This is the main topical discussion space for the lab. We will use it to establish a dialogical space on ideas, comments, provocations, theoretical questions, inspirations, etc. It is used as a continuous thread during the whole lab and after. It can host photos, video and text.
@marguerite and @adriano, I loved your posts!
Adriano, I agree with this statement you wrote:
the experience made possible by metaacademy reverberates through me on my day-to-day activities. Embodiment seems to be possible through the web! What does it take for this to happen? A clear strategy, and an open-minded bunch of people reverberating together seems to play a major role towards success!
I have found moments of "presence" more numerous lately, and I think part of that is the fact that I know we all cherish this way of life, and we are all actively finding ways to be more present. Our connections on Dance Tech give me that community and fresh inspiration. Activities like the photo stories help me sprinkle the awareness throughout other aspects of my life too.
Ellen: lovely to know that it is happening to you too!
My experience with this phrase "arriving in presence" in this context means to bring my awareness into my body, ie arrive as its described in the US - both energeticaly and physically. I feel as if the word presence is a state of awareness rooted in physical embodiment. We know we are aware because of being conscious but we know where we "are" in the body via the sensations and feedback from our sensory organs and body cells. There is alot written about this in mediation guidance. I feel also that the inital rooting happens by brining awareness deep within the body and usually closing the eyelids aids in this process however there is also a process of "telescoping awareness" within as well as noticing the environment outside the "skinesphere" i.e.- being aware of what is happening in and around the body .
There is a process that occurs by focusing on the physical sensations and fluctuations whereby one can notice what thoughts are arising and present whilst noticing the internal "streaming" of the body's inner workings.
Sometimes touching the skin or a part of the body can help one arrive . And what deepens this practice is awareness of gravity and the ground/earth as well as the space above /sky.
I suppose for me its about noticing/witnessing what is occuring in the moment of arriving into presence.
We do a similar practice in Quaker meeting prior to Meeting for Business. Everyone pauses in silence/stillness before the meeting begins and in Quaker Meeting for Worship one waits to speak until "moved to speak" so that the words come from a deep stillness and the intention is from "that of god within" rather than a busy muddled personal agenda.
I realize its a different practice but to me there are similarities. Both practices require a person to drop into silence/stillness within the body before doing the intended activity.
Im curious about this resource. In my expererince starting this way sets up an environment from which movement ideas, words, ideas, feelings , sensations can emerge.
I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s postings and share many of the associations with “arriving in presence” that have been mentioned: tuning into sensory perception and opening to the unknown. As the lab progresses, I’ve been reflecting more and more on how these associations relate to “arriving in presence” online. As with arriving in physical presence, arriving in online presence is, for me, an ongoing process. However, it’s a process that requires me to actually tune out most of my sensory perception while I concentrate, for example, on reading these posts. So while I associate arriving in physical presence with arriving in my body, I associate arriving in online presence with focusing my mind on a particular activity.
The collaborative glyphs offered an interesting opportunity to attempt arriving at both physical and online presence, and I felt my sensory and cognitive perception were more balanced during that exercise. Still, I was very aware of the ways in which technology mediated my physical presence and interaction with my partner. Drawing the simultaneous EKGs was particularly interesting to me. I imagine that if I completed this activity with my partner in the same physical space, I would sense the potential for collision as we both moved our pens across the same page. Working online, there was no potential for collision, and as I drew my EKG with eyes closed, I felt very aware of my inability to sense my partner’s movements.
I think this potential for collision is central to arriving in physical presence. For me, arriving in presence means being open to go before I am “ready” (an idea I learned from working with Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints), being able to change impulsively in response to the events of each moment. The potential for collision when bodies are in the same physical space necessitates my arriving in presence. The lack of this potential in online spaces both troubles and interests me. I hope that new technologies will eventually create such a potential—things like gestural interfaces and Aireal, an interactive tactile experience created by Disney Research (http://www.creativeapplications.net/objects/aireal/).
I wonder too, if the potential for collision already exists in a different form online and perhaps just needs to be cultivated. It seems that that’s a part of what we’re investigating in this lab (and something that I sensed more when drawing the collaborative glyphs than when drawing the EKG)…
I thought I could post some of my visual response to the theme of 'arriving in presence' and 'being mindful of the moment.
I made these during a C I jam few weeks ago in which I also took part. At a certain point I felt the need of stepping out of it and expressing movement and connections through drawing. While I was trying to catch moments and dynamics of movements the feeling of being fully present physically (with my hand holding the pencil, touching the paper, looking and catching 'lines') was somehow the same as if I had been dancing.
I thought this discussion during a Skype meeting I had last week for weekend course I am teaching 2 hours away starting in the fall, and while maintaining long-distance friendships (from U.S. to South Africa) via the internet. I think preparing to speak to someone virtually face to face, in a collaborative 'professional' or friend relationships has some parity my preparation and 'arriving' to participate in this course, like the shared doodle exercise this week and participating in the embodied exercises with no one else in the room with me except Nancy's voice over the speakers of my computer. For me the desire to be present for virtual meetings with co-teachers or friends is always there, yet I have to negotiate all of the other things happening in my life, from feeding my dog to making sure I eat and that my energy level is high enough to be available and present... I negotiate many of the same things when I try to arrive here for this course, and for any studio practice. Although I wouldn't trade the opportunity to hug a friend and feel their skin against mine, and smell them, maybe sipping coffee and both smelling that coffee at the same time, for a Skype meeting, I do think that the mechanisms I use to work towards being present are the same make both experiences equally valuable. I think that the technology in between however, creates the opportunity for me to more easily 'check out' (for whatever reason) than it is when I am with someone in flesh and blood.
Just some thoughts after doing the 2nd embodied practice with Nancy's video. In the physical space to use Nancy' s own words, arriving is "putting your mind where your body is", and this is close to how many of us interpret arriving, being in here and now. A question, however, is where your body is, in the physical space, or where the mind decides to be? I did the practice in my place, alone, a familiar space but I was exploring this place because I was perceiving the space differently. Arriving in presence, is putting your mind where your body is, but is also "creating" or "changing" the space where your mind and body is present, I thought.
Nancy's voice was part of my environment, so she was affecting my space where I was going to arrive. Although it was just a video and the communication was one way-I was kind of invited in her space, it was a "fusion space", my place+ "Nancy' s presence". I was responding, interacting. A very interesting point is that before doing the practice, I have seen the video several times when I was at my office, just listening, observing, pathetically, no engagement. In this case everything was clear. I was at my office watching a video.
When I did the practice it was completely different.I was engaged, my experience was embodied. I was there because I was DOING something. Because I decided to do, to listen, to accept Nancy' s invitation, to perceive her talk as if it was directly addressed to me. After all what helped me arrive in presence, was to feel the connection with my environment, the ground, the furniture, "Nancy' s presence" even though it was through a digital channel and Nancy doing the practice in another space and time.
As a last response in this particular discussion, in lieu of engaging in direct response to any of these thought-provoking and delicious posts, as too many ideas are rushing to the surface, I pulled out some quotes from all postings that resonated with me and created this word cloud. Thank you everyone who took the time to lay out and express their thoughts in writing and discussion for this. It has been a pleasure to read them.