Thursday, October 12, 2017

Noticing MORE : Thought of the week for 10/10

We hope you've been able to put some of the things we've listed into practice over the last few weeks.  Here are some more things to try to increase your NOTICING. 
Each exercise can be done in ten minutes or less: 

-Sit in a chair or lie on the ground hands at your side and feet flat.  Begin to notice your breathing.  Start first with the air as it enters your nostrils and as it leaves.  What do you notice is different between the in breath and the out breath?  Temperature, sensation?  Then notice how your lungs expand and the various tugs on your muscles just from breathing.  Allow your attention to float through the body and notice all that you can around your toes, ankles, legs etc.  Notice your attention relocalizing through your body and notice how with each new phase you can pick up on greater detail

-Look at your favorite piece of art or your favorite souvenir.  What was it that you noticed about it that made you want to keep it?  What can you notice about it today that you never really noticed before?-Watch your favorite movie and ask yourself what are the first images presented to the viewer?  Why did they select those images.  What was it that the makers of the film noticed in that moment that made them decide it was necessary to tell the story.

-If you are working on memorizing a scene or a monologue, notice if there is one word, phrase or line that just doesn’t really stick in your mind.  Look at it more closely.  See if you can notice what it is about the line, phrase or word that makes you want to skip it or substitute something else.  Quite often that detail will be the key to the line.

- Go through a photo album and pick one person that you care about.  Look at them in the different pictures of the album.  What details are different from photo to photo? From moment to moment? From year to year?

Other ideas:  Re-read your favorite poem and look for something new,  watch an animal and see how much of its surroundings it is taking in at all times,  do a “taste test” of different brands of the same product and see if you can articulate the differences.

Thought of the Week 10/3 NOTICING part II

Thought for the week from Magis: Last week we spoke about noticing. Here are some more thoughts and some activities for you to try out :
One of the truly emblematic pieces of American Theatre is Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” While studying it as a youngster I probably learned more about theatre and literature from the way this play was taught to me than any other single work I had experienced up until that point in my life. I remember getting to the Third Act when Emily wants to go back to re-live her twelfth birthday. I was puzzled at the reactions of the other characters who told her not to do it because it would be too painful. As she noticed the things that she overlooked while she was alive it became unbearable for her. She asked the stage manager “do any human beings realize life while they live it? Every every minute?” His response to her was “No. The saints and poets, they do some.” This interchange made a huge impact on me. How much there is to notice in life… and how like the saints and poets we are when we are able to notice it in the moment.
Suggestions for developing a noticing practice:
-Spend 10 minutes in one spot: on a bus or train, on a park bench, at a window and just watch what is going on. What do you see? People? Birds? Movement? Colors? Notice what attracts your eye from moment to moment and name it.
- The next time you eat spend some time noticing the complexity of temperature, texture, aroma, and flavor. Notice how each chew will change the equation slightly and feature one or more of the components slightly differently. Each new bite will be different proportions. Take your time and enjoy the intricacy of the tastes.