Monday, April 11, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Dharma of Gravity

Dharma is a vast subject. What exactly is it? In Buddhism it means, "Cosmic Law and Order". Also, the teaching of the Buddha about the way of things. 

The Dharma upholds us. We uphold the Dharma. Buddhist or not, Mother Nature rules. The sun starts to shine at dawn. Rain falls. Gravity ... pulls.

At a turning point in my life I got in touch with the simple fact that I was not paying attention to "The Way of Things", to my True Life needs. I was neglecting my spiritual life. I hated my job as an advertising executive. I wasn't taking care of my health. Things changed rather suddenly and abruptly. Not the least being a divorce and that heartbreak. 

Around that time I had tremendous success with my own Rolf Structural Integration treatments. It helped resolve lower back pain. And, I discovered how my body could change to be more graceful, powerful, and effortlessly upright. I chose that profession to support a way of life which contributed in a tangible human way; one grounded in reality. 

Structural Integration trains individuals to have an efficient and workable arrangement in the makeup of their bodies. 

That's where Gravity comes in.

Structural Integration was originated by Dr. Ida P. Rolf with the aim to educate human beings into a constructive and healthful relationship with that prime ecological fact — the constant and ever present pull of Gravity.

In a very real sense the force of Gravity is an item of Dharma. It is the Law. Ignorance is not an excuse. Ignore it at your peril. It will pull you down if you're not paying attention. Or, you're not in balance.

It's always there. It goes unnoticed as such. We take it for granted. Unless you want to go to the Moon, or you drop your groceries. Unnoticed or not, we do have to deal with it. Even a child learning to stack blocks is in a learning relationship to Gravity; albeit, it is a non-verbal process.

Dr. Rolf spoke eloquently. It sticks with me something she said, "Consign you body to Gravity". I take her to be saying, trust the force of Gravity. Trust enough in fact that when your body is stacked up in balance, you can see your way to letting go. Then, Gravity will heal you and support you. In a very real sense, the entire profession of Structural Integration is a project to demonstrate what it would look like to see humans correctly organized in their relationship to Gravity.

And, what I know of spiritual matters, a central point of the Dharma is letting go. Surrendering to what is. 

Oh, yes ... key point. Dr. Rolf had the genius to observe the obvious. Humans are not truly upright. In terms of the Anatomical design of their bodies. In terms of Basic Physics and what it takes in simple spatial terms to deal properly with the pull of Gravity. You can see for yourself. Most individuals live short of their easy natural potential for balanced order in their bodies. 

Quoting Dr. Rolf, "Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity."

In order to balance your body with Gravity you have to think in architectural terms. Just what is it about the body — which, by the way, is just like any other physical structure on Earth — that needs to be there to work with Gravity. Work so well, in fact, that you could just surrender it to Gravity, and ... find yourself supported. Most of us would assume that if you let go you would fall down in a heap. And, for most of us, you would be right.

In order to "consign" your body to Gravity you need to see to it that it is arranged in alignment according to the dictates of Gravity. In the design and construction of buildings it's called Plumb and Square. At their very center physical structures need to be stacked up neatly in a straight line, all even and level. No less so with your body.

From that balanced position you can give your body over to Gravity. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, it is normal according to the basic design of the human body. So, it's healthy. Also, it's a platform for top performance. Full creative expressiveness. Also, maybe, that's were it gets into more spiritual concerns. 

In the following video a respected teacher from my school, the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration touches on the spiritual side of the work.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Pretty much in terms of what we know scientifically, Gravity is still a mystery. Practically speaking though, we know a lot about it. 

Someone sometime way back when figured out that building a wall straight up and down will guarantee it endures. You need to know from Gravity to get those seams in the wallpaper to line up. In more recent times we've calculated just what it takes to get the hell off Planet Earth. Gone to the Moon. Noticed the Gravitational effect there. Thinking about going to Mars. Hopefully, round trip. Next month, March 2016, Scott Kelly will return after a full year in space. It'll be most interesting what he has to report on how it feels to get back on Terra Firma. Hope they evaluate his body structure. Specifically, if and how it may have changed. (I'm betting they didn't do a pre-assessment on that. Or, that it's on their analysis list. We shall see.)

Since Gravity is so ubiquitous and constant we are naturally inured to it. It plays under the radar of our everyday awareness. In short, as ineluctable as it is, we generally take it for granted. 

The most powerful and universal force in the world ... taken for granted! Before it does, and possibly forestalling the eventuality of Gravity taking its leave of us for lack of due respect, let's give some acknowledgment to the Force that holds the Universe together. And, that's ... literally!

A Wronski's Wramblings [WW] first ... a conversation with Gravity [G].

WW: How ya doin'?

G: Same old, same old.

WW: Really? Sounds like you're bored. Not enough to do, keeping things together and all that?

G: Well that's a full time job, for sure. And, things do indeed keep changing, so I have to adjust. Come to think of it I'm all up to there with things to do. And, I gotta do it in so-called "Real Time". Now, is the only time I got. No do overs. Nothing to postpone. 

WW: I think we should give you a huge THANK YOU! Speaking for all of mankind, that is.

G: You are most welcome!

WW: Anything you'd like to share, now that you have the ear of all of humanity.

G: Yes, in fact. Here it is. You know a lot about me, for sure. Really like those Pyramids. Nice work! I was there when that fella discovered me. Not Newton. No. The guy who figured out that up and down and level were good standards for constructing things. The first plumb wall. It still brings tears to my eyes.

WW: You have eyes?

G: I be speaking metaphorically, junior! Don't be stupid! And, speaking of stupid ... When in the gosh dern hell are you people going to figure out that your bodies are just like any other physical structure on Earth. Same rules apply!

WW: What are you getting at?

G: Just this! Your body anatomically is in fact designed to work with me. That's why it's the normal thing to be stacked up vertically, everything all even and level. This is basic Physics ... how your body stacks up in me [Gravity] is a key factor in health and performance.

WW: Well everybody knows that!

G: Really! So how come the average individual is living observably below even a base line threshold for being in balance structurally measured against a simple straight vertical line? Plumb line, if you want to get technical. It's so common and widespread it goes unrecognized as such. You've built whole industries catering to palliative remedies for your pains and stress, completely ignoring what is in front of your noses. Off kilter to my simple dictates.  Like this:

WW: You don't have to convince me, G. I teach people that as a profession. 

G: Well then, get busy. Spread the word. This war with Gravity must end!

WW: I'm on it!

G: And, another thing! What's with those golfers, always looking for the best new driver, or putter. All those lessons! Your body is an instrument in the equation too. Why not bring it into balance along the lines of Gravity! That would be a key factor in your golf score ... and enjoyment of the game? Duh!