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Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart by Bruce Fertman – Now A Kindle Book – $9.00

Announcing

Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart

by

Bruce Fertman

now available as a

Kindle eBook

for

$9.00

I invite you to listen to two stories from Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart

Read by

Jenny Quick

The Tango Lesson 

Two Worlds

What People Are Saying About Bruce’s Book

This is a book that we have needed for a long time — the only AT book I’ve come across that fully expresses the potential for human richness, depth, and contact that can be found in what we do.

Marcus Sly – Alexander Teacher – West Sussex, UK

“Masterful. This brilliantly insightful collection of essays is a graceful and generous narration of Fertman’s own experience in learning and teaching the Alexander Technique. Fertman has a real gift for highlighting the delicate nuances and uplifting depths within the practice of Alexander’s work. The volume is eminently engaging and the author’s quite remarkable perspicuity and empathy with his students shine throughout. Very highly recommended – it’s a true treasure trove.”

Amazon Customer Review

Bruce’s writing is full of emotion – love, peace, joy, sadness, curiosity, but quite remarkably, he manages to express this emotion deeply, beautifully and without sentimentality. He sees past the mundane collection of heads, necks and bodies that the technique starts with; past the next layer of how the student makes life choices; and right into the intrinsic emotional core of who the student is. His stories and images draw us into his classes, and then almost without realizing it, we are learning alongside his students. A book to savour and delight in.

Karen Evans – Alexander Teacher – Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK

At long last in the Alexander community I can attest that we have a book about what it means to teach, and beyond this, about what it means to have the teacher learn while teaching, and how this willingness to learn while teaching enriches the process of learning for the student, because the emphasis is on mutual discovery, and not on what could or should be.

Tommy Thompson – Alexander Teacher – Boston, Massachusetts 

This book is full of people, full of life. Bruce’s teaching has become an expression of who he is.

Jacek Kaleta – Alexander Teacher – Tychy, Poland

I love Bruce’s book – every page is a lesson. I love how it’s a conversation, making it so alive and personal to each reader. It’s the first book I’ve ever wanted not only to suggest to, but even work through with a student.

Annie Davenport Turner – Alexander Teacher – Mere, Wiltshire, UK

How Mr. Rogers Taught Us to Meet Life’s Challenges

Fred Rogers

A fellow AT teacher and I were wondering together about the overlap between teaching and healing. Clearly, we were teachers, educators, but might we also be healers? And, if we were healers, was not harboring that idea forbidden within our profession?

“I’m going to have to give this a good bit more thought,” I said. That night at 4am I had to get up and start writing. Alone, (was I alone), in that dark alleyway between waking and sleeping worlds, I wrote…

To speak of healing implies that someone is sick and in need of healing. I choose not to see my students, nor myself, as sick no matter how much they or I may be suffering.

I see us as sometimes confused and in need of knowing what is true.

I see us as sometimes thrown off our balance and in need of knowing how to regain it.

I see us as sometimes conflicted and in need of confluence.

I see us as sometimes distressed and in need of release.

I see us as sometimes exhausted and in need of support.

I see us as sometimes frozen with fear and in need of knowing how to melt into motion.

I see us as sometimes lost and in need of orientation.

I see us as sometimes driven and in need of learning how to drive.

I see us as sometimes isolated and in need of knowing that we are not.

I see us as sometimes neglected and in need of attention and care, which sometimes we alone can give.

Though I do not see people as sick, I can see that sometimes neither are we well.

I choose to see us as challenged. I have never met a person who was not physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenged.

What resources do we need to meet this challenge? My job is to offer those interested a few resources that were given to me, and some that I myself found along the way, that have helped me meet this challenge.

What does that make me professionally? I have no idea. I think of myself as a cross between a physical education teacher, social worker, rabbi, and Mr. Rodgers.

And, speaking of Mr. Rogers, who many of you may not know, I will end these alleyway thoughts with a four-minute video. Watch it until the end. It will tell you, in a nutshell, what I do my best to teach and how Mr. Rogers taught us, parents and children alike, to meet our challenges.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMdTl2R354A

Student Voices from Grace of Sense – My First Online Course

 

Here are some impressions by Grace of Sense students of what it was like to study with me. Hopefully, some short videos will follow.

