"The most characteristic educational procedure of my first teacher was that, as soon as he noticed that I was becoming familiar with any particular craft and was beginning to like it, he immediately made me give it up and pass on to another.
As I understood much later, his aim was not that I should learn all sorts of crafts but should develop in myself the ability to surmount the difficulties presented by any kind of new work. And indeed, from that time on, work of every kind had sense and interest for me, not in itself, but only in so far as I did not know it and did not know how to do it."
G I Gurdjieff
In the search to make a link between the refined "inner work" of Group Meetings and Movements Classes, and our own daily lives - practical work serves as a "half-way house".
Applied attention in cooking, gardening, craft-work, the study of music and sound, drama or art have immediate resonances with activities undertaken in life.
We tend to gravitate towards what we are good at, or what we simply like. The patterns of our lives can be very repetitive.
In practical activities one can try something new, and not necessarily appealing, alongside colleagues who are also searching for meaning. This can lead to an appreciation of practical thinking, attention to manual dexterity and sensitivity to the quality of "impressions" not as ends in themselves but as the means to understand the subtle workings of the human organism and its possibility to transform energies.
Activities undertaken in recent years, some of which feature on our Octave website, include: