Sunday, 7 August 2016

Letting Love in

This was written to a group of dancers and teachers of circle dance and is slightly edited to remove any personal references.

...I feel glad that you follow your passion and share it - but I also hold that a felt willingness to join with others is effectively ‘letting love in’ - and this is perhaps the most profound healing beneath any other form or process - because the denial of love is the root ‘sickness’ by which something else is presented in its place - but which no longer has the healing and whole-ing power that love simply is - and works to deny the original intimacy in terms of loss of control, face, power and security. Jesus offered may parables by which to recognise the reversal and indeed the moneylender in the Template who holds true worth hostage to a trojan scam.

By which a fragmentation or splitting operates in place of a communication within wholeness - with polarised ‘opposites’ claiming or asserting independence from each other - and from their unified source.

I have let fallow my dancing amidst the sense that we have become so ‘sophisticated’ and partial in our dancing ‘identities’ that the forms of joining have replaced the transformational experience of joining - and indeed a truly felt intimacy is either denied or subverted to serve separative interests - or at least not aligning a growing living culture of joining in living FROM a connectedness - but instead assimilated into a larger consumerism of getting a ht of connection without the risk of transformation.

I don't address this to your groups or any others in particular - but as a general observation over time.

When I share dance with those who are not ‘circle dancers'- at gatherings where a sense of willingness for joining is still lived - there is a tangibly shared movement of being truly moved - that can for example be tears of gratitude or a profound appreciation of presence. And this as a natural by-product of sharing something we are truly open to being moved or inspired in.

Receptivity, discernment and willingness to embody truly - bring us into presence, synchronicity and right relation - and if we merely use that as a ‘fix’ we then discard it to resume our ‘life’ in an alienated and life-denying society - that drifts ever more into insanity of active but masked hatreds that are more likely to be self-righteously asserted than opened to healing - for so invested in such identities are we encouraged or herded to become.

Our original nature is whole - but are we wholly en-compass-ioned in such felt embrace? - or asserting the mind of definition upon Her - so as to generate a distorting and usurping identity that has become a second nature, asserted and self-justified at expense of awareness and acceptance of our First?

As long as we choose to assert being the independent ‘mover’ - we will hold onto a sense of control that prevents the quality and appreciation of being moved. For a long while I felt the (circle) dance was a profoundly simple access to the ordinary or natural transcendent embrace of a healed and healing perspective… an opening into a reintegrative movement of Sanity and Wholeness.

And of course it is - if you let it be so for you.
In a world ‘designed for forgetting’ or predicated upon the notion of getting - re-membering is a true belonging in our own being - and naturally extends out as the giving/receiving of the gift - as a movement of appreciation and gratitude.

A circle between Spirit or unified purpose and its expression, act and reflecting embodiment is completed in the call and response of joy in Life - but blocked from fulfilment by the loss of receptivity, guidance and support that re-polarizes us to ‘struggle alone’ as attempt to validate or get right what is not in our power to do - but is our power to accept as already given - as our divine or original inheritance.

I don't write this as an expectation of personal response from Laura - but as a reflection in which anyone may join in any way they feel moved. But I ask to feel for where we are being moved from so as to know a true sense of ourselves rather than reacting from conditioned sense of past imprints.

Isn't so much of our dancing the falling away of what doesn't serve to allow a fullness of presence and participation?

Joyful abstinence is preferable to joyless dancing - but wherefore a true love that gives and receives spontaneously of itself just be cause!

I dance in words across the screen of your attention… or regardless your attention elsewhere. But whatever wanted to move to communicate - has drawn its clothes from a vocabulary of cultural forms spanning many cultures and millennia of experience - and yet presently unfolding meaning anew to a willingness of noticing and joining.

Have I nothing better to do! Or is a perfect moment one in which there is nowhere and nothing else one would rather be? Isn't that what living from our joy brings us (apart from highlighting the patterns of joylessness that don't serve awakened purpose so as to release them - and so become more open to presence?

In Peace


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

I saw I had not written here and dropped by...

I have been paused from sharing or joining in the dancing for over a year now with very few exceptions of sharing in community camp contexts - where there is an innocence of openness to feeling, at my 60th birthday camp - and one visit to a group while travelling on a break away where I found nothing had changed in my own sense of not feeling one with a culture that I find joyless - though of course it does not see itself in such terms.

Joylessness in dance is no different to me from joylessness in Life - but I have associations of joy in dance that find me unwilling to join in or with a loveless intent masking as a form of social acceptability. This may seem harsh for I am not ordaining that the intent of others is invalid for them - but that I find no meeting in love of whatever it is. Or rather - I find a culture of limitation and denial of feeling, in preference for a sense of control - and only such joys as conform and fit under such controls are 'allowed'. The bird of joy sings not of a cage - but of its freedom.

Love is being with what is - love is moving and being moved and loving is a movement of uncovering the more of who we are in fresh perspective. This may not always be comfortable - but it is richly rewarding and genuine.

The world 'outside' is the cultural context for anything going on and colours it automatically - unless there is a conscious cultural purpose rising and embodying from hearts joined in shared willingness.

I love singing for and joining in dance - so much so that it is one of my primary bridging gifts in this lifetime by which to share true presence in the evaporation or falling away of presentations. But such natural miracle holds no culture or staying power - but reverts to or is covered up by a 'consumer' mentality of separate minds in private purposes - a managed interior life that uses relationships to get what it needs rather than embracing them as the opening of a shared appreciation of a qualitatively expanded and embracing consciousness.

I need dance to be in the context of a truly shared willingness of embracing Life rather than as an end in and of itself - or I am going through the motions in a sense of denial and seeking to make that 'work' so as to 'fit in'. And that is toxic to my sense of integrity. I don't belong there and that doesn't belong in me - so I released running and holding dance events indefinitely by focussing in what my willingness and embrace of life naturally and joyfully moves me to live.

There is nothing 'wrong' with anyone choosing to do anything for their own reasons. But if those reasons limit the freedom to share in a natural joy in being - then a hidden or tacit undercurrent is working to create an atmosphere of conformity and compliance. Very common to circle dance and the death of free willingness.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Dancing as healing art

This writing is edited from a response in a conversation on the therapeutic uses of dance

Recreational is a term that can serve to mean the remembering of Creation itself - from which the Creator never departed. Reconnecting not merely to top up ‘batteries’ of a separate self sense, but as a yielding OF the separate self sense to an Already Wholeness that is eclipsed or covered over by the identification within a separating mentality.

