Let’s say you’re resting on your back, and you’re holding your right knee with both of your hands.
Let’s change that: let’s say you’re resting on somebody else’s back. For example on Totoro, a very big, loveable, furry, spirit creature out of a famous Japanese animated film. And you’re holding your right knee with your left hand.
Ok, let’s not bring Totoro into this. Rest on your own back. But just for the mental exercise, how does resting on your own back, on the hard floor, feel like compared to resting on a big, benevolent, breathing plush figure?
Once you’re on stable grounds again let’s continue with the questions that shall undo the abuse of thousands of hours of sitting still on school and office chairs alike: how would you pose your right leg to be able to hold your right knee with your hands, in comfort? And how would you pose your left leg, assuming it’s not made from dead driftwood?
And what’s different between holding your right knee with
- your right hand,
- your left hand,
- your both hands?
Find three things to observe and describe how each is different in each of the just mentioned three ways of holding your right knee. Or skip this exercise, up to you. However, this exercise will put you mind-to-mind with your own great mind, why miss this precious encounter?
“Reading teaches nothing more important than the state of mind in which you find yourself absolutely alone with the thoughts of another mind, a matchless form of intimate rapport available only to those with the ability to block out distraction and concentrate. Once you trust yourself to go mind-to-mind with great intellects, artists, scientists, warriors, and philosophers, you are finally free. In America, before we had forced schooling, an astonishing range of unlikely people knew reading was like Samson’s locks [..]” – excerpt from John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education”
And if I were to ask you to move your right knee, in which direction would you chose to move it first? To the right? To the left? Up closer to your right armpit? Down further away from your chest? Diagonally, like shooting arrows? Will you be shooting from the same position each time?
The lesson continues: circles with the knee, then circles with the foot’s ankle and toes, then circles with the foot and lower leg, then combinations thereof. Then the same with the left leg. Then a roll of the pelvis, a twist of the torso. Things like this.
And afterwards the hard floor behind your pelvis might feel as soft as Totoro’s wonderful fur. And you might fall in love all over again with the beauty of this Earth, our home.