COVERT: A Handbook ~ Melanie Kloetzel & Phil Smith
Publication: January 2021
List Price: £12.50
Format: ~ Paperback - 110pp
Size: 14 x 21.6 cm
Tags: somatics; movement; movement meditation; walking arts; embodiment;
Buy the paperback (£12.50)
Through our ever-present handheld devices, we offer up our psyches like a candy store to the retailers and information moguls alike. Through their algorithms, they penetrate and systematically put to use our deepest fears, loves, aspirations and needs.
The algorithms seek to trick each of us into identifying with a reduced (or unduly inflated) image of ourself – leaving us uncertain, suspicious or dissatisfied.
As the algorithmic infiltration continues, it threatens that profoundly personal nexus where our hidden hopes and desires tentatively emerge from our unconscious mind. In its merciless effort to slip past our deliberate decision-making into the deepest corners of our being, it threatens even our dreaming.
Covert is about protecting and developing this process whereby our conscious self emerges from the unconscious. In short, it offers — through its 25 ‘movement meditations’ — a way for the emerging self to unfurl in a sheltered way, seeping into spaces of hidden potential throughout our bodies and connecting our inner selves with the wider world. Instead of letting invasive algorithms empty and capture our interior spaces for their own purposes, the Covert method allows and encourages us to safely re-permeate such spaces for our own elusive inner dance, cultivating the ‘wiggle room’ necessary for a more intuitive life and a more imaginative self.
Covert responds to three converging afflictions in society:
To address these challenges (amplified in the Covid-19 pandemic) this handbook compiles 30 ‘movement meditations’ that encourage readers to put down their phones and tablets to reclaim both an active and contemplative lifestyle, one that is highly integrated with, and inspired by, our surroundings.
Covert joins-up inner reflection, subtle physical play and public space to suggest ways of resisting invasion and activating the self in an era of sedentary screen time and surveillance.
How COVERT works:
The Covert approach offers a clear five-step process for any reader to follow:
1) identifying likely areas/spaces for movement meditation scores
2) making a movement meditation map
3) enacting the meditation map with a friend
4) paying attention and looking away
5) repeating the map for best results.
The handbook offers 30 thoughtfully designed movement meditations. Each one appears on a single page and includes basic step-by-step actions (a ‘score’) for how to allow your body to interact with specific places. In other words, each score describes what to do on a physical level in order to foster a meditative state.
The text ends with a final contemplative section, ‘What bubbles up’, that reflects on some of the larger benefits of the practice. It acts as an aid to readers who are inspired to broaden their experience or want to share it with others.
Covert is a compact handbook of somatic scores that can be used by anyone who wants to lessen their digital dependence and deepen their connection with their surroundings. It can be used by people who work with others in personal development and healing - for example, coaches, therapists and outdoor educators - as well as walking artists, writers and anyone with a general interest in movement, somatics and meditation.