Russell Delman began his study of body/mind perspectives and human potential in 1969 as an undergraduate student in psychology. His life long commitment toward awareness and freedom began consciously at this time along with his practice of Zen meditation.
Through workshops at The Esalen Institute (1971), living at the Gestalt Institute of Canada (1972), travels in the jungles of South America (1973), being trained as a yoga teacher (1974) and studying Gestalt therapy with Dr Robert Hall (1975-1978), he deepened his self-knowledge. His training and deep personal relationship with Moshe Feldenkrais began in 1975, during the first professional training program offered in the U.S.
In 1984, Russell became one of the first people in the world authorized to lead Feldenkrais® Professional training programs. Since that time he has taught in more than 40 of these programs internationally and directed/designed 10. Russell has helped in the training of more than 2500 Feldenkrais teachers. In addition, he maintains a private practice at his home in northern California and teaches public workshops throughout the world.
Along with his wife Linda, also a Feldenkrais trainer, he created the Feldenkrais-India Project that brought the method to India for the first time. Through work at Mother Teresa's Missions, particularly in Calcutta, the Delman's taught the "Sister's of Charity" to work with brain-injured children. During this time they were blessed and influenced by numerous private meetings with Mother Teresa.
Perhaps the strongest influences on Russell's life are his more than 30 years of relationship with Linda and the journey of fathering his daughter, Lily. In indescribable ways, these relationships influence his entire life.
Personal Statement from Russell Delman
The formation of “The Embodied Life™ School” and “The Mentorship Program” is the fruition of a life long trajectory. In a completely unexpected way, I stumbled on this path of Awareness, Awakening and Love as a young man in 1970. In hindsight, I can clearly see that many forces have acted together to bless me with the teaching I have received. For example, here was a young man of 18 with no spiritual education who was given an article on Zen. The resonance was so immediate that I immediately began practicing sitting meditation and have continued nearly every day for 42 years.
At a conservative university in an experimentally based psychology program, I was guided by the one humanistic psychology professor to explore the burgeoning human potential movement at the Esalen Institute. This led seamlessly to training at the Gestalt Institute of Canada, Yoga Teacher Training with Swami Vishnudevananda and my study with Moshe Feldenkrais all by the age of 23. While in Canada, my Gestalt teachers thought that given my deep interest in somatic psychology and meditation, I should contact Dr. Robert Hall, a psychiatrist who trained with Fritz Perls in Gestalt and Ida Rolf, co-founded the Lomi School and long time meditator. Three years later, Dr. Hall was sitting next to me on a plane- he subsequently became a mentor. All the methods that attracted me were approaching the same issue from different angles, “how does the human being become free of the faulty conditioning from the past and learn to meet life in the freshness of the present moment”?
I tell this little autobiographical tale to convey my sense that this school has been forming for more than 35 years. The original insight- that cultivating the capacity for Presence is the key to freedom and fulfillment- continues to guide my understanding. This insight has deepened and widened over the years, it has not changed. For this, I feel extremely lucky.
Having experienced more than 38 years of marriage, raising a daughter, leading Feldenkrais® Professional Trainings and Embodied Life seminars around the globe, the time feels right to create this integrative program. The Embodied Life™ School and the Mentorship Program are my next steps in giving back the gifts that have been bestowed upon me.