Begin forwarded message:
Dear friends, authentic movement practitioners, and more:
For those of you who have read some of my recent offerings, here is another. For those of you who haven't, well, I have found myself lately with a need to write down what is inspiring and informing me, daily -- abundantly. So I send this out to you, even if I don't know you all that well, in hopes that some of my words might open up something beautiful within you.
I send this to you in hopes that you will actually read it. I know we are all inundated with so much right now. !!
I confess it is lengthier than I planned. However, I send it from a place inside of me that is dreaming of the best, for all of us.
Don't know if it'll come across as I so yearn for it to come across, but ......
(okay, no further prefacing).
A whole new portal opened up in the world yesterday.
A whole new heart was born into the world.
Yesterday, on the banks of Grenadier pond, I sat with a friend on a blanket as his heart cracked open to reveal his deepest pain. I witnessed his willingness and courage to feel this old, terrible wound. As tears fell from his eyes, I knew he was letting in my love and compassion by the way his shoulders kept dropping and the way his face kept softening; by the way his eyes became more and more luminous, by the relief filling his face. It was as though I could see his heart healing in front of my eyes.
My heart has opened again and again to the suffering of others in the past. But never before had I beheld someone who let me and my love in so completely. Because he did, I was pulled directly in to the spiraling vortex of his transformation. I was transformed too.
In the midst of this, I had a vision of a new portal opening in the soul of the world, because of my friend's heart opening. Out of this portal, I saw the birth of a new heart in the heart of the collective: a heart of courage. I saw, in this vision, people's hearts awakening and expanding all over the world. I perceived it to be happening that very second.
I know, theoretically, that this is always the case. That everything we do affects everyone else. We are a collective. We are connected in ways that can be difficult to fully appreciate or comprehend.
I have seen this over and over again in my teaching and practice of Authentic Movement, a method that involves moving in silence with eyes closed in the presence of a witness. Movers follow inner impulses to move and/or sound, while witnesses practice seeing without judgment or any interpretation.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen, as a witness, movements echoed or repeated in the collective of movers: one person stands and raises their arm. A minute later, another mover stands, also raising their arm. Yet another mover, lying on the floor for a long time, suddenly raises one arm. Everyone's eyes are closed.
Or - one person's mouth opening and closing again and again. Another, across the room, their mouth opening and closing, opening and closing.
One time, I saw a mover squatting with their hands in front of them, fingers pointed out and softly wiggling them. Another mover was a few feet away, moving her fingers too in a similar fashion, pointed towards the other mover, and slowly shaking her head, as though wind was moving through her hair.
The most stunning example I saw of this was when an entire group of five movers all ended up against a wall. One was standing in a star shape. Another was sliding down the wall with her back. One was pressing against the wall with the front of her body, snuggling in. Two others were simply standing and leaning.
I take this as evidence of how intimately connected we all are.
I love to consciously engage this intimate connection in the form of prayer. I notice myself hesitate to use the word prayer because of how it connotes a certain kind of religiosity for many people. I use this term to refer to when I ask the divine for support for myself or another.
When I say the divine, I include the divine inside, outside, and all around. I mean -- the cosmic forces. Or, as I like to call it: the one who loves me. (That which loves me, for those who eschew any personhood associated with the divine.) All of these include me, in my own conception of the divine. They include all of nature, which surrounds us all so lovingly. Nature, which always, always wants to help us: the ground beneath our feet that whispers, "let me hold you"
the sky above that beckons, "release all your burdens up to me, I will absorb them and turn them into a bigger, wider perspective."
We live in a generous world.
While I have had dramatic and powerful experiences in praying for myself, I have also had the same with others. Praying for others and receiving the prayers of others. Once, someone that I was close to was meeting with his father. He was very, very anxious about it since any time they did get together, it ended up being pretty awful. They had a lot of trouble talking to each other and were generally, disconnected.
At the time I knew that they were meeting, I began asking for support on their behalf. Asking that they be guided. Asking that they be willing to open up more to each other. Asking that they learn how to soften. Asking that they be held lovingly so that they could each feel more safe in letting down their guard with each other. And on and on, as things occurred to me. I spent more time than I normally would because I happened to have it, and because of my love for my friend.
At the end of the day, I spoke with my friend and he reported to me his very different experience that day of connecting with his father. They had never before been so easy or open with each other, I was told. In fact, his father ended up relating a very significant story about his own childhood that gave my friend so much insight into him, a story that he had never told before. They had even laughed together a few times.
As for myself, I have received the prayers of others, gratefully, countless times. I have also learned how to reach out and ask for them. Recently, I had a big loss in my life. One morning, not long afterwards, I felt myself spiralling down a long, dark hole, fast and hard. I felt that I could not get through the day. I felt paralyzed, with feet of lead, and a heart of stone. I called up three friends; friends that I know mean business when they pray. I told them briefly what was happening and asked for their prayers.
