I would propose to the Curriculum Committee of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy International that some hours of sitting as a witness be required. I would want such a course to have some class time devoted to the topic as well as independently organized sitting time, both in classes and in some triad sessions.
Dr. Pauls sporadically introduced this as a class exercise in his early teaching days in the San Francisco Bay Area. It had seemed to me at the time mere ornamentation and I did fully participate. I quickly recognized the delicate balancing involved in becoming absent by being completely present.
Following I know not what moment's fancy or proclivity I include the practice of witnessing in nearly any class.
The practice has much in common with theologies of negation.
The practice of witnessing requires a deep tracing of biases.
Mood is a biasing field.
In its simplest form, Authentic Movement is a mindful movement exploration between a mover and a witness which encourages the development of consciousness. The mover moves, with eyes closed, from an intention of mindfulness, non-judgmentally guided by inner impulses, sensations, emotions, and/or thoughts in the presence of a witness. The witness observes, carrying the majority of work in the beginning as he or she strives to see the mover while becoming aware of any personal projections or judgments. The witness is responsible for maintaining an outer consciousness, creating safety, monitoring the time, and for maintaining his or her own psychological safety. This intentional presence of the witness allows the mover to explore his or her unconscious impulses more deeply.
I found myself only interested in the role of witness. The ownership of the story, I came to realize, was mine alone.
The relationship between the witness and the mover (the 'mover' could be two people performing an Ortho-Bionomy session) can be described by a Venn diagram of two overlapping circles. In the shaded overlap section the one cannot be fully disentangled from the other. Typically our culture puts the emphasis on the other: you are this, you are that. A change in my state is
The vision is for Ongoingness; Life continuing on . . . .
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and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself. —JOSÉ ORTEGA Y GASSET
Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be––this is the interrelated structure of reality.
—MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
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