Mind and Movement 7 – Teaching Coex

Coex can be as easily taught as relaxation, yoga or aerobics are at present. The concept of mental and physical health being achieved through an inner process being allowed expression is certainly not a widespread one in our culture. But for those who are ready to work with coex, I want to describe how they can teach it.

To teach coex well, one needs to have some background in practical psychological phenomena such as projection, resistances, and symbol formation. Useful books in this area are: The Barefoot Psychoanalyst by John Southgate and Rosemary Randall; Getting Clear by Anne Kent Rush; Myself and I by Constance Newland; Modern Man in Search of a Soul by Carl Jung; and LSD Psychotherapy by W.V. Caldwell. Just these few books are mentioned because if they are all read, a clear and broad view of human inner life is met. They deal not only with the wide variety of forces and factors which one might confront, but also give very clear and direct ways to deal with them.

I have known people who taught coex extremely well, who themselves never experienced its spontaneous release. Nevertheless, a deeper insight is achieved if one has used the process over a period of a year or more. There are, however, several ways you can present coex to others. My own first learning experience was in a peer group in which each person took responsibility for themselves. There was no ‘teacher’ in the sense of someone with experience who was showing the rest how to use the process. This approach is extremely useful with people who understand some­thing of coex, and who wish to support each other in their use of it.

If you are already a teacher of a class which includes relaxation, dance, free movement, bioenergetics, or keep-fit exercises, coex can be usefully introduced into the programme. If the presentation is done carefully, the practitioners can find a helpful release of tension and self expres­sion, without entering into a depth of self exploration they do not seek. Even if you are organising a group specifically for the use of coex, the following guidelines are still useful.

Teaching Body Skills

1 For a useful and yet light-hearted approach to coex in a class situation, first explain that although most of our movements are deliberately made, our body also has a need to express itself spontaneously, as when we yawn and sneeze. Then introduce the technique of finding spontane­ous arm movements, as described in chapter two. This is where a hand is pressed against a wall.

Have the group use this several times and have fun with it, feeling their arm or arms float upwards. To help the group make more contact with each other and drop some of their inhibition about being together, have them try the experiment with a partner. The person who is trying the experiment stands with their arms by their side. The partner then holds their arms close to their side while they try to raise both arms. In this way they can try the experi­ment with both arms. After about thirty seconds, the experimenter relaxes, and the partner releases their hold.

If the group is new to coex, it is best to introduce one thing at a time, separated by the gap in time between the class meeting. It can be said to the class that what is being taught is a way of learning relaxation which is more helpful than the general ‘lying on floor quietly’ type. So after the group members have enjoyed having their arms rise, have them be aware of how their body ‘feels’ when they let their arms rise. In other words, there is a different feeling in their body from resisting the movement than allowing it. Have them explore the difference by resisting, then allowing, the movement. Then use what they have learnt by asking them to created the feeling of ‘allowing’ in their whole body, and slowly, without losing the feeling, find a position of rest in which they can let themselves drop into that feeling more fully.

2 What is being presented is an integrated approach to re­laxation and stress release. Also the class are gently learn­ing to listen t9 their feeling sense and follow it to their own benefit. Therefore, the next step to build in their aware­ness of coex is to have the group work as pairs to deepen the experience of allowing or letting go. This will be called ‘allowing’ or the ‘open state’ for ease of explanation.

Because many tensions are habitual and unconscious, it is a great aid to work with a partner to learn the type of relaxation mentioned above. It helps us drop tensions we might otherwise miss. To start, ask the class to choose a partner and have one person lie down with their partner kneeling by their side. Have the person who is the subject take time to settle, and bring awareness in turn to the legs, trunk, arms, neck and head to let go of unnecessary tension. Ask them to tell their partner when they feel relaxed.

The partner should then help deepen the awareness of the relaxed state by taking one of the subject’s hands and. lifting it. This should be done with attention as to whether:

a] The arm is completely free and limp. [b] The arm is reasonably relaxed but at times the person either uncon­sciously tries to help in making the movement, or tenses against what you are doing. [c] The arm is very tense and resists movement.

