Body Map Place and Time The environment should be neutral, free of distractions, protected from interruptions or disturbances, and completely secure in terms of privacy. At least an hour should be available, though some may wish to take longer. There should be no sense of rushing. Paper and markers Each person will need a very large piece of paper—longer and wider than one's body. Rolls of packaging paper are available in office supply stores. If need be, cut open and paste or tape together grocery bags. Each person should have available a generous selection of colored markers and highlighters. Reader It is best to have a reader to pose the questions. Other than the reader's voice, there should be no sound. The reader should read in at a relaxed pace with an emotionally neutral tone, repeating many or all of the questions, and always repeating questions as requested by participants. No emphasis should be placed on any question or aspects of any question. Generous pauses are required while participants ponder and respond to questions. However, the process should not lag. Preparing the map Each participant should lie down, flat on his or her back, on the blank paper; a helper or co-participant then draws the outline of the outstretched body. [Paper can also be taped on a wall and the outline drawn with the participant standing.] Then, each participant should find a 'place' that is completely comfortable and affords complete privacy. When all outlines are complete, participants should stand or sit quietly at the feet of their outlines, facing each her or his own map. BODY MAP SCRIPT What you are observing is an impression of the space in which you live, experience all your life, and feel what you know about yourself. With this map, you can locate the hands that touch, the lips that smile, the eyes that are portals of visions, ears that listen and fail to listen—as well as secret places, inner images, unspoken and unexpressed realities and sensations, and the infinite, involuntary life-processes you experience. This is a map of your body. [* pause] Along the edge of your map, write the names that were given to you when you were born. [*] The names you have written you did not choose. You may now enjoy renaming yourself. Would you like to call yourself by a different name? If so, allow a name to appear in your imagination now. Write that name elsewhere on the edge of your map. [*] The sun illuminates an area of your body. Where is that area? Draw the sun on that area. [*] The moon illuminates an area of your body. Is it a full moon, half moon, crescent moon? Where is the moon? Draw the moon. [*] I am going to utter four phrases in a moment. I want you to listen to each of these phrases carefully, and then I want you to select the phrase that announces itself to you as the phrase to be placed somewhere on your map. If there is more than one phrase, you may write it also. Are you ready? Here are the phrases: I am EARTH, I am AIR, I am FIRE, I am WATER. Which phrase did you choose to write? I am EARTH, I am AIR, I am FIRE, I am WATER. [*] I am going to utter six phrases in a moment. I want you to listen to each of these phrases carefully, and then I want you to select the phrase that announces itself to you as the phrase to be placed somewhere on your map. If there is more than one phrase, you may write it also. Are you ready? Here are the phrases: I am BRASS, I am CLAY, I am COPPER, I am GOLD, I am IRON, I am SILVER. Which phrase did you choose to write? I am BRASS, I am CLAY, I am COPPER, I am GOLD, I am IRON, I am SILVER. [*] Allow your imagination to bring to you now an object made of BRASS, CLAY, COPPER, GOLD, IRON, or SILVER. You may have more than one object made of more than one material. What is this object and where is it on or near your body? Draw the object. What is the message of this object? Write the message upon, around, or near the object. [repeat] [*] There is a garden in your body. Where is that garden? What is its shape? What grows in it? Draw the garden. There is a special flower growing in the garden. What is its color? Draw the flower. What is its name? The flower has a message for you. What is the flower's message? [*] Please poise yourself at the feet of your body map. You may choose to crouch as if you might spring upon or lunge toward the map. An animal inhabits the element of earth, air, or water in your body. Be spontaneous in responding to these questions. Ready? There is an animal of earth, air, or water in your body. What is the animal? Where does it live? What is the animal's name? This animal has the gift of speech, and it speaks to you. What does the animal say to you? This animal has a magic power that it brings to you. What is that gift? Does the animal have a song or a chant? What is the animal's song or chant? There is a second animal of earth, air, or water in your body. What is the animal? Where does it live? What is its name? This animal also speaks and speaks to you. What does the animal say to you? This animal has a magic