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Douglas Harding's, The Headless Way explained by Richard Lang Podcast

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Listen in to Richard Lang's explanation of The Headless Way from Douglas Harding and join in with exploring the question - who am I?
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This podcast episode is guest hosted by Richard Lang, introducing us to the Headless Way. The Headless way was first developed by Douglas Harding many years ago, Richard and Douglas were good friends. And so Douglas has spent the last 50 years sharing the Headless Way with people like ourselves. The Headless Way is method of becoming aware of your most private self, which the suggestion is, is a spacious still and the most spiritual part of you. But Richard invites us not to just take this in trust. So in this podcast episode, He guides us three, some awareness exercises to reveal this deep spiritual centre within you.

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Richard Lang 2:02
Good morning. Hello. Well, I'm Richard, thank you, James. And I am here to share what is called the headless way. And it is something that I've been involved with for more than 50 years, I first came across it when I was a teenager. And the question that the Headless Way is asking is who am I? And I'm aware this isn't necessarily a question that everyone wants to ask. But that is your opportunity this morning to, if that's the case, to investigate something that you may not turn your mind to, and just see if it helps and see if it is of interest and see if it makes sense to you. And what I will do is just give a little introduction about how I came across it. And the history of it is called the history. And then I'm going to take you through, I suppose what you'd call a guided meditation, which I call them experiments, but you will see that and I will in your life in terms of stress, or I don't know things like that make make sense of it. And if we have time, after all that you will go into breakout groups and have a deep discussion. So people still arriving but I will start. So when I was a teenager, I was interested in spirituality. And I was brought up as a Christian, and then that didn't answer my needs. So I started reading around and I was reading about Eastern religions. And then I went to a conference. This was 1970. I was just a teenager. And it was a Buddhist conference. And during this meeting, I was told to go along to a workshop with a guy called Douglas Harding. I'd never heard about him. And he took the participant through a number of awareness exercises. And they revealed to me what I was looking for. So I'll put this in context. You may have thought about this you may not have but there is a long tradition in all the different religions that at your centre is a treasure. And this treasure is timeless and is always there. And so people go by different names don't they spirit, God, awareness, the void, emptiness you know to choose your label there. And the thing about it is that they, the tradition say that if you become aware of this side of yourself that is still, absolutely still, that is nearer to you than your breathing, that this is very therapeutic, and in lots of different ways. So what I am hoping to do this morning in an hour, is direct your attention to this stillness. And it is essentially a non verbal experience. So, I'm not going to ask you to believe anything or, or primarily even understand anything, I'm just going to hope you can enjoy the morning, the hour, and relax into a kind of meditation. But I will put this in context, because this is not Buddhism. It's not Hinduism, it's not an Eastern religion. It's quite a Western thing. And I'm going to just give you a bit of history here, Douglas Harding, who developed this way, the Headless Way, I suppose. He was brought up in a very strict religious sect, the Plymouth Brethren, you might have heard of it. But when he was 21, he left but he was curious about himself. So this morning this hour is is really encouraging kind of open minded curiosity about what it's like to be you. And to cut a long story short, Douglas asking the question, who am I in a way started with science and what science said so I'm going to, to share a picture here and this is a map and it indicates if we're asking the question, what are you it indicates that what you are changes with range. So this at the centre is meant to be you at zero so it's very physical, but say six feet you appear as a as a person. But if someone was to go up to you and you've got to imagine this, you're asking what am i? I'm curious for this hour I'm just going to put aside my assumptions and ask with an open mind what am I? Well other people say well, you're a person who say well you're six feet away what am I at a closer range and they come up to you if they've got the right instrument say oh my god your billions of cells you see. And that and that really that isn't I suppose wherever they say. And you say well, but you're still far away from me you're still at a to distance what am I closer? They come up close it oh my god, you're molecules. See? Now it's probably hard to imagine but you are. You sitting there are made of molecules, but they come up even closer in your particles. See, now they say but actually why? Why just go up to let's let's look at you from further away. You see. This is only really possible in the last 100 years or so they go away and they say oh my goodness, you're a city. You see, the way I think about it is at a distance and so I haven't disappeared I've just changed my form. I'm now London you see for me, and they go well, we're going to have a look at your from further away. So you're going to use your imagination. Okay, you from further away. Oh my god, you're a planet. Really Yes. But from further away, you're a star. And then a galaxy now you have to use your imagination, but you're sitting here breathing and you need every one of these layers to breathe. Now you don't have to think about them. But you do need your lungs and you need the cells that make up your lungs and you need the molecules that make up yourselves and you need your atmosphere and the planet and which is dependent on the star which is dependent. You've got the picture. Now you say well that's very interesting. I'm there all these different bodies really that I need. You got you this is a fresh way of looking at yourself you'll see that you say but what am I at centre? That zero and your friend your observers as well? I'm sorry but I can't tell you I can't get there I can get very close and you're almost nothing but I can't tell you what you are at centre. Right i because I'm not there. See? So you'll have to look for yourself. So do you get the picture there? You see I can see what you look like on the screen. And that is because I threw the camera six feet away from you. But the subject of the the session this morning is what are you at zero? You see, so it's a very sort of Western scientific thing. Now, Douglas Harding was asking this question and you know, sort of made that map? What am I at zero? All it seems that nearer. The closer anyone gets the more like nothing I am. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah, the more the closer anyone gets to you the more, but what am I? What am I zero? And he said, Well, I must be some kind of nothing. I mean, that's in all the great traditions at the centre is a kind of emptiness, a kind of stillness. You can't define it. But how do you actually experience it? I mean, you can think about it, you can theorise about it. But Douglas Harding was not interested in just having a theory. He said, You know, if I am going to be really honest, I can't take that on trust. What am I and this for him was really important as well, what am I, I've been born, I'm alive. While I'm alive, I'm actually going to take, you know, one hour in my very busy schedule, to have a look to see who is alive. Alright, so I'm just putting forward this possibility. So anyway, he was studying away and thinking and it was actually in India in 1940 something. He had gone to India with his wife, to work as an architect, he got a job there in Calcutta, the war broke out he, his wife, you know, went to America, he joined the army. But that made it more urgent, oh, my God, I might be killed soon.

Richard Lang 11:47
What am I before I die, and he was reading a book and he turned the page. And there was a picture first person picture. And if you. You see, if you look on the if you can see yourself on the screen, you can see your body with a head and a background. That's what you look like at six feet, say. But here's the very simple minded thing anyway, look down at your own body. And notice you can't see your head. You see. And the picture that Douglas saw was of a headless body, the guy is quite famous philosopher drawn his point of view. You see, and this is something no one else can see, isn't it, I mean, you can see your head on the screen, but you can't see your head above your shoulder. So I'm going to now share another picture here.

Richard Lang 12:52
And this is just a representation, if you can understand it's the first person point of view, first person singular point of view. And when you look down, I suspect you'll see something similar in the sense that you don't see your head you see your arms and your body. And then as you look out, you see the world all the way to a galaxy. And when Douglas saw this, he said, Oh my goodness, this is what I am for myself. But zero. I am headless you see this is the headless way, right? Where no one else can look you see? So I am going to just do you see where we're going with this. We're asking the question, What am I? And we've noticed, hopefully, you know, we've understood that what you are changes with range, and you need every one of those layers, like an onion has layers, but what are you at zero? And no one can tell you, you see, because no one is there. So you have to look yourself, which is what Douglas did. Actually, when he saw this picture, this is similar to that one I've just shown you is what he went, Oh my God, that's what I am for myself. I'm I'm looking at, I can't see my head, I'm looking at the open space, that nothingness. That space, we're going to point at it in a minute. But then what he did was he said, you know, while I'm putting words into his mouth, if I go around telling everybody, I'm headless, I'm going to be locked up. Right? I need to make sense of this. and present it in a way that Western science can accept. So he spent the next 10 years really writing a book. And he then, in his life, wrote many more books, and I met him in 1970. And it was around that time that he began inventing experiments to test the hypothesis that at centre you are nothing. You're not at all what you look like you see, and their experiments because they test a hypothesis. So I'm going to do take you through an experiment you'll see here. And you have to put aside your assumptions and your, you know, almost your adulthood and you've got to just be like a child and do this simple experiment. So I know you all got a child raring to go. And you're, you can't wait to do this experiment, and you don't mind looking a bit silly. So what I'm going to ask you to do you see is use your finger to point at something in front of you, this is a very, very simple experiment. And you point at something and I just want you to notice that you can see it's got a colour and a shape. So you might be pointing at a pen on a desk, or, you know, a lamp or anything and just look along your fingers. So this way, you've got to actually take your finger, I can see some of you embarrassed to see, take a finger, look along, I'm doing it, and I'm still alive. And pointed out and look, you say you're directing your attention, this meditation, so you're just adding a finger to direct your attention. And that thing has got colour and shape. Now I'll make this short because we haven't got a lot of time, you're going to point your other hand now. See, and notice it's got a colour and a shape, you see and it moves. Alright. How simple is that as an experiment, you don't have to understand how it works, you don't have to you know, know anything about it, too. Now, I want you to point at your torso. So you've got to look down. And you're, yeah, I can see something there. And it's moving. I'm breathing. All right. Now here is the heart of the experiment, what you're going to do, I hope is point back at where others see your face. So you can see. And don't look at me look at your finger. And you're directing your attention now to zero to the heart of all your appearances. You see, now do you see your face there? Not imagine remember? It's an experiment. Do you see any shape or colour there? I don't? Yes, see, I just see the finger. I don't see a face here. I'm not behind a surface in my own private experience. And I say this is my suggestion, but you're now pointing at the centre of all your layers. And it is not yet another thing. Now, I say this is a nonverbal experience. And you might describe it differently from me, I hope you do.

