Bowing Backwards: The Art of Not Taking Oneself Too Seriously, CC 2/9

Practice Center
Date / Time
February 9, 2020 / 10:00am - 4:00pm
Event Type
Workshops and Retreats

In the Conference Center at 308 Page Street

Bowing Backwards is a fundamental practice of the Order of Disorder, the renegade brigade of the Zen Peacemakers founded in 2004 by Bernie Glassman, Peter Cunningham, and Moshe Cohen.

To assure that no one takes themselves too seriously, bowing backwards is a practice that asks us to embrace the contrarian aspects of our nature, and to discover reverence in irreverence. Instead of taking everything seriously, take everything not seriously. Instead of taking yourself seriously, take yourself not seriously. Instead of being knowledgeable, revel in not-knowing.

This workshop will open up inner clown, and will look at the deeper nature of embracing one’s ridiculousness, investigating one’s non-verbal capacity to express humor and delight. The workshop will embrace laughing with vs. laughing at: laugh with yourself, laugh with each other, avoid creating laughter at others’ expense (your own is permitted).

The workshop will briefly investigate the art of interaction with lightness and humor, and how to use Bernie’s Zen Peacemakers three tenets—Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, Taking action—in that process.

The workshop will offer opportunities to let go of habitual rational mind, and hand over the conductor’s baton to our creative/intuitive mind.

We will explore bowing backwards using physical theater, clown improvisations, elements from butoh dance, qi gong, feldenkreis movement, outward mindfulness practices, and voice work.

Fee Information

Fees: $104; $93 current SFZC members; $72 limited income. Some partial scholarships available.

Registration Information

To Register:

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Or call the City Center main office at 415.863.3136 or the SFZC Reservations Office at 888.743.9362 or 415.475.9362. Or fill out this online form to have the Reservations Office contact you by phone or email to assist your registration.

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