© International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive
May 1, 2021
From the Editors

Around the globe, we celebrate Moshe Feldenkrais’ birthday (May 6) with Feldenkrais® Awareness Week. Moshe Feldenkrais anticipated many scientific discoveries in the field of neuroplasticity. He helped countless people with serious injuries and conditions. But more importantly he opened the eyes of many to the way we learn best and to the importance of creating the conditions for learning. 

We are thrilled to share the voices of practitioners talking about Moshe’s legacy and his impact on their lives; professional and personal alike. We are reprinting Moshe’s article “On Health'' which foreshadows the current trend toward defining health as resilience.. The International Feldenkrais® Federation (IFF) has graciously shared a video excerpt of Feldenkrais speaking on awareness and attention in 1980 at the Amherst training. And we are pleased to share an interview with Jerry Karzen, who worked closely with Moshe Feldenkrais. Happy Birthday, Moshe! 

Lavinia and Yulia 
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

Moshe Feldenkrais was one of the great minds of the 20th century. His revolutionary theories and prescient insights into the workings of the brain and nervous system continue to be verified by research in fields such as neuroscience, physical therapy, education and psychology. But, most importantly, during the 21st century his legacy will help millions of people around the world to alleviate their aches and pains, improve movement issues, emotional difficulties and debilitating neurological problems, as well as help performing artists and athletes to improve their abilities. The weight of the world is lighter because he lived.
David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais® Trainer, GCFPCM
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

The hallmarks of Moshe Feldenkrais’ teachings are curiosity, experimentation, observation, and refinement. When I think about this time in our world, I see that these are the skills we need to respond to what looks like “unsolvable” problems. An “unsolvable” problem may be a disease process or injury, but it can also be making good personal decisions around the Covid virus, our ability to make a living in such a challenging time, addressing racism, or getting along with our neighbors. In applying Moshe’s teachings, we don’t settle. We are instead curious about what else is possible. We don’t ignore science, because the method itself is a scientific endeavor—a series of small case studies. We don’t accept someone else’s opinion as holding power over our own. Rather, we examine physical and emotional responses. We hold that personal experience lightly because we know from experience how quickly it can change. We ask questions like “What if I ….?” Or “How does that work for this other person?” We continually dance between stability and instability, understanding that stability is a product of our response to instability. Moshe’s positive and largely unclaimed legacy is to use the hallmarks of curiosity, experimentation, observation, and refinement throughout our lives. My wish is that I keep growing in using these powerful and essential tools in my own.
Cynthia Allen, GCFPCM
On Health

By Moshe Feldenkrais

Originally published in Dromenon

"A healthy person is one who can live fully his unavowed dreams."

A few years before World War II, I was teaching judo to make a living while working at the Sorbonne with Joliot-Curie for my doctor's degree in Science. One of my pupils turned out to be a hunter of wild animals in Africa, and he invited me to his house where I was left alone for a few minutes. I was startled when a lion walked in and came over to lick me. It had been brought to Paris as a cub and had grown up into a real lion.

A few months later the lion was taken by the police to the Paris Zoo. The lion had gone into the street and an old lady with a little Pekingese dog and dim eyesight, mistaking him for a big dog; chased him through the streets with her umbrella. After refusing food and drink for about ten days, the lion died in its cage. I have shortened the story by omitting the details. Now, there was a healthy animal that died, obviously due to an emotional trauma. But what is a healthy animal? If a healthy lion dies ten days after a sudden change in its life, what is health?

If a human being needs no medical services for years and has no complaints of pains or aches, is he or she healthy? If, on the other hand, this same person leads a dull, uninteresting life with marital difficulties that end up with suicide -- is that a healthy person? And is a person who never brings his or, her work to an end one way or another, and who keeps changing his employment only to avoid his duties time and time again -- is he in good health? (...)
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

The extent and value of Moshe’s legacy is incalculable. It takes many years for a Feldenkrais® practitioner to develop one's own handwriting, to bring this work to the community with a distinctive signature that makes the communication personal, the language understandable. I graduated in '92 but only now are my Awareness Through Piano Movement ATPM's really becoming a distinct form of ATM® lessons Piano Somatics: new ways of thinking, perceiving and acting musically that foster new paths towards the greatness of musical expression achieved by the past masters. This one area alone constitutes a huge domain of research, learning and development which simply would not exist were it not for Moshe’s incredible contribution. I am grateful! 
Alan Fraser, concert pianist, GCFPCM
Moshe Feldenkrais: Stories About a Master Storyteller, an Interview with Jerry Karzen

