Below are some of my notes on the intersection between Alexander Technique and my Nalanda studies:



 AT as Complementary Psychophysical BodyMind Practice

·       Alexander Technique (“AT”) as an embodied self-compassion practice

·       AT as a practice of de-activating one’s amygdala and finding more embodied spaciousness and less reactivity

·       AT as a mindfulness practice and

·       how it can slow down the trajectory—mindfulness creating presence, wisdom creating behavior change

·       how psychophysical mindfulness is a muscle we can build

·       how greatest plasticity comes from greatest attention

·       how by tuning into the body, we can feel the precariousness, fear and weight of our own mortality and encounter the truth of our suffering

·       how sensory mindfulness can develop balanced sensitivity without a clinging response or reactivity

·       how the body and sensations as neural states affect everything and influence one's capacity

·       how a centered and balanced body can offer more sensitivity, a more accurate register, clarity, openness of mind, freedom to choose the healthy vs. unhealthy

·       how working with alarm bells in our own bodies and training to stay open, connected and not reactive

·       how this could potentially be a practice in embodied reality

·       how one’s sense of self can come through the feeling realm

·       how this relates to knowing ourselves as we are – mindfulness as a compassionate abode

·       how whatever we do with consciousness and mindfulness can be meaningful


AT as Means for Tracking Self-Habits

·       AT as a means for noticing what’s calling our attention and what’s available

·       AT as a means for highlighting the importance of body sensations to understand what we’re actually doing

·       AT as a means for becoming conscious of the unconscious

·       AT as a means for seeing character as a habit, not a fact or something fixed permanently

·       AT as a means for seeing how we create our own suffering unconsciously

·       AT as a means for recognizing the mind’s natural capacity for awareness

·       AT as a means for countering the toxic cocktail of stress, our evolutionary hangover, and the trauma of childhood

·       AT as a means for experiencing a visceral sense of our compassion (and agency) for ourselves

 ·       AT as a way of practicing tracking the reality of the moment and what we ourselves might be doing vs. looking first to how others or the environment are acting on or "doing to" us

·       AT as a way of practicing tracking our limits and the signs within ourselves, including when our behavior is negatively impacted

·       AT as a way of practicing knowing reality by being reality


AT for Social Change

·       AT as a means of first addressing self-habit before embarking on social change

·       AT as a way of practicing building up enough experience loosening the grip on our own suffering and maintaining our own nirvana so that we are primed and more ready to help others

·       AT as a means of extending and sharing our nervous system with clients and others

·       AT as a way of practicing true compassion as recognizing what’s really happening vs. just wishing people well

·       AT as a way of recognizing one can only give what one has

·       AT as a means for understanding that the basis for care for others is self-care

·       AT as a means for understanding that to find selflessness, one has to find the self as you experience it

·       AT as a means for understanding that working on and developing ourselves deeply and developing our resources makes us more able to show up fully for others and can be a way to dedicate for the benefit of all

·       AT as a means for understanding that for true compassion, deep analysis is needed, not just well wishing

·       AT as a means to viscerally realize that with infinite interconnectivity, the more blissful the release

·       AT as a way of recognizing that felt connection within oneself and with others—it’s often when we are most comfortable and joyful

·       compassion’s direct relationship to cognitive and psychophysical openness and closedness in oneself

·       the messianic resolve to save all beings from suffering as really being about trying to help people develop their own capacity for healing


AT and Expanding the Self

·       Expanding the capacity of mind w/o content—clinging, etc.

·       A field of being

·       The wish to be free

·       Our natural position is expansive and extending out

·       Radical openness

·       Healing is expansive but sometimes scary!

·       Tapping into the wish to live into one’s potential

·       All our actions are expandable

·       Every thought, feeling, action and day is extremely meaningful according to karma theory

·       Whatever we do, think, and feel has impact that is expandable

·       Taking refuge leads one to become a refuge

·       Giving up the self vs. enlarging the self to include others and expand, open

·       If we can tolerate fear, frustration and what can’t yet be known, it can buy us enough time for something to be realized, some deeper knowing, deeper receiving, something new and generative to come in

·       Not to discount but to sense openings

·       Opening to the unfolding in between at the moment


AT as Means of Undoing Our Conditioning/Inheritance

·       How we are born with a negativity bias, tendency to cling to the negative, confused sense of ourselves, we become accustomed to the stress-emotions and even stress-posture as part of an addictive craving, grasping, compulsive clinging but have the capacity for well being if we employ mindfulness (noticing, stopping, redirecting)

·       Our roots in evolutionary nature including our inner traumatized child or our inner cornered animal

·       The bad news: we suffer and it has deep roots. the good news: we are already in nirvana and have the capacity to change and emerge from our delusion!

