April 6, 2012
Let Yourself Go
Let Yourself Go
First we come to the glass of wine
and feel. interact. be.
The bowl of water at the center of the room is the antidote to this.
and immediately upon washing (without a blessing)
As you go back into the first clown by feeling and gathering all your emotions, the experience is most likely much more deeply felt now having gone the opposite direction. Be aware of your thoughts. As we wash our hands, move your hands very deliberately. Move your wrists around. Move them in different positions; move your fingers. Feel each finger move. Play with your hands and how they relate to your inner world. When you change the outside, what are your feelings? “The wrists can lift or circle. They can move left or right, in staccato or in gentle movements. They can pull away from each other with tension or with ease. They can move up and down in a constant rhythm. They can push away from the body or slide in toward it. THe hands and fingers can claw, punch, twist, or caress. They can close as if to grab suddenly, or grasp finger by finger. They can undulate: wrist, palm, first knuckle, second, third. They can push, pull, lift, tickle, or poke.” (Stephen Wangh, The Acrobat of The Heart) Also consider doing this with the eyes. “The eyelids can open and close. They can open partway. One eye can open. One eye can wink, Both eyes can blink. The eyelids can flutter. They can be heavy and keep trying to close. They can snap open.”
When we dip the greens in salt water, remember Lot’s wife who turned around because she couldn’t fully walk forward and let go of Sodom, thereby turning into a pillar of salt. So, let us move forward. So let go of the need to hold back, to preserve oneself, into freedom from needing things to be stagnant. If there are masks available, wear them, or else continue to move the body in sections, and note the feelings or stories that arise.
As we begin to approach the breaking of the middle matzah, we also begin to be introduced to the first of the four overarching children characters—the wise child. Continue to read the hagaddah.
The Wise Child wants to know the laws? We learn from him that
Be on your back. hold your feet. FIND SAFE PLACE, where you are comfortable in the space. Whether you choose to be alone or to lay in the lap of another looking up at them as if they were a protective, loving parent or parents. Here we can begin to pay thanks to the Midwives of Egypt who saved the lives of many children that were ordered to be killed. Any part that feels dead remind yourself that we have whoever is looking at you, or Puah and Shifra to thank for the support of children. Place them in the room with your imagination. Place them in the floor boards, on the ceiling. Lay in a friend’s lap looking up and see them as loving parents, as midwives. Connect to the promise of safety in the part of the hagaddah that begins “Meetchelah” “At first . . .”
The Evil child needs to know their safety. “what is this service to you?” they ask. “to you, but not to me.” There is no question that this fragmentation of the whole is a symptom of the need to protect oneself, to split off as a means of survival. The child must hear. Yes, YOU are the only one.” in a process of learning to trust and care for the child self, the child must feel seen.
These are physical ideas for releasing tension and opening to trust and faith. It is quoted directly from Alexander Lowen’s book, “Depression and The Body”
“Take a position with the feet parallel and about six inches apart and bend the knees so that the weight of the body is balanced between the heels and the balls of the feet. The rest of the body should be straight with the arms hanging loosely at the sides. The best results will be obtained if one stands barefoot or without shoes. if possible, hold this position for about two minutes. The mouth should be slightly open so that the breathing can develop easily and fully. Let the belly out but don’t force it. Holding the belly in restricts breathing and is unnecessary work. You don’t have to hold yourself up by your guts if you will allow your legs and back to serve this function, as they were intended to do. The breathing movements should extend into the belly. The back should be straight but not rigid, the buttocks and pelvis should be allowed to hang loose and free. The purpose of this exercise is to bring you into touch with your legs and feet, and this will happen as sensation develops in them. Put your attention into your feet and try to maintain your balance between the heels and the balls of the feet. As you do this, you may find some involuntary tremors occurring in the legs or body, your legs may begin to vibrate or to shake. These involuntary movements are an expression of the flow of feeling in your body. Allow them to develop to the extent that you are comfortable with them. Sense your body and see if you can feel its aliveness. When the position becomes painful or you think your legs will collapse, change . . . (exercises)
“..stand on one leg and bend the knee as far as it will go without raising any part of the foot off the ground. The other leg is extended backward off the ground. The arms are extended and the hands rest lightly on two chairs placed alongside the person. The chairs are used for balance, not for support. On the floor six inches from the patient’s foot is a folded blanket. The patient is asked to hold this position as long as he can, breathing easily and deeply, and to feel the weight of his body on his foot. When he can no longer maintain it, he is directed to let himself fall on his knee into the blanket. There is no danger of injury through this exercise, yet most people are afraid to let themselves fall. Some will struggle to maintain the position indefinitely, while others will fall prematurely as an act of will rather than surrender. Many lower themselves to the floor gradually. This exercise is repeated twice on each leg. On the fourth time I ask the patient to say, ‘I give up,’ as he falls.”
As for the one who does not know how to ask, we must ask why? In “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron, she explains such an interesting phenomenon. I do not have the book here to quote, but she identifies shyness as an external context put upon as a label to describe someone who is so highly engaged with life that it can be overwhelming. That, in fact, the highly sensitive person can bear the label shy because others are not feeling connected to their profound inner experience. The One who does not know how to ask a question’s teaching is about cultivating a sense of awe. Their message is “Gd did things for me when I left Egypt.” Here we connect to the miraculous.
This is an exercise that Stephen Wangh calls “The Sounds of Your Own Voice”
1. Walk, Move
“1. Sit in a chair, opposite a partner. both of you take a moment to relax. make sure that you are sitting up and not holding yourself stiffly….
They switch off.
“The important thing is that after you speak, let go and really listen to the other person. And then, just name the first thing that arises within you.
“The Magical Child sees the potential for sacred beauty in all things, and embodies qualities of wisdom and courage in the face of difficult circumstances. One example is Anne Frank, who wrote in her diary that in spite of all the horror surrounding her family while hiding from Nazis in an attic, she still believed that humanity was basically good. This archetype is also gifted with the power of imagination and the belief that everything is possible.
Imagine you are one of the children, choose one of the four. Wise, Evil, Simple, or the one who does not know how to ask a question.
It is required here that we do a visualization meditation of the world in which we long for. Imagine it breaking free from anything that isn’t completely bright and breathing.
-I would love if the person who cooked the kugel or whatever dish, would explain how they learned to do it, where they heard of it, what market they went to. if anything happened on the way there, who they spoke to. what was said, what went into it. how they felt. please, tell us everything. we want to know.
As we bentch, imagine the digestive process taking place.
sing unto Gd. Feel Gd’s presence. Praise. How sweet.
next year we will be in Jerusalem!!!!