Partner/Trio Exploration – Sensing Form


This one is all about exploring being in relation with another. You could also practice while sitting next to a plant, near an animal, with a rock, etc. In this one, you will be taking some time to sense into yourself, and some time to sense into the life you are relating with. If you’ve never done this sort of thing before, it is probably easiest to start with a solo Body Scan.

Now, imagine a stereo system, with a speaker on the right and the left and a balance knob at your finger tips. In this exercise, when you turn the knob all the way to the right, you bring all of your noticing-listening-sensing to your body. When you turn the knob to the left you bring all of your noticing-listening-sensing to the life next to you.

If you are practicing with people, be near each other – siting, standing, laying down is all fine. You can but you do not have to mirror each other, nor be looking one another in the eye. Often times this is easier to start with eyes shut. It is most important that you are each in a position that works for you. If you’re in a trio, you will modify by adding an extra ’round’ of listing to another.

You will each fill out your sensing form about your own body. Even though you will have listened to other(s) – the idea of this exercise is to notice how being near this life, in this moment, has a reverberation effect in your own self.


1. Be sure to read the advisory notes about the sensing form before you begin (2 min read).

2. It is often helpful to set a timer. For the first round, pick a time that sounds doable/easy for you. 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc.

3. Do a self Body Scan – In this exercise you can imagine that you are shining a flashlight around different areas of your body – just to see what/if anything that you notice.

4. Again, set your timer – often it’s simple to use the same amount of time for each ’round’.

5. Sensing-listening-noticing Another – For this step you are not trying to ‘read the mind/see into the soul’ of this life. Rather, the goal is to look for neutral-esque aspects. Such as, can you hear their breathing? What sounds can you hear that are coming from them? Can you feel anything about their temperature? Can you smell anything about them? Do they seem asleep or wide awake? Do they seem damp or dry, or round or hard? Are they tense or jiggly? What else can you sense about them? I suggest doing this without ‘touch’ – use your other senses. I also suggest taking time to sense with your eyes open and with your eyes shut. That said, modify as it suits the group.

6. As you fill out the sensing form you might set yourself another timer. If only a few minutes feels doable/easy, you can allow yourself to leave some questions unanswered for this particular session.

7. When you fill out the sensing form, you may find that what you feel-notice is different than when you began, or that it changes as you move through the questions, or maybe you feel nothing. This is all normal.


Set your timer.
Fill in your sensing form:


Sensing Form.
1. Location
Where/do you notice a sensation that is ‘speaking up a bit louder’ than other areas?

For example, is it near your spine? On your skin? Behind you? In your belly area? Your brow area? A foot in front of you? Etc. Draw/Fill-in the location that seems to be closest to where you felt/feel this sensation.


2. Direction
Is this feeling staying perfectly still? Or is it moving just a little bit, or a lot – in this or that direction?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to the directionality of your feeling:
zig zag — upward — downward — every direction — spiraling — towards my center — away from my body — hovering in one place — …


3. Tempo/Speed
If this feeling is moving/vibrating, what speed does it move, on a scale of 0 = absence of movement – to – 10 = fastest movement you can imagine:
0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to the speed of your feeling:
frozen lake — old TV static — deer in headlights — gentle stream — storm winds/electric storm — dead or sleeping body — plants buds in spring — like a snail moves — pouring molasses — …


4. Other qualities of this movement/vibration?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
elevator — bike ride on bumpy street — stop-and-go traffic — ice skating — flopping — floating — lightening bolt — bungie jump — like falling boulders — person getting an electric shock — stubborn donkey — ‘good’-tingly — hum/buzz — rhythmic/arrhythmic — …


5. If you imagine/touch-feel this feeling or lean your weight on it, what is it like?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
plastic — concrete — mud — sandpaper — fog — elastic — wood — brittle — moist soil — fleshy — soft — coral-like — sparkling — fragile — solid –…


6. Flavor
If you could taste/imagine what it might taste like,
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
bitter — mellow — moldy — chocolate — metallic — warm — acidic — round –…


7. Color
Was there an element of color present in the feeling you are investigating?

Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
glitter-sparkling — like sunlight — black but with swirling streaks — like a shadow — red –…


8. Temperature
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
sauna — warm blanket — ice — refreshing/cool –…


9. Sounds/Words
Are/were there any internal sounds, words, or thoughts which seem to be related?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
oh! — noooooo! — erghhhh! — closer. — sigh. — yes! — shwooooooosh! — that way! — …


10. More?
Did you find any new realizations or did any remembered-realizations pop up for you?
Is there anything you found that feels important to remember (for today, this week, this month, etc)?
Did anything shift in how you understand/feel how your emotions-body-thoughts relate to each other?
Anything more?


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Try other prompts here. To talk with others about this, share some part of your experience, or what-have-you: Sensing Form Forum.

A similar style exercise to these Sensing Form Prompts – and a resource that has deeply helped me in my life and inspired my work – is E. Gendlin’s Six Steps/Focusing.