How this came about: I was walking around in Oakland and I read a sandwich board sign with a bunch of workshop titles. I thought it said Making Your Plant Meditate. I thought that would be cool and funny. It was Making Your Plant Medicine, but I decided to see if there was interest for the Plant Meditation workshop anyway.
When I went to drop off the zine with the event outline in it, Justin Carder of E.M. WOLFMAN asked me if I wanted to host a workshop and I was like yeah, ok, makes sense. Surrogate Plants Provided By Oakland.Secret
I had this idea that I would invite some people to perform in between exercises pieces 10-15 minutes long. This was my first event like that and I’m grateful for the people who worked with me on this and to Ben Unger for sound engineering the event.
above is a still from the only visual documentation from the event @movementstudy on Instagram: “performed some movement to accompany some sounds at plant meditation workshop hosted by @katcountiss 2day 🌱”
E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore
410 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612
Saturday, March 18th, 2:30-4:30pm
Suggested Donation $5-$10 (proceeds to artists)
Commemorative workbook for sale
We are thrilled to host the first Making Your Plants Meditate workshop, featuring live performances by Plant Meditators
NEW TO PLANT MEDITATION?
Do plants meditate? Do they want to meditate? Do they want? Plant meditation is a highly speculative field and we will begin to explore through mindfulness and experimentation.
OUTLINE OF THE WORKSHOP
A condensed version of the 6-week course, this workshop aims to begin the process of creating a practice between human attendees and plants that expands definitions and liberates paradigms– with a focus on sound and language.
Bring your plant. Surrogate plants will also be available.
We start on time, so please arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Below is the copy from the zine that can be used for future workshops and you can try it at home!
roots shoots stems leaves stamen anthers ovules fruits flowers seeds nodes stomatas veins buds axils pedicels bracts bracteoles sepals petals perianths tepals corollas hypanthiums nectaries androceiums gynoeciums filaments pistils stigmas pollens styles alates bark branches bulbs cladodes corms cuticles lenticels prickles rhizomes scandents piths stolons tendrils thorns tubers petioles and stipules
Draw your companion plant
Draw an imaginary plant
Group Exercise: Calming – Focus: thought and disassociation
Goals: Through language ~ creating new thoughts ~ repetition leading to clarity
- List seven words/phrases on the tear-offs.
- Tear them off and take one of them and pass the rest to your left
- Pick one from the pile you receive and pass to the left
- Repeat until you have seven word/phrases
- Say them out loud or silently, repeat through a specified time duration (ex. 1 min, 5 min, 10 min).
- Mix them up and find the order that resonates with you.
Exercise: Listening and Consent – Focus: friendship
Goals: By practicing patience, gentleness and consent, we become better companions. By listening through different devices, our perceptions shift, creating room for new paradigms.
- Focus on the plant. Feel its presence. Can you receive? Does it want to be engaged with you? Let’s practice “no”s. Pretend you received a “no” biev. That’s fine. Look down, bow, and back away slowly.
- Focus on the plant. Feel its presence? Proceed to attach a contact microphone (or some other device you would like to use). Observe its textures and sounds.
Exercise: B. e . a . t . – Focus: Rhythm and Energy
Goals: Using time intervals, we create boundaries like play pens. We are able to explore a kind of controlled carefreeity in this newfound space.
- Listen to some tracks with beats, or no beats.
- Feel time passing in these measured intervals.
- Imagine using these set times again and again. What would you do?
- Write out some times, perhaps use the minutes and seconds that you’ll do something on piece(s) of paper.
- Write out something that you’ll do. Shout, whisper, speak, read, play, dance, feel.
Exercise: Scales and Scores- Focus: Map to Ritual
Goals: With materials and elements listed, we may dream how they fit together on a page using fresh notation systems/ text/ graphic/ etc.
- Brainstorm some elements: mood, time, spectrum (scale, what do you want to use to create a variety of a thing?), materials, spatial exploration
- Create a time duration and consider using a time grid or another way to notate time.
- Plot out what you want to happen when.
- Try it out. Feel free to write parts for other people in the workshop.
Exercise: Observation -Focus: memory
Goals: We experince the world every day. Taking notes allows what we perceive through are senses to marinate as we experience other things. Writing is a way of seasoning how we move through memory.
- What have you been thinking about lately? Take this ten minutes to write it out. Let yourself observe yourself without editing (you can do that later).
- (Later) Review what you’ve written and lightlyte what seems worth thinking about some more.
Exercise: Create Your Own Experiments – Focus: Process
Goals: Scientists use experiments to develop their understanding of change over time. Allow yourself to wonder about what if. By approaching experiments in a minimalist mindset (aka doing something boring) you might find ideas come to you in that calmness.
- List out contexts for your practice. Consider: materials, action, proof of concept, variables, duration, theme, role models, allies, and a deadline.
zinemypm <- read this for the bios of the musicians for the March 18th workshop and thanks again to E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore in Oakland, CA. The audio has been unedited. The creaking you’ll hear is from the rustic floorboards. Featuring: Dani Robison, c a a s i l k, Dan Gottwald, Cassidy Barnes, and Elana Chavez.