small but significant

This is a very brief visual piece of encouragement for myself just to see where the Bonobo experience is heading. I felt a sense of accomplishment and professionalism whilst re-editing the mailing list for nest festival.

Lots of loose ends tied

This is a very important video because I feel it really She lates a lot of what is happening right now. Building connections with other people to facilitate the bonobo experience has been a game changer. I am able to look at the work without being in it so I can see what needs to be improved and what works really well. I’m very grateful for the people that I’ve got on board and I look forward to equally sharing this experience with them. Psychedelic society workshop and stretch workshop both proved to be extremely successful.

I am convinced that together we will be able to run very successful retreats open up peoples perception around how we could live alternatively.

Loneliness more likely to affect young people http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43711606

Comment

CHIMP PANSY'S AND BONOBO HOMO'S WORKSHOP AT SUMMER STRETCH

chimp pansy's and bonobo homos what happened small group of chimps testing hyerarchiy numbers higher than you where more dominant king could fall and others could seek revenge loved seeing Maevon take the bonobos though the experience.

Opening up and bringing others int has has given a new voice to the bonobo experience. The space it provided for me to see this work from a new perspective was a joy. I saw Maevon the co-facilitator really explore where he could taking the bonobo’s on order for them to feel safe to grow. It has be the best thing to widen to bonobo experience. I am no longer along after the workshop finishes.

The Chimp workshop we tested in Suffolk was really worth doing as it gave me the beginning of the machanics for this workshop. The value of Suffolk is really baring its fruits. I was able to lead the chimps in an aggressive manner, each fighting for something, winning and losing power. The numbered tokens made it all possible.

Comment

Chimps &BonoBos workshop planning with Maevon

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It was very interesting developing ideas for the chimps and Bonobo’s workshop that is happening at the stretch festival.

It was very interesting developing ideas for the chimps and Bonobo’s workshop that is happening at the stretch festival.

I really enjoyed thrashing out the dynamics of how the workshop will play out. It was difficult at 1st to come up with the way in which the bonobos would all experience being chimps.

I really enjoyed thrashing out the dynamics of how the workshop will play out. It was difficult at 1st to come up with the way in which the bonobos would all experience being chimps.

I was really proud of how The both of us were able to adjust and say what we thought without offending the other and coming up with a really good solution to the dilemma of how we would stick to the program we had proposed.

Comment

Has my unit 2 presentAtion altered my direction?

I felt that my presentation was well received. I have to say I’m very excited with the questioning from the current first years.

lana asked several poignant questions that really investigated and the purpose of the Bonobo experience and how it can nourish people,But she seemed concerned about the level of touch and intimacy that people may receive that are nervous or somehow unable to access this work.

But she seemed concerned about the level of touch and intimacy that people may receive that are nervous or somehow unable to access this work.

I think what this has done is enable me to really investigate the after-care needed once participants have re-entered into an industrial hostile environment. I would expect I would need to create a space in which people can address issues of loneliness and isolation in a safe environment.

As for the presentation itself I will shorten the video and introduce visuals of the bonobos prior to my introduction.

Comment

DATES SET FOR THE BONOBO EXPERIENCE SPAIN

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This gives me an enormous sense of consolidation. All of the pieces of the work, data collection, testing the workshops and building the team has resulted in us having our first paid retreat.

BRISTOL PSYCHEDELIC SOCIETY THE BONOBO EXPERIENCE ( BEFORE & AFTER)

EXCITED AND AWARE OF DIFFERENT CROWD COMPARED TO CONSCIOUS SEXUALITY CROWD HAVE A VERY TAME EXPERIENCE

THE TIMING WAS HELPFUL ON THE PROGRAM

WE COULD EXTEND THE ACTIVITIES OR CUT THINGS SHORTED , GOOD EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH MARY. LEARNING TO ALLOW MORE SPACE WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL. EXTENDED THE MASSAGE TIME AS THIS FELT RIGHT AS THEY ADJUSTED FROM BONOBO TO HUMAN. SHARING CIRCLE USE TALKING STICK NEXT TIME SO THERE IS NO CROSS TALK.