The aim of the helper is to increase the awareness of the subject, and sometimes act as a mirror for what is happen­ing. As already stated, many tensions are unconscious. This means that they are occurring spontaneously outside the direction of the conscious mind. So, when the helper takes the subject’s hand, and moves their arm, the subject’s attempt to help, or their tension against the movement may happen whether they will it or not. The subject will probably not be able to let go of these tensions even if they attempt to – that is, not at first. Because these tensions are unconscious habits, happening outside conscious direct­ion, the first aim is to help in bringing them to the awareness of the subject.

As the group leader it is helpful to demonstrate the technique first. So if the subject is able to relax their arm easily, you need to say something like, “Are you aware of how fully you are relaxing your arm? Can you allow that feeling of letting-go to pervade the rest of your body?” If the subject attempts to help the movement, or blocks at certain points, then say, “As I move your arm are you aware of the attempt to help me make the movement?” Or, “Can you feel the tension at this point as I move your arm?” The same applies if the arm is very tense. The subject may be quite sure they are very relaxed until you move their arm. Even then they may not immediately know the degree of their tension. Therefore, you must help them gain awareness of it – really feel the tension.

It helps to move the arm through it’s whole range of movement, pointing out areas of tension, and focusing on the area until the subject becomes aware of where the tension exists. Once you have worked with each arm separately, move both arms together in random activity, giving the subject time to gradually experience some of their tensions during the movement. Or if there is no resistance, let them deepen their ability to relax during movement. Give people a chance to talk about what they have experienced and how they view it. When you bring the subject’s attention to points of resistance, the resistance or rigid tension will not immediately go. Tensions are rooted a lot deeper than our conscious will, often growing out of previous experience and unconscious reactions to past events. They are habits, and as such need to be gradually transformed. The first step is to become aware of the tension(s). Secondly, through subject and helper working together, the subject can practice the feeling of letting-go. The growth in this is measurable in how much one resists movement made by the helper. Therefore, through this simple technique we can teach members of a group how to have an immediate insight into how well they have learnt to relax. Through practice the ability to ‘allow’ is increased. Learning this is a body skill. The practitioners feel in their bodies, they learn in their muscles, how to drop tension. It is not simply a mental event. Therefore, if you are the teacher, in giving information to the subject, you are partly aiming at leading them to feel/learn in their body, what it is like to let go of resistances while being moved. Sometimes a tension is holding back a lot of energy/emotion. As the tension is melted, the energy will be released in the form of muscular twitches, movements, shivering, feelings, or imagery.

It helps the class to learn the new body feeling of allowing if contrasts are given. Therefore, after moving the arms in the way described, have the subject now actively resist while the helper moves both arms. The resistance should not be so strong as to become a great struggle, just enough to allow the person to compare the feeling of letting-go, to that of active resistance. Get the subject to swing between resisting and letting-go. This helps to define as a body skill the ability to let go of resistance. Ask the subject and helper to work together having the subject swing between the feeling of allowing and active resistance. The subject should particularly note the different feel of this in their body. Practising these types of ‘body feeling’ helps the subject to be much more aware of them. They are brought more fully into conscious direction, and are a powerful beginning to developing the sense of ease in using coex.

Although it has taken some time to describe this, the use of it in class, once it has been learnt, need only take about ten minutes. Then the helper should change roles with the subject. The aim is still to increase awareness of the feeling sense and the experience of ‘allowing’. Just as this was carried into use in finding a relaxed position of rest, so the same should be done at the end of this teaching session also.

3 The next stage in teaching this is to bring what has been learnt into everyday activities, and is best given after the previous stage has been practised for a couple of weeks. It too, needs a helper/subject situation. The aim of this step is to maintain the sense of the body letting-go of unnecessary tension, and learning to hold it while being active physically. In this stage we start from a standing position. The subject at first closes their eyes and the helper moves their arms as in the previous exercise, while the subject relaxes. This is simply to re-activate the sense of ‘allowing’ in this new position. To stand, the subject needs enough strength and tension in the body to maintain posture. Yet many muscles need not work, so can be relaxed.

