embodied attention, shamanic practice…9-13-16


Sometimes I’m just up in my studio, minding my own business, moving freely to some new tune and, without warning, inner worlds collide. The analytical part of me wants to know what creates a fertile ground like this, as if I could hang on to it, or make it happen at will. Not so simple. But three elements always seem present in an alchemical moment. Something—a concept, an abstraction, a teaching—has piqued my interest, my body is in a wave of motion, my mind is relatively unengaged. It always comes on like a download from the universe.

Gravity has captured my interest. You are actively negotiating with this ever-present pull toward earth central as you read. Seated on sit bones, not tilted toward pubic bone or tail bone, just right in the middle, spine, ribs and head stack for minimal effort. But still there is negotiation with gravity. So I’m feeling gravity while I dance, this dialogue with the perpendicular downward pull, tempting me into inertia, full on surrender, a tired desire to just give way to this force. Yet I also want to move.

In this studio download moment I actual feel myself harness the power of the pull down, bend it 90 degrees so it parallels the earth and transform it into the power of momentum. I am flying around the room, paradoxically fueled by the force of gravity. It feels like something Newtonian or Einsteinian is sustaining me.

This brilliant moment gives birth to a broader insight. For the umpteenth time, my very pragmatic body-based attention was being held in the context of a 5Rhythms shamanic wave. I used to wonder if my internal anatomy geek really could find full expression in this practice. I am done wondering. This embodied foundation is what opens me to the poetry that lives inside each and every one of us.

The longer I played, the more deeply I felt my exact place between heaven and earth. Simply by trusting my attention to rest in bones and organs and dancing the question of how they meet this force field, poetic insight emerges:

And there it is:

gravity, the force of it

pulling me toward Rilke

in the heart of the world.

Root tugging

perpendicular energy

informing my daily negotiations,

this potent influence,

this vital relationship,

me and gravity:

dangling together

on this hallowed ground.

I harness the pull downward,

transmute it to parallel power:

momentum which harbors

seeds of rising,

gravity defied,

only the stars to hold me back.

So many opportunities to exercise this trust, to let embodied attention be held in the context of shamanic practice. Be surprised by the authentic meaning that spontaneously arises. “It takes discipline to be a free spirit.” G.R. Yes. It does. But those poetry-filled moments of freedom…so worth it.

Love, bella