Wholeness and holiness are one well-being. But to a part that asserts and defends its separateness at the expense of the whole, holiness can only be heresy and patching Humpty Dumpty up so as to remain out of true but ‘get away with it’ becomes the modus operandi.

And so all kinds of healing modalities can be used to support an out-of-true self-assertion by subjecting them to or filtering them through personal and mutual ritual culture so as to reinforce the separateness rather than yield it.

Where one is coming from is the measure of what one receives - and this is basically “what you give out is what you get back”.

If in the facilitation or teaching of any form of shared learning, one comes from a conflicting foundation, then one has a conflicting outcome. However, those who come may bring a whole willingness and receive in like kind.

Definitions are everything. For a fearfully defined sense of self can only operate from and as a conflicted foundation.

Joy is healing in the remembrance of truly aligned nature - for joy is wholeness of being - it is also the condition in which what is out of alignment becomes clearly noticeable, unwanted and in time, intolerable.

Focusing on the Joy becomes a ‘therapeutic’ act in any endeavour.

The negatively defined self tends to focus upon what is ‘wrong’ and then attempt to overcome or fix or heal it. This can them SEEM to be ‘helpful’ but is a subtle deceit whereby the ‘out of true’ perpetuates itself at the cost of wholeness.

When truly motivated - that is - when we are doing what we love and freely want to do, rather than doing what protects or hides our fear, so as to reinforce a private agenda, we become aligned within a single unified focus and all our faculties and abilities operate and develop to embody and fulfil our living and communicating desire - which also aligns and attracts to it whatever is needed for its shared fulfilment - for joy is never a private agenda - being a quality of radiance, generosity, appreciation and gratitude.

Meeting this vibrational state requires some willingness FOR it. If one is determined to abide in justifying grievance, one will exclude or render invisible ANY communication of joy or healing and will thus feel free to substitute such ‘absence’ of well being, with any and every kind of surrogate - none of which demonstrate the qualities of the Spirit of wholeness.

I feel I live in such times where a false sense of self is yet operating unchallenged, and thus dictates and limits our thoughts - our perceptions, our experience of world and our perpetuating reactions whereby fear magnifies and joy is sacrificed.

All of us choose our joy - or our least pain - in any situation - as we define it. AS WE DEFINE OURSELF IN THAT RELATIONSHIP TO BE. If we complain is it not that we take joy in grievance?
In a society that defines pain as joy, and joy as heresy, it can be challenging to reclaim sanity.
But whenever two or more gather in a shared willingness for joy, a ‘bubble reality’ is formed in which learning (=transformation), occurs. This does then communicate or radiate out to everyone in the larger ‘reality agreement’ as a vibrational choice.

But each remains free to accept or match that vibration or not. One doesn't so much heal as facilitate conditions - including vibrational presence - in which healing can be recognised, accepted, welcomed, as the replacement for a false substitution of life. IE: baggage can simply fall away.

Everyone has a unique belief system, and will attract to themselves or explore according to their own excitements and predilections. Unless their capacity to imagine and explore is sacrificed to a rigid self-defeating sense of unworthiness or inadequacy. But even these are choices for which a pay-off is gotten - or they would never be made and accepted as if true of us.

I have never promoted the dance as a therapy because I feel defined in living joy and unwilling to define myself in terms of sickness. I have no doubt as the health-givingnature of sharing what we love, because we love. But once we do something in order to escape a fear of something else, such as dementia or even loneliness - we use the new wine in the context of the old bottle (paradigm) and this adulterates and dilutes our joy - for there is no innocence in strategic private agenda.

Innocence in its true sense is not a mitigation of believed guilt, but a freshness of perspective - of true willingness for life, that yields what it thinks it knows itself to be in order to rejoin a Greater Dance - for joy is the call to embody the inner music of our being, and re-creation or re-membered Creation is the nature of our true presence revealing unto itself through us.

These are simply my thoughts arising from the consideration of dance-as-healing. If anything resonates with the reader then be the resonance of what moves you and feels relevant to your own unfolding.
But truth is never defined within form and never will be, but it is embodied through form when free of coercive hidden agenda, and automatically reaches to where it is welcome, in time and over time so as to fit the timings of a wholeness unfolding to Itself.

In Peace


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Issues arising out of website chat

Adapted from a conversation on website presence for the circle dance network. Though some facets may be somewhat irelevant out of context - there are others that I feel relate not only to what we use circle dance for - but to the social issues of our world far beyond our sharing dance focus.

Yes - some people have the wherewithal to implement a working website - and there are various ways of doing that which may result in an html web site served but use various tools, templates, online systems and programs. Some of these work in the code itself and some via template interfaces or create the code from creating the design in a wysiwyg interface. They are not all compatible with each other and so don't suit a group effort unless a group all use the same tools. That's the wiki idea probably because it is the lowest common denominator - as far as I can see. However, I notice that ANYTHING to do with computing whatsoever brings up a sense of incapacity or inadequacy in MANY - and is associated with 'technology' which is presumed complex, dangerous and liable to get messed up. People then HAVE exactly such experience and are reinforced in their convictions.

So I also have doubts about ANY attempt to share via computing as being conducive to a truly shared creative responsibility. And as I've said before I don't see the signs of any such willingness either. This is not the condition into which I give myself.

Dance notes and dance videos that ARE available become a model from which any uncertainty often finds a pattern. I often find various example of a dance and use my own discernment as to what I then choose. The fact that I learned X from Y does not make it authentic - and even 'sources' can in effect choreograph certain elements and styles to particular recordings. If the range of information available is presented one can then make choices. The only way I see an 'orthodoxy' being imposed is when extant versions are invalidated and excluded from being communicated - or communicated about.

