Relational flow

I felt a strong heat in my hands. I wanted to hold out my hand and touch his face. I felt warm in my heart centre. I felt a beam of light from the area between my eyebrows connecting to his.


Alan Schacher's eyes at Time_Place_Space 5, Brisbane, 2006. Photo by Mayu Kanamori
Alan Schacher’s eyes at Time_Place_Space 5, Brisbane, 2006. Photo by Mayu Kanamori
















These were some of the many and varied sensations I experienced during my first relational flow meditation with the founder of Embodyism, Danny Donachie.

Danny lives in the UK and works as a consultant and coach mostly with professional athletes for optimum performance using meditational techniques and philosophies. I met him on-line when a social media post to a blog entry entitled If You Want More Impact, Take Off Your Masks caught my attention.

“I have noticed a yearning in me for deep connection with others. This seems to be a ubiquitous human desire and at the same time is less eminent in this digital age. How can we deepen this connection with others? How can I deepen this connection with you, the reader, now? My experiments suggest that intention is the key.”

This opening paragraph to Danny’s blog resonated strongly with my own recent thoughts, and wondering if he was fairdinkum, I sent him a message with intention to connect with him. He replied immediately, and with openness and warmth. After couple of months of experiencing synchronicities between his subsequent blog posts and my own life events, likes, re-tweets and short comments and correspondences, we connected on Skype, with me at my desk in Sydney and Danny sitting at his in Manchester.

The relational flow meditation consisted of relaxing our bodies and minds, then gazing into each other’s eyes, then holding the intent to connect deeply with each other whilst staying present in awareness of our bodies. Breathing, whilst communicating with each other what comes up, mainly sensations we feel, where, and how. During the hour we spent on Skype, I felt warmth, love, acceptance and a sense of unity. At one point I found myself well up as if to release a deep pain within to be healed. These feelings stayed with me after we had finished the session, and the sense of unity and connection to others, not just to Danny, but to all humanity, remained for days to come.

It is not the first time I have gazed into someone’s eyes for a length of time and sitting with sensations that came up. The first time I experienced this was during a workshop facilitated by artist Melati Suryodarmo during Time_Place_Space 5, a 2-week intensive residential laboratory for artists. After an early morning walk through a forest very slowly, feeling every sensation in our bodies as we move one leg ahead of another without speaking, Melati randomly paired the participants, and I gazed into artist Alan Schacher’s eyes for what now seem like eternity. Although I did not know Alan prior to these workshops, this experience has lead us to many collaborations since.

More recently, this practice was popularised by artist Marina Abramovich, who in turn has inspired the group The Liberators International to take this practice one step further by coordinating, recording and distributing The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment, where 100,000 people participated in sharing a minute of eye contact with strangers in public in more than 156 cities.

Danny’s relational flow meditation had a powerful impact in my way of being in this world. It was a natural progression from my experiences with gazing into another’s eyes through the arts into a flow of feeling a deeper and wider connectedness because of the length of time given (hour-long session), its highly personal nature (one-on-one in the comfort of my own home), and communications with during and after the session. My relationships are more harmonious and my sense of belonging, greater.

I am hoping that others will practice this meditation with me.

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