Pleasure. Joy. Aliveness!

Though pleasure is ephemeral and insubstantial, hold fast to to it in your mind, for it contains the meaning of life.

Alexander Lowen, in Pleasure

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away at the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

Translated by Paul Reps in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

Pleasure. Aliveness. Joy.

As several of us bioenergetic therapists were processing the introductory Bioenergetic Basics workshop in December that we all led, Leslie Ann Costello, a local trainer who did her first bioenergetic workshop with me in 2005, mentioned the importance of pleasure as a unique emphasis of bioenergetic therapy.  She mentioned this as one way it is different from many of the trauma focused therapies that are around these days. From the beginning, Alexander Lowen, founder of Bioenergetic Analysis,  emphasized pleasure, aliveness, joy as the goal and result of bioenergetic therapy.  It’s purpose is to help people grow into the full range of human experiencing, to fully reclaim and possess all that it means to be human. Or as it is reported one woman who completed bioenergetic therapy said, “For the price of a Cadillac, I got a whole new life.”