The 7x7 ABSR Action Chain

2023 ABSR-Stress factors - Life processes EN 6

Blog post by Theodor Hundhammer

ABSR, MBSR, and the Eightfold Path

There is a surprising correspondence between the principles of the Eightfold Path, comprised of the central qualities of mindfulness, and the different forms of nervousness described by Rudolf Steiner in his lecture "Overcoming Nervousness":

  1. Saturday: Ideas, right opinion (Saturn).
    Not being able to hold thoughts properly and follow them through in their consequences.
  2. Sunday: Making decisions, right judgment (Sun).
    The inability to make decisions.
  3. Monday: Speech, right word (Moon).
    Nervousness in forms of illness, occasionally imitating organic diseases in a deceptive manner.
  4. Tuesday: External actions, right deed (Mars).
    Restlessness in public life.
  5. Wednesday: Arrangement of life, right standpoint (Mercury).
    A weak bond of interest connecting the core of the human soul with what is learned.
  6. Thursday: Human striving, making all preceding exercises habitual (Jupiter).
    A weak connection between the core of the human soul and what impels a person.
  7. Friday: Learning from life, right memory (Venus).
    Slight (frequent) forgetfulness.

The eighth exercise of the Eightfold Path, "right contemplation," can be found at the beginning and end of the lecture, as well as in some interjections describing the significance of the physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego for human life and for the exercises on nervousness.

Baumbrücke Kopie

In reference to the well-known MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction) programmes, the ABSR therapy concept is called the Activity-based Stress Release (ABSR) programme

The mindfulness-based MBSR stress reduction programmes are based on Buddhist meditation practices and values and have the body scan as their centre.  The ABSR stress release programmes focus on grasping, penetrating and playfully changing everyday activities. Eurythmy takes on the function of a movement meditation.

Both programmes have the same spiritual background and can be considered as siblings.

Everyday exercises

In the lecture "Overcoming Nervousness", the different types of nervousness are attributed to the weakening of the life forces by modern life and by doing things without interest. They can be called the seven basic stress factors.

  1. Circling thoughts circles and compulsive thinking
  2. Compulsions and fear of action
  3. Dependencies and somatic complaints
  4. Overactivity and loss of control
  5. Self-doubt and worry
  6. Jumpiness and anxiety
  7. Forgetfulness and absent-mindedness

2023 ABSR-Stress factors - Life processes EN 3

Following that, as a remedy, there are seven exercises:

  1. Consciously misplacing objects,
  2. Consciously changing one's handwriting,
  3. Thinking texts, events, dramas, etc. in reverse order,
  4. Observing one's own behavior, changing habits (e.g., using the left hand),
  5. Refraining from little wishes
  6. Considering the pros and cons of a matter,
  7. Avoiding criticism, especially when personally affected.

It should be noted that the assignment of the seven practical exercises to the seven stress factors is in reverse order to the Eightfold Path.

The 7x7 elements of every chain of action

Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that these simple, small tasks are the essential components of every self-determined decision and chain of action. Therefore, even though only one topic is practiced per week, they are all contained in every exercise.

  1. Don't forget to do what you set out to do,
  2. Do it as planned, but not perfectionistically,
  3. Avoid only going into action, also notice what your deed means to you,
  4. Refrain from falling into habits, look at what you do from several aspects.
  5. Consiously let go of doing something to avoid doing several things at once.
  6. Decide when and how you do things, but remain flexible to deal constructively with resistance.
  7. Be satisfied with the outcomes and allow this good energy support you and the surroundings.

2023 ABSR-Stress factors - Life processes EN 5

If one link in a chain is not working, it becomes difficult for the whole. The ABSR Everyday Exercises are therefore chosen in such a way that each exercise contains the others. Thereby each link in the chain is worked on seven times from different sides each week.

Experience from many ABSR seminars has shown that in dealing with fears, nervousness and depressive moods, as with the Buddhist methods, disturbing thought experiences are overcome. In addition new attitudes awake, different perceptions of the world emerge and new impulses for taking action in everyday life are born.

Eurythmy as an essential part of ABSR courses

In the essay "The education of the child from the point of view of spiritual science" Steiner emphasised that physical movement is an important means of education when the young person feels within himself: "I feel a growing force within me". This gave rise to the impulse to combine eurythmy with the ABSR nervousness exercises.

In 2018, the first ABSR course was put online. Videos with the explanations of the practical ABSR exercises were filmed and published. Seven  Vowels in Action eurythmy sequences with innovative visual animations that demonstrate the inner activity of the exercise, were developed, filmed and also put online. The content is conveyed in such a way that one can participate and still remain connected with oneself. The principles for this are described in the GEPs, the Good Eurythmy Practice.

The experiences from many courses in the meantime show that the vowels and planetary gestures in combination with one of the so-called "eurythmy therapy soul exercises" pick up and deepen the respective themes of the seven typse of nervousness most precisely. The course begins with the exercise Hide Objects and the eurythmy exercises for A (Right Memory, Friday) and ends with Avoiding Criticism and the eurythmy exercise for U (Right Opinion, Saturday).

ABSR1 Woche 4a Thumbnail Pascale

Wanted! 1000+ participants for a new ABSR research project

Universität Bern IKIM

On our research pages, you can already find several evaluations and publications on ABSR courses. Now we wish to take it a step further. The Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, IKIM, at the University of Bern will conduct a new evaluation for which we are trying to find 1000+ participants. We cannot do it alone; we need your help.

Help us find as many participants as possible. You can also participate yourself. More details will be given in an upcoming blog post.

If you want to know more right now, check out the pages of ABSR International. There you will find background information about the project, research results, and among the many seminars in different languages, surely there is one that suits you.

Take a look at what is waiting for you here.

ABSR International weisser Hintergrund

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1 comment

Je trouve ce projet fort intéressant et cohérent et j'aimerais y participer.


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