I still don't know why the teacher contacts cant be restored to the regular groups list - which in effect was the regional list.
The existing setup finds pdf easier to update - I don't know why it is lest 'harvestable' - almost any downloadable pdf becomes available via a plethora of websites. IE: Birgit Karlson's pdf songbook appears through all sorts of sites that simply 'supply access' with no connection - just as youtubes are used as 'access' to mp3s extracted from them, or news items are extracted by Google. Anything 'up there' is harvestable unless hidden behind paywalls, encoded links and etc. But even so  - only one person needs download or access such a 'private' file to then propagate it or be compromised and it be propagated - such as sextexted photos in the news recently.

However, most people's details are already public - in directories, electoral registers and various public records. I am happy that interest in circle dancing can link to my site and have a way of contacting me. But I do not seek to maintain a segregated existence of different personalities. If someone wants to be a bit more private, they might set up a special extra email account SOLEY for use as a contact - and indeed a PO Box if they want. Then they can release further information to a legitimate request.

Health is witnessed in a diversity that can nonetheless interact, relate and blend or cross fertilize. Self-protective segregating movements withdraw into factions that become a body politic at war with itself - and a body politic afraid of its own capacity to change.

Coming out of the closet - is to my mind what is meant by 'when good men do nothing' in the phrase 'evil flourishes when fear prohibits or inhibits, a true presence from coming out of its closet'.

If one does not in fact choose to 'die' then one has to step forth, or at least stay standing when fear says "run and hide".

The inmost aspect of this is simply an recognition of the choice that one is come to, but one of the ways a change of heart can manifest is to become a giver rather than a getter. To do and be and act with what is in accord with who and what you truly feel yourself to be - in relation to this moment and this situation and this relationship - as an ongoing 'spiritual' practice of self-worth.

A website is not a way to get people to dance or to get more work as a teacher or get more dancers - unless you insist that that is the culture most aligned with who your truly feel yourself to be. It offers a communication - if you want - of who and what you are through sharing something you are passionate about. I know its a challenge - because it is sharing dance and music that one is passionate about - not websites dealing in largely static and linear verbal communications. But this is where I feel Teaching is what comes through the vehicle or tool or instrument and not focussing on the form as if that was the 'author-ity' in and of itself.

Materialism forgets what anything and everything is FOR. I do not want to invest in setting up a system that everyone can use to include themselves and their offerings without some sense of shared enthusiasm - propping up something that doesn't have the energy to stand otherwise. And that is significant to our culture of dance because if we set up dependencies then we do not seed culture that is self-sustaining, vital and expanding in creative unfoldments of passionate discovery. 

This leaves me with the thought that conversations often coagulate around "what can we do to attract more support and participation?" - where we might be thinking "how can what I have to share offer more support and inspire and invite more participation?".
I always come to the realisation that dance as I live it, is part of the 'spiritual' practice alluded to above and is boxed in by various dogmas or beliefs that it has acquired - which may be good in their context but not as a blanket orthodoxy.

And of course, even voicing such suggestion induces reaction in many readers because it seems to 'threaten' even the little we have left!
But I sense the crumbs on the floor are not the Feast Itself. Such is the 'austerity consciousness' that suits the few who have the most investment in the status quo.

Whatever one chooses, change happens anyway - but we can only experience it according to the perspective we have chosen. 
If a bright circle enjoys but one stays downcast throughout - they were integrally part of the gift , but can only see through the lens of a privately maintained framework. As such they are 'less harvestable' - but in the sense of the joy that goes out and shares itself as the experience of a truly connected moment. Such is the Feast - as I see the harvest of our living. Not a secret download serving a private agenda in a place set apart to be a power unto ourselves each alone. Or a cartel of the few who set the parameters on the many and protect against any change that doesn't suit their personal investments of pride, reputation or wealth. I am not talking about 'persons' here but simply acknowledging human psychology - regardless of the organisation or society.

If anything here serves thought for food - good-oh! But I have no authority that everyone else does not share in, and only use it to include the presence of what I am moved to share - without any strings attached, to take or leave or use or ignore as your free will moves you - which I see as a willing-ness to be moved rather than the wilfulness of coercive struggle - and its corresponding identity in defence and control. THAT's what I aspire to use the dance to teach, as an experiential and shared knowing - from the free recognition within the movement itself.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

To be or not to be is not the question

I wrote the following into a Sacred/Circle/Folk Dance forum to the issues of the fate of the circle dance network website following the dissolution of the circledancingfriends  company that was also aligned with the Grapevine quarterly network journal and an annual teacher gathering. When structures disintegrate or change, is it not a call to re evaluate 'who we are and where we are going?'.

- - -

I too see the issue not in terms of an apparently existing web site or not, but as an expression of cultural values lived... or not. (Or rather other values chosen that result in other manifestations).

Grapevine, to me is like sailing ship news often of a sailing ship mentality that somehow separates me from a feeling of relationship in dance rather than connects. I take full responsibility for my experience - because of course the way I choose to see it is what gives me my experience.
Static web sites are like museum artifacts floating in disconnection unless serving as living library resources or information exchange.

Fears of worse outcomes often justify a persistence in choosing known poor outcomes. But embracing change in a positive determination is the very process of renewal.

I know of no reason why the internet cannot provide a medium for networking the needs and enthusiasm and offerings of those who are inspired... apart from the generally hidden fear that segregates and separates and invalidates.

Practical considerations are dealt with within the context of a decision. Modern fear-controlled thinking works in reverse and gives all its power away excepting the power to cling on to a dwindling echo of what once held promise.

The network is a relationship and like any relationship, it can develop an ego or an imaged construct of itself and then live as if that image is the reality. But actuality is only a relating, a channel of communicating that is open... or not.

So much of what is called communicating or relating is an assertive or coercive effort to maintain perceived structures of control, status, or identity. We may gain such a world, but lose sight/appreciation of our Soul.

Death, in terms of the evaporation or dissolution of that which no longer serves, is innate to the very process of manifestation, but that which never changes - which can be called Spirit - is not itself subject to time. Perhaps the letting go is the only condition in which true renewal can arise from a pure or clear decision in willingness to live the movement of life... without perhaps any real sense of 'how' apart from this step now.

I note that the issues in our local universe (dancing network) have much in common with a larger cultural shift. For my part, I only see one thing going on within the movement of change we call the 'times we live in', and that is a tectonic cultural shift, though of course it simply looks terminal from many perspectives.