Richard Lang 17:38
Now, see, that is not what that's very different from what you've been told, isn't it? Yeah, I'm saying that when I point here and look here, I don't see my face. So here's another way of directing your attention to it, hold your hands out like this. See, this is hands on, doing stuff you see. And you can see your hands now. Bring them back past either side of your head, but sort of look maybe away from the screen. So you can look at your hand and they get bigger and then they disappear. You see. They disappear. Now I know you've got sensations because anything and you bring them forward and I say they come out of the great void. Great space. Yeah, now, I am going to take you through extended experiment. But first, I would like to address people say yeah, but so what? So what, you see. Well, this, people who so what I think it's very good to see because I mean, this is such a different view. This is your own first person view, I can't see my head instead, I see the world you see. You it'd be rather odd if you didn't say, well, so what you know, that's that is very different view of myself from what I've been told. Well, here is one, my response just in this moment. So what you see and it's to do with relationships, which is so important. If you would look at me, as he just as an example, but you will look at anyone actually, you know, just a face there. And our normal model is that we're face to face, who would doubt that. Say face to face separate like this. Now, I will talk more about this, but I just want the experiment is in this present moment as you look at that person's face. Are you face to face or face to no face? How many faces do you see? Well you seen the person's there? Well, I speak for myself. I don't see my face. So I say to articulate this experience, which I think is so familiar. You never see your own face when you're with someone. Articulate this, I say, well, it's face to no face, or I have your face and you have mine, we trade faces, I am empty for you. Now this is a nonverbal experience and it is attentive, socially kind of non judgmental. And perhaps, you know, that might ring a few bells. Oh, okay. This is a way of being present with someone. You see just being present, present, and then seeing what happens. Face to no face. And yeah, and this is something you obviously don't have to talk about. It just just enjoy, and particularly well with anyone. But you know, doing it with kids is fantastic. Because they're headless, too. Anyway, we will come back to this. How am I doing James? Am I passing the test?

James Traeger 21:01
I'm not sure what test? I think you are.

