If connection is elusive, this can be frustrating. I currently like to suggest the following approaches to getting a handle.
Find stillness. This is eliminating the variable factors .
The task is to find what it is about you, that your partner is responsive to.
If you find this you can move your attention there and thus meet your partners attention.
In practice to day with Carl – we weren’t getting it….
Despite our best efforts we were unable to connect. To find kimusubi. To meet each other.
I tried slowing to allow connection in stillness – no joy.
I tried moving as fast as I could to catch up with what I perceived as Carls flickering attention. No dice.
We paused to review. “we are not communicating” Carl succinctly put it.
We tried again. I then remembered how Carl had a number of times referred to mood. This term had never entirely clicked with me. However, I decided to focus on this. What was the mood in the room? I felt as though my zone of awareness lowered. My sense of smell perked…
Boom – we were connecting! The Practice instantly moved from an arid desert to a rich, vocal and emotional dynamic engagement.
I realised I had been looking for communication on the first or second floor – but Carl was looking for me in the basement. Our kimusubi or connection happened in the ambiance of our meeting rather than the detailed alignment of our focus or attention. The connection felt like that of a pack of animals with coordination of roaming rather the pointed precision of duelists. In psychological terms we are talking mood contagion.
This was no new area for me to practice in, but one I hadn’t consciously made explicit to myself in my conceptualisation of freeforming practice. It could have been described as the id of our situation.
So, Carl, thanks for your patience in helping me realise this crucial aspect of practice.