To rebuild connection between all peoples through mutually created movement of Sword, Body, and Soul, inviting deep dialogue with the Other and a greater understanding of the Self.
A core idea that underpins all of Flowing Dragon Swords is that all people are born with a deep urge to connect. As babies, all of us are born into the world with no understanding of it. Everything around us is unfamiliar and new, but we reach out to connect with that babe-like wonder. There is no judgement or prejudice held by a baby, and thus our early experiences are pure, open, honest observations of what is. It is this state of genuine connection that Flowing Dragon Swords aspires to reawaken.
As we grow older and gather experiences- both good and bad- they begin to inform our Dragons. These Dragons are the parts of our psyche that whisper whether that we are either better than or less than others. They make predictions, anticipate the likely outcome of potential encounters, and either encourage or discourage us. These Dragons are created from our internal dialogue, based either on our own experiences or from the influence passed on to us by society. While sometimes useful for keeping us alive, these cautions can undermine our ability to live. These biases and prejudices can interfere with our ability to connect to people in that moment. We connect with the person not as they are, but as our Dragons suspect they will be. We want to be able to acknowledge and make peace with those Dragons. We want to have a choice in whether we listen to them or allow ourselves to have a fresh experience that comes from a deep, genuine connection.
Flowing Dragon Swords seeks to offer opportunities to practice this as part of the game. It encourages players to reflect on their play in order to learn more about how they connect. Gradually, these realizations made during play can suggest different approaches of how to connect with people. This can carry over into our everyday lives, helping us rebuild connection.
Mutually Created Movement
Flowing Dragon Swords is a game without winning or losing. As the primary rule of the game, both players agree that they will attempt to maintain contact between themselves and their swords. This is an act of cooperation and intended to be without hierarchy. There is no designated “leader” or “follower” in FDS as there is in dance. Each player has an equal share of power in the game. It doesn’t matter if one person is bigger or stronger. It doesn’t matter if someone has been playing for 20 years or 20 minutes. Both players throughout the game may find themselves ‘more leading’ or ‘more following’, but these roles are not prescribed and may shift in the flow of play.
Flowing Dragon Swords discourages pre-planning what we will do next, or trying to get our partner to do something specific. The intent of Flowing Dragon Swords is to meet and connect with each other as equals. Our Dragons often encourage us to put ourselves into some sort of rank, suggesting that we are better than or worse than other people. But while playing FDS we are seeking to quiet those egoic thoughts as we reach to be present and open with our partners and remain in connection throughout the game. While we might be well-intentioned in instigating what we think would be cool or interesting or fun, FDS recognizes that those thoughts tend to come from an egoic and self-focused place. It is disconnected from the connection we are sharing with our partner.
We want the inspiration of our movements to come not from our ego but from the connection itself. There are all sorts of opportunities to be explored if we’re deeply listening to what is happening between us. A unique individual connects with a unique individual, creating a third unique thing. The movement is mutually created by the totality of ‘us’- our Swords, Bodies, and Souls- and is something that neither one of us could create without the other because it comes from the wholeness of the moment that we are sharing together.