June 20, 2015



The five traditionally recognized methods of perception are: sound, sight, touch, smell and taste. On a trip, they say your senses are amplified, which alters your perception of reality. Everyone has a different experience on a trip that reflects a unique part of their personality. For most, their sense of sight becomes amplified, allowing them to see the world in a new way. For others, their sense of sound becomes amplified, allowing them to separate the different threads of sound that construct a song. For me, my sense of touch becomes amplified, allowing me to explore a deeper understanding of physical connection.


When I used to dream,  on rare occasion I would have a dream so real, you would swear it happened. One dream I was in this race and I woke up physically exhausted and legs slightly tingling, as if I had been running for miles. Another dream it was like a day in school, so real that I was confused when I woke up what day it was and what had happened yesterday. Even another dream I was kissing this girl and I woke up with my heart slightly racing and a lingering sensation on my lips.

The most amazing thing you can learn about your mind is that your thoughts control your feelings. In a dream state, your mind wanders and creates imagination which your body responds to. Many people experience what a focused mind is able to accomplish, from being able to push through a state of tiredness in order to accomplish a task, or being able to perform great feats of strength when a life threatening situation arises. In a conscious state, the ability to control your mind and influence your physical reactions is a rare ability and allows you to take your physical connection deeper by separating reality from imagination.

On my first trip, I developed the understanding of imagining a feeling. It started subtly where I started recognizing the individual pebbles of the asphalt beneath my feet and I connected that thought with the imagination of being on a sandy beach; I was able to feel the cool ocean breeze against my face and the grains of sand running beneath my feet. From there I looked around at my surroundings and saw the breeze catch this girl’s hair; I was able to feel the individual strands of her hair tickling against my cheek as if she was right beside me. I watched two people kissing; I was able to feel a passionate kiss against my lips and the soft warm breath against my face. Being able to separate your sense of touch with reality from imagination is a first step in exploring deeper physical connection.


As a child, I had this stuffed care bear that I used to sleep with every night for many years. It came with me to every sleepover and whenever I traveled across the world. When I slept, I didn’t hug it as a most children slept with a stuffed animal, I held it in my hands just above my head. Whenever I held it in my hand, I knew it was mine – from the exact sense of its fabric against my fingers to where every density of cotton stuffing was distributed across its body.

There is a common sentiment from scientific research that your sense of smell triggers memories and emotions. The reason for this has nothing to do with your actual sense of smell, but rather where your sense of smell is located in your brain in proximity to where your memories are located. That said, what if instead of your sense of smell, your sense of touch was your primary? Would it be possible to physically imprint memories by associating it your physical touch at the time? When you lose yourself in the moment of an experience, your senses are what help make the experience unforgettable – any and all of them.

At my first EDC, I had the most amazing experience as I was surrounded by close friends listening to hypnotizing music while in deep reflection. As I learned this idea of imprinting my memory through touch, I imprinted the sense of feeling the cold sweat of a girl’s smooth skin while dancing amongst a hot and humid dessert night as part of my EDC memory. While it seems like an odd feeling to remember, it is unique to myself and my memories and it makes that particular feeling now special.


When I entered the world of dance, I loved the intimacy and connection you were able to make with your partner without saying a single world. There was something unique where a strong dance connection created a subtle physical attraction, bringing together personalities and creating friendships. My favorite dance partners in all styles – from swing to salsa to tango to hip-hop all become friends where we could talk about randomness as time passed by.

As you push deeper into exploring the sense of touch, the next layer is exploring connection with others. Being part of a larger society means you interact both through words and touch of other individuals. While most people focus on their interactions with their words, I have come to learn that my interactions with movement are how I really connect and get to know someone.

When you dance with someone, you connect with them. You are able to direct her movement and unify that movement with yourself. From that connection you can feel more than just their presence; you can feel their personality, their confidence, their energy. When I first realized this connection, I was able to truly physically feel the personality of my friends I was with. For one, I was able to feel her her positivity, her happiness and her lovingness. For another, I was able to feel his generosity, his strength and his kindness. Initially I thought connecting physically with someone’s personality was the next step in connection, but I realized that it was just the first step into understanding a person’s energy. Energy is always a nebulous concept but if you can imagine holding someone else’s energy in your hands, it is a once in a lifetime experience. Someone’s energy is a powerful feeling, and a final step towards fully connecting with someone the most unique physical level.


to be continued …

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