June 29

Learn to Learn

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais

Do everything very slowly

I do not intend to “teach” you, but to enable you to learn at your own rate of understanding and doing. Time is the most important means of learning. To enable everybody “without exception” to learn, there should be plenty of time for everybody to assimilate the idea of the movement as well as the leisure to get used to the novelty of the situation. There should be sufficient time to perceive and organize oneself. No one can learn when hurried and hustled. Each movement is, therefore, allotted sufficient time for repeating it a number of times. Thus, you will repeat the movement as many times as it suits you during the span of time allotted.

When one becomes familiar with an act, speed increases spontaneously and so does power. This is not so obvious as it is correct.

Efficient movement or performance of any sort is achieved by weeding out, and eliminating, parasitic superfluous exertion. The superfluous is as bad as the insufficient; only it costs more.

No one can learn to ride a bicycle or swim without allowing the time necessary to assimilate the essential and to reject the unintended and unnecessary, efforts that the beginner performs in his ambition not to feel or appear inadequate to himself.

Fast action at the beginning of learning is synonymous with strain and confusion which, together, make learning an unpleasant exertion.

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