14. Touch: Flow

1. Matter and Energy

Flesh and bones contain a tangible, relatively objective material dimension not dissimilar to wood, stone, leather, and cloth, for instance. Our hands, then, are made of definite matter. Thought and emotion infuse the material world with a less tangible, less objective dimension that we might name energy. And in whatever we do with our hands, the dimensions of matter and energy are inseparable. In this segment we'll develop our awareness of these dimensions and their practical collaboration.

2. Handshakes from Atlantis

Many of us are familiar with the Vulcan Salute, immortalized by Leonard Nimoy’s Dr. Spock on the original “Star Trek” series. The gesture is popular because it illustrates the capacity we all have to use our hands in affirmative, health-giving, and symbolically powerful ways. In this workshop we’ll practice a series of simple but clever exercises (which we’ll call “Handshakes from Atlantis”) to develop our hands’ sensitivity, intelligence, and creativity, as well as their power to communicate meaningfully symbolic messages.

3. Scooping Spirals: Gather, Rotate, Shape

What do gardening, playing the cello, and bread-baking have in common? In all three activities -- as well as in virtually all human endeavors -- you gather materials with your fingers and hands, then you rotate your hands and arms in infinite combinations of movements (most of which happening along spiral paths in space) to handle the gathered materials and shape them. In this segment we'll practice the skills of gathering, rotating, and shaping using a series of techniques that we'll call "Scooping Spirals."

4. Seven Challenges in Sequence

In this segment we’ll practice the most important hands-on skill: the art of remaining poised, comfortable, and clearheaded as you work on "the task at hand." The primary task is you; take care of it (I mean, you!) and the secondary task (communicating with your hands) becomes much easier to manage. We'll structure with a series of hands-on challenges that we'll face not sequentially (1, 2, 3, 4 . . .) but cumulatively (1; 1 and 2; 1 and 2 and 3; . . . ), the better to focus on "1".