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Engaging conversation between Bryson and leaders in their field.

Episode 1

Vivien Schapera: Alexander Technique

This episode of the Somatic Primer Podcast features Vivien Schapera. Vivien is an Alexander Technique teacher and teacher trainer.  In 1993, Vivien and her husband, Neil, founded Alexander Technique of Cincinnati, a school for training Alexander Teachers, and in 1999, Vivien founded FourWinds Academy for the Healing Arts & Sciences. Vivien teaches workshops in all her subjects from coast to coast in the USA, in London, UK, and in Cape Town, South Africa. Schapera.com.

Vivien and Bryson discuss:

• Growing up in South Africa
• How she discovered the Alexander Technique
• Her fascinating journey from Cape Town, to London, and finally building her school for training Alexander Teachers in Cincinnati, Ohio.
• Key ideas of the technique, such as the “Means – Whereby” and her insights into these practices
• How the Alexander Technique compares to other somatic practices and much more.

Episode 2

Alfons Grabher: Feldenkrais Teacher

This episode of the Somatic Primer Podcast features Alfons Grabher.

Alfons Grabher is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner from Vienna, Austria. His Youtube channel “Improving ability” ranked #1 on Feedspot’s Top 20 Feldenkrais Youtube Channels in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. He is author of several books including “My Feldenkrais Book”, a workbook with movement lessons.

If you’d like to find out more about Alfons please visit, alfonsgrabher.com.

Alfons and Bryson discuss:

• How Alfons discovered the Feldenkrais Technique
• Advantages & Disadvantages of online learning
• Methodology of the Technique
• Internal focus during the practice
• Experiences on the Training Course
• Spontaneity & Curiosity

Episode 3

Eleanor Criswell Hanna: Hanna Somatic Education

Eleanor Criswell is emeritus professor of psychology and former chair of the psychology department, Sonoma State University. Founding director of the Humanistic Psychology Institute, she is editor of Somatics Magazine, the magazine-journal of the mind-body arts and sciences, and director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training. Her books include Biofeedback and Somatics: Toward Personal Evolution, How Yoga Works: An Introduction to Somatic Yoga, and she is editor of Cram’s Introduction to Surface Electromyography. She is past president and board member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, president of the Somatics Society.

To find out more about Dr. Criswell’s work please visit, somaticsed.com

Dr. Criswell and Bryson discuss:

•The life of Thomas Hanna
•Hanna’s introduction to the Feldenkrais Method and working with Moshe
•How he developed Somatic Education
•Dr. Criswell’s interest in Embodiment
•What is Somatic Awareness
•How to live an embodied life

Episode 4

Tim Cartmell: A Life in Martial Arts

This episode of the Somatic Primer Podcast features Tim Cartmell. Tim is one of the most sought after martial arts instructors in North America. He has over 30 years of experience in martial arts including Kung Fu San Su, Xing Yi Quan , Ba Gua Zhang, Tai Ji Quan, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Tim is the author of the best selling book “Effortless Combat Throws,” and “Passing the Guard,” and is the translator of the several books including “The Method of Chinese Wrestling” and “Chin Na Fa: Traditional Chinese Submission Grappling.”

Tim and Bryson discuss:

• History and development of health concepts and traditional marital arts in China
• Tim’s studies in China
• Biomechanics in the martial arts and the similarities to Western Somatic practices
• Traditional approaches to teaching and studying different disciplines
• The interconnectedness of meditation and somatic practices

You can find out more about Tim at http://www.shenwu.com/index.html. Thank you for listening!

Episode 5

Georges Dreyfus

Georges Dreyfus is Professor of Religion at Williams College, Massachusetts. His focus is in the fields of Tibetology and Buddology, with a particular interest in Indian Buddhist philosophy, philosophy of mind, and cognitive processes.
At the age of 20, Dreyfus left his native home of Switzerland and backpacked across Eastern Europe through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to India. He traveled to Dharamsala where he first encountered Tibetan Buddhism. Captivated by its philosophy, he entered a monastery and began the studies that lasted for 15 years. In 1985 he would be the first Westerner to receive the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest available within the Tibetan scholastic tradition.
He is author of several books including, The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk, and Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti’s Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpretations.

