Monday, November 28, 2011

Directed Thinking

River Thinking.

Thinking is the key.

                    Thinking is the problem.           The solution. 
                                                 Thinking is over rated ...

The past two nights when I have awakened during the night, my mind was 'thinking" about the musical idea known as Corvus.  I love when I can rest and the mind takes over and processes information for me.  Of course much of the time,  I am on automatic thinking.  Tending to routine tasks and behaviors that make up the course of my daily activities.  When I bring my attention to these routine tasks is when I become alive.

The Alexander Technique brings my thinking into my bodily movements.  This awareness of how I use myself generates a form of mindful energy, as well as being an efficient way to execute simple and complex tasks.  Edward de Bono has written many books on the subject of thinking.  He has developed and taught a variety of techniques called Lateral Thinking to stimulate our brains and open up our thinking.  I recently listened to a book of his on CD and one exercise that I have been experimenting with is the septien.  In this exercise you come up with a list of 7 words or short phrase related to the subject you are thinking about.  Repeating these words, stimulates the brain in a manner not tied to our habitual thinking

The end of the month deadline is looming for the three pieces I need to complete, so tonight I decided to develop a septien for each piece. Then during my AT lie down, after directing the body to release, lengthen, and widen I would use the septien for the piece I would work with next.  My initial idea was to do a lie down, work on a piece for 20 minutes, lie down, etc.  Thus looking at all three pieces in a little over an hour.  Then I reasoned that I would move from there.

After 10 minutes of my lie down in  a traditional manner, I began to recite the septien for Corvus.  After a few minutes of this I tuned my guitar, and before playing I revisited the septien.  I then began to play through what I had so far.  After 15 minutes, I was improvising and the form came together.  One run through with the tape running and I was going to move onto my lie down and the next piece.

Yet I did not.  Instead I decided to bring order to the parts scratched on different pieces of manuscript paper and notate them with the changes that had just arrived.  After this was done I wanted to play through the piece.  But my body and mind needed a break.  So instead of end gaining, I did another lie down.  Reciting the septien at the end of the lie down I played and taped Corvus.  More work may be needed, but there was a shift today. I attribute this shift to the combination of Alexander's and de Bono's work.  Now if only I did not need to get up so early tomorrow.  Excuses. I need to look at another piece.


  1. Thanks for sharing you insight into this process! Very interesting.

  2. I'm also a fan of combining A.T. style direction-type thinking and de Bono's creative thinking tools.
    Writing down seven points of a "septine" and considering them in order to think about them in a new way offers many insights beyond internal improvised review. It's actually similar to the "Direction" thinking of A.T. that suggests a new organization of one's coordination.
    The example that de Bono gives using the septine helps communicate how it's used. His concerns were about how traveling for work makes him want to stay home for a vacation. So his seven points were the benefits of a vacation. Then by recombining those seven concerns, he invented a possible new business that would provide a 'stay-cation' for those who wanted to vacation at home, and he was able to arrange to provide these benefits in a new way for his own vacation time.
    More correlations between A.T. and de Bono thinking tools on my blog: