Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Primary Image

Primary Image

This fall I'm teaching a series of lessons exploring the Primary Image, a fundamental view of the self composed of just the cardinal lengths and directions of spine,
arms, and legs. The image is a very useful tool: it's much more basic than your usual habits and hangups, so habits and hangups tend to fall away. By letting go of details--this is crooked, this is painful, this is too short--it's possible to move very differently. The image is simple, just lengths and directions, making it easier to pay attention to the whole self as you move.

Holding this image in your attention while you move, you're sinking to a level of perception below your individual experience, a level that has more in common with the rest of the species, or even with other mammals. Without the baggage of discomforts, historical associations, or even images of muscle and bone, the five lines of the Primary Image are free to move with the utmost ease and grace. And so are you.

Try it! Here is an example of a Primary Image lesson. I taught and recorded this lesson a few weeks ago. You'll need about an hour to do the lesson. Lie in a comfortable firm surface on your back, on a soft carpet or pad. Don't do anything that feels uncomfortable--if necessary, the movements can be done so slowly and minimally that someone watching would not be able to see you moving. Another recorded Primary Image lesson is in the previous blog entry, This Is Water. Enjoy!

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