Societal Issues Targeted:
- Promoting human connection and understanding
- Creating more peace through greater connection
Everything i know about the life and universe is held inside of me. There is more, certainly, but i haven’t yet understood it, and so the entire universe i know is inside of me
When we look into the eyes of another we are gazing into another’s entire universe
– Andy at Focallocal
A gathering to invite people passing by to share a minutes eye contact and together to explore human connection and understanding.
Looking in someone’s eyes reminds us of our sense of shared humanity, and all the superficial differences between us – race, age, gender, choice of clothing, wealth, life style choices – disappear, reminding us that we are all on the same journey.
Dropped into these bodies and trying to understand our place on this equally beautiful and terrifying, confusing and exciting adventure of life we’ve been given. Our eyes show that inside we are far more alike than we can ever be different.
What do i need?
- a sign (see examples)
- something to sit on (two cushions/pillows/a blanket/yoga mat/cardboard square with ‘sit here’ written, etc)
- Relaxing music (optional)
- a 1 min timer (phones are fine)
Wet Weather Plan:
- Bring an umbrella
- Cushions not needed, it works great standing together under the umbrella
1. Make signs that invite someone passing to sit with you and share 1 minute of eye contact
2. Bring something that a member of public passing-by could sit on on (picnic rugs, 2 cushions)
3. Sit and wait calmly for members of the public to come and share a moment of eye contact with us. If someone looks interested go ahead and invite them, some people want to but are shy/nervous
4. Set a timer to avoid any chance someone might feel awkward not knowing if/when they should stop
5. Calmly look into the eyes of the other person in front of you. Don’t expect anything, just relax and see what comes
- Use the opportunity to reflect internally upon yourself and whether their age, gender, etc, would cause you to act a certain way around them. should it?
- Consider the other person, what can you read about their character from their eyes
- Imagine them as a young child or when they are elderly. The eyes will be the same.
- Reflect on humanity and life itself.
- Try to quiet your mind, become blank and think of nothing
- Match their breathing
- Imagine your heart filled with the light of love. Push that love energy out though your, maybe they can see or feel it. Maybe not. It’ll feel good anyway
- example signs
- countdown photos (thanks to Linda Donagan from Kind Ireland)
- background music
- how to poster/guides
Legal Stuff (how it worked out for us)
if the event gets really large you might get some attention from the police. In the UK you can apply for a Temporary Events Notice (a T.E.N) but personally i think the right for the public to gather in a public space and enjoy a positive activity is (and certainly should be) a protected human right. I have very rarely applied for one, and i’ve had a few discussions with the police but after i explain that its is simply a ‘gathering’ (not an ‘event’) of local people and a positive community event with no money being exchanged, the police have never made us stop. The worst you can expect is to be asked to move, which is really not too difficult
Special thanks to our Australian friends The Liberators International for popularising this wonderful idea globally