As in the previous exercise, it is best if you as the teacher, demonstrate this to the class before asking them to pair off. Take a firm hold on the subject’s shoulders and move the whole body forward and backward slowly. As this is being done have the subject be aware of how their body feels, and how it responds to the movement. Make the movement a few times, making sure the subject can trust you to move them without dropping them. They need only go about four inches or so in either direction. What will probably happen is that the subject will hinge from the ankles, and their body will move back and forth rather plank-like. If this is so, have the subject be aware of it, and that if it were not for your firm grip, they would have fallen backwards or forwards.

What is done from here on needs to be approached slowly and carefully. The subject needs to be told that you are now going to move them again, but this time they should be aware that their body is plank-like because of the habitual tensions locking their muscles. After this you are going to work together to learn a new habit in standing and moving.

To do this ask the person to be aware of their behind and imagine it capable of easy movement backwards, hinging with their legs. To test whether they can manage this, take a firm hold on the shoulders, (i.e. hold the upper arms), and press gently downwards and slightly forwards. If the pelvis is still locked they will remain plank-like. If the pelvis now begins to relax, the behind will move backwards as the shoulders are pressed down and forwards. Explain to the subject that they need to have a feeling which allows them to respond to being moved, but springs their body gently back into its own upright posture when any pressure is removed. So it is a feeling of balanced yet sensitive poise. If the subject finds it hard to let go of the tensions holding their pelvis rigid, place your hand on their behind to bring awareness to that area, and have them push backwards with their behind towards your hand, while letting the shoulders and head go forwards.

Practice this and then try the same thing with the knees. Ask the subject to have the feeling that their knees are fastened to the pelvis by elastic – the muscles are elastic.

Let them imagine that the knees can easily move forward and spring back into place because of this elastic. To test this push downwards on the shoulders. It might be that they remain rigid; their knees bend but their pelvis locks again; or pelvis and knees now begin to respond easily. Perhaps when pushed down they stay down because they cannot, at the same time, keep the feeling of being like a blade of grass that bends in the wind, but springs upright as soon as the wind stops. This is a part of learning the body skill of ‘allowing’ while the body is moving. So have the class practice until this skill begins to emerge. Do not expect it to become well established in one session. It will need a number of practice sessions to learn this new habit. To begin with it is enough to press the shoulders down then release, so the subject can learn to let the body maintain its own centre of gravity and balance, yet respond by squatting down and rising up again. When this is fairly well established, then start taking the subject into more complex movements. Take them forwards until they walk, then down, twist and up; backwards, side­ways, down and twist, and so on until it is like an easy flowing dance. The helper, or you as the teacher, lead the dance, and the subject finds a body feeling which allows them to easily follow direction with eyes open or closed.

In order to accomplish this the subject has to learn to maintain the same sort of body feeling while lying down and allowing their arms to be moved. Bringing this into movement begins to link it with everyday activities. This is where it becomes a much more dynamic tool in teaching coex and relaxation than when the subject simply learns to relax while prone and inert. They may not otherwise bridge the gap between the open ‘allowing’ state and their daily actions.

As with the other lessons, this is most helpful if prac­tised for several weeks. It thereby establishes the new body skill being learnt. It is worthwhile helping the members of the class do this by having them maintain the open state while they are no longer directed by their helper. This can be taught in a future class as below.

4 The subject now has to take what their helper enabled them to define and use it alone in their own self directed movements. Help them to do this by starting with some­thing simple. While they are standing, ask the class to created the open state, and while maintaining it take a few steps forward. Tell them to start again if they lose the body sense of ‘allowing’. Ask them to take particular notice of face, chest, and anal/genital areas. These are where tensions often show. In the face it is felt as a tense or false expression. In the chest it is experienced as holding the breath or restraining it in some way. In the anal/genital area it is felt as a tense closing up. In this last area aware­ness can be increased by tensing the area and then drop­ping the tension.

