WITH FRAN LAVENDEL
The practice that I teach, which Janet Adler calls the Discipline of Authentic Movement, is deeply informed by her focus on the evolving development of consciousness – referred to as the inner witness -- through attentive awareness of the embodied experience of our physical beings.
The work is based in the relationship between the mover and the witness. The mover, with eyes closed, listens inwardly to impulses arising, allowing them to unfold in and through the body, surrendering to not knowing what will emerge, surrendering to trust in all that her body knows. The witness also attends to the feelings that arise as she sees the mover, her own embodied experience closely accompanying that of the mover. Afterwards they speak together, bringing their two experiences into consciousness and into relationship.
The open-hearted, attentive presence of the external witness allows the mover to feel utterly seen, without judgment, and enables a loosening of the grip of old stories, of the wounds of personal history, of the habitual beliefs that restrict us to a limited experience of ourselves. As the processes sourced in personal psychological history find form again and again in movement patterns, there is the opportunity for integration and healing. In time the mover’s inner witness evolves towards a similar non-judging self-acceptance as that of the external witness, expanding into a much more spacious quality of awareness that can embrace the wholeness of being. And the mover opens to the possibility of moments of ‘direct experience’ when her experience may widen beyond the personal, expanding into a transpersonal realm of boundless being.
Throughout this practice we work with rigour to find language that stays as close to our experience as possible, seeking words that speak directly from experience rather than speak about it. Narratives, interpretations, even images are no longer needed if we are able to stay with what is happening in the moment, to allow our body -- in its many dimensions of experience -- to speak for itself.
There are various opportunities for study of the discipline: Monthly groups meet on Tuesdays, Thursday evenings and Sundays. Individual study is available either on a regular basis or for several intensive days at a time. All of the above take place in Fran’s studio in Penicuik, close to Edinburgh.
Many therapists and others engaged in relationship-based work find that this practice helps to cultivate clarity in their therapeutic presence, enabling greater awareness of how projections and interpretations may obscure clear seeing of the other and enhancing their ability to attend to embodied detail.
For those interested in teaching the Discipline of Authentic Movement – the practice developed by Janet Adler -- individual work with a member of the faculty is an essential prerequisite in order to embark, when ready, on the Circles of Four preparation programme. www.disciplineofauthenticmovement.com
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