The next morning, at Saturday breakfast, Chadwick asked Larry how things had gone down for him the previous evening. After the meditation the group had discussed the particular feelings they had uncovered. It was a kind of Think and Tell. When the class had been dismissed, Chadwick noticed that Larry had hung around to talk to one of the female students, and about 15 minutes later he came into their dorm room, grabbed a couple of towels and said he was going to the baths.
The following morning Larry was less than ebullient. "We didn't really contact," he lamented.
He said that they were carrying on what he perceived to be a deep discussion while sitting in one of the tubs, when he got up to get a towel. When he came back, the girl was sleeping.
"I knew she wasn't interested," said Larry. "When I was younger I made a fool of myself chasing after girls who weren't interested. Now I can tell which ones are interested. And it's not ESP, either. It's experience."
Because of space limitations at Esalen, Spino teaches the actual running part of the program on a 100-yard section of lawn sandwiched between the institute's main building and the swimming pool, which is at the edge of the cliff. After supervising stretching and limbering up, Spino took the class through various paces. He also told them to accelerate from one pace to another by drawing in a deep breath, then letting it out in a rush while emitting a sharp "ping!", a technique he referred to as "surging." For Chadwick, already burdened with the language of about 30 self-improvement courses, it was difficult to keep straight the various phrases such as "fresh swing," "shuffle" and "good swing." All this input was confusing him.
The night before, while the girl with the frizzy blonde hair had discussed her meditation, Chadwick had nicknamed her the Iron Maiden because she talked about "being a really strong person" and working 50 to 60 hours a week. She said she liked challenges and was very competitive. Chadwick had the habit of giving people nicknames. His CR group said it meant he did not have to deal with them as real persons. And now, after a few trips up and down the grassy strip, Chadwick noticed that the Iron Maiden was frazzled as well as frizzy.
"My gestalt is that you have to take deep breaths," he told her, bouncing a shade higher during his own stride.
The class moved into other areas. Spino teaches the students to imagine that their bodies are filled with helium and are very light, and to barely open their eyes when they run, a technique he calls "soft eyes." One overweight and middle-aged man had trouble with this exercise. Lumbering down the strip, his soft eyes missed seeing an uneven spot and he slipped and fell, scraping the side of a leg. He acted out his frustration by letting out a yell.
Another teaching aid Spino employs is telling the students to feel an imaginary hand in the small of their back. The hand is pushing them forward. He also has them throw out an imaginary rope and lasso a tree, then pull themselves toward the tree. He admits that much of this is too esoteric for many people; to assimilate them he suggests his students think of the ideas as coming from high school gym teachers instead of gurus.
One of the more controversial of Spino's techniques is something one might call "energy exchange." He has the students pair off, facing one another. One holds out his hands, palms up, and the other puts his hands over them, palms down. Then they move their hands back and forth, "trapping" the energy between them. When they feel they have enough energy collected, one of them gathers it up, places it in the small of the back of the other and sends him off on a sprint down the grassy strip. At the lunch break, the Iron Maiden complained that she did not get anything out of the exercise.