A few minutes ago I found a new Feldenkrais Method video online. It was promoting a Feldenkrais Training. I watched it, took some mental notes, and then prepared a blog post about it. But as I looked at the website of the training institute, I saw some of the same old names – Denis Leri, Aryln Zones – And I thought to myself, “Do I really want to support these people?” The answer is no. In a split second, I deleted the post.
It seems to be me that if the work of Moshe Feldenkrais is going to get better known, and if it is going to be a tool for meaningful societal change, someone will have to come up with and implement a model that respects the rights of practitioners to use and benefit from the work. The Guild system does not do that.
Do people realize that when they take a Guild training they are supporting a trainer monopoly? Do they realize that prices are artificially inflated by limits placed on the number of people who can become trainers? Do they know that the “trainings” have no demonstrated efficacy and the current training model is little more than a mimicking of the training Moshe did before he died? Do they know, that as Guild-Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners they are – by definition – becoming second class citizens of the system they are joining? There is no path to independent trainings, there is no path to new training models. A Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner has no political control over his own work. And if one wants to do what Moshe Feldenkrais did and begin a process of learning and teaching one’s work according to one’s inclinations and interests (God forbid!), one is immediately branded a traiter…
What do we create next?
There is lots of good stuff going on in the Feldenkrais community right now. People are taking tentative (and not so tentative) steps toward creating their own trainings and training models. I suppose the question at this point is how can we support that process and support those people? What type of new organization can arise bottom-up from this process?
If you are looking for answers from me, you might want to stop. My life as a self-identified Feldenkrais person is nearly at an end. I’m living in Mexico, studying spanish and moving strongly into other areas. But the need is there.
The growth of The Feldenkrais Method depends on creating a system that is focused on the needs of practitioners and the work itself. A growth model is needed. To me that means, at minimum, not supporting the old guard and not promoting their trainings and workshops. Why put money in the hands of people who are actively working against your success? But that does not answer the question of what to create now. And how to start.
What comes next in the evolution of a dynamic system? What do you need?