An Introduction to Ortho-Bionomy® 

For Montana Chapter of AMTA Annual Conference 

19 May 2022

Notes on a Hallucination of a Workshop 


Where to begin. I might wonder aloud who you are. Can't really know what we'll do until I know who you are. Principles of Liberation Pedagogy. I'll ask some questions and go from there. I'll give some instruction, suggest some doing. I would like to say that this is a safe space but I no longer know what that means. All I can do now is ask that you each attend to your impact and I will do my best to attend to mine, and I come with the assumption that we are all here wearing the healer's mask.


Imagine the world without life. No such thing as life in the entire universe. No beginning no end. No inside no outside. No ontology, there is no thing, no thingness.

But of course, even in this void of a universe, there is life because you are there imagining it. You make “the all of it” a thing in itself, you bring the ontology, the drive to be, the ongoingness. And then time, so there is no eternally becoming but an insistence on being, the will of time. You have the time, you have the will.


I’m here under cover of introducing you to Ortho-Bionomy®. What  I’d much rather do in this brief time is completely upend how we view the world, ourselves and the world mutually constitutive. Ortho-Bionomy® teaches us to follow the path of least resistance, to follow the plan of no plan so we’ll start strolling down this path and see which fork we’re talking.


You might be told that in a basic Ortho-Bionomy® class you yourself are the only tool you need. The more you use this tool the more adept you’ll become. Mere presence is your most powerful magical healing spell.


What things do I consider most important to know about Ortho-Bionomy? I make a list:


Presence –– Timing –– Meaning

Sense of Well-Being


Holding On and Letting Go

Body Schema

Many Worlds

Apophatic Practice 

The Extended Organism (the Phases of Ortho-Bionomy)


Positional Release


There is more here than we will have time to cover in the brief time of our workshop. At least there is mention. Consider this a menu, we pick and choose. I left a gap, and put positional release on the bottom. This may be what most people think of as Ortho-Bionomy but I'm placing it here, considering that aspect of Otho-Bionomy to be (for now) of lesser importance. I hope we get to it but that's what nearly all the basic classes all over the world will start you on.


[A word about words. I've never been comfortable with the term 'bodyworkI don't care for the compound word 'workshop.'I don't like how work has co-opted us, what work has taken from us When do we change the terms to the agreement made way too long ago? When I call this a 'workshop' hear it in those scare quotes because we know that this space of learning must be a ludic space, a playground because we all know the greatest learings we do in life happen in the ludic mode. Then there's that root word 'body' also problematic. What exactly are we talking about? We have been dominated by one story of the body, using the story of reductionism to tell a story of the body and insisting it is the story. Let there be other stories to tell the story of the body. Re-story the multiverse.]


Sense of Well-Being (SOWB)

I had a neuroanatomy text that was an atlas, bare-bones: this is the structure, this is its function. Somewhere in the middle of the text, there was inserted one editorial comment, an authorial voice stating that our sense of well-being is our most underdeveloped sense (I don't recall what real estate of the nervous system was identified as associated with a sense of well-being). The author went on to warn about the dangers of this lack, which he felt to be the gravest threat to health.


A well-functioning SOWB is like a beacon or something that carries you along, like a nice warm current. I like to imagine being a monarch butterfly on its magnificent migration (or any migratory beast, flying, swimming knowing without any way of 'knowing' which way to go).


If this were a class it ethics (and it actually is that, too) we could be introducing Aristotle. What's the connection between this SOWB and Aristotle's eudaemonia? What is goodness?vWho am I in relation to you and what do I owe to others? Since this is not an ethics class (even though it is) we will leave Aristotle here.


Let's play a game of as-if. Pretend that your SOWB is something that is streaming at you from out there. By a praxis of turning, of orienting in the field, you can face fully into your SOWB, which you then feel fulling arising from within. What you are looking for is looking for you.


There are several ways we will play with this, with at least two very practical applications. We could spend many days with this, trying out applications, making up different ways of being with this world, swimming along a beam of peace. We will do a few things that involve moving, turning, facing; singly and in pairs, and maybe larger combos


Notice -- Feel -- Let Go


This rather naturally takes us into what is called Phase VII in Ortho-Bionomy. Orienting around a touched corporeal point. Find the angle. Coming at it from another direction.


[Shoul we get into hippocampal place cells here? That technical sort of 'expert' knowing does not help a whole lot but we will see what people think they want/need.


Exercise the Holding On and the Letting Go. We will bias toward the Letting Go side of the equation. Introduce the sigils.


The vision is for Ongoingness; Life continuing on . . . .


Flaneur (Out for a Stroll)


  Richard Valasek           1308 Ala Kapuna St. Apt 103

         Honolulu HI 9681 

        +1 (808) 256-1646


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I am I and my circumstance;

and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself.                       —JOSÉ ORTEGA Y GASSET

Changing the Conversation

I was born. I am always a vessel for something other than myself. The self is only a

vehicle for Foreign matter which comes from elsewhere and is destined to go on

elsewhere without me, whether it's words, smells, vision                                                      ––EMANUELE COCCIA  Metamorphoses

The Story Teller

Now, more than ever . . . our place in the universe and the place of the universe in us, is proving to be one of active relationship. That is more than a scientist's credo. The separateness of our lives is a sham. Physics, mathematics, music, painting, my love for you, my work, the star-dust of my body, the spirit that impels it, my politics,  clocks diurnal, time perpetual, the roll, rough, tender, swamping, liberating, breathing, moving, thinking nature, human nature and the cosmos are patterned together.

      —JEANETTE WINTERSON                Gut Symmetries

What you do, what you become, is not my concern.                      ROBERT MCCALL



Yes, there is beauty

There is love

There is joy.

All you who suffer from

the world's miseries

Defend them.

                         ––EEVA KILPI


"Don't immanentize the eschaton."  

                     ––ERIC VOEGELIN

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