Then, I simply pointed my feet towards the door and went on automatic pilot. It was only about an hour or so later, that I realized I was no longer trudging my way through the day. The heaviness that had been pulling me down and down, was gone. I was still sad, I was still grieving and melting in my heart, but I was moving through it with a sweetness. Oh, how I was grateful. Thinking of it now, I again give thanks for these special friends. I want to give them each a medal.
I know that prayer works -- from a thousand experiences of my own, and from hearing the remarkable stories of others. I know, too, that a powerful prayer is made from using a few different ingredients.
I have felt a calling from within for a long time to offer to others what I have learned about prayer. Even though I have responded to this call to a degree in my life, amongst my friends, I have not had the courage or the wherewithal to come out more widely in the world. I've felt shy.
I have also felt called to create .... let's call them prayer circles. Circles of people gathering together to practice praying, as well as praying together. Utilizing the amplified resonance of being together to give prayers more power. Praying for ourselves, praying for each other, praying for the world.
Most recently, though, the idea came to me of an online prayer circle. An email circle.
Here's the thing: I regularly encounter people or hear of people that are in great, big need of support. When I hear the stories, when I get well acquainted with the situation, my heart goes out to them. I know what it's like to suffer. I know what it's like to feel alone. I know what it's like to feel like there is not enough support to get through.
The truth is - we are not alone. But too many of us are living like we are.
I met a woman the other day who was falling apart in front of my eyes. Over the next few days, I prayed for her, but intuitively felt that my prayers were not enough. Too, I had such a strong sense that all it would take would be a couple of powerful doses of support before she could carry on. (This kind of special prayer support carrying her into regular, ongoing supports and resources in her life.) But that without that support, she could easily be lost. So often, I feel this is true about many people. They need a great, big helping hand to get them through the hardest part, and then they're fine.
each and every person that gets through the tough stuff, has something to give back to this world.
Each and every one of us is important, significant.
The bonus, too, the beauty of it all is - that when I pray for another, I, in fact, receive the prayer myself equally. When I pray for another to be guided, I am guided too. When I pray for another to open up to the love already surrounding them, I open to love. When I pray for another, I actually find it so much easier than praying for myself. And it lifts me up out of a more narrowed perspective and widens my scope, it changes the way I see my own situation. It fills me with a love that bathes me from within and always leaves me feeling as though I just had the best bodywork. It connects me more with the whole of the world, reminds me that I am part of a community.
For that is what I would love to do: I would love to help build a stronger sense of community within this world. I want to breathe it, love it, pray it, into existence. With you. I want to join forces for the common good. I want to create a new culture, a wild culture, where we are all bringing our talents forward in fresh and bold ways -- thinking way, way outside of the box. I want to feel my kin around me. I want to invite us all to feel surrounded by each other. Circles within circles within circles.
So let's all gather our talents and gifts in, like potters at the wheel, sweeping our hands round and round, shaping them like clay. Letting them take new form. Then let's fire them in the kiln.
To strengthen them.
As for what I've got to offer: Besides my deep-seated compassion, I am an imp. And I'm growing into my fierceness, feeling the fire in me snapping louder and hotter, and the animal in me, raw and wild, whose claws and teeth are lengthening and sharpening. But I also want to be a living prayer, radiating love in all directions, as I walk through this world.
Recently, I heard the prophecy of the Kingdom of Shambhala. It is a prophecy that arose in Tibetan Buddhism over 12 centuries ago. Loosely described, the prophecy says that --
There comes a time when all life on earth is in danger.
It is in this time, when the whole future of sentient life seems to hang on the frailest of threads, that the Kingdom of Shambhala begins to emerge.
It is not a place. It emerges in the hearts and minds of human beings, who become then Shambhala warriors. Shambhala warriors have two weapons: compassion -- and insight into the profound interrelatedness of the entire web of life. They use both of these to heal the world, by healing hearts and minds.
The other day, on the banks of Grenadier Pond, after I envisioned the birth of a new heart, I had another image fill my mind. It was the image of a castle. I remembered the prophecy of the Kingdom of Shambhala emerging. What if it is emerging now? Or, what if it is trying or wanting to emerge?
What if we all started to open our hearts and minds to each other, just that little bit more?
Today, with my passion for prayer, I am inviting those of you who would like to, to be a part of an email prayer circle. I envision it as something very, very simple. Addresses could remain blind. So, for example, with this woman I met a few days ago, I could have emailed the circle with a very brief bit of info about her situation. We all could have then, as a collective, prayed for her whenever we had a chance. Even if it was just for one minute. Even if it became, let's say, something to think about in the bathroom. One minute, times 20 people, or 50 people, or 100 people -- is a lot. Better than nothing at all, that's for sure.
Too, if there is indeed anyone who would be interested in a group that meets from time to time, or even a kind of class or workshop, let me know.
If you've gotten this far down, you have my deepest gratitude.
Sending you all out a heartfelt prayer -