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Posts tagged ‘Trust in the Beloved’

Internal

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

He is more and more internal. Even when awake he is internal. I am more internal. I write less. Say less. Express less. Except to John, the other caregiver. We talk about him, about how we each see him and this part of his journey. These conversations go very deep. We are powerless, cradled in the palm of the Great Power. Read more

Time for Prayers

From writings about helping my father as he completes his life.

He doesn’t decline uniformly like an orchestra on a river boat, the sound floating away and away. He declines in small bits. When was the last time he woke bright-eyed with the life-long look of himself filling his face, stand with grace to full height, and walk in solid, small, careful sailor steps to the mantlepiece to let his fingers savor the smooth wood? Two weeks now…He was remembering, enjoying. I didn’t realize that the last time he did that would be the last time he could do that. Read more

The Critic & The Well

Talking with my good friend and ‘artist date’, Alia Thabit, I found myself spouting vehemently about the three aspects of daily practice, which she titled three prongs. I love that word—prong. Here is how I see it. This applies to artists but can easily be configured for other disciplines, and is really about how we perform to the world. Read more

Wild Heart, Wild Body

It is a quiet thing, learning from wilderness, becoming less tame, and less inclined to tame every little moment and every little action, to let time roam freely in me, my hair to tangle, my ears to grow as big as jackrabbit ears. ‘Wild’, as I am coming to know it, is learning a different way of being, and discovering, once the old veneer of self has chipped off, the original wood of self, Read more

Because, Mind, you are Body

Imagine eating and eating and never digesting. Imagine being full, packed to the gills and never being able to assimilate, starving for nutrition, wallowing in gluttony run amok.  Now imagine that this is not about food but about body taking in information and never having a chance to integrate this information. This not so hard to imagine because it is how we live. Read more

Under Shiva’s Gaze

At the recent Kripalu Intensive, on the last day, Loretta read this stunningly beautiful poem to all of us. It captured our state but took us beyond as well. She has kindly let me share it here.

Under Shiva’s Gaze

Shiva graces our Dancing
As we enter the Great Temple of the Body.

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Nafs and Resistance to Personal Practice

There is a big idea is Sufism known as Nafs. Resistance to practice is entwined there. Nafs, in brief, are self-destruction. More gently put, they are the aspects of self that undermine core soul hungers of Self. They can show up as fear, doubt, or lack of self respect. Read more

Belong Beloved

I had the deepest meditation after the first two hours of the Seattle workshop (slow movement, Hayy chant, rest, own process) that I’d had in weeks.

I was gone, gone. I could sit and be, eternally.

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Morning Dance

In the land of false flowers, there is a mirror.
Stop gaping there.

Turns your eyes in,
where Gaze has heat running under the skin,
and marbles of pulses roll
along the canals between the eyeballs and toes.

Sensation is the first way of Knowing who we are.
This Dance is not what you think.
This Dance is what you don’t think.

We are incarnated, blood everywhere,
in and out.

Don’t turn from these flowers,
these carnations.
On Earth, hearts forever pray such blooms,
gratitude for what’s Real.

Mystic Festival in Holland

The Mystic Festival was amazing.

Musicians, whirlers and mystic movers from Iran, Pakistan, Moldavia, Iraq, England, Germany, Holland, Italy, India, France, and — with me — the USA presented (which meant performing or teaching, thus very little talk except the wonderful storyteller) beginning at 10am and finishing with a zhikr late in the evening. The day was punctuated with two beautiful meals.

The festival took place in an enormous hall on 30 or 40 large Persian carpets with brocade cushions for sitting and an absolutely state-of-the-art amplification system (this was heaven for me!) The sensitive instruments and beautiful voices,  both the resonant and intimate speaking voices as well as singing — needed to be amplified for the 200 to 300 hundred people that filled the hall.

The morning was devoted to music including Ustad Mahmud Sabri of the famed Sabri brothers (who arrived predictably late and pushed the whole program into strange timing; not that I really noticed. The day seem to have its own place in time). After lunch, a Gurdjieff movement session was followed by the lovely Sanjana Band (Bombay/ Amsterdam.) By the time I took the stage to introduce Dancemeditation as Sufism, perform, then teach, the hall was packed. The performance felt remote to me; the mood of the room was heavy, though my dancing was freer and lighter than usual. But performance softened us, allowing us to grow accustomed to one another.

Then the class began…Hundreds of people breathed, stretched, shook, danced, the energy building and building until we were all rhythmically swinging our heads up and down in unison and shouting ‘hayy’ ‘hayy’ ‘hayy’.  We leaned into the work, pushed it forward, swallowed it, and burst into flame. No holding back. No judging. Only the joy of shared ecstasy. I danced at the foot of an enormous wave, then it crashed around me and filled me. This meeting of illuminating hearts in a place beyond the ordinary remade me. When we all open out hearts together, offering them freely to one another and to the Eternal Divine, we receive far more than we ever give.

We finished with a long beautiful singing and moving ‘Allah’, something I’ve been reluctant to teach in America during the Bush era. In Holland, now, it was perfect. No fear of Allah there. It felt delicious. The sounds washed through my subtle inner chambers while my fascia slid through the heat of motion. When I looked out, I saw a sea of limbs, faces, hair, swaying, open mouths, closed eyes.

The day continued on with great happiness. I curled up at the edge of the carpets and watched, sometimes closing my eyes and drifting to sleep while music and voices in many languages wove around me. Having that much energy washing through me seemed to tire me in one way and fulfill me completely in another.

To be continued…