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)
All blankets and scarves and pillows as fort-like as you can be, can be strewn. Recline! Spread mattresses or pillows.
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.”
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. Dedicate the breaking of the matzah to the children.
The Wise Child wants to know the laws. The law we learn through the wise child is about how the afikomen, sweet dessert matzah is the final thing eaten in the meal, and for the rest of the night.
Be on your back. hold your feet in a "happy baby" pose. FIND SAFE PLACE, where you are comfortable on your back. Recently, A friend lay in my lap, and a third friend and I looked down at her. She immediately said it was quite healing for her to imagine us as her parents. The widening of their perspectives in the safety of being a child can be quite beautiful.
cover the matzah,
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. We are an integrated whole, there is no "what does it mean to you and not to me." or "This is not my story."
We must understand hurt and separateness, and listen to the dreams of the part that has been unseen or disgarded.
“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.
Please read the hagaddah beginning at “vayarayoo otanu hametzreem” (the Egyptians ill treated us.)
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? What is going on for this child that there is no question, no idea how to even approach that idea." In “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron, she explains such an interesting phenomenon. She identifies what we call "shy" as an external view, out of sync. The highly sensitive person can be labeled shy because others are not feeling connected to their profound inner experience. It is used to describe someone who is so highly engaged with life that it can be overwhelming to both the "shy" child and onlooker. 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.” Through this child, we are connected to the miraculous. There is no question here. The idea of questioning is so unlike the hugeness of the awareness this child brings.
The section of the Hagaddah addressing the PLAGUES has such strong imagery that I would love to apply a game that enables the bodily or soul memory of such events, or even the visceral effects of hearing such descriptions each year, or as they are spoken now. This is not an acting out of the plagues or even reactions to the plagues themselves. I invite you to almost forget that you are responding to the plagues or the words themselves, and just make sound. It is coming from a more subconscious place that way.
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.
#3 cup of wine:
The Gratitude Cup
Technically, we have released all the horror and terror of the sea of blood. and are left only with the awe of gratitude.
Where are you sitting, what place in the seder plate are you gravitating towards?
Imagine you are one of the children, choose one of the four. Wise/Essential, Evil/Magical, Simple/Trusting, or the one who does not know how to ask a question/Awe-inspired.They each have a dream.
In the section of the passover lamb, I reccommend having stuffed animals and soft things represtending the animal self, play, prayer.
remember Moses (as a child) was sent came through the river to be kept safe. Imagine a miracle that can happen.
(Bentching coming soon.)