Mindful Movement Research Interview – 20 Jan 2018. MI2LNY.
(Starting at 0:45)
E: Looking for, how did you experience the instruction ‘to allow’? if you go back to that moment, is there anything you remember about your felt reaction? Including thoughts.
L: To allow? Can you remind me a little bit about that instruction?
E: yeah. We were at this point in class and it was to let your body, like if you just lean forward, you allow yourself to…
L: O yeah. Gotcha. Gotcha.
… So the questions is “How do I…”?
E: Like, when you heard that instruction, how did it strike you?
L: Um, well…I, it’s something that I think I understood. I understood what you meant and I didn’t, I don’t think I had any trouble following that instruction because it’s something that, when I meditate, I try to put in to practice. I try to allow my body to do whatever it has to do.
Um, so within the class, during the body movement class, I don’t know how to explain it but it just, an awareness, you know…an awareness of what you feel. What you feel like. What your body feels. So just trying to play with that awareness. To, I don’t know to call it, like let your body express itself. But yeah I think it’s just not, just letting your body do, whatever it has to do. So, I, I mean, it felt like, like an instruction that kind of like made sense…
E: Can you describe something between your points of sensation and the simultaneous ‘allowing’?
L: Hmm…I cannot remember. Or I do not know, like, what is the connection there. I was trying to, I do remember, like, while I was moving I was trying to focus on that point of sensation. And, I mean I don’t know how much of the movement I did had to do with that…with that focusing. (4:00)
E: …It doesn’t have to be a felt connection. There’s no particular reason, just wondering, like, yeah, did you feel any relationship between this point and, uh, ‘allowing’?
L: Well, yeah. I do wonder. But consciously I didn’t feel any connection. But I do wonder how much of how I move, if I would have focused somewhere else would I have moved in the same way? I don’t know for certain.
E: Yeah. Um, describing something about your point, your points of sensation, describing how they felt in the beginning.
L: Hmm…versus, like, in the end. To make a comparrison?
E: Yeah. Or moments where it shifted. Cause it did, either at the end, or…
L: Um, I cannot remember of a change. I do remember that, you know, my point of sensation was the mouth of my stomach. And there’s always like a sensation there. Like a something there.
E: Can you describe the sensation?
L: It’s just like knowing that there’s something. It doesn’t have a particular, it’snot like such a strong feeling. But it just, kind of like having, yeah, like having something there. Like…like a presence of some sort.
Um…but I don’t know, I don’t think it changed. I don’t think it…Well, I mean something that did change, or something that I notice is that sensation of openness. You know, that I did experience that as I was moving. And I was getting more into the movement, where I was sorta like…
E: Can you describe what it means to get more into the movement?
L: Yeah. I was gonna use the word, you know when you jump into the water and you’re sinking. You’re sinking more into when you’re doing the movements.Um… I guess it’s like thinking less about it. And just sort of like moving more naturally. Or feeling that things are flowing more. You know. Um, that’s what I call with “getting more into the movement.”
E: Does that…
L: Maybe like being less self aware. That doesn’t go away.
E: Yeah. But I’m wondering how it feels ‘tho. I’m familiar with the experience, and wondering how it feels. Like, how do you know you’re more in a flow, you know?
L: I think it is when you are consciously pushing less. And you are being pulled. I think that’s how I would describe it. Um, it just…and it’s not like you’re pushing 100%. But, let’s say at the beginning you’re pushing 20%, 30%, whatever. And then as you get more into it you’re pushing 10%, 8% and so on. So it feels you’re not doing the work. It feels that you’re floating along, you know, with whatever it is pulling you. Um, but, as that sensation develop, or grew, um, I guess parallel to it? I’m not sure; I don’t know if it was cause, effect or just to seem to happen at the same time. It was a sensation of, of, of opening. You know?
Uh, and I describe this a little bit in our previous interview, related to meditation sessions. You know how that inner space grows. Um, yeah. I did experience a little bit of that.
E: And did it, um, shift the point of the mouth of your stomach?
L: What do you mean shifting? Like if it moved somewhere else?
E: No, I mean, did it change the sensation?
L: Um, I can’t remember…I mean I do remember that that night I was, and it might not be related, I was feeling very angry.
Um, aaand, during the movement, while I was getting more into it, that sensation of anger kind of like went away. And then at the end, when everything stopped, the sensation kind of like came back.
But, related to the point of sensation that we, that I chose, I’m not, I can’t remember if it made a…if there was a shift. I cannot remember.
I would say that no. If there was a shift I didn’t notice.
E: Ok, once you came into contact with another…um, what did you experience, in terms of the sensations?
L: Mmm. I think there was always a moment that you become self aware. Conscious. Um, and that sensation of free flowing, slidey, goes away. And then I think…
E: Do you remember, so the way I remember giving the instruction was, to take a moment and know that this will be coming; to hear that this will happen in the future, to like, to come into contact with somebody. Did that, did it shift then…or did it, like what was the difference between hearing the intruction and then coming towards somebody.
L: Um…I don’t know. I don’t know how to, I cannot remember that instruction…
So maybe I didn’t hear it cause, yeah, I was just somewhere else.
Um, but yeah, there was a moment of, a moment of just sort of like “uugh. Eh, there’s someone next to me.” You know, and the sensation of breakig the free flow, being aware, and then seconds later maybe going back, to the free flow. You know. Maybe it wasn’t the same, as before getting close to someone. But I think it definitely, it def, yeah, you become aware. And then you go back into that.
E: And when you’re in this, um, sate of free flow, either by yourself or with another, um, were you still able to observe yourself?
L: Um, eh, it would, yeah. I mean, yeah. You don’t like lose yourself 100%. I don’t know, kinda like you care less. Or there’s less, it has less strength. That looking at yourself. I don’t know how to describe it.
At the beginning, that looking at myself, there is a, a, there’s a thing of…of judging. You know, like, or of thinking about yourself. And I think there’s an implication there of controlling your own body. Not letting it go. Or, yeah, of a sensation of, like how you’re looked from the outside. But then as time progresses, that, those feelings kind of like go away.
Yeah, I think what I’m saying is like, that looking into myself, it’s very, it’s…it’s associated with kind of like being afraid of…of how do you, how do people see you. Or kind of like self awareness or being worried or, and then it goes away.
E: So, I’m wondering, what you’re saying there makes sense to me. And I’m wondering, a little bit, mm, maybe more nuanced or something in this…um, you know how you can go into a mind wander state. And not be concerned for anything and you, you could go, drawing or painting or any kind of thing. You’re just doing; you’re just allowing this um…And in this, um, starting from this instruction to stay, to keep watching yourself, to not, to not not watch yourself, um, did you feel like you were able to maintain some element of that. Like, when you say the judgment went away, did the observation of yourself leave with the judgments? Or did it shift to be able to watch more neutrally? Is that a way…
L: I think, yeah, there was a neutrality there. You never stop watching yourself, you’re always aware. But I think it comes with less judgments. Um, so I, any particular time when you are flowing, or when you’re moving and you are really into it, you are aware of what you are doing, you know. But there’s less, there’s less comments from your mind. Just more awareness.
L: … No, I think like I said, the only shift that I had was that in that I was feeling like angry. That day. And then it just went away.
E: At some point?
L: At some point, yeah. While I was moving. No, I don’t remember any other shift. I didn’t feel any other shift.
E: Well, even when you were talking about comign into contact, you were describing even a momentary shift and then a shift back. So I’m sort of wondering, like in, in terms of jsut real subtle shifts, not like, uh, kind of looking for maybe almost boring details you know?
