Mainstreaming Hanna Somatic Education, part 6 | the five stages of acceptance

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote of the five stages of grieving a loss.  Her words are relevant because most people (especially those with a vested interest in conventional methods) are attached to their ways -- and to switch to our way entails a loss -- a loss of face, a loss of ego, a loss of status.  People avoid "beginner's mind" and The Zone of Incomprehensibility

Her five stages of grieving:
1) denial
2) anger
3) bargaining
4) depression
5) acceptance

In practice, people who hear about HSE, who are not otherwise desperate for help, first deny our validity by ignoring us.

Then, they ridicule or invalidate us, and if not to our faces, then in their minds. (anger).  This observation applies to chauvinistic "Feldy" types who prefer to think Tom Hanna was an upstart usurper, as well as to most physicans and physical therapists.

Then, they allow a little of what we have to say to penetrate ("They may have a point -- but it's unproven."), while seeking to maintain an attitude of superiority or seniority -- their usual viewpoint (bargaining/jockeying to maintain position/status).  Tom Hanna's first act, with us Wave 1 people, was to ask us to put everything we knew about bodies and bodywork "on the shelf".  He knew.

Then, when they realize that they're screwed (by their own condition and/or the limitations of their approach), they begin to submit, but in the mood of "I've lost." (depression)

At last, when they actually take action and get the benefits, they accept HSE and advocate it -- and encounter the same pathetic five stages in the people with whom they want to share HSE. (acceptance)

That's what's in the way of mainstreaming HSE.

Once HSE gets a toehold in the culture (we scarcely have that, now), and the mass media are giving us some play, they'll still have to go through the stages, but they'll go through much faster.

In the meantime, as we do our work and make our communications, we'll polarize people:
1) driving the most hard-headed away from us
2) gradually infiltrating the thinking of those less hard-headed, getting their skeptical and unsympathetic attention
3) intriguing the attention of those with some curiosity, drawing them toward finding out more about our work
4) attracting people toward us for one-on-one conversation
5) attracting people to use our services
6) having people advocate our work to others
7) attracting new trainees in HSE

In summary, we'll polarize people either into running away from us as fast as they can or coming to join us -- and every stage in between.

Our best candidates are those those know that they're screwed and they're looking for something -- they don't know what.

I've noticed that I've had scant success getting clients from conversations in public places (maybe it's my personality), or from advertising. 

For years, friends and clients have wondered why this work isn't more popular, why friends they've told about somatics don't come to me.  This piece may reveal the heart of the matter: people are attached to what they already know, haven't realized that they're screwed without somatic education; they aren't desperate enough.

The desperate who are looking find me on-line or hear from friends who were clients.  They come and they reach "stage 5".


The Effects of Jaw Tension -- Is the gag on you?

Jaw tension and jaw movement
are a very interesting pivotal point
in the consideration of balanced movement and stance
but also of physiological health
and emotional well-being.

Our balance depends much upon 
where our jaw (mandible) is 
in relation to our cranium:

clenched or loosely supported
mandible forward, head back
or mandible back, head down and forward
or tighter more on one side than on the other?

or with our cranium well centered and 
moving in a well-balanced, well-supported way
by our free and gently elongated neck?

or pulling our head down and forward
as our lower jaw (mandible) pulls back and up
seemingly by itself
with no doing on our part.


and the position of our jaw reflects our physiological state and shape
our arousal state
our emotional state
our attitude
our readiness for what's next
or our unreadiness
our "running" old memories
as our best understanding of the present
without also facing the mystery as 
this living moment.

The View from Outside

The upper jaw, part of the cranium, connects most intimately with the spine and back (dorsal aspect) of the body.

The lower jaw, the mandible, connects most intimately with the body-core and front (ventral aspect) of the body.

Miscoordination of the jaws, in biting, chewing, and rest position, causes a misfit between the front and back of the body.  That misfit causes chronic muscular tensions in the trunk and disturbances to breathing, swallowing, balance, posture and movement.  Jaws are a big deal.  I say more about that, below.

But for now, I think it's time we looked something squarely in the face, viz.,
"the grimace".

The grimace goes with the gag reflex,
but also with coughing,
revulsion, disgust (pulling back of the tongue),
and suppressed anger (pulling back the mandible in suppression of the urge to bite someone
or perhaps say something really rude),
all involving changes to the face, jaw position, the inside of the mouth, and throat.