Be safe. Remain vigilant.

Bruce

Student Voices

A Composite of Impressions by students who partook in A Grace of Sense – Part I

I look forward to Saturday mornings with Bruce very much and have been letting all I learn at each session percolate and filter into the way I live. With the wonderful visual imagery he gives in each session, I’m coming to a much more relaxed and comfortable understanding of myself. No longer am I beating myself up for forgetting to think about of all the things I ‘should’ be doing. I’m enjoying the freedom of allowing my body to do what comes most naturally. I find the exercises easy to practice, and I do so joyfully and without wondering what I’m doing ‘wrong’.  A new kind of contentment is taking hold.

***

As far as I am aware, all of the études and practices Bruce presents to us are original. The movements were introduced at a pace which allowed us to absorb each stage without being rushed to move on to the next. So, a complex movement or idea can be learned safely and slowly enough to stick. He lets the material permeate into you. His visual demonstrations and vocal guidance are clear and easy to follow. I find the content of the course extremely rich, to the extent that I feel I could continue to work on it for the rest of my life.

***
Bruce’s honest, affectionate regard for his students promotes learning. He has a deep trust in people finding their own way given tools and enough space and encouragement to explore. This has given me permission, both in myself and in my teaching, to move away from looking for something that is ‘right’ or ‘correct’. He promotes confidence.

A highlight of the course is listening to Bruce talk with such deep integration and understanding about the many different aspects of his work. He is a gifted raconteur.

***

Reading the notes, seeing the videos were vital because there was so much info in the classes it would be impossible to take it all in in one go. It is extremely valuable to be able to access the information after class. The online page is set out beautifully and the artwork is an added bonus. So much thought and care and love has gone into this… beyond my expectations. The continuity of 10 weeks was good for me and I liked having homework each week – just the right amount. I appreciate the care with which Bruce created his curriculum.

I feel more grounded. Less reactive. Bigger. Enriched.

 

 

 

 

 

Student Voices from Grace of Sense – Where Our Inner World and Outer World Meet

Honestly, I was not sure that this online teaching was going to work. I was skeptical. After all, my work is so profoundly physical and personal.

But it did work. Now, I am eager to get back in the saddle and continue teaching.

If you were not able to join in this time around, hopefully I will offer this course again beginning in October of 2021.

Here are some impressions by Grace of Sense students of what it was like to study with me. Hopefully, some short videos will follow.

Be safe. Remain vigilant.

Bruce

Student Voices

The highlight of the course was listening to Bruce talk about many different aspects of the work that he has developed with such deep integration and understanding. He is a gifted raconteur. As far as I am aware, all of the études and practices he presented to us are original, developed to communicate his own unique synthesis of Alexander’s ideas. I found the content of the course extremely rich, to the extent that I feel I could continue to work on it for the rest of my life.

Bruce teaches in a slow step wise fashion giving his students time to assimilate one layer before moving on to a deeper one. So, a complex movement or idea can be learned safely and slowly enough to stick. He lets the material permeate into you. His honest, affectionate regard for his students promotes learning.

There is something so restful about Bruce’s pace that it feels easy and fun to learn with him. His pace and approach is perfect for learning and full of stories and metaphors, imagery and imagination.

Lots of deep thought, years of experience and playfulness coming through in the delivery, promoting confidence to apply the work. Refreshingly, a teacher not trapped in the AT language, demonstrating deep understanding about the principles to apply to the changing cultural contexts in a constantly changing world.

I enjoyed Bruce’s exploratory approach, the imagery, and the emphasis on softness. I think he has a deep trust in people finding their own way given tools and enough space and encouragement to explore, and that has given me permission both in myself and in my teaching to move away from looking for something that is ‘right’ or ‘correct’.

The continuity of 10 weeks was good for me and I liked having homework each week – just the right amount. I appreciate the care with which Bruce created a curriculum.

I feel that the wealth of the course is in the follow through with videos and notes and all the additional material that supports the live /online sessions… beyond my expectations.

