Center, the heart of an idea
What is center? In the realm of the physical where we use the senses of touch and feel, it is our center of gravity, our center of weight, our center of mass (in this instance all roughly equivalent).
Walking on the surface of the earth our own center moves around the earth’s center, two centers and the idea of them together creating a third.
Center and connection, Staying Balanced
Standing on the earth, our center is the place where all of our weight is focused. All the parts of us that make us up, our physical parts, all of their weight comes together at one point, the center of our bodies. When our center is directly over some part of our foundation we are balanced. Our center lines, and our foundation both line up with the earth’s center and the force of gravity.
We can move our balance point relative to ourselves by changing the shape of our body. Standing straight our balance point is near the center of our pelvis. If we bend backwards so that our pelvis pushes forwards and at the same time our ribcage reaches back our balance point shifts to a point behind our pelvis. Bending our body forwards by pushing our pelvis back and leaning our ribcage forwards our balance point shifts to a point in front of the pelvis.
If we are aware of where our balance point is we can stay balanced no matter how we change the shape of our body so long as we keep our balance point over our foundation. We can move freely, express ourselves freely, by dancing and boogying and stay balanced so long as we keep our center over our feet.
Let’s say that we want to express ourselves by doing more than just changing the shape of our body, we want to express ourselves by moving our center as well. With only a small area of contact with the earth, we can move our body, change its shape, but we have to keep our center within that small area to stay stable.
If we have a wider base, we can move our body, change its shape and we can move our center over a larger area at the same time. We have more room to express ourselves, more freedom. The only constraint is that we keep our center somewhere over our foundation so that we stay stable.
The larger our foundation is, the more room we have to move our center while staying stable.
If we move our foundation, say by walking or moving our feet slowly, so long as we keep our weight over the foot we are standing on we can stay stable. Then, as the other foot connects to the earth we can move our center over that foot. Because our feet are long front to back, we can move our center forwards over our standing foot so that we are ready to shift our weight to the other foot when it contacts the earth. Now we have even more freedom to express ourselves.
If we begin to move quicker, friction resists our forwards movement and we can lean forwards so that our center is ahead of our feet. The force of friction combined with the force of gravity creates a new force angled forwards so that leaning forwards we are aligned with the forces acting on us and we can stay stable. We could also suppose that instead of friction holding us upwards, our weight moves back slightly, so that moving fast provided we are leaning forwards at the right angle, our center moves behind our body just enough so that it stays over our feet.
Expressing ourselves freely
Expressing ourselves by moving our center, we can place our center over the point where our foundation is going to be, so that our center proceeds our foundation, just a little bit. Like when we are running, our center proceeds our lead foot and just as our center moves ahead of our foundation, our foot touches the ground. Skating we did something similar, we fell to one side, and caught ourselves at the last instance translating the energy of the fall into a glide.
We can move around our center or we can move our center around the center of the earth or we can do both at the same time. The more aware we are of the earth’s center and how our center relates to it, how they connect, the more we can express ourselves through movement, the more free we are.
Expression radiates from a center. Aware of the center of ourselves we can use our own center as a center of expression. Aware of the pull of gravity or the center of the earth we can also use the center of the earth as a center of expression.
- Center, an awareness of where our center is with respect to our foundation.
- Center an awareness of our own center and the center of who or what we are connected to.
- Center an awareness of who we are and where we are and what we are connected to.
- Center, the heart of an idea.
The first time I went snowboarding I was afraid to lean forward because I was afraid of falling. Actually I was afraid of not being able to control my speed, of going too fast and then falling. The ironic thing is that on a snowboard forwards is where I wanted to go. I wanted go forwards down the hill. So instead of holding myself back why didn’t I just lean forwards so I could go down the hill?
Well, because I was scared...
The second time I went snowboarding I went with a friend to a resort reknown for the steepness of its slopes. When I first saw the slopes there I thought “Oh my goodness!” And then I saw that there were nursery slopes and I thought “Thank you!”
Safe amongst the children I slowly made my way down the hill while they whizzed down around me. As I tried various techniques for going down the hill including, but not limited to, falling I gradually got used to the notion that with my weight centered over the board I could use the edges to control the speed of my decent. Not only that, I could also use them to steer the board, but only if I had my weight near the center of the board. Balanced over the board’s center I could then lean forwards or backwards or to either side and control the board by using its edges to dig into the snow. And then I could return to center.
Part of the reason for me leaning back was that I was afraid of going too fast but when I leaned forwards enough to center myself I had control and funnily enough I was no longer afraid of going faster because I could control the board and then I had fun.
I finally began to understand the idea of snowboarding, that the edges are how the board connects with the snow. And I controlled that connection by how I placed my center of gravity. Shifting my weight I could control which edges of the board cut into the snow and I could use that action to control my speed and direction of descent. Controlling my connection with the earth via the board, I was able to express the idea of snowboarding.