And to all that, I say, "Blecch!"
But, there we are. We might as well look at it,
particularly if all that describes us.

So, the first question:

Where does our lower jaw go on such occasions?

Why, up and back.

The teeth clench,
the bones of the face compress and the face gets harder, 
the tongue pulls back in and presses against the soft palate.

The head pulls forward and down, 
the top of the head tips back  
and the neck vertebrae come forward,
closing the throat passage from behind.

It's a response that says,
"Nothing's going in
and something may be coming out!"

Back to the jaws.

Clenching the teeth involves the muscles of the sides of the head
pulling the lower jaw (mandible)
up against the teeth of the upper jaw (the maxilla),
so the muscles of clenching pull the sides (and therefore, top) of the head down
and the bottom of the head, up
in a big squeeze.

The face shows it.

More is happening, however.

With the closing of the throat
comes also
depression of the front of the chest --
a cave-in
and compression around the base of the head
where the spinal cord enters (foramen magnum)
producing a sensation registered, somatically,
as shrinking inward along our length
and possibly, queasiness.

The change of mouth, throat, and chest shape
impair breathing at two focal locations
the throat
and the chest.

Well, this is a jolly state to be in.

The question arises:
"What is a more wholesome resting position of the lower jaw?"

I say,
"It is hanging freely, floating beneath the upper teeth
and somewhat forward."

The exact amount of forward depends upon the inclination of the head
but in the neutral or balanced head position,
my provisional stand is, "the incisors match up"
although it's an error to think of the jaws having a fixed rest position.
It's more that they have a floating equilibrium that changes with head movement and position.

When our head is more inclined (forehead up)
the lower jaw hangs back, somewhat
as in the gag reflex
or worry.

When our head is somewhat bowed (forehead forward)
our lower jaw hangs forward, somewhat.

When our head is balanced between forward and back
our lower jaw hangs freely at some floating suspension point,
our facial bones feel the downward pull of the lower jaw
and they separate, somewhat
and our face softens.

Our chest spontaneously reshapes, sternum higher
breathing fuller,

and we sit at a new balance.

Some contrast with the gag reflex, eh?

So when we are revolting against life,
when life seems revolting to us
when "our bodies" are in revolt
or we are confronted with a revolting body,
and the emotion of revulsion closes in
we clench our teeth, somewhat,
or maybe a lot. (TMJ Dysfunction/bruxism)

Repressed anger involves a pulling back of the mandible (lower jaw)
and clenching of the teeth,
the proverbial "gnashing of teeth",
combined with a pasted-on smile
really, a grimace
not a true grin,
really the action of repressing rage and the urge
to bite someone or, as I said,
say something really rude.

An alternate cause of tightening the jaws in a held position
is pain in the jaws or teeth, whatever the cause,
which triggers the grimace response
of pulling the lower jaw back and up
or clenching the face.
Pain of sufficient intensity or duration
can cause long-term conditioning that outlasts the pain
and causes lingering pain of its own.

The same emotional and functional physiological changes occur from either cause.
It's not an all-or-none reaction, either, but a matter of degree
according to the pain or emotional state, involved.

A person may experience manifestations of narrowed air passages:
he may snore
or have sleep apnea
or just grind his teeth at night
frightening his spouse
and nearby neighbors.

Freeing our jaws to hang more freely
enables us to feel and release accumulated grimace or pain-cringe
and enables us to move toward overall more wholesome health.
Our face shows it.


If you want to know how wholesome your own jaw position is,
take a walk and do this:
As you walk, slowly nod your head in a "yes" movement and feel how freely your lower jaw changes hanging position. 
If it doesn't change position very slightly but freely, you have excessive jaw tension.
Instead of a jaw splint, night guard or "appliance", develop control of your own jaw muscles by the means provided, here, so you don't need these devices. It's a faster (and more economical) approach to solving the problem.

articles on TMJ Dysfunction /TMD
Causes of TMJ Dysfunction

instructional video

preparation for the instructional video, above, if needed
self-relief program (video)

Lawrence Gold is a certified Clinical Somatic Educator (Hanna somatic education(R)) in practice since 1990 with two years' experience on-staff at a community hospital wellness and rehabilitation center in California. He has experience addressing TMJ Dysfunction (TMD) and sleep apnea. Read the articles linked, above, for fit to your condition -- and contact Lawrence by email, here.

A Better Way to Release (Dispel) Stress and Free Intelligence to Function: The Gold Key Release for DeCrystallizing Stress Patterns

A T T E N T I O N:

Finding Yourself Out and the Way Out

-- preparatory "horse training" --
-- You're the horse. | You're also the trainer. --

on to the basics of
The Gold Key Release:
a Way to Absorb and Transcend the Bumps of Circumstances  
(since improved upon;
to be updated)

Optimal use: 
Listen once before doing.
(clickable] recorded instruction - basic form
(8 minutes, 6 seconds)

recording of someone being coached
(12 minutes | earlier version)
 http:/// Key Release/The Gold Key Release 2015-7-16.mp3

Enter your information in the "guestbook", above,
to get the link to


In this procedure, we're working with memory, intention, attention, and imagination -- four processes that, together, seem to account for the entirety of human consciousness.

Of those four, memory is the one most familiar to people, in general. The others commonly remain somewhat tenuous, to us.

In this entry, I will deliver The Gold Key Release to you in a way you can use as intended -- for the sake of dispelling distress and freeing intelligence.  I will do so in short order. 

Later, I will help firm up your sense of memory and the other functions with explanations, descriptions, and more, so you get an "in-self impression" of how these four functions combine into faculties we exercise in ordinary life -- such as desire, deliberate intention, and others -- and the experience of self-transcendence.

It may seem odd that four functions can account for the entirety of possible experiences, but they do seem to.

For instance, do you know this one?

The Frustrated Control Freak Stress TetraSeed
All four facets combine (in feeling) to create the experience
of being a frustrated control freak.

in Well-Known Transformational Teachings

Memory is our sense of anything at all persisting at some level of intensity.  That includes our at-present-moment experience, since our ability to recognize anything in the present moment depends upon memory.  You've got to know something like it in order to recognize it. Our sense of anything and everything is memory; our imagination "fits" our memories to what we are sensing and that's what makes things seem recognizable. I'm not saying experience is based on memory; I'm saying that it is memory -- and the three other functions: imagination, attention, and intention.

Our sense of the solidity or actuality or substantiality or reality of reality is memory -- filled out by the three other functions.

Memory forms when we have both attention on something and an intention toward it -- whether conscious and deliberate or automatic.

Imagination [times][ x ] Persistence ==> Memory


actuality, certainty of Reality, solid truth


possibility and expectation,
"fantasy and ideas coming to me"
dream-like or daydream-like

The Teeth of The Gold Key
Every key has teeth.
The teeth fit and unlock the lock.

When you match 
the lock of your invisible limiting conditioning
with the steps of The Gold Key,
you experience a Release
that feels like a Transcendent "Kiss",
a Kiss of Dissolution into Formlessness:

(an actual sensation)

As the mind-habits that keep you going round and round
in "the same old same old"
dissolve and dissipate
you come free to move in new ways -- 
naturally, spontaneously, more fittingly.

(NOTE: "an actual sensation" means that you don't just come away thinking that you are supposed to get some result, soon, maybe later; it's that you vividly feel a change in yourself -- immediately -- something distinct, something unusual, something substantial, something that releases you to feel more 
natural and different -- more like yourself.)

Herein are the teeth of the Gold Key:

The words I use in these instructions are intended to point to felt meanings, not, to be exact, to "word ideas". I mean you to feel what I say in each instruction. Catch the feeling you get the moment you hear the words.

In each step, get and hold your attention into the feeling and wait for attention to get steadier or the feeling to get more vivid before doing the next step.

Apply each next step in The Gold Key Release to the continuing sensation of the preceding step. At each step, take whatever comes up and work with it. Do not edit, qualify, validate, or reason about it. Whatever comes up, take and work with it. It will change, as needed, during subsequent passes through the Release.

Use the exact wording shown, without paraphrasing (at least not until you are proficient enough to improvise improvements).

(If you want to know why, try paraphrasing and compare.)

  • Remember something - - anything - -  and notice what "remembering" feels like.
  • Imagine something - - anything - - and notice what "imagining" feels like.
Alternate and repeat until you can clearly tell the difference -- and the connection between imagining and remembering. 

One difference has to do with the degree of density of the experience and with the deliberateness with which you hold it.  

Remembering feels solid; imagining feels ephemeral or likely to disappear if effort isn't maintained. . . . . and the connection? That's for you to find out.

(Here's a little hint: (HINT:) If you do it enough times, the imagining gets remembered, so imagining becomes remembering.)

Identify the item whose grip you want to unlock.

Your item may be one of those, below. 
(Choose one and make note of possibly interesting others -- or make up your own.) 
In the beginning stage of practice, you may choose a specific instance or occasion  (memory you have) in which you experienced one of the items, below.  As you get better, you will become able to deal with the conditions, below, in general, rather than requiring specific memories on which to run a Gold Key Release.

So, select an item that has some intensity, to you.
  • anything that bothers you
  • anger
  • sorrow
  • fear
  • guilt
  • shame
  • (more ... to be suggested in The Gold Key Release Training)
  • Be artful and clever!  Do a thorough Gold Key Release on the feeling you have from reading this entry!
In the very beginning, you may or may not have enough "presence of mind" to catch yourself in moments of life that are persistent patterns. Those would be a good "item", but you've got to catch yourself at them. 
If there's something you think to yourself, often, that's it. If you're buried in a mood, that's a good one.  If you're in a situation that brings up strong emotions, that's a good one. When you recognize one of those, it must occur to you to do The Gold Key Release.  
Rule of thumb: If it bothers you, THAT'S A GOOD ONE!!!
The examples, above, are good to get your "pilot light" lit. In a formal Gold Key Release on-line course, I can provide more, an more interesting, "items".

UPGRADE as of 2020-1-26

ACTION STEPS: (next version to be recorded and published)
(Click here to hear an explanation of the steps.)

"Holding the Lock in Your Hand"

Regarding your selected, "work-with" item:

State it to yourself three times, distinctly.

          |   | Feel, "having it".
          |   | Notice where you feel it, in you. 

          |   | Feel  the substance of its intensity.
          |   | Notice the shape of your state of tension.

          |   | Release what you can with minimum effort.

          |   | Think to yourself: "Intending intending. Intending."
          |   | Think to yourself: "Intending refusing. Refusing."   

          |   | Think to yourself: "Refusing intending. Refusing."
          |   | Think to yourself: "Refusing Refusing.
                                                        Allowing Allowing."

          | ! | Think to yourself: "It doesn't matter."        
          | ! | Think to yourself: "It matters. It matters."       
          | ! | Feel how "it mattering involves me" (yourself).
"It mattering involves me" means,  "I'm the one who decides that it matters" or "for whom it matters" or "to whom it matters".

Unlocking the Lock: 

| ! | Think to yourself: "It's true. It's true."
        Feel what you feel.
| ! | Think to yourself: "It's untrue. It's untrue . . .
        It's untrue."
        Feel what you feel.

|1 | Think to yourself: "It's true."
|1 | Think to yourself: "It's untrue, it's untrue." 

|1 | Think to yourself: "It's true, it's true." 
|  | Remember the feeling of, "It's true, it's true." 
|  | Remember the feeling of, "It's untrue, it's untrue." 
|  | Remember remembering the feeling of,
       "It's true, it's 
|  | Remember remembering the feeling of,
       "It's untrue, it's untrue." 

|  | Remember the feeling of, "It's true."
|  | Remember the feeling of, "It's untrue."
|2| Allow how remembering involves imagining.
|3| Stop imagining.
|= | Allow it to dissolve, and dissipate. Awaken.
(|=| The "Transcendent Kiss" feeling occurs.)
[ using the tongue mudra during or after]

Jiggling the Key: (if it the release doesn't happen easily)
| ! | Imagine remembering.
| ! | Remember imagining. 
| ! | Imagine remembering. 
| ! | Repeat indefinitely until you get a shift (not many repetitions will be needed).
|*| Stop imagining.  Awaken. 
(|=| The Transcendent "Kiss" occurs.
[ using tongue mudra during or after ]

When you're brand new at this, you may not get vivid feeling perceptions at first; you  may feel like nothing is happening or that you're not doing it right.  Do it again. And again.  After a few times through, you will get vivid (and familiar) perceptions during the procedure and wake up more completely. After that, you will get vivid perceptions much more quickly.

If you want me to coach you through it to show you the "teeth", click mentoring.  With your permission, we may record the session for instructional purposes or for posterity, whichever comes first.

ESPECIALLY POTENT: As soon as you feel The Transcendent Kiss feeling, go into The Tongue Mudra. Click the link to learn how to do The Tongue Mudra. Using The Tongue Mudra causes faster and more complete releases to occur.

Let each Transcendent "Kiss" fulfill itself before moving to the next step of The Gold Key Release. Let it spread through you before continuing.

SPECIAL, FOR "VERY UNBALANCED" ITEMS in which either "It's True" or "It's Untrue" feel altogether true to the exclusion of the other:

Use the technique, below, only once you're accustomed to doing The Gold Key Release and know what dissolution feels like.

For now, try the words, below, for experience:

At the, "It's true!" step, follow this sequence:

"It's true!  It's untrue!  It's true!  It's true!"

Pause and feel what comes up.

"It's untrue!  It's true!  It's untrue!  It's untrue!"

Pause and feel (optimally, at each step).

for persistent (very dense) items:
At the, "It's true!" step, follow this (entire) sequence:

| "It's true!  It's true!"
| "It's untrue!  It's untrue! It's untrue!"
| "It's true!  It's true!"
| "It's untrue!  It's untrue!  It's untrue!"
| "It's true!  It's true!"
| "It's untrue!  It's untrue!  It's untrue!"

Pause and feel until your attention steadies (optimally, at each step).

This formulation helps balance out bias in either direction -- "It's true!" or "It's untrue!". That balance much eases recognition and release.  Play with it once you've gotten accustomed to the procedure.

A More Detailed Look at The Gold Key Release

in Well-Known Transformational Teachings
"The Secret" | Effortless Manifestation | The Work, and others.

Esoteric Somatics and Tibetan Buddhism
on kinds of experience in and to which
TetraSeed Modulations may be "interestingly" applied

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things.
When actualized by myriad things,
your body and mind as well as the bodies
and minds of others drop away.
No trace of enlightenment remains,
and this no-trace continues endlessly.”

~~ Dogen Zenji

copyright 2014-2020 Lawrence Gold
This writing may be reproduced only in its entirety
with accurate attribution of authorship.


No Memory of Eternality | No "The" | No "Time"

Do we confuse persistent, present conditions with permanence and eternality?

Intellectually, perhaps not; emotionally, it seems, we may.

To us, permanence is exactly like a memory that never fades
or that one thing you feel like will never come to an end or go away.

Of course, there is no such thing as "permanent" or "eternal", but it may seem like there is.

A very interesting property of space-time
makes it seem as if temporary conditions
are permanent.

It has to do, in a roundabout way, with motion.

Everything is in motion.  Period.
Even apparently static conditions are in motion -- if only from their molecular vibration due to their temperature being above Absolute Zero.
Everything is in motion in its own way.
and the way everything is, to be in motion,
has to do with the way everything else is in motion.

Anything that is not in motion is not a part of this universe,
because not exchanging energy with anything else,
and cannot be perceived in any sense.  By definition.

What is in motion gives substance to space-time,
defining the amount of space it has moved
in terms of the time it took to cross it
and defining time by the use of events perceivable in space.

But something more than motion is necessary to create the appearance of time.
That "something more" is memory.

MOTION plus MEMORY are what our experience of TIME is -- nothing more.

Permanence is a concept derived from memory --
the memory of the perceiver (felt as if permanent)
and the memory of what the perceiver is perceiving
both, inseparable.

The perceiver's idea of "how it was" compared to "how it is",
contrasting long-term memory with short-term memory,
-- that comparison
and that contrast --
makes the sense of time.

It is always a memory of change occurring.
a memory of movement or of motion.

The seeming permanence of anything of the world
depends upon the seeming permanence of the perceiver--
which is really the sense of duration,
dependent on movement + memory.
Given that what does not move is not part of this universe
it follows that all things persist by moving
and seem to be durable or permanent
exactly because they are moving and impermanent.

Why must it be that way?

because the sense of permanence
cannot be perceived if it does not change.

It fades out into its unknown nature,
as happens when you stare at anything for long
and it washes out and vanishes from your field of vision
until you move or it moves, again.

To perceive permanence,
what seems permanent must actually be impermanent and moving.
What is impermanent
seems permanent
by being impermanent.

Just as we, perceivers,
must move to be alive
we must move to perceive what is apparently permanent
having duration
enduring over time.

So, all we take for permanent
even what is seeming to take forever to change,
we take that way
because we feel the potency of the permanent
through the force of the impermanent.

Eternality is form
and form is eternality
even as it changes.