My husband Ron and I recently had a lively debate on the subject of quality and experience. He’s an artist, with a firm belief that anyone can sense quality when they experience it. I insisted that a person can only discriminate based on previous experience. I reminded him of the time he had to drag me out of the National Gallery in Washington, DC because in a room full of Rothko’s I began foaming at the mouth about stripes. My art education had stopped at Monet’s Lilies and I had no understanding at all of this kind of art. It took interest and study for me to begin to appreciate art on another level.
Sometimes I meet people who say, “Oh, Feldenkrais, I took a class on that once and fell asleep.” Or “I don’t understand, we’re not doing anything.” Like studying art and music, learning to listen to the bodymind the way we do in a Feldenkrais lesson is like learning to differentiate between a fine painting and a cheap poster, between a hand sewn quilt and a blanket manufactured by machines, between a frozen pizza and an artisan pizza. We can experience a different quality in our own existence. But we need context, education and a willingness to learn.
Feldenkrais often referred to the Weber-Fechner law as a way to understand what happens in a Feldenkrais lesson. Both Weber and Fechner stated that the more sensitive the receiver, the more noticeable are the stimuli. Just as developing a discerning ear to be able to hear the nuances in a Mahler symphony offers rewards of great musical satisfaction, allowing yourself the time to listen and learn from your own nervous system offers an opportunity experience greater pleasure and satisfaction in every moment of your life.
Here is a beautiful video that offers a lens into our exquisite work and some of its subtleties.