The body is not an object but a happening. The body is an unfolding being that is conscious. The body is sentient on its own terms. The body is not an “it”.Rebecca Haseltine, Holding the Whole: BMC Concepts and Principles
From the School for Body-Mind Centering website:
Body-Mind Centering® is an integrated and embodied approach to movement, the body and consciousness. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and developmental principles, utilizing movement, touch, voice and mind. Its uniqueness lies in the specificity with which each of the body systems can be personally embodied and integrated, the fundamental groundwork of developmental repatterning, and the utilization of a body-based language to describe movement and body-mind relationships.
Bainbridge Cohen describes the body as being like sand, and the mind like the wind, noting that “…it’s difficult to study the wind, but if you watch the way sand patterns form and disappear and re-emerge, then you can follow the pattern of the wind, or, in this case, the mind.”[i] Mind, in BMC, is not just the brain, but a process of consciousness that manifests and expresses through movement and presence. The process of discovering the movement of mind through kinesthetic awareness underpins somatic approaches such as BMC, reminding us that mind and movement are not separate processes.
[i] Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Sensing, Feeling and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering®, 2nd ed. (Northampton: Contact Editions, 2008), p.11.
I highly recommend reading Holding the Whole: BMC Concepts and Principles by Rebecca Haseltine (originally published in Currents, 2012). An excerpt:
BMC holds a holistic view of the body. Holistic means whole, meaning each part functions in relationship to all the other parts. Holistic means the body is an organism rather than a machine. Being an organism means that the body consists of organic processes. But also the body is home to the person, and the person consists of all kinds of mysterious and complex elements. The holistic view holds all of this complexity without needing to know all the specifics contained therein. Holistic means holding the whole and trusting that the whole knows itself.
BMC addresses specific and sometimes microscopic details within the body. This never obliterates the whole. BMC holds the whole while addressing the individual parts.
Somatic experience, somatic awareness, somatic intelligence, and somatic ‘thinking’ are all part of BMC. ‘Somatic’ refers to the body, but it contains a view of the body that is distinct from the typical Western view. The body is not an object but a happening. The body is an unfolding being that is conscious. The body is sentient on its own terms. The body is not an “it”.
For information on the Body-Mind Centering® Somatic Movement Educator program at Somatic Education Australasia, please visit seasomaticeducation.com.
Body-Mind Centering® is a registered service mark, and BMC℠ is a service mark, of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.