100% of the proceeds from programs go toward funding Butopia and the artists + facilitators we host.
100% of the proceeds from programs go toward funding Butopia and the artists + facilitators we host.
A Secret Sanctum of Earth’s Precious Light
(if video is not visible click here: http://youtu.be/SfsqJWRDL9Q)
~~as deep as imagination & sensation can surrender ~~
unto gravity, unto ancestors, unto the universal inevitability of loss.
On this Equinox Spring Eve of 2012…a simple solo, a duet, a trio, a quartet, a quintet, a sextet….and so on with the element of Earth in Balance.
What is it to be in between?
Above & Below~ Birth & Death ~ Light & Dark ~ Beauty & Beast ~ Desire & Surrender ~ Sound & Motion ~ Earth & Water ~ Temporal & Infinite ~ Sensed & Imagined ~ Manifest & Mysterious ~ Right & Left…..
The music & motion spontaneously emerge from soul, energy, sensation, imagination~informed by the significant presence of these rare & wise ancestors.
Thank you to the stone beings of EARTH.
Voice & Singing Bowls: Deborah Koff-Chapin
Dancing Spirits: Maureen “Momo” Freehill + Karen Masaki
You know how when you just wake up and know you have been dreaming but can not quite recall what? This happens to me A LOT. I often miss being able to have & hold the richness of this dream material as enjoyment, insight, material for creative inspiration and contemplation. There are lots of folks that will teach you how to recall night dreams more easily, and what do DO with them when you do. But that is not what happened this past week. Instead, the waking life I experienced became a vivid dreamlike journey of learning and discovery.
I had the pleasure of a series of teachings that relate to this “dream” we are living and dancing daily. The first was from a beloved wild woman Tibetan Buddhist teacher named Lama Lena. Each time I am in her presence she rocks my world in a most appreciated way. This time, she shared teachings about the way humans experience reality; often mentioning that this transitory & spontaneously arising dancing dream of life that we think we are experiencing is utterly empty in the most alive and brilliant way. She pointed to the mistake of dualism in a way that I could glimpse, and it felt both satisfying and disturbing. What are we do DO with this realization? Among the suggestions she offered, what struck me most keenly concerned why we make ART and why we PRACTICE to grow. Of course, this is what I THINK I HEARD HER SAY. Who knows really? She puts forth that there is NO THING to change or make better, to fix or understand. Art is a function and celebration of the spontaneously emerging RICHNESS of a creation that is ever arising from and dissolving into VAST LUMINOUS SPACE. It is delightful to engage in this richness, just as long as you do not try to KEEP it. That is where our suffering will begin. Enlightenment is and always has been and is already always present….and, if you do not see that or are not satisfied with your current experience then some spiritual (or freely fleeting spontaneous dance) practice could be a way to possibly increase that satisfaction. Not much to grasp onto to in all that, eh?
What I gathered is that our SPONTANEOUS DANCING FREELY & Embodied Art PRACTICES with nature (both human and non-human); can be an excellent way to promote being fully awake, engaged and perhaps even satisfied in this fleeting dream dance we call “life.” Another way is to just simply NOTICE (and perhaps embody, engage with &/or experience gratitude in) the infinitely rich spontaneously arising dream dance that you are already, always engaged in….right HERE and NOW!! As I type this on computer I look out window and breath and relax my body noticing and appreciating the richness of many sensations. No matter whether you are “PRACTICING” or not. It appears, that our PRACTICES of letting go & dancing spontaneously tend to lead to more ease with dancing freely in every moment.
Next, I went to see a well-done local play about Gertrude Stein (who appears as a ghost throughout most of the play) and Alice B. Toklas (who appears sad and elderly throughout most of play). If not for the days first event with Lama Lena, I would have been very emotionally drawn into the drama of the play and these women’s considerable attachments to one another, their reputations, and their formidable collection of art & artists. Instead, I sat watching my patterned reactions of how heart strings are plucked by certain situations like death of a loved one, acts of betrayal, cruelty, injustice, kindness, caring and so on.
Finally, we attended another inspiring/disturbing/hopeful talk by visionary economist Charles Eisenstein referring to his theories on how we got into this cultural & ecological nightmare of an economic crisis. He articulated the need for a GIFT based economy as a way to initiate and live in the world of our best dreams. I was grateful to have attended. It even shifted the way I request donations for Butopia’s offerings at this point. It is preparing me to host our first Butopia Film Night at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Clinton, WA… We will show the documentary movie “Living Without Money” about one woman who chose to live without money for over 15 years in Europe. I hope this will help instigate a local conversation about the possibilities and difficulties of a gift economy here. I also hope it will stimulate more participation in a wider range of volunteer gifting of goods & services locally. Life without money could be a dream come true, or it could be a nightmare…what do you think? Come join us on Feb 12 at 2-4pm. Bring something to GIVE AWAY!
Next, on the suggestion of a fellow MomoButoh Dance Co. member Melinda Harrison of Nautre Moves in Boulder, I went to San Diego to attend the Life Force International’s first ever DREAM ACADEMY. That is California Dreamin’ for sure! There are loads of folks living and wishing they were living their dreams everywhere! There were many people who have made small or large fortunes by referring others to the Life Force products, by enrolling others to become business parters and so on in this Network Marketing company that is now poised to explode with growth under the helm of MLM guru David Colister. having pictures taken with the sports cars and Rolls Royce in the parking lot, others of us gasping in awe at the grand opening of the MASSIVE new facility to hold future Dream Academies. Melinda’s dream is that dancers will be healthy and financially independent and well provided for. Hope her dream comes true!
