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Resefling 

Experiential courses and sessions on bridging the contemplative practices and arts. 


A befriending of experiences within and without for a compassionate transformation towards self and others. 

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Mind Body Audio
Curious? play the audio below to learn more.
Reselfing: Mind, Body and Everything in Between

"Reselfing: Mind, Body and Everything in Between" began as a university course at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, aiming to bridge practices in mindfulness and arts. It is now evolved into workshops, training, and sessions that are offered to individuals and groups. It is an ever-evolving project filled with experiments and wonder; Hoping to transform individuals and communities through cultivating compassion. 

The practices in Reselfing invite us to have a "cosmic view" and to look for better questions rather than answers. As Rainer Maria Rilke said, "to live the questions". But, then gradually learn to leave the questions and bare the answers.

Questions like:

1. What does it mean to be a self?

 

2. How can we befriend arts and contemplative practices to widen our wonder about this thing we call Self? 

And through the practices of the course:

3. How can we cultivate compassion towards ourselves and others in order to transform our understanding and experience of oneness?

To look for the answer(s), the practices of the sessions, literally, begin with walking/moving. Similar to the emergence of our multiverse, it invites the participants to wonder about space, time, and space-time. It begins with what we already are: the very experience itself. 

Does it wonder about emotions, sensations, thoughts, feelings, memory, perception, affects, and cognition?

How about, movement, light, color, word, sound, metaphor, symbol, shape, performance, story, design, and above all beauty?

Yes! And, it begins with the "first-person experience". The home of a so-called mystic and an artist.

 

Do you need to be an artist or practitioner of a contemplative tradition to join the sessions? Not at all. If you can imagine and wonder (which you can), then you can further cultivate the wonders of "the first-person experience" here. As John O'Donohue, an Irish poet, used to say: If you dream at night or if you were a child once, then you are both an artist and a mystic residing in imagination and wonder.

Through the sessions of Reselfing, we don't intend to learn another program, "self-help" materials, or a list of advice for when things fall apart. Our longing is to create situations and hold spaces for experiences to unfold. We practice and un-practice, easing into what needs to be remembered. We acknowledge that each individual carries wisdom within themselves that they may look for "outside". And, we also acknowledge that some practices that have evolved as collective wisdom or "spiritual technologies" may guide part of the "journey" of an individual in this remembering. May it be what empirical science has to offer, or intuitive traditions throughout human societies. After all, each holds a truth about the underlying experiences of being a human; Inseparable, and seemingly different translations of the same realities. 

I speak a little more about the nature of the sessions and their personal and social impact in the audio above.

What are our immediate experiences at each moment?

How do we begin to notice them?

What is here?

How is here?

Where is here?

What are our immediate experiences at each moment?

How do we begin to notice them?

What is here?

How is here?

Where is here?

To notice the fleeting nature of experience

To discover or invent languages for experiences that are non-verbal, post-verbal, or ineffable.

So often the spoken language can't contain or express our experiences. In these moments we can begin with silence itself which holds the immensity of our experience. In silence lies a world waiting to be surfaced. 

To begin the journey into the landscape of silence, we begin practicing Spacious Listening. It is in spacious listening that we find roots in the house of attention and awareness. The mind, body, and everything in between can be heard through Gentle Nearing. What spacious listening and gentle nearing bring forth are seeds for our landscape of wonder and befriending. 

Spacious listening can mean noticing the totality of our experience. Noticing the familiar happenings of our mind-body such as sensations, thoughts, images, feelings, etc. Spacious listening can also refer to our profound meaning-sensing experiences in relation to reality as we perceive it. The elevating experiences hold many truths at once. 

Gentle Nearing can mean walking towards our experience with a delicate touch, non-judgmental eyes, accepting ears, and a heart-mind that allows for witnessing seeming contradictions. 

In the practice of spacious listening, we start with literal listening. But, we go deeper into listening and begin to translate what we hear into a new language. Here, the arts can be our companion. We can listen by drawing, wording, and moving what we hear. We call this, "translating an experience" into another experience. This allows us to discover or invent a new language for our experience(s). 

In other words, we give our experience(s) a new voice. 

The very nature of translating one experience into another allows for clarity to emerge. Here, we widen the thresholds of reality as we perceive it. 

To translate what we sense or notice into another form
In Spacious Listening and Gentle Nearing, we visit solitude, silence, and absence. A home for imagination and knowing.

Silence, the landscape that time and space "come out" of. The home that every word is born into. 

If the so-called mind was time and body space, then time-space could be movement. And movement is word. And, word is pregnant with knowing.

In Mind, Body, and Everything in Between we dwell in some elements of space and time as we experience it as embodied beings.

