I wrote these reveries during last Summer Movement Monastery.
The first set came from focusing on skin as we moved, then writing from the feeling.
The second pieces are from my journal.
Sufi masters often say that the secrets of the Path are handed heart-to-heart, like seeds, for you to grow in your flesh garden.
In the past Winter Intensive, I said — though perhaps not as loudly as I felt — that a teaching which is not handed heart-to-heart has no Reality, it won’t contain the experience of spiritual lineage transmission. Sufis are big on experience. So, first of all, this is truth, not a bid for control or a slash of stinginess or cloud of mystique. And second, it underlines the respect with which true matters — like one’s life, one’s opportunity — are best approached. We can always approach ourselves with contempt and derision, and many of us do, but a healthier, more fruitful attitude is respect and appreciation. 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
Evie told Poppy how one day, nestled in the stalks of the Shasta daisy, she found a tiny neat nest of slender twigs stitched together with spider threads. In it were three speckled eggs. One was a dud but the other two hatched. At first day the babies were grotesque. Dark skin sealed big eye bulges shut. Yellow-rimmed beaks gaped automatically, fantastically whenever the leaves of the daisy stirred no matter what stirred them, and thin pink rib skin hammered out helpless, helpless.
Earth—what we are on. Sky—what we are in.
Earth is gravity. It is constant.
Sky is breath. It is cyclical.
During winter months in NYC, I teach a stellar Tuesday morning group. We’ve been working together for a number of years so I can go wherever the flow takes us. One morning last March, midway through the session after a long period of moving, they lay resting, all eyes closed, while I was watching the room, feeling my way through it. Were they sleeping? Reflecting, or struggling quietly? This was good, this internal chewing inside their beings. Read more
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
I’ve been traveling a lot and, while having a Dancemeditation Room is preferable, it isn’t likely. But I’ve had plenty of space to do Simple Side-to-Side Rolling. This is pure magic! It completely refreshes my spine, hip sockets, and organs, and wakes up fascial communications. It doesn’t take much space, or a special space. Any relatively clean rug will do. I throw down a thick blanket that is clean and I’m ready to go. For time, this works at ten minutes but may seduce you into going a lot longer. Also, this is an excellent practice to do if you are a guest since it will not weird out any host anywhere. Very useful! Read more
This article, reprinted from Dance Studio Life Magazine, was written as meditation basics for dance professionals (dancers, dance teachers and studio owners.)
Focus on Breathing for Healing and Balance
We love dance and all its benefits for body and soul. But running a business and teaching a physically demanding activity can be stressful. There’s a lot going on, and most of it requires focusing away from our own bodies and feelings. From my time as a professional dancer, dance professor, and meditation teacher, I know meditation gives us a moment with ourselves, Read more
In the morning workshop, after the ingestion period of all our breathing and movement, we moved onto an hour and a half excavate/integrate period with this cue: As you let your body move, be aware of all the little ‘in-betweens’. Of your fascia. Any small movement. Be aware of your breathing.
In the flow of workshop, verbal cues are best when a bit vague, grammatically speaking—pointed but open, with room to explore. Read more