As part of the Sensory Awareness study group, we do check-ins. One woman offered this today. I think it is worth sharing more broadly.
As background, Elsa Gindler is the founder of the practice that is called Sensory Awareness in this country. She discovered her work in Germany when she had TB and healed herself, and is considered by many the "mother" of the breathing practices that have evolved from her work. You can read more about her and her work and the work of those who followed in the book, Bone, Breath, & Gesture, Practices of Embodiment, which is edited by Don Hanlon Johnson. Elsa Gindler worked with Heinrich Jacoby, who is also mentioned here.
Also, Elsa Gindler is responsible for saving the lives of many Jewish people during WWII. She not only continued to work with them, though it was forbidden, but she hid them and taught them how to be calm, so that they when they were questioned by the SS, no nervousness or perspiration gave them away.
This is a part of a transcribed conversation between two older Sensory Awareness leaders, Mary Alice Roche and Ruth Veselko, on the topic “Emotions and Sensory Awareness.":
MAR: I remember when I first wanted to do a bulletin about Elsa Gindler and asked Johanna Kulbach how it was to work with her, Johanna couldn’t describe what went on. But what she said was, “Gindler took away the fear.” When I asked her to explain, she said, “We had plenty to fear in Berlin in the War. You never knew when a bomb was going to hit you, or the Gestapo was going to pick you up, but with Gindler I learned to stop being afraid when there was no immediate danger.” When actual danger is present, fear comes, and helps you to do what is necessary. But as soon as the immediate danger is over, one can stop being afraid of what is not happening at that moment. That is trusting yourself, and trusting life.
Gindler tolder Elfriede Hengstenberg that when she was curing herself of TB by paying attention to each thing she did in every waking moment, she discovered that calm in the physical field equates trust in the psychic field. In this state of attention she was no longer disturbed by her thoughts and worries. Thoughts and worries (emotions) would subside. Do you suppose Gindler was free of them all the time after that?
RV: I think you can’t be present all day. I remember Fred von Almen, my meditation teacher, saying that he couldn’t be present all the time. And Jacoby said, “If you would be present only five minutes in a day, that would change your whole situation.” Not to want to be present every moment of the day.
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