Body-Based Flow vs. Object-Based Flow

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April 17, 2014 by synapticwolf

When I play with props, there are two different dimensions on which I can focus my flow.

One of my favorite games is to switch back and forth between the two dimensions. The ultimate goal is full integration of body and object.

When I concentrate on body-based flow, I pay attention to my physical structure, tune into my propriaceptive sensations and force the tools to work in service of my body. I might focus on my core , play with different muscle groups or mess around with dance moves from other disciplines. Usually my toys start out moving in very simple ways and then gradually become more complex. I use my tools to explore the pleasures and capabilities of my body.

When I switch to object-based flow, my focus is on allowing the tools their full range of fun. I contort or twist my body in service of whatever direction the toy feels like moving, trusting it to find the smoothest path there, challenging it to keep up with the prop.

When my object exists to serve the body and my body exists to serve the objet, the distinction between the two begins to fade. Each aspect of my consciousness expands to include the other even as it contracts in focus. By defining the edges, I can better defy them.

And what is so damn awesome about merging body and object?

First, there is the natural disillusion of mind as it disappears into body then prop then body again.

From an outsider’s perspective, watching someone dance in a no-mind state is arresting, powerful, inspiring. Prop-free dancers who manage to integrate their entire body within itself do so by dropping mind out of the equation. Finger-tips and knees cannot communicate nearly so eloquently if all information has to first be filtered and justified by the mind with multitude of agendas and its demanding dependent, the ego.

But in a more cosmic sense, after a serious flow, when I have blurred and erased the distinction between me and my staff, I can look at, feel the weight, assess the size. . .and know that today, I was exactly *that* much closer to consciously melding with the entire universe.


This much closer!


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What is Flow?

Flow is the state of grace that emerges as a natural consequence of full presence. The flow arts, also called spin juggling or object manipulation, alternatively engage and relax the body and mind. By following the natural movements of an object, we can unlock the previously hidden potential of our inner dance.

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