Language inhibits our experience, a strong claim that I gleaned from a terrific Radiolab piece—’Unravelling Bolero’—about how Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, with its incessant repetitive theme, was a signpost of the beginning of a disease that over the next six years robbed the composer of his ability to speak, to recognize objects reliably, and other memory losses. Read more
Posts tagged ‘embodiment’
I finally stole a moment for my practice today amidst the chaotic situation I currently and uncharacteristically inhabit. I was alone in the house for 30 blessed minutes. Music played. I danced. And I thought about safety. I had stolen time, yes, but the room was not entirely safe. My antennae pricked up for the return of a car. I didn’t want to drop too far in and be abruptly disrupted or, like a molting snake, be discovered in a soft open condition. Intrusion. Interruption—these are very treacherous for me. Read more
The hardest thing for me about this past week is starting a new life. I’ve gotten reasonably good at this in my own sphere—projects, locations, content, people—but returning to visit my parents in my childhood home has been, for better or worse, changeless. Today I sat with my father at Spaulding Rehab Hospital observing his speech therapy. He relearns the language of counting to 5. How to touch five blue wooden blocks and count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. How to look at the numeral ‘5’ and say five. Sometimes the therapist puts two blue blocks on one side and five blue blocks on the other and holds up a piece of paper with the numeral ‘5’ and says Which one is five? Read more
Observing is a good way to learn. Listening with stitched lips, wakeful eyes, and quivering ears brings magic into your life.” —Fatima Mernissi, Moroccan feminist scholar, Dreams of Trespass
Leading and Following—powerful, powerful, powerful—is fundamental to Dancemeditation training. It quiets the monkey mind. It teaches us how to hear the Divine. Big claim, but true. Read more
The most Rapid Method of spiritual development? Keep reading. Here it is.
My teacher called his Sufi training method Shattari—the Rapid Method. It was a wild ride! This is the spiritual lineage of Dervish Dancemeditation. Embodied spiritual development moves us quickly and fully through the stations of spiritual path. This is because it is embodied, and body truth is not the same as mind truth. Bodies are complex, ahead of any game the mind can devise. The body’s doorways to the mystical center are infinite, swift and full. Read more
Emailing with friend, Maggie, about the recent Dervish Dancemeditation weekend in Asheville where 5 Rhythms is regularly practiced—she mentioned that she loved Lyrical—I wrote this in agreement: I find the Curvilinear Flow—my preferred descriptor for Lyrical (the 5 Rhythms aren’t actually rhythms but textures)—is certainly my native movement habitat. Since it benefits the entire fascial system, if I had to take one movement arena to a desert island, it would be Curvilinear Flow. I shot that off in email, then afterward got to thinking about verbal cues for movement and what they invite. Read more
There are only two directions in life: Soul Killing life and Soul Developing. Each is a choice. Each takes a long time. One is mostly passive while the other requires effort. Though Soul Killing is smooth slide into Lethe, it is littered with clues. You get heavier and heavier. Poison seeps into your pores, drips liquid lead into your tender lung sacks, hardening and stilling their swell. You hardly breathe. You can barely move in your flesh tomb. So you grind to a halt. Or run maniacally away from yourself. Busy busy. Your heart slams and rattles ever more weakly against the dungeon wall of you. Your body is one tremendous clue: if you hate it, if you feel numb to it, if you barely know you have it, and if you even exist thinking of your body as “it”, you are in Soul Killing.
Soul Developing is a conscious act every step of the way. Read more
We are born to die.
The usual verbiage is that we are born to live and die, as if existence is an arc, but as far as the body is concerned, living and dying are integral. Like a snake we continually slough off skin, layer over bone, rip connective tissue and re-solder it. Living, at the biological level, involves constant dying. Life and death are not just cyclical but simultaneous. Life and death are one. And the same. Our culture gives us so little affection for small, daily deaths. Read more