Tuesday, March 29, 2011

dreaming, dancing, dancing, dreaming

Lately I have been feeling my posts have too many words... Inspired by Carolyn and Patricia's recent poetic posts - "before abrupt awakening" and "sharing our dreams, dancing our dreams"...

I was not looking for particular images in nature or trying to remember specifics of our dreams or art... I was spontaneously dancing with the objects that I found... the reflections, here...
Dream... share with Patricia... walk... seeing my dream reflected back from nature... seeing my collage images reflected back from nature...

... golden shimmering flowers... branch reaching out across the sea to Japan... the sea... oyster shell 'pearls' in the sand... the lights from our hearts...
...dance branch...

... nature reflecting Patricia's dream... nature reflecting Patricia's drawing (below)... earth, dirt, water, wind... waves... wavy waves rippling out from the center...

... branching, reflecting wavy waves of energy... dance waves... dance wavy concentric circles... spiraling into the center... the center of us all... spiraling out...

don't think... don't think...

only soul... ("No thinking....Only soul." Kazuo Ohno, Momo's butoh sensei)

... dance reflecting my dream... dance reflecting Patricia's dream, reflecting... our art...

...radiating out from the center... the hearts of us all... rippling out in all four directions... art / life / dance... no separation... connecting...

... sky...

Love and heart prayers to all beings in Japan...

Thank you for viewing my blog... I hope it may inspire you to dance your dreams... dance our dreams... or, join our collaboration? :~)
Love and light,
Music: Moby "Walk with Me."
Photos by Brooke
View our dance collaboration blog here: MomoButoh Company

Saturday, March 26, 2011

dancing imaginal realms - for japan

"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...

Thank you for viewing this blog. I hope it may inspire you to dance your soul dreams, too... or join our dance collaboration!
Love and light,
Music: Apocalyptica
Filmed by Brooke
Visit our collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Dance Company

Thursday, March 17, 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 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....
Filmed by Brooke
Visit our collaborative blog here: MomoButoh Company

Wednesday, March 9, 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
The living heart gives to us as does that luminous sphere,
both caress the earth with great
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.
Thank you for viewing my blog. I hope it may inspire you to dance your own dance in the natural world. I love comments and would enjoy hearing from you.
Kindly, Lee
Music: Chopin
Film by Brooke
Visit our collaborative blog here: MomoButoh Company

love and everything that is yes

I love 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...

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!

Thank you for viewing this blog. I appreciate it, and hope you may feel inspired in some way to dance in the natural world wherever you live,

Music: Yungchen Lhamo
Filmed by Brooke
View our collaborative blog here: Momobutoh Company