Radical Body Work*


*Working Title

'they've made me an organism! they've wrongfully folded me! they've stolen my body!'

Do you want to try something? We've been researching around, beside and through the body to find out how we can possibly take ideas, send them through the body, and experience radical change. The instructions below are some notes towards a body talk practice. The body talks to us. We talk to the body. And back and forth for a while.

Instructions for Radical Body Work

The following is a two-fold description of Radical Body Work - an embodied practice designed for two people who want to change themselves, and thereby change the world. One person is the horizontal body, the other a talking facilitator. Both do the work. This practice is designed to make difficult concepts easier to understand. You need no text books or late night study sessions in the pursuit of understanding. In this practice, we succumb to horizontal forces, melt and tap into flows. That is enough theory for us.

Lie Down

This is what we are combating, in the most relaxed way possible: a body bound by formal tensions gone wrong. Yielding to gravity, finding breath, releasing extra burdens ... each one of us, as a basic human right, can develop a relationship to the horizontal plane: sometimes earth, sometimes bed, carpet, floor. It doesn't matter, as long as we are prepared to melt our assumptions. We shut up and lie down. Let flat surfaces do the work to disorganize. Deflate, and fill again. Breath. Take Breath. Don't wait for it's flow to be given to you. Flows create a body of continua. The flow of muscle, skin, bone, and thought. Recognizing ossification is the first step, but regardless of how we think we think, or feel that we feel, we just shut up and get down. Tap in, spread, splay, drool.

What do you feel right now? How would you like to feel? What do you understand right now? What would you like to understand? Sink deeper into gravity. Spread further afield. Weigh your body parts. Weigh your options. I will now place my hands under your arm. Let the weight of your arm release fully into my hands. I will now place my hands under your leg. Let the weight of your leg release fully into my hands. I will now place my hands under your head. Let the weight of your head release fully into my hands.

Lie Down even More

The continuum of thought, the mind and its allies, have a will to concentrate. They concentrate their efforts in our soft tissues, tendons, and other unknown places. Where there is only thought, a hyper-concentration, a stress cocktail, we can longer sense. The sensory feedback mechanism needs reinforcements, it is over-run. Re-establish the relationship: continually re-insert Breath into the situation. We anchor, we depart, we anchor, we depart. The flow of breath, sensation, thought. In that order, over and over again. And from this back-and-forth, a spreading occurs. Newly released flows swirl into the baseline of the body. Sinking further to The Horizontal. The mind is in the body. The body is in the mind.

What are thinking about? Locate your thoughts. Are you breathing? Locate your breath. How do you feel now? Where do you feel the most sensation? If this feeling was a concept, which one would it be? What shape is it? What colour? If this concept was a feeling, how would it feel? Describe the sensation. Where in the body is this sensation? I will now place my hands on the concept/feeling/body part. I may take the weight of this area, or gently shake or roll this place. Relax fully and allow yourself to be moved. How has the sensation changed? Release your curiosity, questions.

Further to the Lie

Scars and broken bones, traces of minor scrapes and old bruises. Accidents and injuries yield the richest resources - mine for the golden stores of pain. These are powerful nuggets, lift them up to the surface of skin, barf, laughter, tears. These pure and ancient beliefs have clogged the system, creating identity and fear. Let them loose. Again: drool.

Where is the belief held? I will now place my hands on this body part. I will connect to the tissue and bone. Through outer layers, deeper down. Name the belief, name the sensation, name the body part. If this belief was a movement, how would it move? Can you allow the belief to be the mover? Let your mind step out of the driver seat. Let the belief drive movement. Smooth, jagged, hyper, sluggish, heavy, light - how does it want to move? How does this belief feel now? Where is the sensation? What has changed? If this sensation was a concept, what concept would it be? Place your breath into the concept. Place the sensation into your mind. Describe how you feel. How would you like to feel? If this feeling was a concept, what would it be?