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.

About the Freeforming Seminar October 2009 by Caroline Redl

Dear Peri,

I’m very grateful to have had this wonderful experience of Freeforming again.

The training is a great opportunity to become more physically and mentally present. It dissolves  habitual ways of doing things and gives me new perspectives and flexibility in my work as an actress and aikido practitioner.

It’s good to break  the rules again!

Listening to my own body, trusting it and following its movements was an enriching experience. Getting my head “out of the way” opened new fields of experience and lightness. This experience of letting go was so refreshing.

Freeforming makes you really aware of your partner and the space you move in. I felt the benefit of this when I returned to my work and my aikido training.

I also found it very helpful to work with Freeforming in my teaching. Aikido is complex. It can take a long time to become aware of the inner processes that aiki movements have on your body and spirit. I experienced Freeforming as a clever short cut that makes issues like contact, flexibility instantly physically accessable.

I started using elements of Freeforming with great response in my aikido classes as well as in my movement training classes for actors.

Freeforming is like a wordless international language of the body and emotions.

People are suddenly moving gracefully in awareness together.It’s hard to believe it is emerging in the moment without any rehearsals!

Thank you Peri for this great experience and thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve worked and leaned with in October 09 at the Konjiki Dojo.

Hope we all meet soon again and expand our freeform experiences!

Take care and all the best from Berlin

Caroline