I feel more grounded. Less reactive. Bigger. Enriched.

A Composite of Impressions by students who partook in A Grace of Sense – Part I

 

 

 

Deep

Photo: B. Fertman

 

There are two kinds of people.
Foxes and Hedgehogs.

Foxes dig lots of shallow holes, spreading out all over the place.
Their coats are silky, shiny, and colorful. They’re debonair.
They’re sly. They’re quick. They’re here, there, and everywhere.

Hedgehogs are a bit pudgy.
They’re not real handsome or pretty. They’re drab.
They’re either still, like a rock, or busy digging away, usually the latter.
They start digging one hole, and once they start you can’t get them sidetracked.

They just keep digging one big hole. The hole gets wider and deeper.
And deeper. And deeper.
It seems like they are working their way down to the center of the earth.

It’s safe in that deep hole.
Some un-welcomed guests enter and start poking around.
The further in they go, the quieter it gets. Unnerved, they turnaround and leave.

The hedgehog keeps digging. Other creatures talk down about them,
Saying how they are just running away from the world.

Very few creatures understand hedgehogs.
They’re not digging away from anything, they’re digging toward something.
The closer they get, the better they feel.

They never reach the end, which they find rather mysterious.
Perhaps there is no end. Perhaps there is only the way.
No matter.

There are a few foxes, usually older foxes, who realize
That they’ve been running around getting nowhere.
Just how some foxes turn into hedgehogs, no one knows.
Legends abound.

It hurts. It’s harrowing. It’s humbling.

It is, however, widely known that the few foxes that do turn into hedgehogs,
Become some of the finest hedgehogs hedgehogs have ever had the privilege to meet.

A Letter to My Children

Kids,

You both know how politically oriented I am as a person.

That is because I have watched our country go down the tubes, slowly but surely, from the time Ronald Reagan became president.

Why that is, I don’t want to go into here.

What I want to say is that there is a reason why you guys graduated college in debt.

There is a reason why the job market for your generation was and is not what it was for mine.

These are not accidents.

There is a reason why the climate crisis is so dire right now.

There is a reason why 204,000 people have died from Covid-19, and 2 million people are mourning the loss of immediate family members, children, parents, siblings, and grandparents to Covid.

These are not accidents.

Democracies fall.

It has happened all through history, all over the world, and there is a good chance that it is about to happen in America.

Noah, Pennsylvania is particularly critical.

If America falls, the rest of your lives and that of your children’s lives, if you choose to have kids, will be degraded, and placed in jeopardy.

I encourage you to do all you can to make sure that Biden and Harris win this election and that we take back the Senate.

If you want me to, I would be happy to direct $50 for each of you and direct it either to the Senate Race, perhaps to a particular race you feel is especially important, and/or to the race for the White House. Let me know right away.

We will need young people helping with polling, with helping people to vote. I did this for Obama, and it made a difference. I would be doing this, but I can’t this time around. Do it for me.

Get your friends to vote who want 45 out. Do what you must to make sure they vote. Just like I am doing with you.

Here are some links to alert you as to what we are up against.

https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/how-legislatures-in-swing-states-could-impact-outcome-92444229833?fbclid=IwAR2YtiYA8OmIS8fFK1MvrYprw3UcxixTyIw9Jq1d-n9BeUQ_3eI2fOdHiuU

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/what-if-trump-refuses-concede/616424/?fbclid=IwAR0WAr9RGALdwQwE8xsOfWUoXPDCBJIbwEUQ54sJTDxp7pjEodYn9AxsaR0

https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/this-is-a-democratic-emergency-says-professor-92444741592?fbclid=IwAR2WjmG0OIEwOZk6E8ABJJrCmk7YF046LZX68PsDIuDY_vX65FEMjHJcHE8

Should America fall, I have the option of living in Japan. You may not have the opportunity to migrate to another country. Many people are forced to flee their countries due to racial and religious persecution or economic hardship. Jews have experienced this. Asians have experienced this. You guys are not immune from irrational hatred and political oppression.

And most importantly, think of all the people in this country who are so much less fortunate than you, who are dying from Covid, who are losing their jobs, their homes, their health, who are more discriminated against than both of you.