I did not have any involvement with the website or the CDF company. It wasn't that I was against it, but in a sense indifferent - there was no 'chemistry' or resonance or relevance for me - though undoubtedly others bring and share and experience according to their choices and actions. Perhaps it has served its purpose?

I've put out invitations to join in collaborative networking online in various forms including this list as an example.
Even this list could function crudely as a simple way to publish articles, reports, poems, resource lists links - and living ongoing discussions and explorations. It is not unable to serve all such functions. But it is not embraced in such spirit or purpose - for whatever reasons each knows in their heart to be 'their' reasons - excepting in a very small way for 'find that track' sort of Q and A, and for advertising often local events across an international membership.

I feel there is another way of addressing purpose/spirit or indeed Spirit that extends such Purpose, and that is 'willingness'. Without willingness there is no influx of inspiration and enthusiasm, but instead to suffer a gradual or perhaps sudden defeat. Wilfulness can come up with all sorts of strategies to keep the game running, but only free willingness renews. A sense of 'should' or 'must' can only drag the dancers feet into treacle - which then sets as a sacrificial belief that says to get your 'when' you must give up your 'now'.  But ends and means are one and fear's denial grows strange fruit!

I sing and dance in a perfect joy and touch on / am touched in a perfect love. The groups are often very small. Each step can seem precarious in certain lights, but the opportunity for me has been of truly embracing and sharing (music and dance) as what I am and not for what it gets me. Each step is a good step once fully embraced. I live the day and life unfolds not by plan so much as in willingness.
I can look at the immensity of untapped willingness for music and dance and sharing life that I might say I HAVEN'T allowed a way yet to really bring forth and of course I can paint a picture of heaven on Earth and suffer the sense of how far short from the blueprint one can seem to be - but when I say each step is a good step I do mean it is one with that degree of harmony and integration - as each event is willing to embrace. To even be aware of the blueprint of one's life is a great blessing and not an excuse to self-judgement!

The mind can look on what is NOT here and make a world/self of lack.  Persistently appreciating the truly heartfelt nature of what IS here, will walk through the 'cold-turkey' of negative mind-addictions to discover that what we appreciate (give our focus of attention to) appreciates or grows of itself.  Abiding with and within us and extending through us... by our will.

Humanity has been/is now expert at manifesting an abundance of lack. We mostly are unwilling to look within and see the activity of our own thought, not least because an unwatched drifting mind is open to further manipulations or deceptions that maintain blindness against the light of a simple noticing.  The 'deceiver' is not merely an archaic superstition while fear yet hides protected but is in a sense actively distorting one's life-appreciations 24/7 - but only as a case of mistaken identity that then seems to operate as identity theft!

I first embraced Sacred Circle Dancing FROM a life that had already embraced and been embraced in Spirit - (though by no means fully integrated to such embrace). I felt the kinship of the energetic atmosphere of communion arising from sharing life in un-judgemental willingness and openness. Though my path with the dance has served a true integration in my own transformation, I could say the 'network' has gone downhill ever since. For we make history, judgements become identity,  fears become cultural forms of correctness, factions become protective devices to limit meeting those aspects of ourself we find most intolerable.

There is Universe enough for those who want to use the dance forms as their way to enjoy a segregated sense of a limited communion. It is  But even it the forms are the same, its isn't the same as letting the forms serve us to be opened to the formless - from which life rises ever anew.

So embrace can say 'both this AND that' where exclusivity will insist 'this OR that'. But the actual movement one uncovers in freedom from negative appreciations is a discernment of what is currently resonant and relevant to your core vibrational signature - to WHO you truly feel  and know yourself to Be - and the themes that your are in this lifetime focusing on and exploring.

Aligning with our truth - with our joy in being - IS what integrates and aligns our life with abundance in its sense of ability to do what you need to do when you need to do it.

Others must be free to choose their own, if we would know our own free will in flow. There is no persuasion or coercion needed or possible. No one goes anywhere but for their own reasons, but we play the game of saying 'you made me do it'... very deeply and very seriously! The way presence communicates is automatic or 'of itself', there is no manufactured presentation. I feel most of us know such moments of freedom - of 'not getting in our own way' in music and dance - but then try to cage the golden bird.

In Peace


I shared lovely singing and dancing in Norwich Cathedral last night.
"Encircling the Land in Sacred Dance" felt like embracing the world through this particular instance, (Norwich), as I myself am embraced by my very Existence. 'Be ye merciful even as your Father in Heaven is Merciful'.
We DO 'go forth and multiply' but as Consciousness. Being 'unmindful' of WHAT we are living FROM is literally to be one who knows not what s/he does.

I sang a bright 'Bells of Norwich' out of season because the ELSD pilgrimage incorporates Julian of Norwich. "All shall be well" because we shall awaken to 'know or own what we do' and thus drop what has no belonging in us to embrace wholly what does.
'Love waits on welcome, not on time' and I find opening a step at a time, raises me in a dance I can accept and integrate - rather than feel coerced from without or fear coercive deceptions within. How can I not feel gratitude for those hands I HAVE met in willingness to dance and be danced! The waiting on time is a conditional 'love' that says, when the conditions are right I will come out from withholding my presence from you and desist from withdrawing from yours.  But what set up all the conditions but a fearful self-conditioned attempt to take a living inheritance as if for one's self alone?

Friday, 6 June 2014

Dancing the end of war

Responding to a general request for dances to use for an Armistice Day commemoration I wrote the following; a little of which relates to the request, to the meanings accorded to the event and the mentality of ideas and definitions that makes a kind of religion out of death, destruction, horror and cruelty; the insanity of war.

- - -

I just happened yesterday to have read up a bit on how the Germans expected terms of surrender as per Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations ideals - but got crushing terms from their European victors, designed to destroy any prospect of Germany ever again being a threat in Europe. Is it not so that what we attempt to deny comes back at us - and what we try to prevent ever happening again becomes a sort of unconscious self-fulfilling script! History repeats itself until we truly own our own creation - that is - our own participance in defining ourselves and others in negative or segregative terms. As long as we identify - even unconsciously - in a mentality of war, we guarantee it into perpetuity.