Do not be surprised if members of the class find it dif­ficult to perform simple movements such as walking with the awareness they have been learning. It is quite normal for people to stumble or falter in just taking a step forward while they maintain the open state. The class should be allowed time to gradually develop past this stumbling point to a surer more pleasurable movement. When they can maintain the open state reasonably well while walking, try more varied movements. Let them practice until it becomes easier. If necessary, let them work with the helper again to re-define the experience of the open state. Depending upon the main structure of the class, it can be used during dancing, exercise, etc. In using it in this way, create the open state and let it’s pleasure flow into the very exertion needed. Keep the genitals, face and chest open even though a lot of muscles are being used. As people feel the pleasure of moving in this way, allow the good feeling to flow with the breath. What is meant by this is that the open state causes a gentle pleasure to be felt in oneself, even in a strenuous posture or movement. When there is awareness of this pleasure let the in-breath enhance it, almost as if one were breathing-in pleasure. Then let that feeling permeate the body.

Daring to be free and the fear of being Oneself

I believe that the single most difficult aspect of teaching coex is that if offers a person freedom. Teaching how to create the ‘open’ state is comparatively easy. One is telling the person or class just what to do, and giving them easy to follow steps. When it comes to exploring their own spontaneous movement, however, many people pull back. They face the freedom of decision, but also they face the unknown. If you give the whole class a particular move­ment to do – even if quite a funny one – everyone is doing it, so the end result and performance do not matter. But if a person has to rely on themselves for creative expression, they may not remain unselfconscious. They wonder whether what they do will be RIGHT? After all, no end goal or model has been set, so what they do may not be acceptable. How are they to find out without risking ex­pressing themselves? Most of our pupil/teacher relation­ship is based on copying or repeating what the teacher does or says.

I find it helpful to use one of the movements described in chapter three to begin the exploration of coex. This can be practised without using the helper/subject situation. Each person should stand in their own space, preferably on a carpet or mat. Ask them to create the open state in themselves, and carry it into the movement where the head and arms are taken slightly backwards on the in-breath, and the body taken into a squatting position on the out-breath. Ask them to repeat the movement a few times to familiarise themselves with it. When they have done this, lead them into being aware of the difference in feeling between the ‘up’ position and the ‘down’.

The ‘down’ and ‘up’ are opposite poles of how we ex­press ourselves not only physically but psychologically. The down expresses sleep, rest, withdrawal and non­involvement. The up expresses activity, involvement and confrontation. When we emerge from the womb, our being is confronted by a different world. In the womb there was little change. There was no otherness such as other objects or people to deal with. There was no need to reach out for ones needs because food came automatically. In life outside the womb, food does not come automati­cally, certainly not as we mature. There are other people and objects to deal with. Change is occurring all the time. If as a baby we found no comfort or love when we were born, it could be that we did not develop any urge to adapt to this new life. Perhaps we did not want to be involved in its change, its opposites, its necessity to find our own needs and to cope with other people. We may have wished to stay in the womb condition because there was no re­ward in emerging from it. So although our body matures, we might not have developed into an outgoing explorative person. With those feelings some people might ‘drop out’, or withdraw into alcoholism. In milder forms we might be quiet and unexpressive, not wishing to be involved in what is going on around us. The squat posture is expressive of this type of non involvement with the exterior world. But of course there is another side to withdrawal – it is also an aspect of a healthy life. If we do not honour our healthy need to sleep, to have times of privacy or cycles of lessened outer expression, then we suffer stress. So the squat also represents our ability to rest and to allow ourselves the attainment of relaxed, non-active pleasurable feelings. This could be called our ‘warm comfortable place’.

