by Alexander Murray

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Alexander's Way is a compilation of data ordered chronologically so as to afford leisurely access to a wide range of material associated with F.M. Alexander's voyage of discovery and his technique's stages of development from 1894 to the end of his life in 1955. Alex Murray's exposition rests on scrupulously selected quotations from many sources: extensive quotes from F.M. Alexander's writings; pupils' diaries, which provide vivid descriptions of their lessons with F.M. Alexander; and quotes from various writings by contemporary thinkers and medical men who benefitted from their lessons and who have written extensively on the restorative potential inherent in F.M. Alexander's re-educational technique. Many references are also made to first-generation teachers who trained directly with F.M. Alexander

The 2015 printed edition of Alexander's Way can be ordered at

Excerpts from the Preface

The purpose of the original booklet, F.M. Alexander: In His Own
Words, and in the Words of Those Who Knew Him,
was to distill the process
through which Alexander developed his technique. It is possible to retrace his
steps, using his detailed instructions at various stages of his progress, in an
attempt to “perform” the operations he describes. I have added “Alexander’s
Way” to the title of this new edition with a nod in the direction of Patrick
Macdonald. One of the sayings Macdonald frequently quoted was from the
philosopher Lao Tzu: “The Way that can be told is not the real Way, / The
Name that can be spoken is not the real Name.” At least we have Alexander’s
own written words as signposts on his journey. They are there to point the
way for us, which we are free to find as best we can.
After some fifty years of reading and re-reading Alexander’s writings,
this book contains my personal understanding of his Way. When a phrase
or sentence has struck me as especially significant, I have emphasized it in
bold. The essence of Alexander’s teaching is epitomized for me in his parable
from Rudyard Kipling of the younger gods yearning for the secret to holy law.

The younger gods cried out: “Oh where, most merciful one, shall we
begin to look? All things are known to the gods. What more must we
find out? Besides, being gods, who is there with power greater than
ours to help us?” At this the Great Hall echoed with the laughter of
the elder god. “The secret should not be hard to find,” he answered. “I
have hidden it within you. Look there!” And he roared with laughter
at his own jest.

I hope all young gods who read this book will take it to heart and find their
own Way.

Urbana, Illinois | April, 2015

About the Author (biographical note from the eBook)

Alexander D. Murray’s experience of the Alexander Technique
began in 1955 with Charles Neil and continued after Neil’s death, in 1958,
with Walter Carrington. With his wife Joan, Alex spent nine years working
with Walter Carrington, who was F.M. Alexander’s principal assistant
at the time of his death in 1955. The Murrays worked with and were friends
of many other first-generation teachers, including Marjorie Barstow, Dilys
Carrington, Frank and Helen Jones, Patrick Macdonald, John Skinner, Peter
Scott, Tony Spawforth, Richard and Elizabeth Walker, Lulie Westfeldt, Kitty
Wielopolska, and Peggy Williams.

Alex and Joan met Professor Raymond Dart in 1967. He cooperated in and
inspired their ongoing investigation into human developmental movement as
it relates to the Alexander Technique. They developed the Dart Procedures, an
innovative process that influences Alexander Technique teaching throughout
the world. Since 1977, the Murrays have been the co-directors and principal
teachers at the Alexander Technique Center Urbana.

Alex was principal flute with the Covent Garden Opera and the London
Symphony Orchestra and is the inventor of the Murray Flute. He has taught at
the Royal College, Royal Academy, and Royal Northern College in England;
the Royal Dutch Conservatory; Michigan State University; and the National
Music Camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. From 1977 until his retirement
in 2002, he was professor of flute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign. He is the recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from
the National Flute Association.

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