I feel that rituals of remembrance can be vehicles that make 'religion' of war and suffering - as if terrible victimhood makes us special and apart from common life - instead of compassionately recognizing and embracing our suffering as a universal humility that calls for a greater perspective - a truly heartfelt perspective in which we join in this Life anew rather than joining in dark symbols of a past 'never to be forgot'. I actually feel that the moment loss itself is worshipped, the truth of the Life that is here is forgot. But I do feel for honouring those lost and our feelings of loss. Our capacity for full feeling is our Humanity - our Soul-connectedness... so different from emotionality.

Andaman Palikanari (Looks back in bittersweet blessing and then moves forward in hope.
Jovane Jovanke
Garuda (O where is my Spring?)
Heart Like a fire
Heaven today? (Few would have this in their repertoire as I made the dance but its sentiments align and one could make a simpler dance easily enough).
Hora Mirissi (I know its a bride's dance but its energetic of transition is a song that would hold meaning for me)
Misirlou - Sto Periagiali (I'd read out the poem).

Honouring the joining in new agreement and intent for a universal peace:

Lo Yisa Goy
Ma Navu
Oh any of a number of dances.

Dances that celebrate partisan heroes - such as Kalamfil wouldn't be my likely choice - (as well as being a lengthy and steep learning curve for non dancers).

If this is for people who haven't a dance vocabulary in their bodies then not only might the steps be simplified, any piece of appropriate music could be chosen and simple steps made to suit. If not using live music where the qualities can be embodied then feeling for those recordings that have it - and not just dances that might line up but be dreary or unengaging. Going through the motions is aka 'empty ritual'.

The underlying process I engaged was of tuning in to what the event signifies collectively - and then opening in what it means to me in my willingness to embrace it, and then using that energetic as the basis of feeling what dances and music serve as vehicles for the qualities to bring present or invite in the hearts of others.

If one does under the aegis of external authorities, it is the tendency to 'tell' everyone what to feel rather than invite the feelings to arise from freely reflecting.

I embraced this response in a simple willingness and have enjoyed the process. Without joy is a loveless world with distant gods and grave and terrible secrets that demand sacrifice, over and over and over again.

If it serves you to embrace YOUR OWN process then great - that is my desire. In a sense it doesn't matter what you choose so much as that you feel at one with what you have chosen. Then your choices will have integrity and you will hold that presence in the way you hold and teach them. Of course you can be open to guidance from others - but the true guidance is always the discernment of our heart while we open to whatever. If we deny our own response-ability we give our power away to externals and this hides our presence rather than brings forth.

Now I'm rambling on in the themes that have arisen in me in this moment, in this day and this willingness - no one is required to read on or understand or be involved with anything that is not resonant or relevant to their desire.

We seem to have designed a consciousness and thus a world where only dire calamity brings forth the love we are. Love is not war, but recognition and service to the Life in All. Only a Prodigal Wasteland seems capable of waking our true relation and turning away from the false association. 
"All wars are banker's wars", just follow the money and the consolidations of power that are effected under the guise of wars or financial crashes and revolutions. Perhaps the greater tragedy of war is the blindness that invests in, identifies with and re-enacts such insanity whilst believing itself free, righteous and justified. Over and over and over again.

I think it was HG Wells who imagined a time machine future in which humanity had split into two branches and contrary to first impressions, it was the beautiful ones who were simply farmed as prey by the others- and not in fact evolved excepting as their farmers designs had effected. Our mind is split - and while it is split, "we know not what we do" - because we are unconscious in large part by desire and design. I hold that the world we take as reality cannot operate as our reality when we wake up to our wholeness. Even in the midst of the symptoms of a broken world is there the potential for the reflection of Wholeness, of true Holiness. Not by our own power, but by the stirring of that Memory within which reaches to  and yields to Wholeness. This may be covered over and denied - by our use of our minds - but still Presence-ing and Gifting Itself as the Life we share.

I enjoy word-play. "Ah missed this day" speaks of the life unlived. To embrace our day and live it in alignment with the joy that is discernable and can be acted from, is to extend joy instead of waiting for some future condition that the past - or others - or your failings - have deprived and denied you. But it is such conditional waiting that deprives us. The world will never meet our set conditions but terrifies or breaks our heart.  Accepting an unconditional love is the releasing of our demands Life serve our agenda, and the transformation of our perceptions and therefore our behaviours and our experience.

I also notice war is the reverse of raw. To be unprocessed is to be pristine.  A separative mentality has redefined our nature as fallen, evil, untrustworthy and flawed. It has then 'split' to limit, control and coerce this nature. Thus we limit the help that would reach us, usurp the movements that would heal and awaken us and refuel the mentality that imprisons us.

To be in the raw - is associated with nakedness of the body - but naked unto our Source is another way of signifying the movement of and unselfconscious spontaneity of joy. I read recently that fig-leaves were associated with ancient priests in the ancient middle east. The 'middleman' who usurps one's direct relationship with Life and becomes the owner and controller of the System in which everyone then has their 'life' through.
The psychology of such fraud is emerging as a sort of financial-corporate corruption that is no different at root than the mentality of the medieval dark ages, and it uses war and destruction as its means of concealment, and reinstatement.

I dance as an expression of Wholeness by living forth from such willingness to be moved and not hide or fear or be embarrassed by love's presence. It is something that was initiated by a self-inclusive act to join with, rather than set apart from. The steps give the mind something to do to get it out of the way - as a sort of permission slip for the heart to know itself in expression. All things then become a language or vocabulary for the reintegration with what truly never left a sense of sense of being cut off, denied, abandoned or betrayed.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Reflections on sharing the dance and singing in Norwich Cathedral

On 17 October I led the dances (and sang for the dancing) for an annual event called 'Encircling the Land with Sacred Dance' which we initiated by the late Suzy Straw with chosen venues in and around the British landscape and marking an aspect of the Zodiac. So St Michael's line runs through Norwich and Libra's full moon, found me in a great vaulted building sharing, singing and serving the dance.

- - -

It is a unique experience for me to sing and teach and share the dance in such a context. While the living of something is simple - even if multithreaded and multidimensional! - talking about it can seem complex if approached in terms of the vocabularies used rather than the meaning shared.
I do have this sense though - that we can share inspiration and support at the simple level of our presence - so as to open to, and allow more of, what is truly here to our appreciation.