power that it brings to you. What is that gift? Does this animal have a song or a chant? What is the animal's song or chant? [*] There is a city with a wall in your body. Where is that city? What is its shape? Draw the wall. What is the city's name? The city has a ruler. What is the ruler's name? What is the song that is sung to the ruler? What is the motto of the city? The city has flag. Draw and place the flag of the city using the colors of the city. SHORT BREAK if desired—without conversation among participants. First, for female participants, there is a man who lives in your body. What is his name? Where does he live? What does he say to you? And for male participants, there is a woman who lives in your body. What is her name? Where does she live? What does she say to you? [repeat] [*] Please imagine now that you are looking at an ordinary comic strip with a character speaking words enclosed in a bubble or balloon extending from that character's mouth. Draw now a bubble-balloon extending out from the mouth of your body. In a moment you are going to place some of your own words inside it by answering a question. Are you ready? Please respond to this question spontaneously without censoring or editing. What was it you did not say to someone once that you truly wanted to say but did not? [repeat] [*] There is a zone or place on your body where there is darkness right now. Outline your hand over this place. What does your hand have to say to this place? Write your response inside the hand. [*] There is a zone or place on your body where there is light right now. Outline your hand over this place. What does your hand have to say to this place? Write your response inside the hand. [*] At the end of your legs are your feet and toes. Your toes have a message for you. What is the message of your toes? [*] What part of your body is most mysterious to you? Mark that place with an X. What do you think is going on there? [*] There are nine portals of the body. Cultural or family traditions have assigned names to these portals: eyes, ears, nose, mouth, genitals, anus. You may now spontaneously re- name any or all of these. Do you choose to rename and of them now? Write down the new name or names. [*] Some of these portals of your body send messages. What are these messages? To whom are they being sent? Some of these portals of your body receive messages. What are these messages? What messages do they want to receive? [*] Shade the area around your navel, the place of your umbilical link with your mother. What is the message of this place? [*] There is another walled city in your body that is an enemy to the city you have already drawn. Where is this enemy city? What is its shape? Draw its wall. What is the name of this enemy city? This city has a ruler. What is the ruler's name? What is the song that is sung to the ruler? What is the motto of the city? Draw and place the flag of the enemy city using the colors of the city. [*] A road or path connects the two cities in your body. Is it a direct or circuitous route? Draw the road or path. SHORT BREAK if desired—without conversation among participants. There is a key in your body. What size is the key? Where is the key? Draw the key. What is the name of the key? What does the key open? [*] Is there a young boy in your body? Where is the boy? What is the boy's obsession? [*] Is there a young girl in your body? Where is the girl? What is the girl's obsession? [*] Is there an old man in your body? Where is the old man? Write what the old man knows. [*] Is there an old woman in your body? Where is the old woman? Write what the old woman knows. [*] An invisible companion has accompanied you throughout this body-map experience. Where do you feel the companion is present? What is your companion's name? What does your companion have to say to you now? [*] The perimeter of your body is pulsating with a color or colors, a message, or a chant. Shade the perimeter of your body with the color, message, or chant. [*] Are there any other images that arise from your imagination that you wish to place anywhere on your body map now? [*] You have now completed your body map. Sit back and rest. Very shortly, you will roll up your map and take it away with you. For a moment, contemplate the colors, words, and images you have mapped. You have answered many questions and perhaps left other questions unanswered. What you now see are the images that have presented themselves to you. The body map is a personal and private exercise with the purpose of enhancing your awareness. Please treat these images with respect. When we adjourn, please do not discuss any specific details of your map with any other participants. It is recommended that you discuss this experience with no one until you have had some time to let your own process work its way. There are many possibilities for expanding and extending the patterns that have emerged on your map. You may wish to do so in any number of art forms or study.
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