Vote for them. Do all you can for them.

Love you both,

Dad

The Tango Lesson – A Reading by Jenny Quick from Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart

A Reading by Jenny Quick

from

Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart

(Now a Kindle Book – $9)

by 

Bruce Fertman

 

The Tango Lesson 

 

I had one lesson with Pavlo Veron. It was in Wuppertal. A former partner of Pablo’s, Lizelot de Stigter, told me Pavlo was giving lessons only for one day and that she’d be happy to partner me. It was essentially impossible to dance poorly with Lizelot. She could follow anyone. Everything about her exuded kindness.

Pavlo watched us dance one dance, one song from beginning to end. Slowly, he walks over to me and says, “This is very rare. Almost with everyone who has a lesson with me, no matter how long they have danced tango, I have to begin with walking. No one knows how to walk. Then I have to work with their embrace. No one understands the embrace. But you are fine. You know how to walk. Your embrace is beautiful. You just don’t know tango.”

But Pablo and Geraldine do. Enjoy.

 

To Purchase the book on Amazon Click Here

Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart

New Thought Vermont Presents an Online Workshop with Bruce Fertman

Sensing Space/Sensing Time

Physical Contemplations on the Experience of Space and Time

September 10,11,12

8-9:15pm Eastern via Zoom

 

Photo: Bruce Fertman

Sensing Space

We all possess a sense of space within, or a lack thereof. Sometimes, we feel trapped, or cramped, that we have no room to move or breathe or think. Sometimes, we feel free, that the future is open to us, that the horizon widens forever, that the sky is the limit, that life is deep and vast, like the ocean. Unwittingly, we impinge upon this omnidirectional sense of space. Some of us puff out, some of us squeeze in, hold back, thrust forward, press down, pull up. Sometimes, unmeaningly, we intrude upon the space of others. We want to live our lives with a peaceful, invigorating sense of space within us. We want to feel spatially unconfined, unfettered.

Space also exists between us and the animate and inanimate world, between us and our smartphones, our computers, our steering wheels, our soup bowls, between people toward whom we find ourselves drawn to, or repelled by.

There is space around, above us, below us, before us, behind us, beside us. Often, unbeknownst to us, we live with blinders on, zooming in on what is in front of us, living our lives running along tracks, down invisible corridors, through high hedged mazes, unable to see and sense the immensity of space around us. Space exists. A lot of it.

Sensing Time

Time feels very real to us. A second is a second, a minute a minute, an hour an hour, a day a day, a year a year, a decade a decade, and yet our subjective sense of time varies. An hour can fly by in a second, an hour can feel like an eternity, for better or worse. An entire life can fly by in a blink of the eye. Ask almost any person nearing the end of their life.

The ancient Greeks had two words for time. Chronos, (as in chronological), would be clock time. Clock time is sequential, moving horizontally through time, from A to B to C. From past, through present, into the future. Chronos is quantitative, measurable time.

Kairos, on the other hand, is closer to biological time. It moves not horizontally but vertically. It goes nowhere. It is the eternal moment, a fraction of an infinity. Think of someone striking a bell, one single note, rising at once up to the stars and down to the ocean’s floor, spreading out omnidirectionally. Kairos is non-sequential, singular. It is time standing still, not flying by.

Kairos is about knowing, moment by moment, what it is time for. Now.

“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

How profoundly physical these actions are of which Solomon speaks – being born, dying, planting, reaping, killing, healing, breaking down, building up, weeping, laughing, mourning, dancing, embracing, not embracing, (like during a pandemic), speaking, not speaking, loving, hating, fighting, forgiving. The biology of time.

By reading my words, already we have begun physically contemplating our experience of space and time. If you would like to delve more deeply into these themes, consider joining me for what will feel like a three-day retreat.

Yours,

Bruce Fertman

Details:

Cost: $75 for all three classes. Fee nonrefundable. Class size very limited.

Register

Pay

If you prefer to write a check, please make it out to New Thought Vermont (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) and mail it to New Thought Vermont, PO Box 185, Weston, VT 05161 EIN: 201301789

Questions: call (802) 824-3810.

