Where are We So Far?
Over the summer of 2012, with the help of the Dancemeditation Community’s generous contributions of $17,000 gifted during last winter’s exciting fundraiser, building on the Dance Barn interior progresses steadily. Read more
Work Weekend in August
A fantastic work team—Krys Statho, Ric Miccio, Iscah Paquin, Nathalie Molina, and Karleen Koen—came up the weekend following Summer Movement Monastery to help. Ravenrock is a construction site—messy. The Work Team was fabulously high spirited, hard-working, appreciative, and game. They hauled rocks, mixed and poured papercrete, shoveled colleeche into ruts in the access road—all heavy, dusty jobs but these are the basics at this point. Read more
A man drove a massive dump-truck up my tough road and emptied the contents behind the Barn. The gravel will form the foundation for papercrete walls as well as some mud zone walkways, a necessity in rainy season. As I watched the truck bed rear up and rain down stones, I could not have imagined myself doing this. It isn’t that any person can’t, in the middle of their life, move on to the next fascination or to the next level of their path’s development, but this world of big vehicles and manual labor and power tools which I now inhabit is a very far cry from the delicacies of aesthetics and entertainment. Read more
As I work on the physical plant at Ravenrock, I realize how the directive to use few machines changes the feeling of daily life. Machines are helpful but they have a strong energy and personality. Using very basic technologies is helping me feel less dependent and closer to the efforts and nature of my body. It is a strong learning. I wonder how comfortable I can be without fossil-fueled home life. There is no getting away from cars, at least not any time soon, but refrigerators, lights, stoves, showers and toilets running and flushing, can all be reconsidered. We have gotten very used to a domestic environment that zings, gushes, and shushes around us. All these require massive amounts of fuel and for this we are cooking the earth. Ravenrock is, in part, an Etude on what it feels like to step away from machines and toward the elements.
A week or so ago, Nannette, Ric, and I got together for a much-needed impromptu Dancemeditation practice on Cape Cod. I had been feeling stressed and overwhelmed and was very grateful to be spreading out my blanket, getting down on the floor. With the neutral Kerala Dream as soundtrack, we settled into an easy going Opening Sequence. Once we were relaxed, I said:
Practice: Bone Watching
Close your eyes. Move any way you feel. Let’s focus on the bones. Watch your bones as you move. The soft tissues will actually move the bones, but when you pay attention to the bones instead of the muscles, you’ll draw attention to the part that is ‘being carried’. Let your soft tissues carry your bones. Let your bones ride along. Read more
Days of hammering nails into the porch frame of the barn transform me. I’ve gotten good at swinging the hammer, letting the tool do the work, the nail going straight in, but I have to focus on each strike. I breathe and strike. Breathe and strike. Then I stand and gaze at the march of 2X4s thinking of the time when the boards will all be screwed down and people will sit here, chatting, or quietly watching Hermit’s Peak. This thought makes it easier to bend forward and begin striking again. Breathe and strike. This is mantra work. This is breath work. Read more
I want to write about Mary Manly (Schneiderman), a tall, pale blonde beauty who died of cancer this past week. I met Mary at Sufi Camp many years ago, did workshops at her Tribeca loft with Adnan in the 70s when life was slower and cheaper, affording Seekers the time to gather in ease and in strong numbers, dancing and chanting for days on end. Mary’s loft was funky. She ran a heavy duty extension cord from the floor above in and out through the street-side windows to power a boom box. The floor, made of worn pine boards, slanted toward the stairwell. Mary knit gorgeous, arty sweaters of silvery, heavy yarns and fantastical colors. Read more
He’s got that blue collar presentation: sturdy work jacket with ‘Bill’ embroidered on the right chest patch, the clean Saturday jeans, Brooklyn accent, burly body. I’m sitting in a camping chair out in back of Ric’s apartment building under budding trees beside a bayou drinking my tea. I like this spot. I watch skittering squirrels and Red-Wing Blackbirds. On the opposite bank, a black-and-white cat hunts in the rushes and reeds.
Bill and I are surprised by one another. Nobody uses the back. We both think we can sneak quietly around unseen. Read more
Yes, its a saga.
I began with ideas and a gorgeous, ideal architectural drawing from Dana Bixby. I sent these to five contractors in New Mexico. Two were swamped, one backed away due to conflict of interest, one is still working on an estimate two months later, and one gave me a detailed, transparent estimate which, though fair, was so far out of range that I was very, very demoralized Read more
When we cultivate our spiritual life, our daily life increasingly becomes the face of the Divine.
This came to me as we chanted Ya Muhyi (The Enlivener) in the recent Baton Rouge weekend workshop. I saw daily life as surface, like the earth’s crust, floating above a timeless unitive Communion. We have families and jobs, responsibilities and identities. This is our surface. If, inside, a spark flutters then flames into a blaze of spiritual life, we find, Read more