I met a fascinating person today. We met concerning my new and evolving Executive Creative Leaders‘ Performance coaching.
It was a long meeting; time flew by since the conversation was an absolute joy, and time flies when you’re having fun. But there was much more than fun in that meeting. There was nostalgia, memory, sadness, listening, questioning, advice, acceptance, and Openness. Mainly I was changed by that conversation. My perspective on life changed.
From a two hours meeting? Yes, from a two hours meeting. Because as Barak can tell you, when there’s active listening and genuine interest in the person in front of you, something extraordinary happens in the “Ma.”
“Ma (間) is a Japanese word that can be roughly translated as “gap,” “space,” “pause,” or “the space between two structural parts.”
In Japanese, ma, the word for space, suggests interval. It is best described as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision.
Ma is not something that is created by compositional elements; it is the thing that takes place in the imagination of the human who experiences these elements. Therefore ma can be defined as an experiential space understood with emphasis on interval.” Roughly translated to English from the original Hebrew. Jacob Raz’s book – Zen Buddhism – Philosophy and Esthetics.
I call it simply energetic space, a concept I’ve been working with for many years since my Butoh dance years, through the reinvention of what circus could be until today, as you can see.
When you meet a person for the first time, there is a space between you and that person. You never met before, and in the first instance of a meeting, there are what we call first impressions. You both have that. So there are two first impressions. In that space between you, there is energetic information beyond your grasp. Memories, feelings, and thoughts are buried deep in your subconscious.
As time passes, you sit down, talk, drink, eat, and every movement informs the Ma. If there is active listening while getting to know each other, you put things into the Ma that change the space, and energetically, the more time passes, you change with it.
We speak and react intuitively. We also think of what we say and how we respond, but ultimately what happens in such a meeting is an improvisation between two people who did not know each other and now do to a certain extent.
So the Ma is slowly filled up with information. Both verbal, knowledge, and energetical as well. The feelings flood you as you speak of common acquaintances, people you may have lost, coincidences, and the small world we all live in, the different and the common… All these flud the Ma and create a space filled with emotion and the excitement of creating that space between you.
Creating a circus show or the reality of your life builds spaces for people to observe, inhabit, be together in, or be isolated… Being aware of the spaces you co-create is of vital importance.
Paying attention and actively listening enables the creation of new spaces and worlds for you and others to live in.
Memories are kept in spaces in your mind, associated with feelings that are now there. Forever.
The creative powers you have by just being with others are enormous; they should not be taken for granted.
Thank you, Barak, for our meeting today.