Hara: Perspectives on Zen and Feldenkrais Training

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Hara: Perspectives on Zen and Feldenkrais Training



Date & Time: May 13, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: Trinity Wall Street Church, 75 Broadway, (corner of Wall and Broadway).  Workshop will be held in the choir room: 2nd floor in the back.  Google Map
Cost: $50 by May 7, then $60
Special Note: Students should dress in loose comfortable clothing that's easy to move in, and bring a mat or sheet for floor work. 
Read the full workshop description


As life-long practices, Zen and Feldenkrais offer students mental and physical training to clarify the quality of their intention and action. The Japanese term “hara” refers both to the organization of the lower abdomen as well as a maturational training in Zen that cultivates a favorable connection with breath and gravity.

According to Greene Roshi, “Zen is an assault on habit. For Zen students, the development of hara sets the rate at which everything else of significance develops: character, skill in an activity or art, Zen training, etc.”

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a blackbelt in Judo, wove this perspective, both directly and indirectly, into the work he created to help students discover and live in the “potent posture”.

In this special public workshop, Zen Roshi Gordon Greene and Feldenkrais teacher Andrew Gibbons will lead a conversation and exploration into “hara”: how to identify it, develop it, and embody it as a criteria for effectiveness in our daily lives and work with our students. They will each teach practices from their respective disciplines and create a mutually supportive context for understanding how to hold one's center through all of life's challenges. 

Students in the workshop will:

  1. Identify physical and action qualities of hara.
  2. Experience several movement practices to enhance their sense of hara (including breath, pushing, pulling, voice).
  3. Learn how hara is employed in physical labor, sitting, standing, walking the martial arts, and Zen meditation practice.
  4. Participate in a discussion and Q&A about hara in a clinical and practice setting. 

This workshop is open to the public, and to Feldenkrais practitioners and trainees. There are a limited number of spaces available, making for an intimate afternoon workshop. Participants are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing that's easy to move in.  There will be a short break, but we suggest you eat lunch before the workshop. 

Calligraphy of the Japanese character “Za” (sitting)  by Gordon Greene.

10th Dan Mifune explains the philosophy and principles of Judo.