It is of course very different to being invited into Church communities to share the dance - but it still has an opportunity of blending and unifying energies within those of us who come.
The unified expression of Being does encircle and embrace us always - and in ways we may not guess or understand whilst busy within the dramas of a perhaps too easily distracted attention.

Sharing or acting out in what we love, because we love to, is not in itself difficult, but culturally there are so many blocks and inhibitions that seem to make it so!
I am glad we all aligned in a such a moment of expression and I am also glad that we were able to relax and enjoy it, despite - or because of some perhaps slightly more involved dances than in previous years.

One of the qualities of making music and singing in such a space is that of being extraordinarily exposed - although my sense is of not being able to push anything but that such attempt is exposed. Otherwise even the gentlest qualities are held and magnified, so it really is a lesson in yielding or trusting to the presence of life as it moves and not trying to add - or indeed to take away.

The uncovering of gracefulness or beauty in our being may or may not find welcome! I am grateful for meeting a grace of movement in circle dancing - and even more grateful for that I let it in. I ascribe that in part to what was moving in my life back then - but also to the open relaxed and accepting atmosphere that was evident in those early days which has always been integral to my sense of sharing the dance.

I feel a deep truth in that what we give out, is what we get back. As in the saying 'smile, and the world smiles with you'.
These things are forgotten when we lose our connectedness. We 'wait' for the world to smile… … … …
and the weighting makes us dense and heavy!
I feel the dance is a way to hold the remembering in our lives and thus live more fully.
I'm blabbing on a bit about it here because I feel these matters are often left out when we focus somewhat on the externals as if they were in themselves sacred. As if to get authority or validity from something outside our selves. I've always felt that sacred can become mixed up with scared, simply because we tend to call on the Divine when we are in need - when we have no answer to our predicament, and then become attached perhaps to the forms that Life found by which to gain our attention, trust and acceptance, and so make special or sacred to a truly felt experience.

I feel that we make all things sacred by using them only for Life, just as we lose sight of our Life by using them for purposes of division and personal wilfulness.
I was interested to note when researching 'fig leaves' recently, that they were associated with ancient priestly rites. Here then is another level of symbolism to the myth of the Fall - or Separation from our Divine Nature. For as surely all circle dancers discover, it is when we think we know that we err most blindly!

Our relation with our brother, sister and world is one with our relation with God/Our Divine Nature. Hence Jesus' choice of the two commandments - for they are one. The bit that was missed out is love …thy self, because unless we disallow and release our own self-judgements, we have no basis from which to truly recognize each other or our world.

I've never found a better vehicle for releasing self-judgement than circle dancing (not that I've gone off looking), but like so much that I hold dear about it - it is only there for those that are ready to embrace it.

I did have a moment's regret on driving home that evening - in a beauteous moonlight - and that was somehow omitting the dance and re-translated lyric I made for the Huron Carol. But I also trust 'what lines up' - including of course that which lined up to be missed - but the noticing of personal attachment is the opportunity to release it to a deeper root.
To all things their season!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The energetic presence that the dance embodies

I expect whoever we are, we feel the world we perceive to be self evident, but a moment's reflection reveals that my sense of the world has grown with me and that we all have our own unique focuses or preferences and consequently different perspectives and experiences.

For my part the energetic is a foreground thing - and if it is lacking, it doesn't matter to me how well the dances are taught or danced in technical terms, the event is hollow.

An awful lot of 'the human conditioning' is like the Microsoft joke:
"How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?"
Answer: "None - they simply declare darkness to be the new standard"
My point is that we can all agree to be so much less than we are and make it the official reality - such that we learn to live and become relatively comfortable or temporarily feel safe in darkness - and then protect our investments against the influx of light.

For my part, the Spiritual dimension of the dance may be served by external aspects of content; of the dances used and using ritual forms and themes, but is discernible as living presence regardless of where the event is 'pitched'. We never really have a common language in words for presence because it is the language of the energetic itself and can only be referred to or given some kind of witness in the art of our words.

But I don't actually feel that I am a thoughtful person so much as one who has become willing and able to let thinking go - let it rest, and allow a subtler appreciation of the moment to rise that has a unity and simplicity of being and yet cannot be 'taught' or rendered into the verbal mental constructs of a mind that operates as a sort of defence mechanism.
But it can be learned - and I believe that such learners actually teach automatically (whether they are teachers or dancers).
It is not commonly learned or desired, because it is in the other direction to that of reinforcing one's sense of self presentation or getting a better handle on the world.
I see it more as learning to relax so as to 'get out of the way' or let the armourings or masks fall off, allowing a trust in the love of music, dance and life to be the essential support, so that what is coming up is a cooperative fruit of a shared sense within myself that extends out naturally, because it is there.

So here I am again (anew!) finding words to clothe the focus of my attention.

I noticed at my last dance, that I was less willing to simply give support to everyone beyond the measure of their joining. Less willing to simply feed the dancers expectations of being pleasured or excited. What we do or don't do energetically is a lifetime's learning (and more), but whenever we release an unnecessary belief or role, we regain the power we had given away to it and enjoy a deeper clearer calmer presence regardless of the conditions.
Perhaps another reason for the lack of conscious joy, is simply that so much energy and attention is engaged in the 'steps'.

I would really love to work (play) with people who are eager to grow and learn (be transformed) by the embrace of the dance rather than engaging the steps. I know the argument goes that you have to learn the steps and then apply them until you have them and then you can dance, but somehow I feel this is upside down.
Perhaps because our dance forms particularly lend themselves to those who lean heavily towards the verbal mental approach rather than 'getting' the dance by induction. Because this is so often true of the teachers, it follows that it draws the dancers and sets up the culture that expresses such control, rather than a spontaneity of trust.
Children - of all species that learn behaviours, do so mostly by direct induction in the presence of clear demonstration. Clear being a term not just for the form, but for the manner or spirit of expression.

I don't think it is just that dance is not in our (Western) culture like in the Balkans etc - but that our approach to life is so much more in the 'head', as a sense of being the controller. I feel this may correspond with the 'Patriarchal aspect' as opposed to a more unified expression - but I tune into this in the Now. For the unified is always the living presence and not the packaged and processed interpretations of any kind of elite.

