Quarterly Essay: Fall 2017

Frequency and Depth

Print Version: 2017 Fall Essay

For the third week of August, I went to a Feldenkrais Retreat at Camp Medomak in Washington, Maine. Medomak used to be a boys’ camp, Twenty years ago it was converted, in part, into a place where groups can hold summer retreats. The setting is idyllic: a forested and partially mowed mountainside that slopes down to a three-mile long lake. The facilities are just right, and the cooking is superb.

Our Feldenkrais group of twenty-three had seven days together. The first and the last were half-days, for arrival and departure. In between we had five days of study. The main activity was group class, which we call ATM. It stands for Awareness through Movement and means a movement theme explored for an hour, or more. We had fifteen ATM’s in five days. That’s a lot!


Maureen swimming in the beautiful Medomak Lake
There was time during the Retreat for swimming in the lake.
That’s me in the water!

My first personal goal for the Retreat was to swim in the lake. That was realized as you can see above. My second goal was to learn new lessons, both for my own benefit and to share with my students. Here, too, my feeling is “Mission Accomplished.”

In addition, there was a surprise. I have the feeling of being brought to depth. This experience is difficult to bring into words. It is a feeling of being touched by something. And, you may well ask, touched by what?

I have the feeling of being touched by contact with a larger Self.  This is not the small “s” self of selfishness. It is a feeling broader, more stable, and more lively than selfishness. Certainly the private meditations in the outdoor chapel and at the side of the lake played a part. But mostly the new feeling came from the hours of Feldenkrais instruction. Somehow, by paying very close attention to one’s self, and physically especially, one comes to a new experience. It was not just my own experience. It could be felt in the harmony of the group.


Our group at the 2017 Feldenkrais Retreat at Camp Medomak
Our group at the 2017 Feldenkrais Retreat at Camp Medomak