An Attentive Walk & Talk


An Attentive Walk & Talk

Christine Ruffolo


In an unassuming day in July 2022, I attended a workshop entitled “The Musicality of Being” in Washington DC.  It was lead by Seth Dellinger, a Feldenkrais practitioner with a story so wild I’m not going to touch upon it here.  That is for him to discuss.  We met at a picnic shelter in Rock Creek Park.  One person had experienced it before.  The rest of us had not.

If I remember right there were five of us (plus Seth).  We walked into the woods, veered off the path and stood in a spot that was mostly clear of brush.  He talked a bit about light.  We noticed what he mentioned and then noticed things ourselves.  We paired with another participant and talked about what we saw as we walked for a while.  There was an easy pause as we telepathically decided who would speak first.  Once we started, we rarely stopped.  Directed conversation turned to personally curious.  We wanted to know, so we asked and listened.

When we got to the next clearing, Seth talked about space.  We paired with another person and shared our perspective.  I spoke of the interesting distance between the pairs.  They spoke of trees, and feet.  I learned about them.  People like being asked about sincerely.  How easy it is to open up to a non-threatening stranger.  

This pattern repeated with focal points of Sound, Ground, and Breath.  Each more intimate.  Each less and less guarded.  It was just a walk in the woods.  But the simple communion of walking beside someone was immensely pleasing.  Secrets were shared.  Silence didn’t stifle.  There was a mini-mourning when we had to leave who we had partnered with.  There was that particularly special one we hoped we’d get back to.

It was a workshop about the senses in which you got to slow down, get comfortable, be heard, be received: everything we need and everything present cultural society makes difficult to get.  It was just a walk in the woods, “noticing things outside for the first time, in a park”, but it was the felt connection that made it feel so truly special and enlightening.


What are you paying attention to and how are you paying attention to it?


It was an experience in engineering a relationship in extraordinarily safe setting.


The questions it left me with:

What do you absorb by being?

What do you absorb by doing?

What do you understand by saying?

What do you understand by feeling?





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