relational mindfulness

working with a new freeformer the other day.

she was extremely experienced with mindfulness practices.

after practicing freeforming together she gave me her reflections.

she said that freeforming embodied everything she had experienced with the mindfulness practices, including mindful moving work.

however, there were two additional aspects in freefoming that had been absent in her previous work.

the first was the expansive scope of movement possibility and sense of “freedom” she found in freeforming.

the second was that although she was aware of other people in her mindfulness practice, they were not acknowledged as they are in freeforming.

she felt that our mutual presence did not impose on each other but fostered a sense of “respectful” togetherness which she felt enhanced her mindfulness.

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mindfulness, awareness, nowness, presence

I don’t like the term “mindfulness”. It has for me a scent of piety, or preciousness as in “minding your your p’s and q’s”. It also carries the implication that it involves a kind of intense thinking about what you are doing. Of course it is none of these things, but I am happier with the terms of awareness, nowness and at a pinch presence.

Freeforming begins in awareness. By this I mean the Perlsian coming to my senses, – a de emphasis of thinking about. I am talking of a pre-reflexive consciousness, my experience before I start thinking about it. What I am sensing, experiencing now.

I like Trungpas deft admonition that what is important is what we are aware of not, us trying to become more aware.

Its sticking to nowness rather than my mental embroideries, even if it is most reasonably about the now ( or what was the now…).

It this now that has a gutsy, physical energy to it which the term mindfulness misses.

It is this energy of the moment that informs the practice not my calculation or consideration.

I am fond of telling Freeformers that in Freeforming my ideas, however clever they are, always result in a break in contact. A severance from now. A break from you.

The discipline is a kind of decanting the revved engines of my thinking and a return to listening, waiting, resting in sensation – allowing my self to be moved by the situation.

So yes there is a presence to the situation in the sense I am her, now, with you. (Again, I am reluctant to bandy this word presence as it carries a dramatic or earnest flavour to it that I find obscuring. By now you be noticing my pickiness with words which is hopefully given respite in the non-verbal!)

For me there is deep richness in the moment as I recede. There is the fullness of life that my reflections invariably negate.

So Freeforming begins in awareness. Awareness is also the aim and end of Freeforming.

This moment without stricture.