The standing position expresses our involvement in the exterior world of change, opposites, and needs which require expenditure of effort. It would be ideal if each of us could move easily between these antipodes of our being. We tend to have a greater ease in one or the other though, and this is expressed in our feeling sense of each posture. It is because of this the postures can be used as an intro­duction to coex. Through the posture the class can be led to awareness of the feeling sense. Then from that they can learn to allow their unconscious to express what relation­ship they have with being down or up.

So, from having the class be aware of the difference they feel between standing and squatting, now say something like: “Now that you have become familiar with the move­ment, and have noticed the difference between being down and up, I would like to hear how you describe that difference.”

Feeling Low – Feeling High

At this point give people a chance to say what they have experienced, without necessarily asking everyone to talk. Then say:

Okay, we are now going to continue the exercise a little further. When I suggested you do the movement, you were going up and down because you were willing to follow my instructions. Having accepted what I asked you, the movements you made were partly automatic. What I want you to do now is to discover how your feelings respond to the movement. Some of you described feeling more comfortable while down, and some of you preferred to be up. These preferences are part of the way your feelings react to everyday life, often unconsciously. What we are going to do is to honour those feelings and find out what they are telling you. So start from the standing posture, go down into the squat, and this time, if you feel no impulse to get up, stay down. Follow the impulse with your body. In other words, if you feel like going right down onto the floor, do so. It might be that during the time of the exercise, to which we are going to give ten/twenty minutes, you will not feel any feelings to get up at all, in which case stay with whatever position or movement your impulse leads you to. It might be that your feeling changes, and after a while you have an urge to stand. Or perhaps you do not have a nice feeling about being down, and have an impulse to stand right away. Therefore, think of what we are doing as an exercise in being aware of, and expressing your subtle feelings. This is helpful because often we automatically do things without having the full backing of our feelings, and this causes some degree of tension or conflict. In listening to our feelings and giving them an opportunity to express themselves we are reducing the tension, and also learning what our feeling-needs are. Give yourself time now, to explore what you feel about standing and going down.

Each person will have their own personal reaction to this exercise. In general there are three basics: [A] Not wanting to stand. [B] Not wanting to go down. [C] Moving reasonably well between the opposites.

At the end of the exercise, let people say what they felt. Whatever it is, it will almost certainly be relevant to their own situation in life. This is important, so do not think this is merely a loosening up exercise. The process of coex can be expressed through this method very capably, and although it is gentle, what people meet is a part of their own healing and self-regulatory activity. At a recent work­shop one man found his feelings led him to a rather tense standing position. It seemed to express an attempt to avoid going down. It turned out that he had experienced a loss of self confidence which he had only recently moved out of, and he was anxious that he might drop back into it. The exercise showed, however, that his anxiety was causing tension, which he needed to move beyond.

A woman in the workshop felt loath to get up. It felt to her as if standing would require a great deal of strength, even aggression. This expressed her sense of difficulty in expressing herself as a woman, and her feeling of being in competition with men.

Just these two examples show that the person was facing important issues in their life. This approach to coex can be an available avenue for many people to meet and resolve such difficult feeling areas and aspects of their growth as a person. It does not need high intellectual attainment to be of real service in helping them toward such resolution. But it does need the strength of the teacher’s support and their skill in creating an environment where such healing can take place. The notes already given on creative listening should be carefully read. Also, the exercise should be used in an alternating manner. What is meant by that is, after using the exercise the person should be given an opportunity to discuss the connection between what they experi­enced during the exercise and its link with their everyday life. The aim is not to find answers to the persons life situation but to bring greater awareness to it.


The Earth the Seed and the Sun

If you are teaching an individual or group and the time factor is not restricted, it is beneficial to use the Seed, Earth, Water and Sun meditations as exercises. There is a lot to gain from them in the way of discovering expressive body movements and creativity. Their use is described quite fully in chapter two. If you are teaching a group, you obviously need to set the mood, have participants find sufficient space, and especially, to realise they have a period of time in which they have the luxury of listening to their own being.