L: Ah, ok. I mean I had different moments were I just completely lost the focus with the point of sensation. Um…yeah. Even if, while by myself, in a corner, I would just like suddenly came back to reality. And started thinking about my day. You know and then I kind of like tried to clean those thoughts and just continue moving. Um…
E: Cool. Ok. Um, so…if you, like just taking one second to go back of…and I’m asking this again because observationilly and experientially, like watching ya’ll and having my own experience in this, it looks strong, it feels strong, it has felt strong for me, when one goes to open their eyes, if you can remember any point of doing that? Like maybe even percentage wise, like how fast or how much did it, um, shift and then shift back for you?
L: I’m not sure I understand the question.
E: Like, if you take a second, can you remember, can you remember any moment where you opened your eyes?
L: Um…Yes! I remember one particular moment. And it’s very vivid.
When I was, when I was getting closer to the…there was a moment where the three of you were moving together. And I think I, at that point was also joining in. And in that moment (snaps fingers) it was like this awareness of, you know, like all of you, there. AndIi kind of like had to open my eyes to see what was happening. You know. Um, but that is like a very vivid memory. And that is interesting I think. Cause there are a lot of moments that, you know, you don’t remember.
But it’s just that transition, from being by myself to suddenly feeling the group, that was moving. Ehm…yeah.
E: And so you felt us, were aware of us before you opened your eyes?…
L: Um, I think so. Maybe someone touched me…and, yeah. Or just sort of like…I don’t remember exactly how was the particular order. But…you know, maybe like one of the movements was some physical contact. And…in that moment it was just sort of like “oh. There’s people around me.” You know, sorta like opening just to see what was happening around me and then closing them again and trying to go back.
E: … Did you, could you still have a connection with feeling the internal while your eyes were open?
L: No….I think while my eyes are open….mmm…I’m trying to remember….mmm…I think I had different kind of moments. I have different…like I remember there were moments were I had my eyes open that i would lose the connection, you know. And there were moments where I think I went to closing my eyes…
E: And when you lost the connection, how did you re-find it?
L: I would close me eyes. And just start thinking about…yeah, just to help me focus.
E: Was there any time where you were able to keep your eyes open and feel the…
L: I think so, yeah. Yeah. There were, perhaps i cannot remember how much I had my eyes open. but…but I’m sure there were moments that I had my eyes open. And I would feel the connection. And be, doing the, you know, what I call the free flowing….yeah.
E: Ok, so…for me, this is, this is maybe kind of very directing information…
E: …When you were with another, in contact with another, as I understood, you were able to find some of that free flow again?
E: And so, within that, another direction of the question is, did you sense any information in relation to that other person?…
What did you feel when, did you sense any information about the other when you were with them?
L: If I felt? Or sensed, you said?… Like information?… Maybe he…I mean, doesn’t heat, like feeling body heat? Yeah. I felt this…kinda of like..er, not from everyone, just from one person. One person I think. Kind of like feeling this heat wave.
E: And then, the..in the allowance of you being able to move, you being in your free flow, and the others in the same time, ostensibly, doing this – there were times you were with people and then times you were away from people. And I’m wondering about the…the…how did you know to leave someone? Or how did you know how to go ear someone? What were the sensations relating to, now you’re connected?
L: Mmm…I think I was, I remember the instructions at the moment be like, with 10% of yourself, like push yourself to sort of like move towards someone. So I think that was, you know, I tried to use that to get close to the group. I do not remember how did I decided to move away from someone. Or fro the group. I cannot remember.
E: Or, maybe another way to ask it: Like, so it’s this idea of, this instruction of coming into contact. And it was listed either as visually, or in whatever sense you felt you were coming into contact with this person; did not need to be physical touch. For you, how did you know that you were in contact with someone?
L: I’m not sure. I mean sometimes I knew it. But I don’t know…I don’t remember if it was just, changes in the light, because the body movement of shadow, or…Or the air would change. I’m not really 100% sure, you know…
I think it’s mostly like a temperature thing, you know. Like…I don’t know exactly what I thought when I felt. Because that’s basically the question, right? Kind of, you know, what was it when you feel someone next to you?…And I do remember, I do remember, like, feeling moments. Like feeling the temperature of the person. But, I don’t know what else, if there was anything else, you know.