Dr. Dreyfus and Bryson discuss:

His journey from Switzerland to India
How he came to be a Buddhist monk
The daily life of a Buddhist monk
The Philosophy of Conscious in Buddhism
Meeting the Dalai Lama
The Path of Meditation vs. Scholarship
Tibetan Debating System
and much more…

Episode 6

Jeando Masoero

Jeando is a teacher and translator of F.M. Alexander’s work, having translated all of Alexander’s books into French. While working on these translations Jeando discovered that Alexander had studied and was a teacher of the Delsarte Method of Movement which is remarkably similar to Alexanders early approach to his Technique. Realizing this connection Jeando focused on this early work and created his own version of the Alexander Technique the Initial Alexander Technique that he has been teaching online for many years.

If you’d like to find about Jeando and his work you can visit his website initial-alexandertechnique.com where he publishes an insightful blog about the work and history of the method.

In this episode we discuss

Why his method is challenging for new practitioners
How habits play a role in the use of the self
A new way of moving through directing the bones
Creating experiments to discover new movements
How the hyoid bone affects breathing and the use of the thorax

You can find out more about Jeando at https://www.initial-alexandertechnique.org

Episode 7

Ryan Nagy

Ryan is a Feldenkrais teacher from Houston Texas. He’s been studying and teaching the method since the early 2000’s. He is a long time meditation practitioner having studied with Thích Nhất Hạnh, the Vietnamese monk who founded Plum Village.  Ryan uses Feldenkrais as a way to develop awareness. He uses the sensory motor learning process as a way help students organize their physical movements to discover their own ease and freedom.

In this episode we discuss:

How he discovered Feldenkrais
His background in meditation
His time as an academic
The importance of embodiment
Pros and cons of certification programs
The similarities of various somatic modalities.

If you’d like to find about Ryan you can visit his website ryannagy.com where he publishes his Feldenkrais lessons and an insightful blog about the work and history of the method.

Episode 8

Lawrence Gold

Lawrence Gold is a Hanna Somatic Educator. Initially Lawrence begin studying physical therapy before being drawn to the work of Ida Rolf following an injury. Impressed with the structural integration he was taught he wanted to find out more and eventually began studying Rolfing with Emmet Hutchins, Ida Rolf’s first appointed teacher.

He was part of the first and only Hanna Somatic Education Training Course taught by Thomas Hanna. Having completed the course he was asked to continue on as an instructor on the Hanna Somatic Education Training course in Novato California.

Lawrence has created an advanced handbook of practice for professional practitioners and continues to develop the technique. You can find out more about his work at somatics.com

In this episode we discuss
How he discovered somatics
Ida Rolfs structural integration
Pandiculation
The first Hanna Somatic Education Training Course and his Experience on it
The etymology and meaning of Somatics
Tetraseed awareness practice
Tension patters

Lawrence Gold’s Website: http://somatics.com

Pandiculation :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUHwNbR7qYY

Thomas Hanna’s “Clinical Somatic Education” article: https://somatics.com/hannart.htm

 

Episode 9

Holly Sweeney-Hillman

Holly Sweeney-Hillman  is TTM faculty, Anatomy and Biomechanics, academic coordinator and Co-Director of the Teachers Academy USA.  Holly has a degree in dance and graphic arts from The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA and a Masters degree in orthopedic biomechanics from New York University. She is a certified Alexander Technique teacher and practicing CranioSacral therapist.

She became a Senior Instructor in 2019. She has written numerous articles on the biomechanics of tai chi for the International Journal of Tai Chi Chuan. In addition to tai chi, she practices the movement arts of horse riding and recurve bow archery. She was inducted in 2015 as a direct disciple of Grandmaster Yang Jun, receiving the name Yang Yahui.

In this episode we discuss

Her background in dance and biomechanics
Alexander Technique and the nervous system
Tai Chi Chuan and fascia
Salutogenesis & how to cultivate it through movement
Fibroblasts & fascia healing
How different types of movements affects fascia differently

To find out more about Holly please visit her website at https://taichistrong.com

Episode 10

Scott Park Phillips

Scott Park Phillips teaches traditional Chinese Martial Arts in a non-traditional way. His goal is to access the original intent of the creators of Chinese Internal Martial Arts to get at the core of their inspiration. He is the author of two books: Possible Origins, Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, And, Tai Chi, Baguazhang and The Golden Elixir, Internal Martial Arts Before the Boxer Uprising. He lives in Boulder, Colorado and has been teaching for over 30 years.

