Dancemeditators Do Shafi Chant: Part 1
Jessica Iscah Tkach Paquin, ITCert*
I did my practice this morning. I felt my sacrum get very heavy on the floor and spread out, towards the end the energy had moved towards my crown, but I still had this heavy spreading sensation.
Here is some of what I wrote in my journal afterwards: As I chant Ya Shafi an image of a crane forms in my mind. I am reminded if that day in August when I went canoeing early in the morning on the lake. The fog was so thick we couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of us. We kept the reeds of the shoreline to our left for a sense of direction. I was so scared, so fearful, so panicked even though it was so peaceful and quiet. And even though I knew the fog would lift in a short time and that we were in a lake, so there was no where to get lost to. We went around the bend where I thought the fog might have lifted already, but when it hadn’t my fear took over and we returned back until my feet were planted firmly on the safety of the shore.
After I am done with chanting, I look in my medicine book for the Crane, (only there is Blue Heron so I go with it). It says Blue Heron Self- Reflection “The power of knowing yourself by discovering your gifts and facing its challenges. It is the ability to accept all feeling and opinions without denying any emotion or thought.” It’s getting a little comical how may people/ways this message is getting repeated to me at this point in my life.
Still I feel such resistance. I feel like I’m on that lake. I *know* that I’m perfectly safe, that the experience of the fog lifting is wonderful, that there is no where to get lost to. But I still FEEL that same panic and fear, so I retreat to the solidness of my life. Despite myself, I somehow keep managing to show up at the doorway.
Mary Bond , ITCert*
Honey. If honey could be a body sensation—warm, clear, sweet, smooth, golden, fluid. A sense of honey flowing out of my heart and throat and down my arms into my hands and fingers. With that, a sense of oneness with a myriad sweet beings everywhere, and that this sweetness is the Reality, the truth of what life Is. Each person or animal or rock or leaf contains this essence. I want the realization to never end. I want to bottle it and to Remember to sip often. To sip and sense it running down my arms imbuing every act with loving kindness.
I played the recording of the chant, knowing that hearing the voices would help me to focus. However staying with the recording made me breathe more rapidly than I ordinarily would when lying down. But when the chanting stopped, my resting breath became super slow and deep. I became fascinated with sensing the weight of my tongue, and then following that sensation down the gut tube, tuning in to various organs as they settled more deeply with exhalations. When thoughts intruded I felt my organs hover away from the earth. Does that incipient movement always accompany thought?
Writing this I can tap back into the honey-feeling, but only with gravity’s help. I must let my body spread and settle in order to make room for Love. If I’m hovering with thought, honey-truth becomes an abstraction.
Anastacia Kaser , CDMT**
Three of us gathered in my home studio this morning to practice while the sunlight streamed in the east window and space heaters ticked away warming the room.
We did some slow stretching and slow movement, then we did the Sha-fi practice with the breath while lying down. Then we wrote, moved, wrote, moved, wrote ~ all on our own timing. Then shared our experiences and writing. Some of the themes that emerged:
A soft, sweet, tender fluidity that percolated through tissues. “Sha” flowing into the body like a thin stream that widened and split off to become many rivulets, to create a wide delta of water and silt and mud. Moistening the hard bits. “Fi” sliding out of the body, softening softening. Amphibious movement low to the ground, rolling and spiraling and languid.
Diving deep, and then deeper, and then even deeper into this ocean, into the darkness. Releasing and processing there, and then floating to the surface, floating above the surface.
Releasing to gravity, feeling the pleasure of lying down and letting the body and fluids settle. Responding to the sweetness of the music and allowing tears to come.