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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: 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: 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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Notes on Practice: It Speaks Very Much For Itself

I had an urgent errand this morning, but it cooperated and I was able to make it to this Sunday’s Sweat Your Prayers class, which was taught today by Daniela Peltekova. Stepping into the already vibrant room, I happily greeted many friends, found a spot on the floor, and fell into circular movement.
Today I was exceptionally grateful to step into a 5Rhythms class. Being away for the holidays kept me out of classes for nearly two weeks. Also, during my time away, I attended a brief not-5Rhythms dance retreat. I wanted something satisfying to do for New Year’s Eve and the retreat seemed like a good option. Although I am not one to bounce around to many different spiritual practices, I remain receptive. If I find that if I am insisting on 5Rhythms..

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Notes on Practice: Rhythms in Waves Workshop (The Entire Universe Opens Up)

The first night of Tammy Burstein’s “Rhythms in Waves” 5Rhythms workshop at the Paul Taylor Studio on the Lower East Side followed an extremely unpleasant day in my own small life. I stepped into the high-ceilinged rectangular room, with its clean, metal theatrical fixtures and foot-scuffed black floor and immediately collapsed, touching my forehead to the floor, grateful to enter the charged space of dance, and looking forward to three consecutive days of intentional moving—hoping it would provide me with some kind of antidote.

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