The activities is set (e.g. in a square situated in the historic centre of the city) as a starting point.
The adults are invited to explore the space of the square; in different phases of the experience, the attention was focused on different parts of the body (e.g. feet, head) and its functions (breathing).
Here are the directions to give them:
- Choose a place to go to and observe the surrounding environment and your perceptions.
- Spend 20 minutes on the spot, either sitting, standing or walking alone. With open or closed eyes
The participants are invited to use the following questions to help focus their attention:
- What do you hear?
- What do you smell?
- What can you touch or what kind of tactile sensations do you recognize around you?
- What about taste?
- What do you see?
- Do the sensory perceptions come from somewhere near you or have they travelled from afar?
- How does your body respond to your sensorium as a whole?
- What about your mind?
- Feelings, memories, associations?
- Are they personal/individual, or can they be understood as part of the broader cultural context?
- Are they related to your field of ways of making sense of the world?
After this first phase, the participants are asked to write down and draw what they had experienced on a sheet of paper.
Art-based methods (Leavy, 2017) produce presentational knowing that opens up new possibilities of reflection and reflexivity.
Stories and drawings show the complexities of our perceptions, emotions and cognition.
The participants are invited to develop their own aesthetic sensitivity through the method of composition, i.e. they are asked to choose how they want to put words, signs, gestures and images together.
This form of knowledge operates on multiple levels – corporeal, linguistic, semantic and symbolic – and by adjusting on the white page the elements and relationships that give meaning to the experience of the previous phase.
Finally, the participants explore new possibilities of orienting themselves toward the future through the increase of their body sensitivity, the ability to sense and name differences and share knowledge in groups.
Ask them to connect what they had experienced in the previous phases with their questions, doubts or desires about the future and, in general, about their past and present life.
The dialogue became an embodied, living space of inquiry where the participants were encouraged to reflect on the conversation and the resonance associated with this talk.
The process evoked new insights into the original experience, connecting aspects of the self which they were previously unaware.