In a parallel universe in San Diego, I came down with a nasty flu. In the delirium, I lost my glasses so I could no longer see clearly or drive. Along the way, I met an exceptional cast of characters who live and work with butoh, local churches and the erotic dance business. I danced freely on the coastal beach and made the film below inspired by dream-like images in nature that struck me particularly strongly. The shadow of my body on the firm, flat sand, the roar of surf and ripples of waves spreading over the shoreline, a spontaneously knotted strip of kelp, the tiny bird footprints, flecks of gold dust in the sand, sculpture-like seaweeds dried & twisted, the sparkling shells, rhythms of footfalls and fingers dragging in sand…..all felt as reflections of an emerging dream dance life that I could only witness and be moved with gratitude and awe at the GIFT of it all.
Then today, I went out to dance on our local dreamy beach, Double Bluff. I was playing with as stone and seaweed when a private helicopter flew at me and started circling low just over my head, heading back and forth down the beach a ways and then returning to me. I spun and danced while it spun and danced overhead. Very surreal. Very much like a dream and certainly nothing I have ever experienced before. Life is but a dream dancing itself awake!
An angel told me, “The only way to walk through fire without getting burned is to become fire.” Drew Dellinger
Voice and song are the newest conscious layers to DailyDance practice at Butopia. This month I entered the space of SOMA (Sanctuary of Moving Arts) and/or the LAND here at Butopia seeking specific teachings and to deepen my relationship and understanding of our plant relatives. The trees have been especially strong. Alder, Douglas Fir, Cedar, Madrona and Yew have all shown up to dance and sing with me during December. Today Aloe Vera and Sea Vegetables guided a student and I to learn more of the feminine/yin way of being in the body; with dance & voice. New songs and dances have emerged and always my deepest prayers, pains and joys of my heart are illuminated and given guidance. Whatever is “up” on a given day I can bring it into the Sanctuary of WildLife and ask plant relatives for witness and support. The two videos here reveal a peek into of what came to pass.
I have committed to many practices this year related to nurturing the WildLife Sanctuary here. My foundational practice consists simply of setting aside all the ToDo lists of life, all electronic communication devices and social engagements and going to practice on the LAND for 1 or more hours each day. I have never had a consistent PLACE of my own that is available 24/7 to support and uphold my butoh practice and Embodied Art journey. It is a dream come true that simply requires my embodied attention and presence and in return, I am healed. I receive songs, dances, insights, answered prayers, beauty beyond measure, deep connections with the heart & soul of myself & others. I am so grateful and humbled by this gift.
Still, there are days that are cold, there are resistances inside and out, there are distractions and pulls that I occasionally do allow to keep me from receiving this gift. Having YOU to witness and join me in this process gives me the strength to delve into that fathomless mystery of my body & soul. It supports me to follow my true nature and set aside the blaring never-ending drone of industrial-socio-economic conditioning that says: “don’t let go” “there is nothing for you there” “who do you think you are?!” “that is dangerous, stupid & crazy” and all sorts of other negative messages preventing a life of DANCING (and singing) FREELY. Thank you for your company, thank you for your witnessing, your love and your own commitment to showing up. See you in the Sanctuary.
Thank you for reading, watching, subscribing and following our collaborative blog. If you feel called, connecting directly with me to explore whether this type of Embodied Arts practice might be something for you. MomoButoh Dance Company members and myself are always happy to welcome new community members.
I dance with Paperbark tree/she gives me her bark/floating through/spring sunlight skies/warm bones/twisting limbs/like twisting branches/we ARE seed/we ARE soil/we grow as tree does/rooted to earth/forever reaching to heaven/we ARE axis/divine conduit/Soul IS constant/Motion is constant/never ceasing/only passing through us/ without containment/Resistance IS DANCE
Wise paperbark/has seen me grow/knows all my stories/watches silently as the world changes/if I cannot dance with her/I cannot dance at all/if we must know what moves us/why we dance?/all we need to do is look at paperbark and listen/how then could we not begin to dance?/how could we not remember/ that to move/we must be moved/to be moved/we must first see the wonder!/the wonder of every leaf/every string of bark/every paperbark.
“…if you’re a poor forlorn oil industry feeling unloved and under assault, what do you do?
“But it is hard to speak of these things / how the voices of light enter the body / and begin to recite their stories / how the earth holds us painfully against / its breast made of humus and brambles / how we who will soon be gone regard / the entities that continue to return / greener than ever, spring water flowing / through a meadow and the shadows of clouds / passing over the hills and the ground / where we stand in the tremble of thought / taking the vast outside into ourselves.”
When I feel overwhelmed with despair for the destruction of our world, and the wild beings that reside upon her, I dance… I wrote the following several weeks ago:
i am dancing because i have to… for the bears, the salmon, the caribou, the wolves, the migrating birds and all the creatures whose lives are being threatened from the increased pollution and habitat destruction… because i am canadian and it is unconscionable to me that the current government is supporting an oil extraction method that is the dirtiest energy project in the world, one that is devastating to all beings on our precious mama earth…i am dancing in solidarity with the indigenous peoples whose health and lives are being jeopardized by the alberta tar sands upriver of their communities… because human rights are being violated… i am dancing because i have to… because sometimes it feels my heart will explode with pain and anger at the lack of respect some human beings that run corporations have for all life and for future generations… i dance… i dance…