VERY HAPPY THIS WENT SO WELL.

THE PSYCHEDELIC SOCIETY BRISTOL BONOBO WORKSHOP

It’s been really important for me to breakdown all the moving parts of a 4hr workshop. I have built up my confidence for this event by having a very tight plan. This can then have some flexibility within it.

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The bonobo experience                  14-4-2019 Bristol psychedelic society

Duration 4 hr  workshop

STARTS                                                                                                   5PM

 Introduction

Questionnaires                                                           10 mins                      5:10

 What is the bonobo experience

 Information cards                    

 Consent

 Hand signals                                                               25 mins                      5:35

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upside down face                                                       5 mins                        5:40

 Body language demo                                             5 mins                       5:50

----------------------------

Birthing ritual   15 mins              6:05pm

Grooming

Storm

Predator    20 mins                                                                               6:25

 Sleep           15mins                                                                             6:40

 ---------------------------                                                       

Wake

Food

Conflict

Abandonment/belonging    30 mins                                                         7:10pm

Sleep                                                                                15mins                     7:25                           

-----------------------------

 Foot washing ritual                                                    30 minutes             7:50

 Massage                                                                       40 minutes              8:30

 The closing circle                                                      20 minutes              8:50

 Questionnaire                                                              10 mins                     9pm

THE FIRST RETREAT REPORT

This is a report of the retreat in Suffolk. It contains the work done and it’s findings

The Bonobo Experience

Suffolk 21st -24th march                    REPORT

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST EVENING

 

People slowly arrived and I felt that the venue was very conducive for the retreat. We had an evening meal together and watch a film. This film was called BONOBO and the premise was people living together in a way that was that of the Bonobo. It seemed to be enjoyed by all and gave people an insight into the retreat proper.

 

The following morning we had a sharing circle to ground people and allow them to voice anything that was present for them. This went well, it was noticed that Mario wasn’t going to be very vocal throughout the retreat.

 

CHALLENGE Initially I found it hard to read Mario, was he ok with what we where planning? Was he here because he wanted to be? It turned out that he is very shy and didn’t want to speak much thought-out the retreat. This was a challenge because I was unable to gauge whether he was consenting to the activities or not.

 

 

 

DAY 1

FOOTPLAY

 

The first activity was FOOT PLAY. Each person was asked to move their hands and their feet simultaneously. This process enabled them to begin to unify the hands and feet. This was very successful and people started to get into the activity. We wanted to participants to begin to imagine having four hands.

 

We used our feet to draw on large pieces of paper. They really got into this, one participant said they where struggling to use there right foot, but when they switched their left foot was able to write joined up. He determined that he was in fact left footed.

 

BREAKTHOUGH

This was a success and would be used again as an icebreaker.

·      We talked about having a foot bathing ritual further down the line on the retreat proper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARS AMARDI

 

This exercise encourages people to connect physically. This technique was used in LARP live action role-play. It was designed to allow gamers to engage and fake sex. This is a safe was for players to feel intimacy whilst not having real sex.

 

 

Overall this exercise was very helpful in bonding the group in a gentle manner.

 

Things learnt

·      Have a poster that communicates to areas of touch

·      Have to tap out rules on the poster

·      Make it clear that the chest isn’t to touch, and hands most remain high on the breast bone

 

Feedback

·      Fadaus found this experience challenging but was ok when eyes where closed.

 

THE BONOBO BIRTH (LEVEL 1)

 

This was the first time I had participated in a proper birth; I was able to engage with the rest of the bonobos in a way that served as stewardship for the group. I was confident to get deep into the experience to help facilitate to play. I was so happy to how the facilitators were running the experience and it gave me such pleasure to know that I had passed the work on to others. I feel safe knowing that this work can exist without me.

 

Feedback

Leopard

·      Valued this experience of playing as a bonobo however he did sometimes feel his rational mind say ‘this is stupid on a number of occasions.