I've rambled on a bit - doing something I love, because I love it.
That's why I dance and share it and sing for it too.
It is a vehicle of expressing a simple and undemanding love in a world that is largely defended against it.
Being in my element; (the loving) is connecting within myself and therefore with others and the world.
When I try to live outside such a, everything goes awry!
There are no substitutes for our genuine presence!
No one else will do!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Private - Keep Out! ...?

If I have dancers who are locked into looking at feet I often invite the group to have a specific practice or repeat of a dance to explore finding the dance in our bodies. I do so in clear invitation and offering support.
If dancers are locked into looking at the centre (whether I have one or not), I tend to choose dances whose energetic opens to a present relationship in a looseness of fun - unless a more grounded joining felt more appropriate.
The pallet of dances offers itself as a moving focus of our group attention and energy.
Attention directs energy and energy follows attention. Freeing attention opens the space in which to feel and behold the full quality of our dancing.
Looking down is part of a spectrum of range, but locking the attention downwards denies aspiration in shared endeavour.
Subservience looks down, the unworthy look down, but to what do we subjugate ourselves?

The private 'spirituality' that is so easily lost, spoiled or exposed by coming into relationship with others is a sham(e).
Nothing Real is threatened, but can be lost sight of if the unreal is accorded an equal existence. If two or more gather in some other name...

Now surely our relationship is not in itself a joining of hands or meeting of eyes - but is joining in shared purpose.

To talk about this level is more difficult because we don't have shared vocabulary for it - but the symptoms or effects of withholding  are indeed a joylessness or flatness - which then demands a private 'spirituality' to compensate. But our simple presence shared is already a spiritual Fact.

This hole in our culture is buried beneath a lot of stuff that a lot of people are dedicated to defending. It is of a similar nature to the story of the Emperor's 'new' clothes, where none can see or admit to a nakedness because to do so is to reveal themselves as unfit for their positions or hopelessly stupid.

Of course Life is still Life and happens or leaks out in all sorts of ways. But the exceptions prove the rule rather than disqualify it.

In a culture where everyone agrees to look the other way, love does not exist... and so people make substitutes for it because a purely hateful life is both unliveable and intolerable to the love that we are.

What then is the art and dance of relationship that allows us to meet without making demand of, asserting power upon, or appeal to?
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day,  Thou canst not then be false to any man.

I am not raising issues to assert myself - but to invite a shared focus in areas of our dancing that  - I sincerely feel - will benefit from being brought to light.

The degree of differences in various groups around the world will not mean that there is not a legitimate conversation to share regarding this - for those who feel drawn to engage in it.

Not everyone has interest in anything except 'dancing', but what is that??
Private - Keep Out!
Authorised persons only!



Thursday, 4 July 2013


Good morning all,

There is an aspect or level of our awareness that can always pick up when someone is trying to get something from us  - or put something on us.
If we join with this, we make mutual transaction, we make social rules and expectations of behaviour.  We set up conditions for 'love' such as if you behave as I desire, you will please me, and if you do not you will hurt my feelings and make me upset. Of course this gets very very complicated - except that none of it is real, so much as an attempt to make reality (and the reality of others) fit the ideas or the wishes that are given priority or held dear. When people join in the attempt to make reality fit their own image - they believe it! - and live out from such belief as if they actually were together in the ways they imagine. As if Life (the Living Universe) actually is supporting and enacting our plan for it.

But when we meet someone who is accepting of us as we are, we find a spaciousness in which we can feel, and move with what we feel, for our defences are not triggered into reaction  - unless we are afraid of being without such structures of control, in which case we become aware of the tight fit of our own mask - and thus invited to become self aware of our presentation.

When we can truly be ourselves with another, we feel it as love. We not only feel loved, but feel a freedom to be love's expression.
But the way of this is like a dance in that the self-revealing and the acceptance are not transactions of getting something - nor of getting away from something - but are a cooperation within the 'movement' and the music of our being. one could say a deeper sense of connection with Life, with ourselves and each other. But it is actual, rather than symbolic. Real rather than rehearsed.

Such communioned sense may well become the basis of a new set of transactions - in attempt to have it again, or get more of it, or make sure we don't lose it - and so it is temporarily lost to our awareness while we engage in attempt to make life work - as if it is not already working. But it remains true that when we accept and embrace the moment (of ourselves and each other) exactly as it is, we become available to Life and Life becomes available to us. We have - so to speak - rejoined the dance!

It is very possible to define life and joy in terms of struggling in the dark in terms of moving toward light - if one can get others to join with such definitions or meanings.
Nothing is so lost as that which we set out to find, in the conviction we do not have it!

Sharing the experience of the moment - by neglecting to withdraw, withhold or make separate, may initiate an awkward silence - and unexpected intimacy. Yet if we abide in the moment without reinforcing our reactions, something occurs between us that is in effect 'uncovered' or restored to us - of relating in a way that is unforced, and natural. So many cling to the surface simply because they avoid the personal chaos or conflict that underlies the sense of being 'guilted' by rejection, exclusion and inadequacy. The first time another man hugged me, I froze up. I said (though it was also obvious) - but I said, "I'm all froze up" and he said, "That's ok". And it was - because it was simply honest of that moment - acknowledged and embraced - and moved on.


Some background in teaching dance as joining in relationship

I almost never teach a dance without there being a sense of the music and therefore rhythm - and nearly always sing as well as demonstrate the dance - in slow motion if helpful. And the rhythm is present throughout the learning - as is a sense of sharing rather than learning in isolation. (Though of course the dancer is free to learn in isolation if they insist!).
(If I could not sing I would at least play a bit of the music first - and call attention to the rhythm if helpful). As a singer, I can not only sing - but can sing without embarrassment or self consciousness. Not that I make a fool of myself - but that I am indifferent to such in the willingness to share - and if I sometimes do - then it is of no moment because it is not about me.
I minimize the aspect of the mind that associates learning with school (at least as school was for me) and maximize the joy, relational trust and relaxed faith in everyone's willingness and ability to join the dance. I will reinforce with verbal mental instructions or mappings - but that isn't the primary mode of teaching or communicating.
If I have dancers with less ability, I may offer cheats or workarounds or simply pointers such as keeping their steps smaller as well as inviting them to tread water 'in the manner of' with kindness to neighbours and remaining with the music and the circle - until they see where to get back on again. This is so much better than chasing after the lost moment for all concerned!
There could be pages of things I might say of offer to such dancers - but would generally be as felt appropriate to their demonstration. I tune into when or whether to directly help as making them self conscious is not help! But I also don't overteach as if we all have to be perfect before we can meet the dance and I raise the bar at least such as to induce some aspiration and some willingness to join in work and play (and rest).

