologist, and I were teaching at Omega Institute on the same week. Unbeknownst to me she peeked into one of my classes.

Just before the end of our time there Joanna came up to me and told me she had watched one of my classes. She said, “I watched how, under your hands, one person after another stood up like a standing wave. If I were to give you your Native American name, I’d call you Standing Wave,” she said, her lucid, loving light blue eyes, shining like sunlight upon the ocean.

She went on her way. I never saw her again.

These images by Ray Collins are how people feel under my hands, that is, on a good day. On a good day there is nothing I have to do. The ocean within people does it for me, and for them.

What we speak of as ‘direction’ in the Alexander Technique, I now experience in myself and others, not as geometric in nature, but rather as hydrodynamic.

Feast on these moving images.

The Infinite Now – The Cinemagraphs of Ray Collins from Ray Collins on Vimeo.

A Birthday Present To Myself

36 color copy

Photo: B. Fertman

Though not completely finished, I decided to get my reconstructed blog back up and running. My apologies for anyone who tried to enter and couldn’t get in. I have yet to organize my videos within logical categories and to fill in my new Alexander Alliance calendar.

If you’d like to give me a birthday present, take a moment to look at my new structure for the Alexander Alliance International and tell me if you like it better. Does it allow you better to find what interests you. Let me know about the look of it. Which photos work for you? Which ones don’t. Weird captions sometimes appear, and I still have to change most of them. I think it is really cool how you can click on one photo in the mosaic of photos and enjoy each full size photo, one at a time. And there is an amazing random feature I am using. Every time you refresh the page the mosaic is on, the photos rearrange themselves, often much more artistically than I can do manually. And of course sometimes not. If you have any suggestions for how I might improve the blog, let me know that too. I am also wondering what would be best to post on my revolving images at the top of the blog. Suggestions welcomed.

Living our work is privilege and a delight. Documenting it and making it available has always also been enjoyable for me. Finding the words and metaphors that ring true and deep. Capturing the moments when both teacher and student are unveiled and their natural beauty visible for all to see.

Thank you for all the kind birthday wishes.

Yours,

Bruce

Archives

 

There’s a good bit of writing I’ve shared here with my readers over the last few years, some of it dating back 30 years, some of it written last week. The best way to read my writings is to look to the right of the page and click on Categories.

A long list will appear. Simply click on something that interests you: anatomy, beauty, touch, breathing, walking, teaching, aging, the alexander technique, etc.

Or type in a word like inhibition or direction, or a person like Marjorie Barstow or Erika Whittaker and see what comes up. If you’d like to stay abreast of my current writings, choose to follow my blog. That’s what 2400 people are doing, which never ceases to amaze me.

Just click on Sign Up. It’s really easy.

 

 

UPDATING BLOG OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS!!!

Dear Blog Followers,

Bear with me as I improve my blog for you.

If you’d like to contact me for any reason you can do so at bf@brucefertman.com or via facebook.

Should resurface soon,

Yours,

Bruce

Letter To The Editor

 

Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart

Delving Into The Work Of F.M. Alexander

By

Bruce Fertman

 

Letter to the Editor:

Jean,

This makes me nervous, but I now send you my finished manuscript.

It is complete. Nothing missing. Nothing extra.

This is what I think the book does.

Part One communicates to people, no matter their level, from beginners to teachers, what AT is about in ways contemporary, understandable, relevant, and meaningful. Broadly and specifically. In Part One a lot of time is spent on primary movement/pattern/control, on inhibition and direction, on freedom and choice, though often not in that language. Now, with the two pieces added this month to Part One, it also speaks at length about sensory appreciation, and it includes some thoughts on breathing that relay Alexander’s unique orientation toward the subject. Part One now makes sense to me. A person should finish reading Part One and should be clear as to what AT is about. If the reader is an AT teacher he or she should come away with a lot of new and useful language, metaphors, images, and ideas and perhaps with more courage and desire to teach the work in groups.

Part Two then gives the reader an animated, heartfelt idea of what it looks like and feels like when I work with people on all the material introduced in Part One. The reader gets to see, and almost experience, what happens when a person sticks to principle. “Stick to principle and it will all open up like a great cauliflower,” as A.R. so aptly put it. Part One is about the principles. Part Two is about the cauliflower! Yes, plain, healthy, natural beauty.

The book as a whole also introduces me to the readers, not just my ideas, but who I am as a person and as an Alexander teacher, the two inseparably intertwined. In this way it is very much autobiographical, spanning a 55 year career. It is my hope the book may be, in part, inspirational to some younger AT teachers.

It is satisfying to have completed it.  It’s a bit like finishing a long, good novel, having read the last page and closed the book. There’s a gentle sadness and a deep joy. Yes I did it. I finished it. I like it. Now it’s forward into a free future with open arms and an open heart.

Jean, thank you for your continual support. The ball is now in your court. Obviously, it takes a village to write a book, and you are the Mayor!

Gratefully,

Bruce

 

 

Annual Alexander Alliance Summer Retreat Germany Einbecker Sonnenberg 15. – 19. July 2017

Annual Alexander Alliance Summer Retreat Germany

Einbecker Sonnenberg

15. – 19. July 2017

Photo: B. Fertman

Our yearly summer retreat offers 5 days of concentrated studying in a relaxed atmosphere.

Time seems to stand still during retreats. Our retreat structure allows you to have an intense, personal experience of Alexander’s work.  You will have the opportunity to meet the teachers and students of the Alexander Alliance who will have their training event at the same time.

