Stopping can be seen as bringing something to an end. In terms of the Alexander Technique, it's your doing that needs to stop. So how do we identify the different ways of our own doing? Well, a good place to start is by listening. With the rigmarole of our own thought and feeling habits our mind can go round, quite happily in circles or other patterns and take nothing in. We can hear something very easily, identify it and very quickly categorise it in order to fit in with what goes on in our own mind.
But so rarely do we listen. So if you want to make a good start at stopping you have to decide to just listen. Listening to the sounds going on around you. Just listening. Not trying to label anything. Taking in all the different layers of sound from birds singing, to conversations, the sounds of people moving, traffic or just the trees moving in the wind. You can listen to you body. Apply this to your other senses as well. You are wanting the broadest view or sense of the situation as possible. The narrower your field of view the less you can sense. And we want to feel more.
Of course there's a massive difference between hearing and listening. Between looking and seeing. When we are mentally engaged with our senses we make connections. They happen, they can't be forced. But if you see the connection, it's something that you stumble upon. It's definitely a happening. Nothing will happen unless you pay attention to the right attitudes and functions happening in the body. Coordination, circulation, balance and breathing. Paying attention to these functions will allow you to feel more.
So you’ve got to stop and listen, look, smell, taste, and feel where you are. Now when I use the word feel I’m referring to your kinesthetic sense of where you are. It’s not mysterious, even when referred to as the sixth sense. It’s your sense of movement. How your different body parts are working together to coordinate in whatever activity you experience. That maybe the case, but you’ve still got to listen to it in order to use it. It won’t just happen by itself. Or rather it won’t just improve by itself.
So much of what we take in gets lost by our own judgements and trying to fit things into boxes. And of course we do that to make it easier to learn and take in or consume information. But there’s only so much we can do of that before we get saturated. Stopping and listening allows us to breakdown these barriers to feeling more. You can practise it anytime. It’s particularly good to do during semi supine. It’s also very useful when you’re trying to do something you find difficult.
It’s also interesting to watch cats and dogs. So rarely are they not sensing what is going on. Even when sleeping they have one ear on what’s happening around them. Now we can’t be like that. We have to get sleep and the deeper the better. But we can afford to spend a bit of time listening to what goes on.