Movement Games - The Moon Swing
The Moon Swing
This is a multi-purpose Flash animation which encourages awareness of movement throughout all angles and at the same time provides insights into central fixation.
The movement can be quite complex so if you find the game challenging it may be better to practice first with the banner swing and techniques such as prayer swing and long swing to get things loosened up; you may, however, find that the Moon Swing animation by itself is quite an effective game to take new steps in allowing your world to move.
This animation runs in Full Screen and in order to navigate to it to try out the instructions, a small version of the animation is used in the illustrations below: where you see a link saying 'Try It Out', you will be taken to a larger version of the animation where you can toggle the page to full screen - by clicking on the moon.
Once you have finished trying out your current step, you can come back to this page by clicking on the moon again, then clicking the 'Go Back' link just above the animation.
This larger version also has sound - so if you are partial to the peaceful chirping of crickets and tree frogs at night in a tropical jungle, make sure your speakers are switched on.
A photograph of the full moon in an inky black sky. Two red lines, one vertical and one horizontal, independently and gently slide across the image at right angles to each other. The intersecting point appears to move in a random fashion over the image.
Two small orange diamonds are located at the centre of each red line to provide alternative anchor choices for the eyes.
On the full screen version you can hear the sounds of the Costa Rican Tropical Rainforest at night, with crickets, tree-frogs and the subtle sounds of vegetation and water dropping from the canopy.
1. Horizontal - side to side swing
The vertical line operates in a very similar manner to the moving white light in the banner swing and the instructions given on that page will work very well here. You can follow the line at any point, but for added focus a small orange diamond is located in the centre of the line. Look at this orange diamond and follow the movement of the line across the page. Peripheral awareness will bring you an apparent sense of motion in the opposite direction of the other items on the page.
For simplicity work first with noticing the moon sliding from side to side. The more you relax the more movement you'll see, and the easier it will become to allow other movement to happen.
2. Vertical - up and down swing
The approach is just the same as the horizontal swing above, you just look at the horizontal line with its diamond and notice the apparent movement of the moon in the opposite direction - as your line goes up the screen, the moon moves down, and vice-versa.
It's worth practicing this well, the eyes don't commonly see this movement as readily as the side to side simply due to the nature of our vision, which mostly emphasises the horizontal plane.
3. Cross-sight - random swing
Here is where things get really interesting!
Instead of following one line or the other, follow the intersecting point. As both lines are running on an independent timeline, they don't actually 'loop' to the starting point for about 5 minutes.
Try out these steps:
- The moon continues to move opposite to the tracking of your eyes. Stay with the intersection and notice the movement of the moon. Try it out
- The diamonds form a 'locator' function - they are always on a level with the moon, either vertically or horizontally. When your intersection crosses a diamond, notice the amount of movement (apparent) of the diamond in the opposite direction. Notice that this movement is directly related to the moon's apparent movement.
Try it out
- Let the movement expand beyond the graphic - if the moon appears to be moving, then so is your whole screen, the sides and edges, and therefore the desk on which it is sitting. The more your eyes and mind relax the easier this becomes. Try it out
- To extend your awareness of the movement most easily to your computer screen edge, try sticking some brightly coloured objects around the edge of your screen. Sticky notes can be very useful for this.
- Quadrant checks - when the eye regards any object with central fixation there are four areas which contain visual information that is not in the centre: the left, the right, above, and below. When combined these areas form four quadrants:
Check your awareness of the movement by saying out loud the number of the quadrant in which the moon appears (or has moved!), while continuing to follow the intersection of the two red lines. Notice if the oppositional movement of the moon appears to diminish as you count.
4. Look at the moon
Every now and then take a break from the movement and look directly at the moon on the screen. Notice the movement of the lines, and consciously be aware of the way they move across your line of sight and sweep toward your peripheral area of vision.
5. Have fun
All these movement games can be immensely enjoyable - the suggestions above are just the ones that occurred to me as I worked on creating the animation, but as you experiment with it, you can find other ways of thinking about the movement. Play games, try things out, and see if you can make it your own. What you want is to take your quadrant out into the great outdoors, and notice that everything moves in the opposite direction as you move your gaze from point to point in your world.
One final tip: take your time. Movement can come to you easily or slowly, but always the solution is to notice what you can, as and when it comes. Each step broadens the path for the next, and as long as you're having fun as you go, there is no effort required at all.
This animation requires Adobe Flash. In order to use the full screen mode you will need to have Flash 9.0.28. At the time of writing the latest flash version is 10, so if you've updated your player recently, you'll have everything you need. If you don't, you can get the latest Adobe Flash Player here:
Getting the animation to run smoothly
This animation requires a lot of frames to give a smooth movement to the red lines. While this should work in theory, in practice there are possible hitches which basicly come down to hardware issues. While the sequence of positions for each line run closely together, each frame still requires a redraw from the screen - as a result, if your computer is busy doing something else (and they often are), each load it places on the CPU can cause a pause for the graphics. Try the following to minimise this problem:
- Be patient. Often the screen redraws improve after a few moments.
- Try viewing the page just after starting (or rebooting) your system. Clean systems with less items loaded in system memory always make things run better.
- Try the version with no sound.
- Try using a different browser. The animation works in Safari, IE6, IE7 and Firefox 3 (tested), but they all behave slightly differently.
- The full screen mode uses hardware acceleration for redrawing the graphics. If your graphics card doesn't support this mode then the full screen option falls back on software acceleration; in which case you are likely to see some much more jerky movement. In this case it is better to not use the full screen mode.
The animation will continue to be worked on for improvements, it does however make use of some of the most recent advances in hardware and software. Some systems won't be able to cope with it in any version - in which case the only solution is to be extra patient until you can obtain a more recent computer system.
Kevin Wooding and 15 Second Art Ltd