Richard Lang 21:05
I'm just joking. All right. So I hope you're, you're on board with me. And I am now going to take you through extended experiment to test this idea that you are not what you look like. You know, you can see what you look like on the screen. And there's that person very important that I'm saying that privately secretly, you're very different. And wonderfully different you are open you are boundless, you ask what I say your space for the world. And some people say well, what good is this done for you, Richard? I say well, it has in my life introduced me, given me access to great, wonderful discoveries, mysteries. That one of the mysteries is that you become other people. I'm throwing out, you know, tempting, little tidbits. You, you are space for the world. You are yes. So all right, we will test this and we'll come back to that. So we've pointed to what I say is this open space. And the, another name I give to this open space is single eye. All right, now, let me explain. You can when you look at yourself or anyone else, you see they've got two eyes. But how many eyes are you looking out of, so here's a little experiment that I went back to being five years old, hold your hands out like this, like binoculars you see, make put your hand fingers together. So they're two holes, and then look through the two holes, see, and there's a dividing line. So you got to put your fingers together to see. Now, this is a first person experience. So put this, put them on like putting on glasses and watch what happens to the dividing line. Why it disappears, the two become one and then bring your hands back again. So they disappear. Now this is what I'm calling the single eye, it's not an eye, it's a space and your hands disappear into it all the way around. Okay, so this is the place that we're investigating. You there and for me here. So I am going to ask you to observe a few things about your, first of all your visual point of view, and then we'll go into non visual. All right, so it'd be a bit of a closed eye thing. So. Starting visually look at an object on your desk or somewhere. And notice it's got a boundary. And there are things all the way around that edge. It's inside an environment. Look at the second object, there's a terribly simple, it's a thing inside an environment has got things all around it. Now, relax, just look ahead. Call it soft eyes in martial arts, just be aware that our periphery as well as the centre, you see, and bring your attention to that periphery. And notice if you can see anything to the left of it or the right or above or below it, and I don't see anything, they just fade out. So you've you've got to sort of look ahead and then be aware of the periphery, right? Because as soon as you look at the periphery it moves, but I say that the field of view fades out and just suspended there in nothing or awareness or whatever you want to call it. All right. Now, so when you look at individual things, they've got things all around them, but when you look at the whole view, it's not inside anything. It's not inside, it's not contained. Alright, so this doesn't have to be a wow, it is just an observation. So the three things. That's the first one, the view, visual view is not contained. Now look at two objects on your desk or somewhere and compare their size. So one is either bigger or smaller, or about the same size, I suppose as the other one. In other words, size is relative. So look at any two objects and just note which is bigger. Which, and it's relative, because what one thing that's bigger, could be smaller compared to something else. All right. Now look at the whole field of view, we're back to the soft eyes peripheral look at the whole field of view. How big is it? Well, there isn't a second to compare with. I only see one single view.

Richard Lang 25:44
So the third thing is to again, notice two objects. And just notice there's a distance between those two objects, any two objects, there's a distance. Now again, back to the whole view, whole field of view, how far away is the whole field of view? Well, anything you measure from is within the field of view. So I can't say how far away it is. Where am I measuring from? Nothing. All right, hang on in there. Hang on in there. Now, I want you to close your eyes. And we take this exploration into non visual. So be aware of the darkness. Now, how big is the darkness? Well, I say there isn't a second one to compare it with. So I can't say, I mean, how wide is it? It? I can't say. Is the darkness inside anything? Not in my experience. It is like the visual field it just fades out into nothing. Or awareness consciousness. How far away is the darkness? Well, there's nothing to measure from, no address, can't say, just suspended there in the great void. Do you see? All right, I'm putting words onto an experience I believe is the same essentially for you. But that's you'd describe it differently. I'm sure. Now be aware of sounds. And you hear my voice you hear other sounds coming and going. See and loud one soft ones? How big is the whole field of sound? Well, there isn't a second to compare it with it single. And isn't that field of sound happening in the same space as the darkness you know, the sounds where are they happening they just come out of silence or out of the space. And then they go back in. And however loud the sound it doesn't disturb the silence. So you might you know, you might put two and two together there and say oh my goodness here is a place this silence that is never disturbed? Well, that's good to know. See, now be aware of your body sensations and if you can put aside your memory of what they look like you know a bit like a cloud of sensations I suppose. So, there they are, different sensations are a bit elusive, how big is the whole field of sensation? There is not a second to compare it with, single. How wide is it? Okay, how big is it? Is it inside anything? See, or are the sensations just appearing out of nowhere and disappearing? Simply asking you to attend and you know you will have a different description to me. But when I say is the field of sensation given inside anything I'm saying are you given inside anything? Are you contained, you see? Or are all these sensation sounds darkness in you as this boundless space. And if that is true, that is freedom. You're not contained. Say secretly privately and your own first person experience now that you can put two and two together that's good to know. Privately you are free to do that. To come consciously from that freedom is going to make a difference. And then thoughts and feelings. So yeah, imagine a number. Where did that come from? See, imagine a mountain imagine the face of a friend and your your affection for them. You see there's a feeling. So this is what we call mind, isn't it the content of mind? So again, I say how big is the whole field of mind. And I say, well, there isn't a second to compare it with. You only experience, I suppose what you might call your thoughts and feelings and images, memories. But where is that mind? Is it contained? Is it small? How big is it, you see, there isn't a second, Zen Buddhism says, mind comes out of no mind. So just as we pointed back at our no face where we could see nothing, I say the thoughts come out of that nothing, too, so creative.

