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Cultivating Presence through Feldenkrais, Meditation & Poetry In-person With Alice Boyd & John Brehm
January 7, 2023, @ 1:30 pm - January 8, 2023, @ 5:30 pm HST
Saturday, January 7:
1:30-4:30 Workshop 1
Sunday, January 8:
1:30-4:30 Workshop 2
4:30-5:30 Reception/discussion group
“The greatest gift we can give our world is our full presence, and our choice, moment by moment, to stay present.” —Joanna Macy
When we’re fully present, even for a moment, we find the stillness and peace we long for are always already right here, waiting for us. Such moments can be a refuge, a safe haven from the anxiety of accelerating change and collective trauma we are all living through right now. They can also be, as Joanna Macy says, our greatest gift to the world.
But being present isn’t easy. In this two-day workshop, we’ll explore three related practices—Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons, meditation, and mindful poetry conversations—that strengthen our capacity to stay present even in the midst of challenging conditions. Unwinding habitual ways of moving, resting in the stillness of mediation, and engaging with poems not as puzzles to be figured out but as rich experiences to be enjoyed, all help orient us toward the present moment.
You may choose to do one or both sessions. The basic format and practices will be the same on both days, though the specific content will be different. Both days will feature:
- A brief talk on Cultivating Presence
- Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson
- Guided Meditation
- Mindful poetry discussion
For our poetry discussions, we’ll draw on two of John’s books: The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy and The Dharma of Poetry: How Poems Can Deepen Your Spiritual Practice and Open You to Joy.
The distant mountains
are reflected in the eye
of the dragonfly
We hope you’ll join us!
Alice & John
- $60 Saturday only
- $75 Sunday only (including Reception with pupus (appetizers) and tea provided by Pelekai Coffee)
- or $125 for both
20% discount for Golden Circle & Platinum Members off each single workshop
Alice Boyd, CFP
I am passionate about movement. From an active childhood in rural Maine, to dance, swimming, yoga, walking in the city, and hiking in the woods, I have always been drawn to movement as a means of creative expression, as well as a path to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being.
I was born with my left leg turned in. When the prescribed braces failed, I was enrolled in ballet lessons at the age of five. I loved dance, and went on to study and perform regularly until age 17, when I was practicing daily.
After college and a graduate degree in French, I explored banking, restaurant work, academia, and high tech. I kept returning to movement and teaching, training as a yoga instructor in 2000, then–with my friend Jennifer (Preisler) Hayes–co-founding a yoga and healing arts center, Yoga Pearl, in Portland, Oregon in 2002.
After more than ten years of athletic yoga practice and teaching, my left hip began to complain about the range of motion I was demanding of it. I believed that hip replacement surgery was in my near future; that it would be the inevitable outcome given my genetic inheritance and the decades of activity I had enjoyed. At about that time, serendipitously, I dropped in on a Feldenkrais class while on retreat at Rancho la Puerta in Mexico. Even though I didn’t particularly enjoy the class (I kept thinking: “No stretching? No sweating? What good could this possibly be doing??”), it made enough of an impression that I signed up for an individual session, and after that hands-on lesson some part of me knew that I would be studying The Feldenkrais Method®: I felt like my tight, aching body had been taken apart and put back together the way it was “supposed” to go. I experienced an ease and fluidity of movement that I hadn’t known in a very long time – or would temporarily after an intense yoga practice or deep tissue massage, but that would eventually “rebound” into tightness and soreness – and the practitioner had handled me so gently! This was something I needed to learn for myself, and was eager to share with others.
After selling Yoga Pearl in 2012, I studied and practiced The Feldenkrais Method® full time, completing my Feldenkrais Professional Training Program with Dr. Frank Wildman in June, 2014. I am grateful to be learning daily about the myriad benefits of the method, as well as to have the privilege of helping others learn to address and avoid injury, develop self-awareness, and effort less.
Joh Brehm was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska and educated at the University of Nebraska and Cornell University. He is the author of three full-length books of poetry, Sea of Faith, Help Is on the Way, and No Day at the Beach, all from the University of Wisconsin Press, and a chapbook, The Way Water Moves, from Flume Press. His collection of essays, The Dharma of Poetry, was recently released by Wisdom Publications and is a companion to his acclaimed anthology, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy, also from Wisdom Publications. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Sun, The Southern Review, Plume, Gulf Coast, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, The Writer’s Almanac, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Best American Poetry, The Norton Introduction to Literature, and many other journals and anthologies.
John teaches for Mountain Writers Series in Portland, Oregon, and for The Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado. He offers a monthly Poetry as Spiritual Practice gathering and with his wife, Alice Boyd, leads mindfulness retreats that incorporate Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons, guided meditations, and mindful poetry discussions. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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