I have a 'workshop' mode that tends to focus on a few dances in more depth, a 'celebratory' mode that focuses on the shared energetic - including very slow or intimate dances - and mostly these days am 'at Home in the dance' not only literally - but actually.
Being at home in something is to be at rest - even in its dynamic - and even through apparent chaotic aspects. I feel this is a mastery - not of cultures or forms - of which one could never perfectly complete an education - but of oneness with. Like we master walking when we no longer have to manually 'do it'. Walking is just part of our expression of ability. We can then use walking without it being a big deal.
This quality of fluency or at-home-ness can extend and invite because it is not trying to become something or validate itself. I notice that the focus can be held clearly in the heart yet in an informality. Our willingness is the measure of our sharing and as the teacher/host I am willing to set the intention and invite joining through example - so I extend that willingness in ways that feel appropriate or receivable - according also to my current level of trust. The more trust is extended the more perspective we share in which to bring more willingness...
But there is a current level of trust in oneself and in each instance of every group that is the guide - because if one attempts to push the river - disconnectedness and struggle replace guidance with self protective blocks and one is obliged to release it and be restored to serving rather than controlling!
In a willingness to serve the dance we can ask of the dancers - and receive freely, what could not be accessed with targets and incentives!


Relating in the Dance #1 - Personal and transpersonal

If an issue becomes polarized into good vs bad, then real communication is lost. If identifying a block becomes merely the mapping out of judgement, instead of releasing the block, then the 'understandings' reinforce the conditioning that constitutes a block to the natural flow of our being.

Perhaps this is why so many no longer meet in the dancing? - because of a history of (and thus an anticipation of), blame and judgement?

There are a number of indicators for health that are not a matter of the absence of symptoms, but a tangible presence; the qualities of Life.

I am aware there are different 'gazes' that are natural and appropriate for their respective occasions. There are dances that are not social and which call forth a centred interior awareness.

But even so, I stand by my observations (of an avoidance of relationship in the dance). In part I feel a pervading culture of fear and blame that is like a gestalt of our times, and I see it affecting almost everyone either to reinforce fear and control ... or to force its abandonment.

There are a number of ways in which so many dance so much less than their actual presence - presenting an acceptable 'joining' in terms of form but not really joining in Spirit - in living and present movement of inspiration and purpose.

And I feel that there are many who have settled for cherrypicking the 'bits that they like' and are willing to go through the motions of what they don't care for. This being a mentality of separation, comparisons and judgements - and not a circle of joining through music and dance at all.

In this sense I feel that what once was a ritual space in which to take off our ego's along with our worldly habits and tensions, so as to be renewed in Spirit - has become somewhat absorbed or subverted to being a sophisticated presentation. I'm not 'picking' on the dance in this. I see it happen to every new movement or inspiration.

Is it 'good or bad'? - Or is it an opportunity for growth and awakening? We each make our choices - and live by them.

And the reason I raise the issue is simply to invite more conscious attention and appreciation of the power of the dance when we join through it rather than get something for ourselves each.

Being someone who is generally open, receptive and appreciative, in the dance, I enjoy the oneness of purpose that I can feel with others, and I enjoy noticing and joining with the joy, shine or radiance of anyone who brings their presence into the circle in any degree, and I appreciate the moments of spontaneous shared welcome that for me are not merely personal, but the moments of the touch of an unselfconscious quality of being.
In the last post I called them 'darshan' moments - but namaste moment is also apt. To not only enjoy, but to be known in our joy - without inhibition of denial, recoil or avoidance. This is never a matter of will so much as willingness; to let the movement of our being be a fullness of experience that is never altogether private of subjective - but always has a quality of shared or unified being.

At some of Friedel's dancing, I noticed the cultural focus discouraged social connection and focused toward a centredness that was transpersonal. I found it excellent for bringing forth the 'inner dancer' into embodiment - as a serious undertaking of willingness to work!

Yet without grounding in the heart, this could become a culture of personal achievement; self-serious, special and aloof. At the last such occasion, a few of us sang one of the songs live for a dance she had choreographed (Raglan Road) and the heart quality in the singing enabled the witnessing or sharing of the transpersonal through the personal. Such indeed is truly a moment of fulfilment!

Ritual dance sessions can be a vehicle of sharing depth - but can also remain on the surface in somewhat self serious compliance.

Social dances can be deep fun, but they can also be a sort of conditional high without much grounded connection - such as to lose the shared attention of a circle into an immediate chatting in energy overflowing.

Consciousness either tends to use the form or stop at the form.
Transcendence or gratification.
When we stop at the form we have - in my terms at least - fallen asleep in distraction.

The distracted busy or mesmerized mind is 'elsewhere' and unavailable. It does not even realize it is 'engaged' until an awareness rises from a fresh perspective. I don't say this as a 'bad' - but simply to remind us that the human consciousness is expert at forgetting its true nature in the world of its own conditioning.

Anything that serves to re-mind and re-member us in Life, as conscious appreciation and gratitude, is part of our healing - that then extends in our lives to others. Because that's the way life works unless we break or block communication.

When there is a block, energy builds up as part of the healing or unblocking, and if denied, generates crises toward healing - yet humankind tends to dig ever deeper into a personal wilfulness or obstinacy in trying to overcome an adversity, rather than pausing reaction in order to look or listen more honestly.

Where there is a block there is the 'poor in Spirit' - but where the block is undone or passed through is the blessing of the 'Kingdom of Heaven' (I know you and others don't personally lean to such a term Laura - but it points originally to our essential and shared divinity, Now... and not to a Christian commentary).