Bruce Fertman and Midori Shinkai, two exceptional members of the International Alexander community, will lead the teaching team assisted by teachers from Germany. Classes will be taught in English with translation into German.

We, the Alexander Alliance Germany, are an intergenerational, multicultural community/school inspired by F.M. Alexander and Marjorie L. Barstow. Our purpose is to train skillful and compassionate Alexander teachers, which we have been doing, ceaselessly and enjoyably, for 35 years.

Alexander Alliance students learn to free themselves, and others, from stasis, restriction, and fixation. We learn to accompany people into their fluidity, spaciousness, and poise, while making sure everyone’s feet rest comfortably upon common, and solid, ground.

We awaken people to a sensory world full of simple pleasures. Our art is human touch – an inexhaustible resource for education, human nurturance, and growth. Our job is to gently un-harness deep, naturally organized patterns of vitality within ourselves, and within our students.

This groundswell of energy strengthens the will to live, love, learn, and work, generously and freely.

There is no place quite like the Alexander Alliance Germany. I invite you to come, and to study, and to find out why.

Click on this link to see and print out

our summer brochure.

It will tell you all you need to know about the summer retreat.

Our Summer Retreat Brochure

Click on this link to watch

Watch this documentary to get a good sense of what our summer retreat is like.

Summer Retreat

Our Website

 www.alexanderalliance.de.

Redirecting Unnecessary Tension Into Useful Energy – Directly Experiencing Your Inherent Coordination And Power

 

Photo: B. Fertman

Given By Bruce Fertman

Dorset, England

July 8th and 9th, 2017

We know it’s true. Einstein proved it. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Rather, it transforms from one form to another.

That goes for us too. We don’t need more energy. We need to know how to transform our energy, how to unbind it, to free it. We need to know how to redirect it so that it works for us rather than against us.

This is what Alexander figured out how to do, and in this workshop we will begin learning how to accomplish this for ourselves.

This workshop is for:

– People who wish to be introduced to Alexander’s work.

– People who are current students of Alexander’s work.

– People who use their hands in their work to help other people – bodyworkers, massage therapists, movement educators, performing art teachers, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, nurses and hospice workers, etc.

– Alexander trainees.

– Alexander teachers who want to learn how to introduce the work effectively and enjoyably within a group context and who are open to a possibly new perspective on the work.

About Bruce Fertman

 

He is the embodiment of his work. His touch is like a butterfly settling down on the very turning point of your soul. And then you know, “That’s who I am, that is who I could be.”

M. Tueshaus, Alexander Teacher / Tango Teacher/ Equestrian

Bruce has been using his hands, helping people to move well, for fifty-five years. He trained with five first generation Alexander teachers: Catherine Merrick Wielopolska, Marjorie L. Barstow, Richard M. Gummere Jr., Elisabeth Walker, and Erika Whittaker. Bruce brings a lifetime of training as a movement artist and educator to his work as an Alexander teacher, having trained in Gymnastics, Modern Dance, Ballet, Contact Improvisation, Tai Chi Chu’an, Aikido, Chanoyu, Argentine Tango, and Kyudo. In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school. Currently director of the Alexander Alliance Germany, Bruce also teaches annually for Alexander Alliance training programs in Japan, Korea, and America. He conducts post graduate training programs in Dorset and Zurich. Currently, Bruce is near completion of Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart – Delving Into The Work Of F.M. Alexander, which will soon be published by Mouritz press.

Gone is the straight-lined striving, the stopping and oughting. Instead curiosity, inquisitiveness, and permission to experiment, to play, to open boxes and to climb out of them into a world of possibility – a world both soft and strong. And all this through a quiet power, an exquisite touch, a clarity of speech, and a wealth of wisdom. For me, Bruce’s work is more than exciting; it is important, both to the world and to anyone involved in any way with Alexander’s Technique.

A. Turner – Alexander Technique Teacher
Cornwall, England

One of the foremost representatives of Marjorie Barstow’s lineage, Bruce’s work is unique and innovative. Bruce is especially gifted when it comes to teaching in groups. He’s a philosopher, poet and writer who gives voice to what is wonderful about the Alexander Technique.

Michael Frederick – Founding Director of the International Congresses for the Alexander Technique

Workshop Details:

When:

Sunday, July 8th and 9th, 2017

Fee:

£100 per day, £180 for both days. If you would like to have a little overnight Alexander vacation, read about staying a Gaunts House below. 

Half price for all Alexander teachers who bring a full paying participant. This is a great opportunity for Alexander teachers who would like to experience what it feels like to be in the Alexander Alliance Post Graduate Program For Alexander Teachers.

Where:

Gaunts House, Dorset

http://www.gauntshouse.com/

Accommodation: There are a variety of accommodations available at Gaunts House, allocated on a first come first served basis. Basic cost for a twin room is from £80 per day. Costs include all meals, (vegetarian), breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as unlimited teas and coffee throughout the day. Please indicate your preference when registering and any dietary requirements.

To register for the workshop contact Ruth Davis at:

Email: ruth.a.davis@me.com

Phone: +44 (0) 7590 406267

To Make Payment: 

BACS

(Please reference your payment with your full name.) Sort Code: 40-47-59

Account No: 12037351

Acc Name R Davis

International Transfers via:

IBAN: GB24MIDL40475912037351 BIC:MIDLGB2172

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me, bf@brucefertman.com or to Ruth Davis, ruth.a.davis@me.com.

Hope to see you at Gaunts House!

Bruce Fertman