Awareness Transforms

When we bring awareness to any area of ourselves, whether that is to do with the way we walk, or how we feel about work or love, the quality of what is looked at changes. A woman, Hanna, felt depressed and trapped by her work situation. She had agreed with a friend to become a business partner producing baskets. After a period of time she felt unhappy, but could not determine why. She gave time to be aware of her feelings and ideas about what was happening however, and saw that she had lost her enthusiasm to run the business, but held-on-in because she believed she would be letting her partner down by leaving. It became obvious in her self consideration though, that her partner could easily manage the business if the break was planned carefully. Hanna in fact was trapped by her own feelings of what people would think of her if she went back on her agreement. Seeing this enabled her to easily make the changes she wanted. Awareness had transformed the way she SAW the situation, and so enabled her to approach it differently.

In teaching people the process of coex, it is helpful to remember that its two most frequent actions are that it expands awareness and it expresses the habitual ways our energy flows. Our awareness penetrates areas of our feel­ing and motivation which usually remain unconscious. When these parts of our being become known we can relate to them in a way we could not when they were unknown. Although this is a simple process in itself it is very effective. It also faces one with experience which needs perseverance and strength to meet.

This might be clearer if we understand that tension is most often a defensive or protective reaction. In taking an open allowing feeling state we temporarily drop our protective tensions. Supposing we are in an open condition while in a room with several people, one of whom we would like to get near and embrace. Usually such an urge would be suppressed if it were felt to be in disagreement with ‘proper’ social action. Or it might be channeled through learnt social responses toward some level of satis­faction. Perhaps we had previously been deeply hurt in openly expressing our affection as a child. So the urge to embrace could have social conditioning and also pain attached to it. Therefore, if we create an ‘allowing’ state, our spontaneous feelings are free to move toward being felt by us consciously. But because conditioning and pain may be attached to them, these are the first things which are felt by us.

In helping someone to become free of such conditioning and pain, there is no need to erect goals such as ‘curing’ or ‘healing’ the person. The aim is to help them achieve awareness in a way that will transform them. They need the encouragement and support to feel that meeting any conditioning and pain encountered in the process of gaining awareness, is transformative rather than threatening.

Standing and Walking

If we realise that ‘standing up’ means more than simply straightening ones legs, we gain an insight into what can be achieved through the use of the squatting and standing exercise. In this, standing means that from the introverted experience of babyhood we have gradually exteriorised ourselves more fully, and developed a reasonable degree of confidence about our own identity in contact with others. This confidence and exteriorisation may have met difficul­ties or points of crisis in its growth. So although we can stand up well physically, as a psychological or feeling person we may not be standing very high or straight. A man who is confident in a pub, may be shy and withdrawn in a dancehall. A woman who is sure of herself with her children may feel inferior and inefficient in a business.

When we give awareness to whether we have any moti­vation to stand, we are looking at this subtler side of our nature and observing how much inner strength is behind our act of physical standing.

In one workshop a young man who had never done the exercise before found that he had no impulse at all to stand. In fact when he moved toward rising he felt threatened. On talking this out with him he said that expressing himself in everyday life was always a great struggle. He as a person never really ‘stood up’. The reason for this we discovered to be that his social and family training had not taken account of how he felt and his own impulses. His parents expected him to act in certain ways whether he wished to or not, and whether he was frightened or not. So he had developed an inner at­titude of doing things automatically, without any enthusiasm or creative feeling.

To help this man we told him that he was now in an unusual environment where his feeling self had time to explore the act of standing. He was encouraged to express what the feeling part of him wanted to do without criticism or should’s and should not’s being imposed. Thus a direct communication with his ‘with­drawn’ feeling-self commenced. It was made plain that the enthusiasm and support of his feelings were needed in everyday life. Without them the man had felt inwardly weak. But this time the feeling self was allowed time to ‘sniff out’ its environment like any natural creature does before it feels sure of its ground.

Slowly and cautiously the man stood. He wept because he had never stood up in that way before. But in that first session he only rose to a kneeling position, that was as far as he wished to go. It was sufficient for him to have stood up that much – anything further needed to come slowly.

