Day 52

Today I'm mostly at home brewing beer. I only go out briefly to Home Depot.

I don't invite anyone to make eye contact.

Day 51: Courtney

Today I fly from Seattle to Los Angeles and wait until the last moment of the day to ask someone to make eye contact.

I prefer to ask a stranger, but I missed those opportunities, so I ask someone who I just met a few hours ago, Courtney.

I knew she would say "yes." I haven't known her for long at all but I can tell she's just that kind of person. She says "yes."

We're setting close to each other and her eye contact is very focused. Remembering what I took away from the open eye meditation I focus on loving her for 60 seconds.

Day 50

Today I'm driving from Portland to Seattle and preparing to live out of a suitcase again.

I don't do LMEC with anyone.

Day 49: Todd

After climbing this morning I walk over to See See and order a coffee. When I sit down at the bar the man to my left makes eye contact with me and smiles. I ask him if he has a few free minutes (he does) and then if he'll make eye contact with me (he will) so we do.

Then we talk about his experience making eye contact with his Russian neighbors. He tells me they make unusually strong, unbroken eye contact when communicating. I am looking forward to interacting with more Russians and looking out for this behavior.

We also discuss the pleasant social side effects of this experiment, how I'm interacting with people who I wouldn't know how to approach without this ice breaker, and how I'm learning to put aside my assumptions about people based on their looks and outward behavior as those assumptions get proven incorrect again and again through my LMEC interactions.

Todd gladly allows me to use his name and photograph.

Thanks, Todd!

Day 48: Kelly

Today there's a big Thanksgiving gathering at the house where I'm staying.

Since I'm not going out, I set the intention to ask a guest.

As usual, I know who I want to ask when I see them, and tonight there's no denying that it's Kelly.

I catch her before she leaves. I forget to have my timer with me when I ask her, so I run to my room to fetch it. We sit on high bar chairs for our eye contact session. I think she's really pretty so it's great to gaze at her. My friend Mike comes over not long after the timer starts and attempts to interrupt us, and I shoo him away with a "nuh-uh" wave of my finger.

This session is the first session since my open eye meditation class and now I'm bringing something new to LMEC: instead of abstractly focusing on creating a space for the other person to be as vulnerable with me as they want to be, I'm attempting to do that by actively loving them and sending them positive energy for 60 seconds.

After the timer beeps we talk about my motivations for asking her in particular (because I'm attracted to her, and I tell her this) and for engaging in the practice generally. She allows me to take her picture, and after a few tries we get one she likes:

Day 46

The battery in my timer has died. I replace it, but it still won't turn on. I need to find a pin I can use to push the reset button on it.

Without the timer I'm not inclined to ask anyone to make eye contact.

Amazing how a simple little logistical issue like this puts the experiment on pause!

Day 44

Today I drive out to Forest Grove to tour a sake brewery and visit a beer brewery.

I don't make eye contact with anyone today.