Is participant experience relevant?
It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.
Physical trust needed
Mental trust needed
30 minutes – 60 minutes
Experience level of the facilitator
self explanatory, no experience needed
Number of facilitators
--space for everyone to sit on the floor in a circle. Sitting at a table is also possible.
CHARACTER OF THE METHOD
Level of activationneutral
-Each of us offers a wealth of resources, whether or not we feel that way.
Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?
From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:
The Creative Uncommons is a fun exercise that generates a pool of ideas that can be used to support a variety of other creativity exercises. Participants are led through sense memories, write phrases on slips of paper, and pool them into a sort of database that can be drawn from later.
ALTERNATIVE NAME OF THE METHOD
Collective Unconcious, Creative Commons, Collective Uncommons, Creating from Love, Creating from the Heart
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
The purpose is to generate source material that can serve as inspiration for new ideas and fresh perspectives.
This method was developed at the Art Monastery.
Standing Meditation ~ less than 5 minutes
Stand facing the center of the circle and feel your feet connect with the ground. Imagine the bottoms of your feet opening to the earth and the earth's energy flowing up through your legs. Imagine the earth's golden glittering healing expansive energy flow through and around your legs, spiraling up through your body and into your heart. Your heart falls open, warm and relaxed. The energy continues spiraling upward and reaches out through the top of your head. As the top of your head opens, the sky's energy pours down into your head, flowing down through your heart, through your body, through and around your legs, through the bottoms of your feet and into the ground.
Take a few breaths like this, relaxing as you stand shimmering between earth and sky.
PREPARATION (excluding materials)
Put a pile of papers and a few different color markers in front of each participant.
1 Heart Memory
Bring your awareness to your heart and chest area. If you feel comfortable, close your eyes. If you'd rather keep your eyes open, cast your gaze toward the floor. Imagine that you are breathing into and out of your heart. Bringing all your attention to your heart, internally ask your heart for a memory of love. Allow any memory of love to arise. It can be divine love, parental love, love of a pet, love of a child, romantic love, friend love, love of nature... really any kind of love at all. If the memory that arises surprises you, stay with it, and feel for the love in that memory. You will not be asked to share the memory. Allow it to be whatever it is.
Savor this memory for a moment and when you are ready, sit down.
2 Scent Memory
Once everyone is seated, reconnect with your heart and with the memory that your heart offered you. Allow a fragrance to arise. It can be a scent that is connected to that memory or "randomly" arises. Write down 1 or 2 descriptions as 2- to 3-word phrases encapsulating that scent (for example, freshly mowed grass, salty ocean air, or melting butter), one scent per piece of paper. Write in big letters that fill most of the paper.
3 Sound Memory, Touch Memory, Taste Memory, Visual Memory
When everyone is done writing, close your eyes if you like and return to your heart. Reconnect with the memory, allowing it to well up around you, becoming ever more vivid. Allow a sound to emerge. It can be a sound that is happening within the memory or whatever sound arises in your mind right now. Write down 1 or 2 sounds described in 2- to 3-word phrases, one sound per piece of paper. You can use different color markers if you like.
Repeat for the senses of touch, taste, and sight.
For taste, it can be a flavor that is happening within the memory or whatever taste arises in your mind right now.
For sight, it can be a color, a quality of light, or simply something that strikes you in the visual field.
4 Completion & Response
Take a few breaths in silence before ringing a bell to denote the end of the creation of the Creative Uncommons. Ask all the participants to put all of their pieces of papers face up on the floor in the center of the circle so that they are all legible. Walk slowly in a circle and read all of the sense memories in silence.
You can go directly into a creative exercise by offering to participants that they can choose 3 pieces of paper -- not limited to their own! Then give them 15 minutes to go off on their own and create a 3-minute performance to share with the rest of the group when you re-gather. Use your 3 slips of paper as elements to incorporate or take inspiration from for your performance.
If there is a particular problem or topic you are working with, the performances can center around that, while also involving the three sense memories.
The performances can be silent or not, involve props and costumes or not.
Or you can simply gather up all the papers and put them into a treasure box, naming this the Creative Uncommons, and inviting anyone at any time to pull one at random to use as an inspiration springboard.
5 Taste Memory
When everyone is done writing, close your eyes and return to your heart. Reconnect with the memory, allowing it to well up around you, becoming ever more vivid. Allow a taste to emerge. It can be a flavor that is happening within the memory or whatever taste arises in your mind right now. Write down 1 or 2 touch memories described in 2- to 3-word phrases, one flavor per piece of paper.
6 Visual Memory
When everyone is done writing, close your eyes and return to your heart. Reconnect with the memory, allowing it to well up around you, becoming ever more colorful. Allow a visual element to emerge. It can be a color, a quality of light, or simply something that strikes you in the visual field. Write down 1 or 2 visual memories described in 2- to 3-word phrases, one sight per piece of paper.
The harvesting is contained within the exercise as the pile of papers in a treasure box.
Trainers for this method can be hired here:Art Monastery Project artmonastery.org