E:…then, sort of the same question, how did you know you were not in contact anymore?
L: Mm… I think everything around me was more or less uniform. You know, like the sensation that I have around me. While being uniform, there wasn’t that much difference between what was happening here and what was happening here.
I think, that would be it, you know. That’s not something that in the moment I was like super aware. Like I don’t know how to turn that into specific words. Cause it’s, it’s, it’s a feeling. A sensation. I guess…but I don’t know…
E: And when you were coming into contact with another you felt a shift in this area around you?
L: Maybe, yeah. Yeah. You notice a difference between how it feels in front of you and how it feels behind you. You know. But it’s just purely physical, you know. Like, I don’t know, temperature, or…
I don’t know how, it just like…(laughs) I cannot go beyond the word, just using the word sensation. It’s just a sensation, you know. Like I don’t know, what is it about the sensation.
… I don’t know.
E: …maybe the last question is…it’s sort of a repeating question, um, trying to dig in a little bit deeper to it. When you…did you feel connected…there’s these two words: contact and connect. And I was using them a bit interchangeably. So, to define them for right now, saying: coming into contact being, I, um, in some way contacting another person. From a, from myself I am reaching out and touching this lamp. Versus this lamp coming towards me and touching me. Um, or coming into contact with me. Whereas, for just now, this idea of connection being a sort of meeting. And it could even be that, physically you travel over there and touch them, say, but they are meeting you. In some sense.
Did you have any moment where you felt connected to anyone?
L: Hmm… mmm… no, I think I didn’t. But I think I didn’t have any…I’m trying to remember, at that moment, at the end, when I joined in the group. How was it? Cause it did feel…like…it did feel like we were moving, it did feel like…like I was part of a group. And I guess that’s a good definition of feeling connected. But at the same time…I don’t know, if I felt connected or not…I’m not sure.
E: …same question, of, like, just taking a moment and remembering was there any moment where, no pressure to feel this, just if it happened, that you felt connected? To anyone?
L: Um… no. Not particularly, no….I don’t remember feeling that, at any moment.
E: Is there anything else that you want to add?
L: Um, yeah. I just remember, ehmm…I do remember this…um, might be important or not. I think it’s interesting. You know, like when I chose this area, the mouth of my stomach, right. To sort of like the focus, my point of sensation. And I remember in different moments while I was moving, there was this urge to…kind of like…express something through my mouth, you know. And there was like a lot of like noises coming out. Kind of like “ehguuugh, ehguuugh, ehguuugh.” You know, but nothing ever…I don’t know if something should come out or not. But, that happened a couple of time. Um…and I remember like in different moments, I would get close to a wall and just push against a wall. And that sensation of trying to vocalize something would come out.
E: When you were pushing against the wall?
L: Yeah. Yeah.
…that has happened in different moments. Doing different things. Doing EMDR. I think, yeah, I was smoking weed too, by myself. Yeah, so. I don’t know what that means, you know. I don’t know what that means….It’s like a very, a very, kind of like…like a very primitive sound coming out. Like “aghhhhhgh.” From very deep. Yeah…
E: Does it feel different when you allow it?…Ok, from that experience, when you’re making these sounds and you’re at the wall versus…um…eh…it’s like, does that come up when you’re in Vipassana? When you’re not, when you’re being quiet, when you’re being in the same position, does that come up?L: During Vipassana meditation…umm…I don’t think so….No. No. I think it doesn’t. During Vipassana it’s slightly different. Because all these sensations that I described to you, they are deeper. They are stronger, you know. Um…But that sensation of “aughh” I cannot remember, I know that at Vipassana I never had it. I don’t know if at any point…while I was meditating at home, if that ever happened. I know that it happened to an EMDR. I know that it happened while smoking weed. Um…but it’s not clear to me, I would say no. Cause I would remember that, I think….Yeah.