From Boulder to Berkley
FROM BOULDER TO BERKLEY
By Michael Makowski, 1991, Mountain View, CA
"The beauty of Samuel's teachings is the integration of the spiritual with the physical and the emphasis on the rehearsal and application of group and individual ideas to public performance."
Le Center du Silence was the venue of two workshops I took in 1978-79 from Samuel Avital and Maximilien Decroux. The beauty of Samuel's teachings is the integration of the spiritual with the physical and the emphasis on the rehearsal and application of group and individual ideas to public performance. Many intellectuals, monks, swamis, rabbis and psychologists have very interesting concepts, but they mostly tickle the brain and drain the bank account without uplifting the heart and soul to the realization of the person's integral Being. It is not so with Samuel.
The mime is a midway dot between an everything and a nothing. The presentation of self in daily life involves one in a theater of social encounters, and we are all actors in a series on ongoing situations. I remember Samuel warning us gently that the 80s are coming! Well, there they went, and with them a rise in the collective consciousness of the dramturgics and tragi-comedy of human interaction.
I wish I could recollect more of the Naserudin stories of the morning meditation sessions (may your house be safe from tigers!) And the mask work trust walks, savor the working love groups which emerged during the retreats, see the Boulder Mime Theatre in my mind's eye, and remember Samuel's perennial maxim that a mime creates space by taking one step at a time and applying all steps at once.
Samuel's teachings and Le Centre du Silence have helped me to open this Being's spiritual energy centers to the source of love and light so that this spark has risen a quark closer to flame. Mr. Avital's focussed presence has helped facilitate whatever success I may have achieved during the past decade.
My career has taken a multi-track curve in the swerve of 1990--writing, teaching, narration and sales. The Discovery of Society, which I co-wrote, is currently sold by McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. The prolific Dr. Randall Collins is my co-author, and our best-selling textbook on classical sociological theory has been translated and published in Italy, Holland and Japan. I have written two articles on Samuel, which were published in Wings Magazine and Yoga Journal. I have written and am currently in the process or publishing a book on the concept of the transcendental self in the Upanishads. As my Daddy used to say, 'Don't count your chickens before they hatch.' So, I'll keep you posted on that one.
Cultural Integration Fellowship has been the site of my public speaking qua teaching career for the last fifteen years, and the VHS-packaged, ready-for-sale part of those talks is 'Indian Prophecy and American Society. I have taught at quite a few universities, and I have done some narration.
Thank you my dear Samuel for being here. And Shalom.
Michael Makowski interviewed Samuel for Yoga Journal of May-June 1980 Issue #32. 'Search For The Horizon: An 'innerview' with Samuel Avital'.