 

·      MY RESPONSE, This could be helped in the future by explaining that this may happen and to acknowledge that voice and then going back in to play.

 

·      He was very moved by the womb experience in the exercise and it sent him into a deep calm trance. And loved the was he could connect with others and be together though touch

 

·      Getting close to people in a non-verbal physical way. He feels his relationship with these people has in fact deepened

 

·      He expressed how he was able to be with a touch people he may not usually connect with outside the retreat

 

·      The group sleep at the end was profound as it connected him to the tribe

 

·      Enjoyed a controlled environment to explore touch and get challenged

 

·      Beyond this retreat he will approach people with a deep sense of care and holding, a greater sense of gentleness

 

Fadaus

·      He enjoyed to playfulness of bonobos but felt sad that his neck was hurting, this made him feel lonely and left out, but he was happy to be together with the other bonobos

·      Pretending to be a bonobo enable me to step beyond my usual boundaries in a safe and playful way

·      Bonobos are what people could be. Queer people are moving it to this way of being. To love and connect, where everyone is looking after everyone else

 

 

DAY 2 MORNING

 

CHIMP AND BONOBO TEST WORKSHOP

 

This was an opportunity to develop the idea of having people switch from chimp culture to bonobo culture as a way to compare. The three of us facilitated this workshop. We established a space for bonobos and a space for chimps. The chimps where in a small and hot room. The bonobos had space and could lounge around.

 

The chimp space was about power aggression on one upmanship. We used tokens to denote who was higher in rank. This worked well and we soon worked out that the was to dominate was though high, the Dom being the highest physically and by pointing and eye contact.

 

It was difficult to use chimp culture to display aggression without using physical touch; we wanted to avoid pushing or pinching. I proposed that people offer up some of their mild pet hates or triggers. This seemed to work well and we soon began to verbally oppress one another.

 

BREAKTHROUGH It was very important that a facilitator is able to build the dynamic, as it got chaotic at times.

 

Later on they used a wig to denote the most powerful chimp. This seemed to create a real sense of fun between the group.

 

FEEDBACK

 

Fades

·      Really enjoyed the chimp wig game as it enabled him to explore dominant power safely. He was also enjoying being bullied by the rest when he was the chimp with least power.

·      Physical touch was difficult but good, going forwards connection with others will be easier

 

Stinky doggie

·      Noticed how affected he was when he was being oppressed via homophobic verbal taunts

 

Kafuffle

·      Was worried about how his anger might surface if he was bullied, but found these experience to be of value

 

 

BONOBO SPACE NEXT DOOR

 

The bonobo space turned into a safe and held space to explore connection and touch. Bonobos had made tea for each other and where giving one another face massages. This will be encouraged for future retreats.

 

AFTERNOON CIRCLE OF LIFE

 

This workshop is based on a mother child life cycle. The Participants are split into two rooms. Room One has the expectant mothers waiting, going through the birthing process of contractions and labour.

 

Room tow is dark with wombs or nests for the participants to go through the growing process. This happens over the course of around 15 minutes. When the young are born and the mothers have given birth the babies are bonded to the mothers by transferring them across to the mother’s room. Once they are together the mother cares for the child. The child grows and the mother gets old. The mother is then going to die and is held and cared for by the grown up offspring.

 

The previous mothers are then able to go into the birthing process as the young and the previous children are old enough to become pregnant mothers. Thus the process repeats.

 

NOTE

I found this workshop to be both wonderful and rough around the edged, which was good because we where testing it for the first time. 

 

There was talking in the mothers’ room, which for me broke the effect or experience of going deep. This was heard over in the birthing room.

 

Aside from this participants where really getting in to their roll as mothers and young and I could really feel a great sense of love and later loss for them.

 

This will become a workshop at a future retreat because to gets into some deep feeling for the people involved.

 

 

FEEDBACK

 

Lisa

·      Lisa initially found this to be very difficult and had to leave the room to process some personal issues before returning

·      Once she was a baby she could really bond with her mother and had a huge sense of warmth belonging and love

·      She was very pleased to have faced her fears and felt gratitude for the facilitators for there compassion and understanding

·      Honestly? I can't think of anything that needs improving. I've never experienced anything like it in my life, I was completely new to it, and it was one of the most fulfilling, incredible weekends of my life.

