Dear friends in our yoga circle,

Some of you reported that you felt a change in your toes, legs, hips, or even elsewhere as a result of your experience with Feldenkrais’ toe lesson yesterday.

How did that happen?

Maybe a more helpful question is…where did that change happen?

And if you think about this carefully, you’ll find the big lesson. The massive lesson. The important thing about change.

One cannot change the ‘part.’

In fact, there is no such thing as ‘part’ . . . no matter how much you and I keep trying to think that there is.

Sure, we can say there is a ‘part’ of this. And that’s a ‘part’ of that.

But in fact, these ‘parts’ have never been separate from each other.

Your toes have never been separate from your legs or hips. Unless of course you actually had a toe cut off and re-attached. (And even then…!)

Those things Tonia Smith, through her Neuro Linguistic Programming exploration, had you hold in separate hands — one aspect of yourself and another aspect of yourself — they exist within the same whole as well. You. Your imagination. Your life. There are no ‘parts’ to you.

Indeed, there are no ‘parts’ to the Universe.

This is the deepest teaching of yoga.*

And this is the tricky thing about sequencing things in yoga, in anything. An intelligent sequence or poem or song or whatever invites us to remember what something in us has known all along. (That there is no ‘thing.’)

The deepest neurons of yourself know this, and perhaps the least studied. They are often referred to as the red nucleus, in the deepest areas of your brain. Fascinating in themselves. They know, you know, that change in how we move in our world is possible when we remember where we are in movement on the earth, often in very fine ways. I suppose it’s possible in water or space/air too, but I’m not sure.

The first question of a neuron is ‘where am I?’ The second question is ‘where do I want to go?’

So where does change happen? How do your hips feel better when you play with your toes in a way that makes sense to your brain? How does your neck get relief, how do your eyes get relief…anything within you get relief when you do something ‘far’ away from them?*



There was never a moment when ‘they’ were disconnected. And ‘they’ are held together by the one and same nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, every system.

In fact, even these ‘systems’ are fictions too…ways of speaking about things that are not separate within you. (Same of course goes for the maps we call meridians and chakras and nadis in yoga and other disciplines — all of them simply stories to understand, get a glimpse of the whole.)

You are a whole. You are one. You are. You.

And where does that ‘you’ end? Where are your boundaries?

Especially when that molecule of oxygen you breathe in feeds you, enlivens you for a moment and then is breathed out as carbon dioxide — or even oxygen — and then feeds me, and my neighbor down the street. And that kid who punched me in first grade. And my first love. And that person on the other side of the globe I’ve never met. And that person I detest. And that animal, that fish, that creature without a name or classification yet. And that plant, that fungi.

No matter now much we try to separate things from each other — be they toes from hips, be they molecules of oxygen from each other (especially in a quantum sense…things appear and disappear, friends…it’s quite quarky), be they police officer from an innocent person or a guilty person they are arresting or even killing —

the fact of the matter (*matter*) is that ‘they’ … those ‘things’ you and I thought were separate … are not and never can be separate.

Perhaps that’s why Dr. King prayed an hour every day…and on busier days prayed for two hours a day. Perhaps that’s why he insisted on loving enemies to awaken them — oppressor and oppressed — to change.

Perhaps that’s why Gautama gave up ‘forceful yoga practices’ and simply sat. ‘Meditated.’ For hours. Perhaps for days, weeks. Even as political regimes crumbled around him and gave birth to better or worse regimes.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus escaped to the desert when things went haywire, even when the greatest political power on the planet (Rome) was conquering and enslaving village after village and extorting their livelihoods from them. In Jesus’ time it had to do with a new tax on fish sales, in a place in the world where people barely scraped by.

Perhaps that’s why all the ‘greats’ we look back upon and revere and find helpful…perhaps that’s why we’re drawn to them. Even a loving grandparent or neighbor or teacher. They knew something. They figured something out. About the mystery that is life.

Play around. And you too will know.

Such a discovery is sitting there for all to know, to uncover, to discover. For anyone who has neurons.

And in *your* knowing, so too will every creature on this planet, in the vast ever-expanding Universe.

The One-Verse.

The One.


The One-Verse.

May the ‘yoga’ we offer one another share the verse…the song of the whole that frees.

(*) unless you did too much 😊

Emily Dickinson reminds…’the truth must dazzle gradually, or every man ** be blind’***

(**) or woman or non-binary or creature with neurons

(***) or deaf or sensitive in any way****

(****) now, do you know the perils of language? language identifies things, tries to differentiate things. when there are no ‘things’ and no separation. even though we are geared to recognize differences — one’s nervous system & senses depend on noticing differences to find our way in the world.


Join the song of the One-Verse. The hum of life. The sound of life finding life, life discovering life, neuron reaching out to neuron, the sizzle of creation.***** OM.

(*****) And thus why perhaps Jesus and Buddha and King and Gandhi and Dorothy Day sat. Did nothing. Sensed themselves. Often. As worlds and worldviews collapsed and gave birth to other worldviews that are collapsing now.



Love to you, with you, around us all,

Brian Shircliff