Body Territories is a process of non-judgmental inquiry. We direct our attention to our sensations and ask, “What are the shapes and textures of my inner spaces? What is the landscape in there?” We observe the body’s response to the questions and invite ourselves to move. The movement creates new sensations, new landscapes—new territories for our attention to travel through.
Sometimes the voice of the one inside us who evaluates or judges the body’s response inserts itself, and we simply note that one’s presence, and turn again to sensation. As we cycle through sensing, inquiring, observing and moving, we support becoming an open, neutral witness to ourselves in movement and in stillness.
To help us develop our neutral witness, we practice witnessing each other. When we witness a partner in movement or in stillness, we observe our own sensory-scape: we see light and shadow with our eyes, listen to rhythm and timbre with our ears, and feel warmth and texture with our skin. When we are witnessed by a partner, we may feel our body territories take on new life in the being-seen-ness.
When we sense, inquire, observe and move, and when we become a neutral witness to ourselves and others, we often stumble upon imaginative flow. Ideas, feelings and images arise and fall away. To paradoxically capture this material and move through it, we write, draw and talk with each other. We do not try to master our materials or be experts in any part of the process. We simply bring ourselves to the process and watch it unfold.
Body Territories is fruitful for artists of any discipline interested in discovering their imaginative flow as sourced from the body. The process is gentle, introspective, non-linear, and open-ended. Workshops may focus on writing, visual art, sounding & listening, or may have no disciplinary focus, instead approaching creativity generally.
Body Territories is also fruitful for those of us who, perhaps, turned away from bodily experience earlier in life, and are seeking a re-acquaintance with our bodily selves. The workshops are carefully facilitated, and each participant’s involvement is self-directed.
© 2010 Sheri Cohen