Tuesday, March 29, 2011

parts of the whole

The subconscious mind, that part of our psyche that is the foremost director of most of our dreams, is but part of the whole being that is what we identify as being our self. Often it sends us images of our anxieties and fears. I was encouraged by Momo to draw a picture that would signify a dream that was the opposite of that. I had no idea what I would draw as I laid pen to paper. The more I look at this sketch the more meaning I see was coming from that dreaming mind under the surface. And how it could see not only the present but I believe provide a glimpse into the future.

Monday, March 28, 2011

sharing our dreams, dancing our dreams

We dream
We draw
We paint
We dance
We make movies
We draw and paint
We dance
We make more movies

Lee and I dove into this moon’s MomoButoh theme by working in collaboraton and dancing each other’s dreams. Meeting via Skype and posting on Youtube, we dove in deep! Like any good dream, the process soon became fascinating to experience, but difficult to explain. Images of dancing and dreaming and drawing and painting started to blur ad leak into each other. (When Lee and I speak we often confuse the words dream and dance and draw.)

Let me see if I can tease all this apart and make sense of it.

Lee had a dream. I had a dream. We met via Skype and I drew a picture about her dream. She created a collage. Inspired by her dream images, I danced her dream. She danced my dream. We both posted our dances on YouTube.
This is my video of her dream.

Then we watched each other’s dream dances and let the dances inspire more dreams.

Last week we met again on Skype and drew pictures about what we saw in each other's dances. Next step: we dance about what we saw in each others dances.

Here is a dreamish montage of more dancing inspired by Lee’s dance that was inspired by our dreams.

For a minute I was pulling my hair out trying to make sense of all this dreaming and dancing and art making. I felt like Lee and I were holding mirrors up to each other and creating an infinity loop. Where would it end? How would I write this post?

Then I was saved by Carolyn’s seriously lovely dance and whimsical post. Carolyn reminded me that dreams have their own logic, their own wisdom.

I hope to bring more wisdom and whimsy and collaboration into future projects. I’m so grateful to Lee for sharing with me and deepening the process.

Thank you to all! And, for clarity, see how Lee explains it in her next post.

You can see a composite of other collaborations with MomoButoh Company during January's Style dances here.

dancing imaginal realms

"Light up the fire of love inside,
And blaze the thoughts away."
The result of connecting with Patricia via 'Skype'...my collage above... inspired by my meditation of the torn 'Web of Light' over Japan... filaments of light, Grandmother ancestors, nuclear power plants, pearls, oceans, and ravens...
"Light is Love revealed." Sri Chimnoy

In response to the tragedies of Japan, I have been moved to send prayers during my daily meditation practice. An image that came very strongly during one of my meditations was the image of the web of light that I have heard spoken of by the 'Grandmothers.' I visualize the weblike a 'fishnet' of luminescent light 'threads' or 'filaments' that covers the earth, and holds it from above... it connects the body of the planet as well as the body of everything that lives here on earth.

I saw the net of light covering the earth, but, over Japan the net was torn and the Grandmothers were trying to mend it - but, were very tired. As I was sitting with the 'pearl' of prayer for Japan in my heart, a raven came and took the pearl of love / compassion / prayer and flew it to Japan. One of the Grandmothers took the 'pearl' and with it brought two strands of the torn net together. The pearl of my heart / prayer was the 'glue' that helped to mend the net. The raven flew back to North America and started collecting other pearls from everyone's hearts that were also sending their prayers to Japan.
Soon, thousands of ravens were flying from all parts of the world with prayer /pearls in their beaks... all assisting the mending of the net of light over Japan. The Grandmothers were very relieved to be receiving so much light to assist them... The strands of the net being held together by the hearts of our prayers...
Momobutoh Company's practice this moon-time has been dancing our dreams and our imaginal realms with the option of including other modalities into our practice... Fellow-company-dancer, Patricia and I are dance buddies this month, and we planned to "Skype" meet to share our recent dreams and inspire one-another in our dance practices. She lives 1000's of miles away, and yet, via the inter-NET, we are able to connect as if we were in the same room.

We shared our dreams, shared creative drawing time (collaging and drawing) and then agreed to dance on our own time after that - and then share our dances with one another via film - inspired by the time we shared together via Skype.
This is Patricia's drawing inspired by her dream, with some of my dream also integrated within it. I took this photo while we were Skyping.

We were surprised at some of the recurring images that appeared in our dreams and loved how there are so many possibilities to this process - the potential of dancing the integration of our dreams; dancing each other's dreams; dancing with one another's dance films; with one another's images that were created etc....

Later that day, while walking in the park, I was called to spontaneously dance my imaginal realm when we came across a 'strand' of rolled hay intersecting a narrow 'path' that reminded me so much of the intersecting light filaments of the net of light... I was also struck by the fluorescent orange painted post, marking the 'tear' in the net / path...
The above is from the artisit, Arnotho: "we are all with you, thinking of you and pray for you."

Patricia sent me the above image that was posted on Twitter as it reminded her of my imaginal image of the ravens carrying pearls of light from afar to Japan - it was a submission from a call to artists from Takashi Murakami via GEISAI実行委員会 : "That is the idea that perhaps the power of art may be able to provide some ray of hope for our society in these dark and trying circumstances. With the theme of providing encouragement to the victims and those who have despaired in the quake's aftermath, will you join me in uploading artwork to Twitter's affiliated image posting sites?"

Grateful for this practice of deeply connecting to soul, spirit, dreams, the imaginal realms and each other, as taught by my inspiring mentor, Momo. Thank you, Momo, for connecting us soul-fully using computer technology in this way...

May all beings in Japan feel all-love and light surround them as we continue to hold them in our dances, thoughts, prayers, and meditations...
Lokaha Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering...

