mood contagion as kimusubi

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.