This gives an idea how to work with this technique. The person must be allowed to remain at any level with which they feel comfortable. Here again, awareness transforms. Although they may find themselves stuck in sonic level of withdrawal, it is sufficient for them to remain in that feeling with awareness for it to gradually change. The dialogue between the feeling self and the adult/social self helps this, but transformation can arise from awareness alone.

If the person manages to stand with a good feeling of motivation and enthusiasm, then they can try LEADING THOSE FEELINGS INTO THE ACT OF WALKING. The same ways of working apply to this as to the standing.

The Seed Group

If you are working with a group of people who are explorative in their relationship with coex, the seed group structure is an excellent one to take them further. It allows aspects of self regulation which might not surface outside a group interaction. As the teacher though, it is important that you experience both types of role offered by the seed group. That is, being the central character as the seed, and being a supportive helper. Use of the seed group is described in chapter two.

Daring to be Yourself

When we allow our deepest feelings and insight to be ex­pressed consciously, we are daring to be ourselves more fully than usual. The meeting between our deeply uncon­scious drives and wisdom and our waking personality makes of us a different sort of human being. True we are not unique in linking these two divergent aspects of our­selves. There are many other men and women who have done so in varying degrees. Nevertheless, the numbers are comparatively few, and it i~ a new human development. When teaching it we are helping the pupil learn and explore a new human experience.

If you have led someone through the exercises given so far, they are now ready to use coex without the structure given by the squatting and standing technique. The methods already described in chapter two can be used to do this. Also, using coex to deal with particular questions is an approach appreciated by most people.

To summarise:

1 TENSING AND RELAXING ARMS. This is principally for helping people new to coex to learn how to relate to their being in an ‘allowing’ and ‘open’ manner. It gives them the experience of letting go and of spontaneous movement. Also, in working with a partner a feedback situation is developed in which the person can discover areas of ten­sion previously unknown. Although this is a helpful place to start when teaching, the techniques used actually have a wider application than a starting point for coex. They form an excellent series of exercises which can be used to learn fuller relaxation in everyday life.

2 SQUATTING AND STANDING. I sometimes call this ‘standing and walking’ because it leads to walking with greater motivation. This is a structured approach to coex. The action of coex arises fairly easily within it, especially if the practitioner has already practised preparatory exercises in regard to their feeling sense and the open state. However, it can be used by itself to help the practitioner to find greater motivation and pleasure.

3 THE SEED, EARTH, WATER AND SUN. These are exercises in structured coex, and are very useful and gentle. They are adaptable for use in such environments as a yoga class; as a form of moving meditation; or as a form of relaxation in exercise classes. Children could helpfully use them in drama study, or in creative self expression.

4 THE SEED GROUP. Outside an unstructured approach to coex, this is the most powerful environment for the experience of coex’s possibilities. It has so many facets it is difficult to summaries them. It is a situation in which a beginner can gently allow the very minimal level of their self regulatory experience to surface. It can be almost an experience of playing. It creates a social environment in which body contact and varied aspects of relationship can be explored in a way not usually available. For many people the caring quality of the seed group allows them expression of feelings which in todays world are often repressed. Because of the support and contact in the group, the self-regulatory process surfaces with a strength seldom found in other techniques. This form of working is so multifaceted, it can be used weekly over a period of time without going stale.


5 UNSTRUCTURED COEX. This is the simplest format, and certainly the most available in terms of where, how and when it can be used. Nevertheless, because of its simplicity it is unacceptable to people who need boundaries and directions to feel safe. Because of this, if the unstructured practice is approached too quickly, some people will act- out a self-regulatory activity to comply with the needs of the situation. To do nothing and wait, to be patient with ones own internal creative process is not a quality highly developed in many personalities in today’s world.

The unstructured approach does open the door for areas of inner experience which one does not have a concept for, or expectation of, because they arc outside ones present awareness. Leaving oneself open, without expectation and concept therefore heightens the possibility that new aspects of our being can express themselves.


Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved