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Constructive Awareness: Alexander Technique and the Spiritual Quest Paperback – 1 Jan 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Larson Publications (1 Jan. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094391485X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0943914855
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 0.9 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 990,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

McGowan is a professor of economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York.

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Format: Paperback
This is a thought provoking, generous and reasoned work - but not an easy book to read. McGowan candidly warns, in the introduction, that scintillating statements and flowing lines are not his forte. However, the problem for all those who choose to write about the Alexander Technique (or Contructive Awareness - as McGowan prefers to call it ) is that of conveying the significance in words of something that is only fundamentally understood when experienced - through hands on work with a competent teacher.
Speaking from my own experience - the slow process of re-learning how to use my body using the fundamental principles discovered by F.M. Alexander continues to facilitate my own personal growth in the spheres of body, mind and spirit - and McGowan's book is important for anyone who is undertaking training to be a teacher purely because it addresses the technique from a wider spiritual perspective rather than from the usual "health / self improvement" angle that most secondary "introductory" texts provide.
Each chapter which touches on key Alexander Technique teachings/ discoveries - whether it be the power of habit , the crucial place that inhibition and direction play in freeing us from harmful misuse or the importance of breathing and the need for accurate sensory appreciation - is un-obtrusively underpinned by McGowan's belief in mentalism - and the final chapter and the epilogue provide further information about the philosophy and work of Paul Brunton.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The quest is yours - if you have an open mind... 9 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a thought provoking, generous and reasoned work - but not an easy book to read. McGowan candidly warns, in the introduction, that scintillating statements and flowing lines are not his forte. However, the problem for all those who choose to write about the Alexander Technique (or Contructive Awareness - as McGowan prefers to call it ) is that of conveying the significance in words of something that is only fundamentally understood when experienced - through hands on work with a competent teacher.
Speaking from my own experience - the slow process of re-learning how to use my body using the fundamental principles discovered by F.M. Alexander continues to facilitate my own personal growth in the spheres of body, mind and spirit - and McGowan's book is important for anyone who is undertaking training to be a teacher purely because it addresses the technique from a wider spiritual perspective rather than from the usual "health / self improvement" angle that most secondary "introductory" texts provide.
Each chapter which touches on key Alexander Technique teachings/ discoveries - whether it be the power of habit , the crucial place that inhibition and direction play in freeing us from harmful misuse or the importance of breathing and the need for accurate sensory appreciation - is un-obtrusively underpinned by McGowan's belief in mentalism - and the final chapter and the epilogue provide further information about the philosophy and work of Paul Brunton.
The chapters about Meditation and Hatha Yoga are not criticisms - the balanced and pragmatic suggestions offered to ensure that the body is treated with respect and the plea not to relegate it to an inferior position in the search for higher states of mind and spirit have the mark of personal experience - McGowan, as an experienced teacher of Alexander Technique, is not interested in defamation of any other spiritual path. And it is only the careless reader who might think him so.
Recommended for the seeker with an open mind with the patience to return to a text that discusses difficult ideas - definitely not for inveterate "end-gainers"!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 10 Nov. 2006
By Steve - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Having recently started Alexander technique(5 months ago,and 18 lessons),this book brings spiritual awareness into the Alexander technique unlike any of the other Alexander books I've read.Highly recommended.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the quest? 30 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nice idea, Alexander Technique complements many spiritual systems by helping one become conscious of the body and its use.
The book starts well with a broad overview of the benefits of the A.T., but degenerates into what feels like a criticism of other (competitive?) systems such as meditation or Hatha Yoga.
There is a good book to be written on this subject, but A.T. is not of itself a spiritual technique. It is needs to be closely allied with a genuine doctrinal system for that. This book seems to confuse that which might remove blockages with that which feeds our growth.
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