·       Our self-protective overkill, reaction to (or engagement with) our own stress

·       Clarity and calm as prerequisites to apply solution mind

·       The tendency to armor, protect, enclose or brace the self against others

·       The tendency to cling, grip, clench, or control oneself or others

·       We can unlearn our conditioning, engage from a place of safety and positivism vs. scarcity, fear and negativity

·       We have hardwired a large grab bag of a limited range of instincts but also malleability (naturally plastic nerve cells) thus it's really about our capacity to change


AT and Impermanence

·       The tendency to reify our understanding of ourselves and others

·       Wisdom as unhinging tight certainty, the unconscious assumption we have of who we think we are

·       Everyone and everything as relational and always changing

·       Nothing is fixed but a continuing investigation

·       Flow as state of non-reification, non self-referential

·       Change as signaling loss—exploring change as possible without losing the self but realizing a reified version of the self is self-limiting and not so accurate

·       Reification as a form of self-protection

·       A challenge to the reified self can be felt as threatening, angering

·       Holding the tension between what’s consciously known and not consciously known

·       All our parts matter


AT and Dignity and Agency

·       Self-responsibility and empowerment: the only person who can protect you is yourself, and the best protection is a strong mind—not just a positive one—must understand how the mind can make things worse or better

·       No one else has control over your suffering—there is no external god

·       Karma cause and effect; the relationship of internal causes and conditions, how we relate to our bodies and minds and its effect on our suffering

·       We have the capacity to unlearn our habits though labor-intensive and slow, we can undo habits even from over generations (both familial and evolutionary)

·       How a mindful psychophysical practice can prime us to do the new thing (returning to our natural malleability

·       There being a path, a way out of suffering but that requires a certain amount of realization, awareness and facing our suffering

·       The practice of getting better at knowing where we are and where we can go

·       Applying a solution mind to get out of mind habit

·       The quality of mind determines key quality of one’s continuing consciousness

·       Mind, speech, and action matter: how we think, talk (including and especially to ourselves), and what we choose to do (and don’t do) matters

·       Karma as teaching to give us a deep sense of personal agency

·       The empowerment of self-responsibility

·       One may not be able to change the experience but can change the response

·       Every reaction (or non-reaction) seeds a future moment for the same behavior

·       Wisdom dissolves reification and karma creates a new self

·       Karma as a whole process: perception/afflictive emotion/behavior/outcome

·       Best chance to intervene is in between emotion and behavior

·       If you can name it, you can tame it

·       Cultivating conditions for your own insight

·       Suffering is the reaction to the situation/interaction vs. the situation/interaction itself

·       We can decouple the trigger from the old reaction

·       People are shaped most by mental activity (how they respond), not what happens to them

·       The meditative attitude as an attitude of self-compassion


Other Practices and Teachings

·       Exchanging self and other

·       Equalizing self and other

·       Mentor bonding

·       Lojong

·       Tonglen/giving and taking meditation and practice

·       preliminaries

·       Royal reason of relativity

·       Dissolution

·       Reification habit

·       Intrinsic reality habit

·       Relational nature of reality

·       Embodying openness, compassion or wisdom in the specific context of our studies this year

·       3 root poisons and 3 root virtues

·       Shantideva's teachings

·       Drive all blames into one

·       3 seeds of crown, throat and heart

·       preciousness of human life

·       Dharma as reality itself

·       Matter is voidness, voidness is matter

·       No attainment and no non-attainment

·       Joyous effort

·       Joyfully entering into the struggle

·       Taking delight in skillful actions

·       Erasing self vs. clarifying, calming self

·       The activity of the mind itself vs. creating the self in reality

·       Emptiness as membrane to universal compassion

·       Emptiness as womb of wisdom and compassion

·       Beginningless and endless consciousness


The Medicine Buddha