Richard Lang 30:41
So you could put two and three together when you're stuck for an idea, relax into the no mind. And see what comes out of it is it is just irrepressibly creative. And I would suggest that what we're thinking and feeling is different for each of us, you know, all of that is you've got your own unique life, and all of that is private, to a degree, you know. But this space is, seems to be the same in us all because it has no name, or address or age or nationality. Now, putting two and two together is not that, if that's true is if one accepts that, that's amazing to find a place where there are no divisions. And to come from that place in our relationships. Now there's one more thing here, before we open our eyes, I'm going to ask you to make your left hand into a fist. So you get a bit of tension, bit stress, Monday morning stress you see, there, you've got the stress, you see very real. Does that stress affect the space, while I'm calling the space, the silence, I say it doesn't, you see, now relax your hand. So the sensations changed. But the space I say doesn't. So now two and two together, here's a stress free space private, that's going to make a difference, to be aware that on and off, I suppose in your life. So now I'm going to ask you to open your eyes and see and flood the space with colours and shapes. And I say, you see, essentially nothing has changed, I'm still looking out of the single eye. But now I've got it's flooded with colours and shapes that I hear is this space that is stress free, you see. That I'm aware is not contained. There's a freedom about it. And is where I'm operating where I say, Well, we're all operating from. And you it is always there and always available. So I am very briefly going to give you just a context for this. And then if we have time, we'll do break outs. But we'll I'll just see from my, my boss here, if that's what we do. But alright, so the context to help you make it, to help us make sense is four stages of life. It's not complicated. The baby the child, the adult and the seer. So the baby, in terms of this jargon, babies headless, when you were a baby, you know what you look like you're just headless space for the world at large, you see. But from day one, everyone around you reflects back what you look like, look in the mirror, see, and that's what you are here. And to begin with, you don't understand it, but it's 24/7. So as a child, you're beginning to get the idea of what you look like, you see, but you're still naturally open and see but through language in the mirror, you becoming aware of what it look like. And what happens is that because that's 24/7 by the time you are an adult, you now fully identify with the one in the mirror and you overlook your headlessness this is just a way of thinking about it. You overlook this open space where you are and no one talks about it. So it's as if it's not there. And now you're face to face. And what I'm doing is saying okay, you've got that you're very aware of what you look like who you are in the world, all of your responsibilities. Now you're in a perfect position to wake up to your original openness. It was always there. And it is a natural part of growing up really. It needs to go on to To awaken to your true nature.

Richard Lang 35:09
I would actually like to show a little film. So let's do that, if that's okay. And this is about movement, and it will just give you an idea of how this applies to movement. Now, I'm hoping this works. So here is just an application. So enjoy the little film I made it years ago. And I hope it makes sense here.

Richard Lang 35:52
Turning around on the spot you point at where others see your face and notice whether you're moving or the world is moving. I find that from my point of view, I'm still and the world is turning. You can notice this, when you're walking, you're still in the ground flows under you. When you're climbing steps, you don't go up, the steps go down. This awareness may result in fewer spills, don't move the cup, move the carpet. You've always been like this. It's just that as an infant, you are not yet very aware of what you look like to others. As an adult, you know that like others, you're on the move, yet privately, you see that your world glides through you. Looking down as you cycle you pedal the road past it races underneath you. And in a car, everything there is in motion, flowing into the stillness here. Of course, you know that for others, you're moving and the street is still. But for you, it's the opposite. At the start of the journey, it's the station that begins to move, not you. And then a little while later, you find that you've gone nowhere and your destination is arriving in you. Life is like a merry go round always in motion. It's not just physical things that are always changing, but thoughts and feelings to discover what a difference it makes to see that at centre, you are still free from all change and stress. You are the still point of the turning world. And you are the turning world.

Richard Lang 37:36
Okay, so James, would you like to put people into breakout groups? Is that good idea now? Yeah, yeah. Okay. All right. Well, any questions, comments, reflections, about what we've done, share your reaction.

James Traeger 37:56
And you can either just stick your hand up, stick your real hand up, or your relatively real hand up, or put something in the chat. It's up to you.