Love and light,
Music: Apocalyptica
Filmed by Brooke
Visit our collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Dance Company

Saturday, March 26, 2011

before abrupt awakening. . .

HiC Fantasy

zip ta zee! what's that i see?

sitting all alone under the magnolia tree, beneath the azalea bush, i met a strange man.

he took me on a trip inside of a raincloud! so that we could find the sun.
we simply adore to drink tea as we dance in gleeeeeee
he talked to me of the secret zip zann soo and the Salziban.

we waltzed, we laughed, we cried, we sang songs
taaa ra taaa ra taaa RA! Will you join us next time?

Friday, March 18, 2011

dance prayer for japan

"Each of the rain drops has a tale to tell
about the sorrows of people
about the hardships living things go through
about the arrival of sparrows."
Yamamura Bocho (XXth Century)
I was feeling overwhelmed with the news of the 9.0 earthquake, then tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster. The pain and feeling of inner helplessness for the suffering that so many beings went through seemed to course through my being. I have used dance in the past as a way of expressing, through body, that which is being felt within the depths of the soul and am grateful for this practice as taught by Momo.
On the night before the earthquake we had a kirtan at our studio (musicians and participants who sing chants from the yoga tradition and various other cultures as well). One of the chants that resonated so strongly for me was one to the Buddha of compassion, Amitaba. The day after the earthquake, it poured with rain and I was feeling moved to dance in the intense downpour, but, just as I began, the sun broke through the clouds in the corner of our garden where the Japonica (Japanese quince) is budding. We recently had cold weather and snow and the Japonica buds remain unharmed. They are renowned for their tenacity and ability to survive in challenging conditions.
At my childhood home there is a Japonica growing and I always loved how my Mom would bring in bare looking branches and once inside, they would bloom in the warmth of the house in a few days, bringing an early spring indoors.

Without prior planning of the dance, I knew I had to connect with the Japonica and the stone birdbath. As I danced, what carried me through was the continual repetition of the Amitaba mantra recited out-loud and inside... using song as a means of inspiring movement is one of our themes this month while we work with dreams and the imaginal realms. Because the camera didn't pick up my voice, I added a beautiful, but different, chant to the film.

I had set the camera up on a tripod and didn't know how the light behind me was affecting the dance and I had to cut much of it out as the film was filmed with nothing but light with my feet underneath it :~) A short while later, the rain had returned and on our walk I felt compelled to finish the dance in an underpass in the nearby park... protected from the rain, but still grasping the budding Japonica branch.
At one point, I felt inspired to grasp the branch and 'plant it' in the soil, with the feeling that it really could be strong enough to 'grow again' from the barren soil in the cement, manmade, underground structure.
A mantra I repeat regularly (and join together with our students at our yoga studio) is:
Lokaha Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu... May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering, and may our thoughts and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom from suffering for all beings...

May all beings in Japan feel the love that so many of us from around the world are sending in their thoughts and prayers... may all love surround them...

May all beings be free from suffering...
I found the above photo of the full blooming Japonica... returning after enduring many hardships....
Grateful to be sharing the dance with this collaboration and heart-full thank you, Momo, for all you inspire...
Filmed by Brooke

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March dream conference call

Each month members of the MomoButoh Dance Company have the opportunity to gather via Skype. We discuss the theme for the month (this month: dreams and fantasy). Momo inspires us with intentions, suggestions, and possibilities. We check in, catch up, and tell about our "callings and wallings." We give and receive support for our vows: declarations regarding our intentions for our dance practice, as well.

I'm looking forward to the close collaborations that are forming, even at a distance.

Today's call is dedicated to the healing of all beings affected by the earthquake in Japan.

These are the notes I doodled during the call.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

rock steady love

On a Day When the Wind is Perfect

On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day...
The living heart gives to us as does that luminous sphere,
both caress the earth with great tenderness.
This is a breeze that can enter the soul.
This love I know plays a drum...
Peace is wonderful,
but ecstatic dance is more fun...
On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open
and the love starts.
Today is such a day.
~ Rumi ~
I love what the wind symbolizes - the winds of change, letting worries go into the wind, being taken by the wind... etc. Also, many of the dances I have enjoyed most in nature were ones in which the wind was a dance partner. I have found the wind to be such a good teacher in spontaneity as it is always changing it's direction and intensity - moment to moment. Many of the dances were 'buffets' with the wind!
However, I also find being in the wind very unsettling to my nervous system and after being in the wind will often feel inwardly rattled and mentally space-y. At those times I long to feel grounded and connect deeply to the earth to counterbalance those feelings.
In our last dance mentorship session together Momo suggested I practice with a large rock in the shape of a heart that was given to me by a friend. Not only to dance the symbolism of the 'heart' itself, but with the idea of using it to connect with gravity and the earth element.
Today was a perfect day to spontaneously explore my love / hate relationship to the wind and to express my gratitude to Mama Earth (in the form of rock) for keeping me connected to the Earth as I was being tossed about.
Grateful for our collaboration here... love...
Music: Chopin
Film by Brooke

love and everything that is yes

I love the color green and everything that is green...
While walking in the park I couldn't resist doing this spontaneous dance when I saw the tree shadow sword stabbing into the sunny field and I was reminded of one of my favorite poems by E.E. Cummings...

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
While dancing I was feeling so grateful to be surrounded by the green trees, the grass and what felt like 'greenly spirits.' I was also feeling much love for the warmth in the sun as I danced the edges of the green tree between light and dark...
A little ways on, this heart appeared in the sky...
Love is everywhere, it seems!
Grateful to be sharing this dance practice with you all! Thank you, Momo, for linking us together and for your inspirations!
Music: Yungchen Lhamo
Filmed by Brooke