Interviewed by Lavinia Plonka.
About Jerry

Jerry Karzen is a graduate of the 1975-77 Feldenkrais® San Francisco Training with Dr. M. Feldenkrais. Jerry studied with Moshe Feldenkrais at the Feldenkrais® Institute in Tel-Aviv from 1976-1983. During those years he was Dr. Feldenkrais' personal traveling companion, secretary, and close friend. Since 1980 Jerry has been the Organizer/Educational Director for some 40 training programs in 9 countries, and has been a Visiting Trainer for numerous other programs. Jerry assisted in the editing of Dr. Feldenkrais' last two books (The Elusive Obvious and The Potent Self) and directed, or himself filmed, 95% of all existing videos of Dr. Feldenkrais' private Functional Integration® lessons. His website is https://jerrykarzen.com
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais was ahead of his time in ideas about movement and what most us think of as our bodies. His powerful influence on our current scientific discoveries is still astounding. The genius of his thinking not only stands the test of time now, but we will no doubt continue to appreciate his insights for untold decades to come. Neuroscientist Norman Doidge said, "Moshe Feldenkrais was one of the first neuroplasticians... Feldenkrais' insights have been reaffirmed by the neuroscientist Michael Merzenich who showed that long-term neuroplastic change occurs most readily when a person or an animal pays close attention while learning."
Chrish Kresge, GCFPCM
An Exclusive Video Excerpt of Moshe Feldenkrais' Teaching 

Moshe Feldenkrais talks about what awareness is and how it is different from consciousness. This excerpt is from the talk "Awareness, consciousness, paying attention" delivered at the Professional Training Program in Amherst, Massachusetts on 07/29/1980.

© Copyright International Feldenkrais® Federation, Paris, France. All rights reserved.
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

It will take a lot more than a paragraph to describe the gift of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education in my own life and my students’ life. I will try to capture the essence of my experience. For me it is the one truly whole-listic approach which turns the quest to recover from injury, to heal pain, and to triumph over movement limitations into a discovery of one’s own innate intelligence and brain plasticity. We often hear words of advice about “centering”, “being present”, “well-being”, “wholeness”, “mental clarity”, “stability”, “groundness”, etc. Dr. Feldenkrais’ created concrete tools, through movement, to experience these abstract concepts in our body. We can recreate these experiences whenever we want, using our own way of learning and our intelligence. We become successful problem solvers!
Aliza Stewart, Feldenkrais® Trainer, GCFPCM
Don't Miss the May 6th Workshop
with Dr. Patrick Hanaway and the June 3rd Workshop with Linda Tellington Jones!

Register now and you will receive the recordings for June LaPointe's and Larry Goldfarb's inspiring lectures, and a reserved spot to attend the next two sessions live.
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

Moshe Feldenkrais’ development of the Feldenkrais Method is in its essence an experientially-based modality. When I reflect on his legacy, I believe we need to focus on how his Method has affected the most important aspects of our own lives. For me, Moshe’s legacy has enabled me to strip away some of the socially instilled beliefs about my limitations and thereby it has allowed me to explore new opportunities to mature, grow, learn and to become more human. Those opportunities include our successes, triumphs, failures and our mistakes. Becoming aware of experiences with all their beauty and ugliness, only then can we tweak our self image so we can know what we’re doing so we can do what we want. When we do that, we are moving towards our greatest gift: our limitless potential. When we work with others in similar ways, we are passing along his legacy to the future and far beyond.
Rich Goldsand, GCFPCM
The 4th Annual Feldenkrais® Awareness Summit is starting TODAY! It's not too late to register for this event with free access to talks, lessons, live panels and so much more with some of our leading practitioners as well as special guests like James Nestor, author of Breath and Stephen Nachmanovich, author of The Art of Is. Truly a banquet of awareness!
Practitioners Speak About Moshe:

This month we celebrate more than just the birthday of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. We celebrate the man, Moshe Feldenkrais, and his thinking and desire of helping all of humanity. He knew from such deep personal experiences and history the suffering and maladies from human nature. He always said, while we cannot open the head to make changes in the brain, the thing we all have in common is movement. It is through movement that we share all possibilities of growth of more than our own personal movement, but also for the movement of all of us together. It is why when he taught in Amherst, after much detail in teaching he would often end with the whole room of almost 300 people rolling on the floor in total unity and harmony. It was in that place where he knew we had such complete awareness of who was beside us to the left, right, and above us and below. When we had this degree of our own internal awareness of ourselves and movement we could feel and sense and move together with everyone around us. It was truly a dance to see and experience. Sometimes, I would climb up onto the balcony just to watch. I have never seen anything like this. How ironic, now you see on social media, expert dancers pop up in city centers doing the same thing. What you can see and notice is crowds always form around them, people smile, laugh and feel this unity for all within these special moments. Moshe Feldenkrais wanted more than just for us to move better, but to use movement to help our brain, body, and social psyche all work together. Now, this is a world I want to live in. Thank you Moshe.
Elinor Silverstein, GCFPCM

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