When we are conscious of connection we can feel when a connection is centered and when it is not. When we are conscious of connection we can change it and move towards center and away from it, controlling or directing the expression of ourselves.
By feeling the way my feet press into the floor I can feel if my weight is forwards. If it is forwards the front of my feet and my toes will press down into the ground more than my heels. If I then want to upright myself I can then press down through my toes to lever my weight back, provided that my weight hasn’t gone so far forwards that it is in front of my feet.
Moving each other
How do we want to express ourselves? What is it that we want to do?
We might just want to move around our own center in which case we use our feet to feel our center and keep it centered. Or we might want to move our center in which case we can use our feet again but in a different way.
So that we stay balanced or stable we can use our connection with the earth to feel where our center is by feeling the way our feet press into the floor. If both feet press down evenly then our center is over the center point between both feet. If our right foot presses down more than our left then our center is slightly over to the right. If all of our weight presses through the right foot then our center of gravity is centered over the right foot.
Feeling the way our feet press into the floor, if we are standing with our feet parallel and shoulder width apart and we want to lift our left leg then we use our legs to move our center so that it is over our right foot. We can use our feet to feel when our center is over our right foot. Then we can lift our left foot and still stay balanced.
Conscious of our connection to the earth we can use our connection with the earth to express ourselves. Conscious of connection we feel the center of ourselves as well as what we are connected to. If we are of similar size we can use connection to move the center of what or whom we are connected to. And we can use our connection to move our selves.
Because the earth is so big we can do any movement we like without affecting the earth. We can express ourselves fully... And in the same way that the earth provides a foundation for us to move our bodies, we can also make parts of our body a foundation so that other parts can move with respect to that foundation. For example, making our legs and torso stable we can use them as a base from which we can use our arms to push or pull.
Dancing with somebody, we can push against them and if the connection is good they can move backwards as we push. Or we can pull and they can move forwards with us as we pull. Because the earth is so much bigger than us it’s a little bit more difficult for us to move the earth, but with someone more or less the same size we can use our connection to move each other.
When I first started thinking about center and connection I couldn’t decide if they were the same or different or related.
I would start of thinking about connection, particular of grounding, feeling my connection to the earth. But whenever I did that I would think of how I was using that connection to feel where my center was. If I thought of center I would then think of my connection to the earth because yet again, through that connection was how I knew where my center was. Whenever I thought of them as different I came up with reasons to think of them as separate and when I thought of them as separate I came up with reasons to think they were the same thing. I realized that they are aspects of the same thing, two ways of becoming present.
As our consciousness radiates outwards from our center we express ourselves. We dance, we write, we sing, we talk, we sew we cook. Any of the ideas that are already apart of us we express. We share our true nature and others see this expression and enjoy it and allow it to enter into themselves, another view of all that is and they grow from it as they choose.
Resting for a moment while still expanding outwards, we see the expression of other ideas around us, and as a result we change, the expression of ourselves, the idea we are expressing, changes. It’s as if the energy flows from out of us and then into us, and each cycle the expression of ourselves changes slightly, affected by what is around us.
Now imagine that aswell as happening across time this happens across space, that we allow energy in at the same time as we radiate it out. So we are changing even as we express ourselves because we are seeing what is around us and seeing how what is around us is changing too.
It’s like dancing with someone on a really crowded dance floor. We are expressing ourselves but the way we express ourselves is shaped by the expression of all the other dancers in the room. We express ourselves according to the room we have at the time. But at the same time everyone else is doing the same thing. So we all affect each other even as we express ourselves.
Over a slightly longer time period as we expand outwards more we connect with new ideas, new things to learn, new people to experience. We change as a result of these connections. We learn new things and how to do them, we learn how to dance with new people until the connection becomes firm (or we choose to let it go). When the connection is firm, the idea is a part of us, how to do a certain type of math problem, a new girlfriend or boy friend, knowing how to ride a bike. Or we are part of a new idea. And so we express the new idea, radiating outwards from its center as well as out own.
Ideas dance amongst each other constantly, learning themselves and expressing themselves in different combinations then resting to be themselves so that they can reconnect again.
Center is the heart of the idea, the source of information, the point from which energy radiates. When Ideas connect and become part of a bigger idea they create a new center. Sharing a center the transmission of energy between ideas is instantaneous because they are part of a single idea, a bigger idea. When ideas connect without creating a new center then energy moves from one center to the other.
Expressing ourselves we send energy outwards from our center so that other centers of consciousness can pull that energy inwards.
We also listen and allow the expression of what is around us to flow into our center. Like gravity pulling towards the center of the earth. Conscious of the energy that is being expressed around us we change and we grow.
And conscious of what is within us we shape the energy of our own expression.
Resting, we pull inwards from all of the ideas into the idea of ourselves so that we can rest and look inwards across time at the way we have expressed ourselves.