living on the ground


A few months ago I moved to the city and into a house that I share with others. In the past, when living in a yurt, I experimented with living closely to the ground. I was motivated/happy to live like this again. So, with no bed and no chair, I made a sober ground dwelling space with some comfy carpets and blankets.

Oh before you read on, when I was writing this note I listened to this.

One of the reasons I am moving closer to the ground is because I believe that more diverse movement has the ability to promote health/growth. Changing my environment in a way where modern comforting tools like chairs or beds are absent, makes me sleep and sit in none usual ways. Ways that promote more diverse movement patterns.

I am sure that for many being chairless is less comfortable, certainly in the beginning. Especially when a life long one has practiced chair sitting. Plenty of elderly people can not find their way back to the ground. One major reason is because during their lifetime they hardly welcomed their bodies to the ground.

One way to look at this is that we tend to leave behind the behaviours/movements we learned during earlier life stages. Like sitting down on the ground as a kid whilst playing with toys, or laying down on one's belly, when reading or solving a puzzle. One tends to abandon these movements, instead of integrating these patterns in our way of life. Maybe to find these movements something lesser, or judged childish thus conflicting with one's idea of the behavioural pallet of a grownup.

Another way to look at it is that we feel like gaining efficiency or comfort when introducing chair or other related technology. But comfort is like many other things, relational. The comfort is not solely determined by the chair itself. Comfort can be seen as one of the qualities that arise out of the relationship itself. A relationship that is not solely determined by the properties of the chair but also by one's physical capabilities. The chair itself is rather static, but one's physical abilities are malleable and can be trained/cultivated/grown. So when one wants to raise comfort, one could find a more comfortable chair or one could focus on cultivating more comfort from within, by becoming physically more capable.

The end result, whether choosing chair or ability, leads to the same result of increased comfort. The path towards it is different though. The choice of chair sitting leads to dependence, whilst the other leads to becoming more capable and thus independence. When becoming more capable, the experienced comfort is coming from one's own ability and not so from the chair/technology. One could say that with practice and over time the comfort will be in oneself and not in the chair.

On contrary of sitting in a chair, cultivating this physical ability does take initial effort. This effort of sitting will overtime become more easy. It is an investment that renders you more instead of less, with more freedom to sit comfortably anywhere, not bound to a chair.