In the practices, we rediscover some human notions like:

Walking, moving, spacing, breathing, sensing, feeling, wording, performing, playing, wondering, imagining, mapping, intending, noticing, forming, sequencing, questioning, drawing, ritualizing, fearing, befriending, allowing, symbolizing, dreaming, imagining, abstracting, creating, remembering, touching, translating, interpreting, and noticing again.  

To befriend the "voices" within and play with the unknown
Re-questioning: to look for a better question. To live the questions.
To bear the answers and live them. 

To leave what is perceived, hold a spacious heart-mind for that which is not visible yet.

To begin with an absurd question, or that which appears "irrelevant" or seemingly contradictory.

To walk into a cosmic view of perceiving through both spacing and nearing.

Spacing can mean to allow distance, away from the subject of attention.

Nearing can mean allowing closeness, into the subject of attention.

So, it may arise a beautiful and generative question that pulls you into a new threshold.

A wondrous question, that widens the horizons of experience.

And, to bear and live the answers if found.

To contemplate on Should-ness or the Is-ness of performing a self. 

A response to the course exercise by Antonia

I, self, personhood, identity: layers of experience.

To look for the looker. 

Self as the embodiment of I,

Personhood, as the embodiment of self,

Identity, as the embodiment of personhood.

And, I, is that in conversation with IT. 

In a passage called, For the Unknown Self, John O' Donohue begins with these words: 

 

"So much of what delights and troubles you happen on a surface you take for ground. 

Your mind thinks of your life alone, 

Your eyes consider air your nearest neighbor, 

Yet it seems that a little below your heart

There houses in you an unknown self

Who prefers the patterns of the dark 

and is not persuaded by the eye's affection

Or caught by the flash of thought.

It is a self that enjoys contemplative patience

with all your unfolding expression, 

is never drawn to break into light

though you entangle yourself in unworthiness

and misjudge what you do and who are."

To re-imagine embodied mind-body: Practicing intuitive expressions through cultivating play, humor, and wonder.
To journey in the spectrum of awareness and allow the rhythm of mind-body to surf on waves of experience. 

First, to take refuge in all senses and open up to the rhythm of mind-body. This may maybe the noticing of the feelings of the body without interpretation, and the non-judgmental awareness of the emotions, thoughts, and affects. 

Second, is to practice forgetting what you already know. To close an eye on what appears to be true and then open the other eye to a truth hidden behind the veil, no matter its source.

 

Third is the will, intention, and surrender to notice the patterns of meaning, knowing, and insight that will surface in being in "rhythm" and dance with what is. 

Forth, to allow, let go and forget again and again what you've come to notice. So to look with fresh eyes, like a child in wonder. 

Like a camera person in a long continuous shot, uninterrupted, moving through the scene with deep curiosity and wonder, to notice the unnoticeable and come in tune with the in-between the lines. 

Like the wind moving among trees. Or the flow of a river, moving around rocks. 

Like the alertness of a poet, ready to catch a word that lands in her heart. 

Or a dream, that happens to a dreamer. 

To re-imagine mind-body in metaphoric thinking, poetry, words, and public performance 

To acknowledge the inevitability of the mind-body and, the art and science of celebrating its expressions.

Practices of befriending the nervous system. Liberating its rhythm through somatic exercises, arts, and

contemplative ways of being in one's body. To celebrate and befriend the seemingly ordinary and mundane patterns of the body with the inevitable fluctuations of everyday life.

To re-imagine mind-body in movement, rituals, storytelling, and creative expressions

A response to the course exercise by Cora Gross

Mind-body, as an ecosystem,
an intertwined and intermingled relationship of what is and what can be. A symphony of interconnected events within events.
Un-practicing; or "practices" on simply being; resting as is. Or as John O' Donohue said: the radical letting alone of yourself. Or as in Abrahamic traditions, knowing/being the vessel for that which moves through it. Being the tree for the wind. To allow the symphony to surface.

And to notice the many elements of the Self as an ecosystem, like a forest and its countless creatures shaping the forest. 
Self, not as a "thing" but an "event". 
 
Intentional expressions of kindness in everyday life as ways of knowing the oneness of embodied beings. 
Bridging Loving-kindness and socially engaged art

To remember, the seeming separation in this embodied dream we call life is nothing but a mirage. And our collective calling may be in creating spaces of belonging and situations of compassion.

Creating spaces of belonging and situations of compassion

A response to the practice by Seray Özbay

Selected participants' responses to exercises 

Special thanks to Martin Schmidt, Dr. Alexander Abel, Helin Can, and the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar community for their initial guidance, collaboration, and dedication.

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