Richard Lang 38:07
Just interrupt. Oh, well, that's it, then, all clear.

Tony Nicholls 38:16
Richard, I'm gonna, I'm gonna ask you something. I'm going to test a hypothesis that I think I heard you put forward which was, because I don't have a face, I don't have a head. I'm headless. From my, as I look out onto the world, when I'm face to no face, I've got an opportunity to effectively borrow that person's face that person's head to be mine. To complete the picture. Yes, but I'm sensing and therefore, I'm wondering what that means for how quickly and how well I can get into relationship and see and hear the other person because they're effectively going to become part of me. That's what I heard. I was just testing that.

Sarah Fraser 39:05
Yeah. And that's what what is interesting in that is that then it's that we were talking about this in our group how, how significant reflections of being in relationship with others for your sense of self. Because actually, we can't see ourselves. So it's so much about how the other person is or the other people around you that you then assess yourself and whether you're similar or different. That doesn't. That's not important. It doesn't matter.

Richard Lang 39:35
The only way we find out about who we are is through others or the mirror, you know? Yeah. Because you can't see yourself and what you said there Tony, I go right along with. This is one of the wonderful benefits of the simple observation that you're out of the way that you have the other person's face. Now. Normally, we don't talk about this but not in the language. So it is it's a development to now have phrases that articulate this experience face to no face training face and I have your face you have mine, I'm open for you. I'm space for you. Now this is, I think a terribly familiar thing, just becoming aware of the way it always was. But my experience for sure many of my friends is yes, this means that you are attentive, you are receptive, you're still aware of what you look like, you don't become a kind of mad, you know, to walk on, you're still aware, got self conscious. But now you are to see that you're out of the way is to respect the other person and to be attentive and the other person will feel it, I'm sure. Yeah.

Martin Saville 41:01
I was really struck by how different, how differently I could make sense. It's, you know, experience what you were saying when I switched off my own picture on the Zoom screen. It you start with it on there automatically. And halfway through what you were saying, I took myself away, and suddenly it was like, Oh, I get it now. So that was that was quite a striking and striking noticing for me.

Richard Lang 41:31
Yes. Yes. And then you're not in the picture, so to speak. And so what are you? Well, you are everything that you are seeing and hearing? And now that is? That's different? Yes. Yes.

Val Sedounik 41:50
It made me also thinking what you said, I just like I've I've written down your code, I have your face and you have my face. And you have mine. You talked about the stages and being a baby. And I'm thinking, if you as an adult, allow what is mirrored back to you from another face, you also experienced different forms of being and identities that accentuate or that opens the space if you were hoping for so kind of people bring out different you know, different not personalities, but different traits or different experiences of who you are.

Richard Lang 42:37
That's right. I agree with that. Everyone's view view is different anyway, isn't it? So which are you? Well, I suppose you could say you're sort of composite. But you have to keep upgrading who you think you are with every meeting, don't you because that person adds something new that is new. So I think this is this make sense of that. And you can't discount anyone's view of you. If it's a genuine view, you might not like it. But then when you see that for yourself, none of that sticks. None of that sticks here is the that is so freeing, that enables you to be be yourself rather than get too caught up in how others see you.

James Traeger 43:33
There is also a relationship here to some of the things that we sometimes talk about in organisational development and change work like what happens really when we're talking about self as instrument, that we're actually no face to the world and picking up the experience of being the world that we're moving in, which is another way of thinking about the concepts like self as instrument or projection transference that we can talk about, parallel process. This might be the, the experienced explanation for those things, the empirical explanation for those things, you know, how we experience them in our world rather than a kind of mystical woowoo explanation, there is a an empirical explanation for how we understand the organisational systems that we go into and pick up on them and play with them and work with them. Face to no face to the organisation, no face to the team.

Richard Lang 44:38
I have a friend who runs a company in America and he practices headlessness he's aware of you know, it is a practice it is an observation. And he had a big company construction, all that kind of thing. And he, I've enjoyed listening to him saying and board meetings. He, he has space for the board meeting. Now, this is a very attentive, active, you're inclusive, you're you're right there with the whole situation, and you respond, but you're responding from this openness and attentiveness and respectfulness. And I, it's very practical, very practical. And that little film of, you know, driving, there's the contrast. On the outside, you're going somewhere, you know, you're whether it's in your business or you're on holiday, but in from your point of view, you're still and it's flowing through you and great to have both really.

