Monday, January 5, 2009

A Mentor's Rhythm Follows Mother Nature's Example

By: R.T. Eady, M.Ed, NCC, Director, QEF

In late November, I got to meet a favorite mentor example. Reinhard Flatischler was conducting a weekend workshop with his wife Cornelia in Bonn, Germany, and I was fortunate enough to connect with them over dinner for a few hours after the program. Reinhard is the developer of Ta Ke Ti Na: a form of "meditation on movement" that is best encapsulated as music, dance, communication, neurological research, and chaos theory fused together to create a non-linear process for learning and transformation.

Basically TaKeTiNa is:
• A profound rhythmic body knowledge, which impacts on the body’s natural rhythms;
• A natural rhythmic orientation that develops rhythmic competence and creativity;
• A mirror for personal processes that enables participants to transform behavior patterns inhibiting ones life and relationships;
• A deep relaxation and vitalization of the nervous system and body rhythms;
• An encounter with primal rhythmic knowledge; and
• A completely new way of learning and understanding rhythm.

Yet from a mentoring standpoint the Flatischlers follow a very functional path: First Break All the Rules.

"TaKeTiNa is a way of using rhythm quite differently than one would typically use rhythm," says Flatischler.

Studying a nascent form in the early 70's in a class sponsored by the German Cultural Institute allowed Flatischler, himself, to put an end to a lifetime of asthma attacks. Since childhood, the young musician, studying the piano early on, had been plagued with acute asthma. Describing himself during our dinner repast as "near death" due to violent and sudden asthma attacks.

He went on to say that one evening, after having heard the world-famous sitar player Ravi Shankar in concert with tabla player, Allah Rakha Kahn, he had decided to go to India to study the lyrical drum. In India, he discovered TaKeTiNa, and as he learned to work with the primal image archetypes, his asthma entirely disappeared.

This example puts a finger on the pulse of holistic wellness and the reality of life-way practices today. It explains why so few people feel energized or flourish in many life and work situations. The homeostasis that literally starts in the womb is corrupted.

Flatischler postulates that it is in the mother's womb, where we begin a very intense relationship with rhythm. "Rhythm is the first information we receive. It is the bridge that guides us from the world before birth into this world when we are born. When you are in the mother's womb, you hear the heart beat and the flow of blood; you feel the mother's movement and you hear her speech filtered in this rhythm. All of that is rhythm," Flatischler points out.

And since a fetus isn't comprehending what is happening, it first begins to impulseconvert this sensation into vibration that catalyses the neural-functional pathways to follow this rhythm entrainment. Flatischler adds, "as you grow, there are millions of brain cells that have to fire in a rhythmic synchronization in order for you to understand what occurs around you. Without the senso-motoric system, you could not move or think or make any sense of the world. That you can see or hear something is all based on rhythm."

If we were to logically extend this rhythm philosophy to what is practiced in the world we might say that mentors work with "rhythm archetypes" much like those revealed in TaKeTiNa. Mentors seek to uniquely underpin developmental movement inherent in the senso-motoric system of every human being and manifest this development in social relationships.

Both Reinhard and Cornelia are remarkable communicators whose message is revolutionary in its redress of simplicity: Let go and allow.

If I were to translate this simple mantra into mentor practice, it suggests to me that many people have lost a feel for these "life rhythm archetypes" laid down by "mother nature" and have supplanted them with patterns laid out for them by others. By simply following the direction and the strengths of someone else, they never thrive nor realize what they’re really supposed to achieve or become. More precisely, in the functional path understanding of mentor technology: They rarely go where they’re really supposed to go.

*This article first appeared in Quest Educational Foundation Winter 2008. Reprinted with permission from R.T. Eady.

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