 

Mario

·      Mario was so happy to be a pregnant mother and was really able to come out of his shell and interact using humour

Fadaus

·      He has wanted to have a birthing experience for some time, as he had an uncomfortable birth in his real life. This experience really helped him heal some thing for him.

Stinky doggy

·      Found the birthing experience very claustrophobic and difficult, he was expecting it to be fluffy and warm

Kafuffle

·      He has a fear of death, this process was healing for him as he could process his life very quickly and the die, then to be born again as a child and grow was amazing for him

 

BONOBORGY

 

·      This is the final workshop for the retreat; because the participants have done lots of work together it’s an opportunity to go deeper into touch loving compassion and sexuality. It is a very gentle space that is helped by the facilitators. There is a circle first where I set the loving intention and talk about consent. Then there is a cosy space set up and carefully chosen music. This lasts 2hrs. Beyond this the space is opened and the fascinators carefully leave the space.

 

·      This raises some fears for one of the participants and the excluded themselves.

·      Another participant was scared about the name as the word orgy brought up some preconceived ideas. I explained that it was a gentle experience and the name was better suited to a festival setting rather that a retreat space.

 

RETREAT IMPROVEMENTS

 

·      Develop hand signals over retreat

·      Teach self care and self intimacy

·      More introduction clarity clam nerves in people

·      More own time processing time

·      Bonobo regular party

·      Repeat to circle of life twice with different mothers

 

 

Data from UCLA questionnaire

 

The following results are questions extracted from five participants from the UCLA loneliness scale. What is here are the questions that differ in respond to before the retreat and after.

 

Please see over sheet.

 

 

VARIOUS ANSWERS TO THE BONOBO EXPERIENCE QUESTIONNAIRE

 

1. What point in the workshop evoked the most positive emotion in you? Can you label        emotion?

Intense happiness, freedom and release. These emotions were felt during the birthing experience when I was 'born' and placed in my 'mother's' arms. My tempestuous birth and my Nanna's vision of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon at the moment I was expected to survive was a poignant theme for me during this experience. I felt like a caterpillar in a cocoon wrapped in blankets, and when I was carefully unwrapped and guided into my 'mother's' arms I felt like I had become the butterfly I'd always wanted to be. I also felt that I was allowed to start releasing some of the guilt I've felt over many years because of my birth and illnesses, and I felt a strong sense of belonging and acceptance that I had never felt before with new people. I also enjoyed the sense of calm in my head during the weekend, and this calmness has stayed with me.   

 

2. What point in the workshop evoked the most negative emotion in you? Can you label emotion?

Fear and panic. This was not due to any fault of the retreat leaders, it was because I knew I had to finally face some demons that I've been shutting away for years. This was before the birthing experience when the retreat leaders were explaining the routine of the exercise. Every part of the birthing experience, from birth to death, was going to trigger some intense emotions that I didn't think I could face, but with support from the leaders and others taking part in the retreat I found I could face them. This gave me a huge sense of relief and release. A friend told me recently, 'You can't heal what you can't feel', and I believe the retreat has kickstarted that healing process.

 

2. What point in the workshop evoked the most negative emotion in you? Can you label emotion?

Challenge around feeling like I’m action and not really feeling it

 

3. What point in the workshop brought you out of you comfort zone?

Feeling agression during the chimp workshop

Intimacy with certain others can feel awkward at first

 

6. What did you learn about yourself?

I was still triggered by the fear of aggression in a very safe space

 

8. How far will the workshop experience help you in your interactions with other?

The experience of gentleness + attention can only feed into this interactions quality

 

 

It seems that the chimp workshop evoke lots of real fears around aggression

Getting THE BONOBO EXPERIENCE ON RESEARCHGATE

This is a development for me. Now i have placed my work on the research gate as i am going to need to find a researcher who is willing to collaborate with me on this.

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