“The Way is not in the sky. The Way is in the heart.” - Buddha
My intention as a teacher, and in my own emotional evolution, is to practice staying present with feelings. So it is with great tenderness that I approach this journey into the heart, the part of us that beats and pumps and gives and receives and takes the old and transforms it into the new, purifying us, every minute of every day.
The wilderness of our hearts scares us. We haven’t been taught to track our feelings, much less respect them. In fact, we often feel ashamed of them when they do pop up. Even in our own families we hold back, dismiss and deny true responses. Even in the dark of the movie theater we swallow our tears. This is very sad. We’ve lost our spontaneity. Why do we give fear so much power?
To befriend our emotions, to not be frozen by fear, is our destiny on this dancing path. Fear is the clearest meter of our edge, the edge where we feel comfortable and grounded. When we start to feel uncomfortable, it’s a challenge. A challenge is an invitation to move from who we are into who we are becoming. The bigger the fear, the more important it is for us to face it. It’s not just a stoplight, it’s a huge road sign: COME DANCE WITH ME.
Let’s take the time to stop the world and pay attention to our hearts. Our attention is like a spotlight. Feelings live in our body parts, and when we shine the light of our attention on specific body parts, memories crack open and move, dissolving the hard hold they have on us. Shapeshifting through feelings as they come up will open us up to their messages, their symbols and their signals.
One of the single-most powerful acts we can do is to share our vulnerability. The more we open up and dance through our feelings, the safer the environment becomes to explore our edges. These dances will be our offering to the bigger world. They will be our prayers for peace.
This will be my focus not only in this workshop but also for my entire residency.
In this workshop, rooted in Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms movement practice, we use our dance like archeologists to dig beneath the surface, to seek buried treasures and pearls of wisdom gleaned from our own life experience. The 5Rhythms offer us both a map to understanding and a way to deeply embody the patterns, waves, and vibrations that organically move us from birth to death.
Our journey will be a deep investigation into our personal relationship to the rhythms and rituals, the teachings and traditions, the people and places that have formed and informed who we are. Every session will be a deeper dance into the parts of us we wish to celebrate and honor, as well as those parts we wish to let go.
Moving with a diverse group of people enriches our way. The work of Cycles focuses us on our common ground, providing us with an innovative, creative prism through which to view our journey. Please bring a journal, some family photos, and an object of deep meaning to you. Cycles is a course requirement for 5Rhythms Teacher Training.
Recommended reading: Roth, Maps to Ecstasy and Sweat Your Prayers.