Free Feldenkrais Lessons: Free For Any Purpose, Person or Organization

 

“What I propose to you is a permanent engagement with those who think they possess what cannot be possessed. Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.” – Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Free Feldenkrais Lessons

Free Feldenkrais!

While having some email conversations with Falk Feddersen, the man behind the wonderful Open ATM website, it occurred to me that I had never fully explained the meaning of the free feldenkrais movement, what it means to me personally, and to the work in general. Though I have begun giving away some of my work for free: The Feldenkrais Forty, my concept of free has very little to do with money.

What does “Free Feldenkrais” mean?

To modify a phrase from the GNU software movement:

Free Feldenkrais is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

The freedom where one can move in any direction without hesitation or preparation has its analogue in emotional freedom, intellectual freedom, freedom to express one’s self and ideas and the freedom to get Moshe’s work, and yes – your work – into the hands of anyone who is willing to try it. Free Feldenkrais is about the user not the developer. It is about preserving the rights of the user to have access to the work in any way that he or she thinks will benefit.

Respecting the Rights of the Public

Freedom is about the freedom to use the ideas for any purpose, to study how the ideas or a particular session work (if one chooses). It is the freedom to experiment and to develop. In short it is about using Moshe’s work to engender the organic develomental process of anyone with the curiosity to do so. Just as importantly it is about creating access to the ideas outside of any particular legal, cultural or training ideology.

Access to Source Code

Just as with free and open source software, access to the “source code” is a precondition for these freedoms. This is why I recommend not only distributing audio and video versions of the work, but also transcripts in the form of pdfs, word documents and rich text files (.rtf). Creating multiple versions ensures compatibility and the ability of an end user to modify and re-use.

These freedoms include the right to redistribute copies so that a person can help his or her friends, neighbors or another practitioner and colleague. Also included is the freedom to distribute copies of one’s modified versions to others. And the freedom to repackage and sell any versions – modified or not.

The freedoms above mean that “you don’t need a permission slip.” You do not need to ask the permission of any organization, trainer, developer or legal system. No one has the right to control the dissemination of these ideas. In fact, no one (let’s be honest) really has a clue as to the best way for this work to develop, grown and touch the masses. By giving away as much material as possible, it becomes more likely that someone will be able to do so.

Free Increases Value For Everyone

Feldenkrais ideas become more valuable the more that they are used. The more people know of them, the more they want them. The more they experience them, they more they will want to experience them.

Giving away materials does not degrade your ability to make a living and make a difference. It enhances your ability to do so, and it enhances by multiples. People who download and try free sessions will end up in your classes and on your table. They will end up wanting to know you. They will end up in training programs (for better or worse). There are people who desperately need this work and do not know that they do. There are people who desperately need this work and cannot afford it. Does anyone have the right to limit the choices of those people by locking up Moshe’s work behind copyright, trademark and exclusionary legal protections?

Actually – YES – they do. That’s their choice. But it is not mine. You do have the right to keep your materials or some of your materials under copyright protection. I do sell Feldenkrais mp3′s and other products. They are copyrighted and I have the right to do so. But I also have the right to disseminate ideas in any other way that I choose.

No one owns Feldenkrais

There are those who think they own Moshe Feldenkrais’ work. They are wrong. Ideas can neither be owned nor copyrighted. Moshe’s work is not patented and no guild, association, accreditation board or trainer owns the work of Feldenkrais. Not now – not ever.

Learn More and Get Involved

For more information click any these links: The Feldenkrais Forty (mp3 + transcript). Open-Source Feldenkrais Materials:The First 5 Open Source Feldenkrais (transcripts) Free Feldenkrais-Based Back Pain Relief Workshop (Transcripts)

If you have your own transcripts or mp3 to share, let me know. We can find a way to get them out there. If they are already posted, please put the link in a comment below.

3 thoughts on “Free Feldenkrais Lessons: Free For Any Purpose, Person or Organization

  1. Irene Gutteridge

    I think that giving away your ideas as well as your time is a state dependent fashion that is well-intentioned for your specific audience is important.

    We get into AY #’, which I think are great for our own practice and more devouted students, but the introductions of this work needs to be subtle and less fancy – afterall, who are you trying to impressed with crazy AY movement sequences – people at first just need to realize they CAN and DO have the ability to pay attention to themselves and change things. They need to understand the basics of human learning.

    Ryan writes “In fact, no one (let’s be honest) really has a clue as to the best way for this work to develop, grown and touch the masses.”.

    I would agree, (today at least), for a vast majority of what I see that goes on in our community (I generalize). People are stuck in the content of the work and forget the essence of what the work is for.

    I would like to suggest to any practitioner reading this that making your teaching more state-dependent or phase appropriate is so critical to lock in a future students interest – and get more on board with this type of living and being.

    Take this example from yesterday:
    I just did a little demo to my Somatic Experiencing classmates (I am studying it) and one lady said, “well, I had this awful experience the only time I had a Feldenkrais session, she couldn’t adapt to where I was at and keep wanting me to drop my leg on the floor (she must have been supine with knees bent and feet standing),even though I was not digging it.”.
    And from this, she never sought it out. Unhappy customer. Another, participant is an Anat Baniel Student, she asked “what lesson are you going to teach?”
    I said “no specific number, I am going to teach something that will resonate with everyone, that will help them today while they are in class, and something that will make them start to think about their senses and how this might help their future clients (they are all therapists)”.

    food for thought – Irene.

    1. nagster

      Thanks all. Keep in mind that I make my living doing SEO and SEM, mainly in the corporate realm. I am not in the trenches doing Feldenkrais. I put out what I want, whenever I want, with little regard for outcome. At least with little regard for conscious mind outcome. Whatever contextualization you feel needs done (and it does), feel free. It’s currently not on my plate.

      cheers!!

      In retrospect, what I wrote is not entirely accurate. My main concern is to be a destabilizing agent. The current FGNA-derived systems is heavily weighted towards stability and control. And in my view, it serves as a major choke point stopping the growth – not of the work – but of individual’s developing themselves to do the work. More accurately, doing their own work. None of those levels are identical though they are often confused by those who think they are doing THE WORK.

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