At the age ten Scott Park Phillips began studying the traditional opera style of Northern Shaolin with Bing Gong a noted disciple of Kuo Lien-ying, one of the first teachers of Chinese Martial Arts in the West. He was a disciple of the late Daoist master Liu Ming who transmitted the Orthodox Daoist methods of the Golden Elixir (Jindan), Non-conceptual Meditation (Zuowang), Daoyin (emptying and transforming), and Dreaming.

Scott first studied improvisational theater at age fifteen with the legendary Keith Johnstone.
In his twenties, performing modern Dance, Scott was drawn to apprentice in the exquisite high arts of North Indian Dance with Pandit Chitresh Das, and Congolese Dance with Malonga Casquelourd. Living in San Francisco during the height of the ethnic dance explosion, he danced with masters of traditions from all over the world.

In this Episode we discuss

History of Daoyin
History of Wester Somatics
Theater & The Martial Arts in China
Ritual in Traditional Chinese Martial Arts
The Golden Elixir
Pedagogy in Traditional Chinese Arts

Scott is teaching a workshop listeners to the podcast might be interested in: Exploring the Origins of Chinese Internal Martial Arts JUN 27, 2022 – JUL 01, 2022  The Golden Elixir in Movement, Meditation, Daoyin, Dance, Theater and Games . It is at Eastover Estates in Massachusetts.Scott also teaches monthly Meditations and Daodejing studies online. Information is at https://scottparkphillips.substack.com/

Episode 11

Sam FS Chin

Sam Chin is the founder and President of Chin Family I Liq Chuan Association

Master Sam Chin grew up in Malaysia and trained martial arts since childhood with his father.
Master Chin migrated to California from Malaysia in 1991. One year later, he was advised to go to the Chuang Yen Monastery in New York where he would live for the next 10 years studying many different styles of Buddhism.

In the ten years of working and teaching at the Chuang Yen Monastery, Master Sam Chin was profoundly influenced by Buddhist meditation and in particular meditation on mindfulness and awareness. Combining mindfulness and awareness with the traditional martial art his father had taught him Master Chin developed what would become I Liq Chuan.

I Liq Chuan is the art of cultivating consciousness based on Tai Chi and Chan (Zen) principles of non-assertion, non-resistance, harmony of yin and yang, oneness and the present moment.

Master Chin has more than 30 schools that teach his method worldwide. He is an emeritus professor and has written several books. To find out more please visit https://iliqchuan.com/grand-master-sam-fs-chin/

In this episode we discuss

His background
Living at the monastery
Mind and awareness
The internal principals of I liq Chuan
The importance of sharing what you have learned

This was an informative episode about the philosophy and application of I Liq Chuan. Master Chin is a gifted and insightful teacher as well as generous and compassionate person. It was a true honer to get to speak with him.

Please give us a 5 star rating on Apple Podcasts if you enjoy the episodes. Thanks.

Episode 12

Dr. Alexander Berzin

Alexander Berzin began his study of Buddhism in 1962 at Rutgers and then Princeton University, and received his PhD in 1972 from Harvard University.Inspired by the process through which Buddhism was transmitted from one Asian civilization to another his focus has been on bridging traditional Buddhist and modern Western cultures.

Dr. Berzin was resident in India for 29 years, first as a Fulbright Scholar and then with the Translation Bureau, which he helped to found, at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala. While in India, he furthered his studies with masters from all four Tibetan Buddhist traditions; however, his main teachers have been His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, and Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. Practicing under their supervision, he completed the major meditation retreats of the Gelug tradition.

For nine years, he was the principal interpreter for Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, accompanying him on his foreign tours and training under him to be a Buddhist teacher. He has served as occasional interpreter for H.H. the Dalai Lama and has organized several international projects for him.

Dr. Berzin has published 17 books, including Taking the Kalachakra Initiation, and The Gelug-Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra. At the end of 1998, Dr. Berzin returned to the West and created the “Berzin Archives”. There, with the encouragement of H. H. the Dalai Lama, he set out to make this material freely available to the world on the Internet, in as many languages as possible.

In this episode Dr. Berzin shares:

How he first was introduced to Buddhism
His days at University
His first trip and traveled in India and Nepal
Core ideas of Buddhist philosophy
Buddhism is a living tradition
How to approach dharma study

This was a very special episode. We are very fortune to have Dr. Berzin on the show and share his fantastic journey and teachings with us. I hope you enjoy the show.

To find out more please visit https://studybuddhism.com
If you enjoy the program please give us a five star rating on Apple Podcasts. Thanks!