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Notes on Practice: Open Sky, Going Anywhere &Partnership

For the second week in a row, I unexpectedly attended the Sunday Sweat Your Prayers class. For the second week in a row, the class was guest taught by an accomplished teacher from another country, in this case Hannah Loewenthal from South Africa. And for the second week in a row, I explored new and delightful aspects of partnership.

I took a long time to gather myself on entering; and I went silently through a ritual of bowing into the space. I felt emotional and took tiny steps, moving like water through the many floor-moving bodies that were distributed equally around the studio. I found a spot near the middle of the room and began to move in energetic circles, rolling over the back of my head again and again and letting the gestures cast me in arcs, pausing to tense in key stretches as I was quickly called to action.

Hannah, perhaps noting the quickening of the room,

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Notes on Practice: On Special Intentions, The Cessation of Pain & Partnership

My grandmother used to say that you get a “special intention” every time you enter a new church for the first time, as my mother reminded me recently. A special intention is pretty much guaranteed to travel straight to God’s ear, and has a strong chance of a good outcome—kind of like a direct prayer line. That is exactly how I felt

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Notes on Practice: Float Like a Butterfly; Sting Like a Bee

On Friday, I spent much of the afternoon listening to the funeral service for Muhammed Ali that took place his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky on June 10.  One reporter said …

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Notes on Practice: There Is Only One of Us Here

When Jilsarah Moscowitz taught the first Sweat Your Prayers class of the spring season two years ago, for the first time ever I considered the possibility that I might secretly have a lyrical nature.* This came as a great surprise since from the very beginning of my 5Rhythms path, Lyrical had always seemed incomprehensible and inaccessible, except in tiny, occasional glimpses. Today, the first day of spring, Jilsarah again taught the Sunday Sweat Your Prayers class; and I was again granted wings, though my lyrical side is, by now, no longer a deeply buried secret.

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Notes on Practice: Word Dance (Radical Summons)

The days leading up to the 2016 Word Dance workshop were exceptionally delightful. I went on something of a walkabout with my now-six-year-old son, Simon. He is in a lovely phase at the moment—cooperative, funny, insightful and affectionate—and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, making a big loop to visit friends from Brooklyn to Tarrytown to Newburgh to Kingston, north to Burlington, Vermont, and then to my parents’ in Northern Connecticut. My parents had agreed to look after Simon Friday afternoon and Saturday while I was at the Word Dance workshop, then bring him back to Brooklyn Saturday night. While I was waiting for my mother to arrive to care for Simon so I could leave, I looked online to see if I had any outstanding parking tickets. I found several, including a “Bus Lane Violation”—something I had never heard of—for 115 dollars. My humor darkened. Simon said lightly, “Well, that’s how it is, Mommy. If you break the rules you have to take the consequences.” I had to admit that he was right, though I continued to feel disempowered and irresponsible.

Because I did not plan properly, there was a mix up about times. I did not set out until 4pm for a journey that typically takes over three hours. In this case, it took four hours. As it was, I did not arrive until 8pm at Paul Taylor Studio on Grand Street in Lower Manhattan, though Friday’s initial session of the Word Dance workshop had begun at 6pm.

In the car, I turned on myself, becoming extreme in my thinking

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Notes on Practice: A Notable Blizzard & A Good Bullshit Detector

Today is a rare interlude of Stillness in a typically dynamic city. The windows are impossibly bright. Snow is caked on the screens outside. Still-falling snow makes the air seem opaque. Piles of white obscure Brooklyn’s sharp edges and make everything blur together. “Are you ready for Snowmageddon?” I was asked yesterday. “Yes!” I answered emphatically.

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