James Traeger 45:59
Any more observations questions?

Richard Lang 46:06
Well, I'll throw something in if there isn't, because one question people say, Well, how do I keep this going? How do I remain in my headlessness? And I say, well, it's exactly the same dynamic as you experienced when you were growing up. So here's a fun little story, you are an infant, and you're headless, you see with your friend, and everyone is telling you that you've got a head, you know, your name, your age, your gender, your nationality, you're the one in the mirror, and you say to your friend, you know, this thing about imagining you're behind the face, I just can't do it. I mean, I do it for about a second. And I forget, and then I'm just playing, you see, and your friend says, ya know, I'll never be able to do it. But you know, 10 years later, you're doing it. Now, how did you do it? You did it because everyone told you nonstop, that you were behind a face. And if you want to join in, in society, you better do that? Anyway, you want to, you know, so it was feedback. In other words, just constant feedback, reflection of what you look like, and you took it on board. Now you say, well, all right, I've got that. But now you're indicating I'm headless? How do I keep it going? I say well hang out with others who are headless, you see, it's the same mechanism. And I say that so that, I think they will probably send you information. If any of you are interested in hanging out with others who are enjoying the Headless, we have regular Zoom meetings, and you can come along and get support from the headless community.

James Traeger 47:39
I always think it's much easier for people to wear glasses, because all you just have to do is see where your glasses sit, and you realise that they're sitting on nothing. You're away. So you know, get yourself.

Richard Lang 47:51
Exactly we've got a you know, if you want to buy headless glasses we've got going here

Val Sedounik 48:01
But also Richard you remind me in I remember when I studied social psychology, there was a concept of fluid personality, and then it disappeared, because it's because the behavioural is to have taken. But I'm thinking it brings back the memory of being having a fluid personality and being in the moment. And they're really brought back and thinking yes, that's exactly what intrigued me at the time when I was a student, and intrigues me now. So thank you. Because being opened up to my own fluidity and allowing it instead of the rigidness, who I am, so really, thank you for that.

Richard Lang 48:44
Yes, yes, this is operating from a place that is undefined. And that is going to help you be more creative, more fluid. Being aware of that place, yes.

James Traeger 49:05
Okay, well, we're just about at time. So just a couple of things to mention, firstly, that we have forthcoming, further artful sessions, one in September with our colleague Tony Fraser, talking about the fertile void, which is a nice complement to the Headless Way. And then in October, we've got Tony Nichols, who, you can wave and a colleague, or a client from the civil service, Rebecca Herbert, looking at image making and the diptych and then we'll be having a Christmas session with it will be that time, hard to imagine in this weather, but it'll come around very quickly. So those dates will be announced and let you know in due course from from Zoë and from Claire. So, Richard, thank you. Thank you so much.

Richard Lang 50:02
Thank you for inviting me, a pleasure,

James Traeger 50:05
Good to connect with you, you and your work over the many years that you and I've been in each other's orbit. And, yeah, thank you, everybody, for coming along for the session today. And hopefully, again, this, these sessions are a useful way of starting the week and continuing the practice through the week. So you can practice headlessness through all of the various experiences that you encounter for the rest of the week. So thank you, everybody. Have a great weekend. See you again soon. And thank you again to Richard. Thank you, Richard. Thank you.

Griff Griffiths 50:39
Thank you very much.

Clare Joghee 50:42
That was great. Thanks. Thank you.

Anisha Gadhia 50:48
Thanks, Richard.

Richard Lang 50:50
You're welcome.

James Traeger 50:50
Hi, Anisha. Good to see you. And good to see to James Lovely to see you. Bye for now. Bye bye.

Richard Lang 51:01
Oh, I can relax now.

James Traeger 51:04
Should we stop just stop the recording for you say anything rude. Yeah, you know me.

Richard Lang 51:15
Did you hear this one about James.

Claire Newell 51:18
Thank you so much for listening to us today. And we hope to see you next time. Take care. Bye bye.

We recorded this podcast during one of our free Artful Webinars. Find out about our events here: Mayvin Events. You can also find out more about the Headless Way and watch back a recording of the webinar here: Artful Inquiry Into The Headless Way.

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