How do you create a container safe enough to literally dance like no one is watching, unfold, unravel, let the truth become visible on the outside? For sure, the quality of the space and facilitator is important. But in a Thursday night circle a couple weeks ago, I wanted to flesh out the significant contribution of every single person present. How stepping onto a dance floor is akin to entering a sacred contract, an agreement to help hold this so-called container. The quality of our individual presence is the ultimate glue that knits the space together.
There are so many reasons we might choose to leave class (or leave a “fill in the blank”) early: boredom, music dislike, not interested in instruction or the instructor or the group or…
There are infinite ways we feel uncomfortable. If we leave before the end, we rob ourselves of cycle completion: beginning, middle, end. We also break the sacred contract we made on entering and generate a palpable gap that every one senses. And, maybe most important, we miss the incredible gift on the far side of discomfort.
So I spoke all this in the circle, in fact, reiterate it every year or two. Slinking out for reasons other than illness is not a wisdom choice. Checking in with the facilitator before you exit helps band aid the integrity issue. It is a practice for life.
On a more far reaching scale, the dynamic of staying put is the same with any practice out there. When we are young, it is innocent and brilliant to experiment with different forms of practice. Trying on and discarding with abandon. Eventually landing in a singular form will bear the ripest fruit. If we leave when we are bored or uncomfortable or…see above list, we are missing the point.
Because often, on the other side of difficulty, the greatest gifts emerge.
Which is the point I am coming to. Here I am at this 5Rhythms Teacher Refresh in Salt Lake City and right in the middle, the build up of challenging emotion was so intense that I desperately wanted to leave. It would have been extremely difficult, but possible. And I kept breathing and made a wisdom choice. I simply stayed. And, as it usually does, the storm passed and the light of dawn revealed truly a great gift. READ MORE
I wanted so much to be bad, abject(somehow I had tricked myself
into believing that was freedom,affront to convention)
I piled on trauma
And added more trauma in trying to undo it
Fucking everyone around me
Secretly I craved love
But everything I did moved me Further and further from it
More and more alcohol
More and more of everything
And soon, I moved in worlds more abject than I’d ever dreamed
Pierced, sharp, fierce,
I enjoyed a short reign as the queen of a small-city drug-addled rave scene, Dancing more than I slept.
Flawed, damaged, broken
Afraid if I was gigantic it would cause harm. I contained myself, To the extent that I could
READ ON to witness the journey of seeking words in the dance and the dance in words
As rule breakers, we dancers are asking the world to stretch the view of Dharma and see its unlimited power. Move the body and the heart-mind will follow. Find how stillness informs your dance and how dance informs your stillness.
Buddha instructed that meditation should be practiced standing, sitting and laying down. So why have we been imprisoned to the cushion and the walk, when we can be experiencing so much more?
The time has come for us Dancing Buddhist’s, as we step out as equals in the field of mindfulness. We are no longer in the shadows. We are dancing off the edge, secret Buddhists, unchained…
Lucia Horan has contributed a chapter to a revolutionary new book edited by Harrison Blum Mdiv,M.Ed. on the relationship between 5Rhythms and the Buddha-Dharma. In this essay I share with the reader my view on how the path of the Satipatthana (purification) parallels with the 5Rhythms and cultivates healing.
Harrison Blum writes:
“Both Buddhism and dance invite the practitioner into present-moment embodiment. The rise of Western Buddhism, sacred dance and dance/movement therapy, along with the mindfulness meditation boom, has created opportunities for Buddhism to inform dance aesthetics and for Buddhist practice to be shaped by dance.
This collection of new essays documents the innovative work being done at the intersection of Buddhism and dance. The contributors–scholars, choreographers and Buddhist masters–discuss movement, performance, ritual and theory, among other topics. The final section provides a variety of guided practices”.
Authors include: Bhikkuni Thanasanti, Lori Wong, Reginald A. Ray, Prema Dasara, Hilary Lake, Anahata Iradah, Lucia Horan, Brian Kimmel, Rose Taylor Goldfield Charles Genoud, Adrianne E. Vincent, Joan Witig, Christina Livingstone and more.
We will move amongst thousands of other dancers from a myriad of cultures & backgrounds. Last year’s float & sound system truly put the city’s feet in the beat and once again we are calling on our tribe to join inthe support of a fully decorated & sound equipped 5Rhythms parade float. Your contribution will enable us to bring this 28+ foot parade float to life.
All of this dance is bullsh*t if
we don’t take it out into the street.
WE NEED YOU! All proceeds in excess of our cost will be donated to 5Rhythms Reach Out, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that provides 5Rhythms dance to deserving community and senior centers.
Come and rock with us, in presence or in Spirit, and help us take the 5Rhythms to the streets. For more information about where to meet the day of the parade to dance down Broadway with the 5Rhythms tribe email us.
The 5Rhythms community is a 21st century collective unbound by history, culture, race, religion, gender or politics. We are bound by the beat, following our feet on a dancing path to freedom. We are beat-driven, service-oriented, heart-based individuals who come together to embrace our tribal longings.
The measure of a community is its respect for the wisdom of its elders, the innocence of its children, the passion of its artists, and the hope of its healers.
We are committed to inspiring and serving these roots and wings of community.
5Rhythms Global | PO Box 1960 | New York, NY 10013 | 212.760.1381