About Bruce Fertman

Photo: Soomin Park

“In Bruce’s class you feel as if you are sitting by a deep, soft lake. He is the embodiment of his work. His pace and patience, his quiet confidence, allows people to unfold and open layer by layer. The superfluous falls away, leaving only life’s inner vitality effortlessly expressing itself through you. And then you know, ‘That’s who I am, that is who I could be.’”

Margarete Tueshaus – Alexander Teacher, Equestrian, Germany

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, 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.

Annie Turner – Alexander Technique Teacher, England

Having done so for 30 years, Bruce continues to teach annually in Europe, Asia, and the United States helping people to understand and experience the interconnectedness between physical and spiritual grace.

In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school, now with programs in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and America.

Author of  Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart, Delving into the Work of F.M. Alexander, Bruce currently lives and works in Osaka, Japan and Coyote, New Mexico.

A Grace of Sense – Where Our Inner World and Outer World Meet – An Online Course with Bruce Fertman – 5 Places Remaining.

A Grace of Sense

Where Our Inner World and Outer World Meet

October 3rd to December 6, 2020

 

Just to remind you that our Early Bird rate ends before September 14th. If you know you would like to take this course, best to register now.

If you do not know about this course offering, take the time to read this material slowly and let it sink in, then you will know if this course if for you. If my words speak to you, if they move you, consider studying with me. If you have any questions, write to me. I am not going anywhere!

 

A Grace of Sense – Europe

 

Photo: B. Fertman

 

A Grace of Sense – Asian Pacific

 

Photo: B. Fertman

 

A Grace of Sense – Americas

 

Navajo Woman – Photo: B. Fertman

About Bruce Fertman

“In Bruce’s class you feel as if you are sitting by a deep, soft lake. He is the embodiment of his work. His pace and patience, his quiet confidence, allows people to unfold and open layer by layer. The superfluous falls away, leaving only life’s inner vitality effortlessly expressing itself through you. And then you know, ‘That’s who I am, that is who I could be.’”

Margarete Tueshaus – Alexander Teacher, Equestrian, Germany

Gone is the 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, 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.

Annie Turner – Alexander Technique Teacher, England

Having done so for 30 years, Bruce continues to teach annually in Europe, Asia, and the United States helping people to understand and experience the interconnectedness between physical and spiritual grace.

In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school, now with programs in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and America.

Author of  Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart, Delving into the Work of F.M. Alexander, Bruce currently lives and works in Osaka, Japan and Coyote, New Mexico.

To Receive the Early, Early Bird Rate, Register By August 15th!

Just to remind you that our Early, Early Bird rate ends on August 15th. If you know you would like to take this course, now is the time to register.

If you do not know about this course offering, take the time to read this material slowly and let it sink in, then you will know if this course if for you. If my words speak to you, if they move you, consider studying with me. If you have any questions, write to me. I am not going anywhere!

 

A Grace of Sense – Europe

 

Photo: B. Fertman

 

A Grace of Sense – Asian Pacific

 

Photo: B. Fertman

 

A Grace of Sense – Americas

 

Navajo Woman – Photo: B. Fertman

About Bruce Fertman

“In Bruce’s class you feel as if you are sitting by a deep, soft lake. He is the embodiment of his work. His pace and patience, his quiet confidence, allows people to unfold and open layer by layer. The superfluous falls away, leaving only life’s inner vitality effortlessly expressing itself through you. And then you know, ‘That’s who I am, that is who I could be.’”

Margarete Tueshaus – Alexander Teacher, Equestrian, Germany

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, 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.

Annie Turner – Alexander Technique Teacher, England

Having done so for 30 years, Bruce continues to teach annually in Europe, Asia, and the United States helping people to understand and experience the interconnectedness between physical and spiritual grace.

In 1982, Bruce co-founded the Alexander Alliance International, an intergenerational, multicultural community/school, now with programs in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and America.

Author of  Teaching By Hand/Learning By Heart, Delving into the Work of F.M. Alexander, Bruce currently lives and works in Osaka, Japan and Coyote, New Mexico.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo: B. Fertman