5Rhythms® Movement Practice of Stillness

Stillness

I thought I would share a bit about my experience of moving in stillness in the 5Rhythms® movement meditation practice.

Being the last rhythm in the 5Rhythms®, stillness seems a contradiction in terms when considering this somatic movement practice. But not much of anything is still. Really. If movement is life, then when things stop moving we expect death.

For me, the energetic of stillness is fueled by my breath and kept alive and curious by the burning ember of life at the heart of the creative process. When I slow down and get quiet, I am inspired by the glow and warmness of this mysterious and magical ember. With each in-breath, I fan it to life, giving me the impulse to move. As I rest in exhale my body arrives at a still-point, or what seems like stillness, only to take-up and catch the energy of my breath’s continuum.

When I arrive into lyrical and transition into stillness I take what I have discovered and attempt to be with the mystery of its teaching. I don’t judge it, I remain curious. And like lyrical I don’t dance stillness, as I am teachable and willing, I seek the truth, long and thirst for wholeness or oneness with Spirit. I cease to be, and for a time, blend into Spirit connecting fully taking-in its wisdom as a sponge drinks in water. For a moment I seem to understand what’s behind everything and trust enough to dive beneath the surface of life to touch upon the source or great mystery of all things. In humility, I recognize I don’t really know these things, nor can I touch them. They are like a whisper that I don’t quite understand but recognize as they vanish in thin air. With my feet solid on the ground, I realize that I have already inside us that which I seek without, that my journey of longing and seeking lays within.

In my physical practice of stillness, I might discover that when I stop, I feel my movement. I might discover that when I move, I am aware of my stillness. I allow the breath to be my guild on this sacred journey in stillness. At the bottom of the breath I am present with the emptiness waiting for the inspiration to inhale. At the top of the breath I hold lightly to what is, as I welcome the shear pleasure of exhale.

It must be plain to all the simplicity, beauty and miraculous nature of the breath. In this place of stillness I find peace in the subtle nature of my breath-movements and I may discover that parts of myself have their own orbit around the sun. With this connection to Spirit, I let go of all my attempts at impressing the world and discover that I am not extraordinary, but that in my plainness, I am more dazzling and amazing than ever.

You will be able to explore stillness next Tuesday July 15th, 7:30pm at Presence Studio in Bellingham.  I teach a bi-weekly 5Rhythms® practice class at part of completing my training to be a Certified 5Rhythms® Teacher.  Join us and bring a friend.

Dancing the Lyrical

Lyrical imageI wanted to write a little bit about the practice of the 5Rhythms® and particularly the rhythm of Lyrical.  My experience of this rhythm is that of lightness and ease.  As it arrives, after I have danced flow, staccato and chaos, this rhythm reminds me that I am a work in progress as a student and teacher of this practice.  It teaches me self-realization, detachment and has roots in the rhythm of flow as I stay grounded and fluid in my movements and in my teaching.  In chaos, as Gabrielle Roth says in her book Sweat Your Prayers, “we divest ourselves” and let fall away that which is heavy and weighs us down.  When we arrive in lyrical we “lighten up” as Pema Chodron says in Comfortable with Uncertainty, and effort gets put aside as ease enters the dance.

When we transition from chaos to lyrical we cross a threshold, an apogee of change where old patterns and shapes are relaxed and allowed to shift into something new.  We have exhausted ourselves in chaos and have little resistance to our willingness to change.  We become the seekers of the truth about ourselves and about our purpose on the planet.

This threshold has a temporal landscape to it. It is not just a single linear point in time (Chronos) that moves along the continuum, but a subjective and expanded present moment that has shape and contour.  The Greeks call these moments Kairos.  Kairos, as opposed to Chronos, is an active space in which something happens as time unfolds.  This Kairos is a place where the potential for change is most potent.  So, after we have exhausted ourselves by letting go in chaos we arrive at lyrical where all resistance is vanquished. With our exhausted minds we have given up control and may notice something new and different beginning to emerge.  Kairos gives us the opportunity to experience it.  If we are willing, we may shift the constellation of our psyche and begin to form new outlooks and new perspectives.

As awareness enters, these moments become opportunities where perspectives are altered to such a degree that they demand immediate action to alter ones destiny, for now or a lifetime.  If we do not act, our lives changed anyway, differently than if we had.

So, the invitation is to notice these moments in our dance and in our lives and lighten up and allow Kairos to inform us about what action to take that may alter our destinies for the better.

I’ll end with a quote from Pema Chodron in her book Start Where You Are.

“There’s a lot of joy as your burden begins to lessen and it comes from doing anything that begins to change the pattern of fearing and wanting to resist what’s unpleasant.  Resistance is really what causes the pain;….Anything that begins to lighten up that resistance helps us to relax and open and celebrate.”

This coming Tuesday July 1st we will explore the rhythm of Lyrical as well as its shadow.  Come join us as we dance this delicate rhythm, and bring a friend.

With Love.

Scotty

Dates to mark on you calendar

I have been doing some planning through the end of the year and I have some dates for you.  Moraya and I will still alternate every other Tuesday and that seems to be solid as I type this blog.  I wanted to relay the specific 5Rhythms® dates to you so you could mark your calendars.

Dates through the end of the year:  July 1, 15, 29 August 12, 26, September 9, 23 October 7, 21 November 4, 18 December 2, 16, 30

The up coming July 1st 5Rhythms® class will explore lightness of Lyrical and the shadow we can trance into if we are not paying attention.  Bringing awareness to this expressive rhythm we can discover a way to change our movements  and how to take that our into our lives.  Join us Tuesday July 1st and bring a friend.

See you then.

Scotty

5Rhythms® & Exploring the energy of Father

Yesterday in the dance we explored the energy of Father, as at was Fathers Day. According to Gabrielle Roth, in our practice of the 5Rhythms®, “Father is the teacher of the heart”. We danced this energy and I shared these words about what came up for me during my dance. Several of you asked me to share it here. So, I am.

I’ve had my heart broken a few times in my life.
So,
Break my heart
Break my heart
Break my heart
I will love you more fiercely
than I was ever able
in my younger years
—-Scotty Lewis——

The Shadow of Chaos

Micky-Lee

I would like to share some thoughts with you about the moving meditation practice of the 5Rhythms®.  This next class will be on the shadow of the rhythm of chaos.  Chaos is a big rhythm and big energy.  It is also a place where big change can happen, if we are open to it.

The journey we go on when we enter into the practice of chaos is integration if fluidity and focus.  We enter into the realm of intuition by practicing letting go or completely surrendering to the natural movements evoked the rhythms of chaos.  In this mindfulness meditation practice we release our head to the feet to be grounded through the body, we allow our hands, arms, head and shoulders to hang loose ready to “go with” the natural movements created by the fusion of the previous rhythms flow and staccato.

The purpose of chaos is to shake loose, or disorganize the old out-worn habits and patterns, and as Gabrielle Roth says in her book Sweat Your Prayers, “surrender to the mad currents…and move them, help them birth a new shape or form from somewhere deep down under.”  The practice of chaos is like an expressive arts process called decentering, where we begin to see our dance, as in our life, in a new and different light.  It opens us up for a shift away from our established positions and experiences, giving us a new perspective as well as new resources and possibilities.

So, in chaos, we give up controlling what we “think” our body needs to be doing and release our minds to our feet.  The feet are our “safe anchorage” as we explore moving in ways that we are not used to.

When we notice that we are moving in ways that we “think” look good.  We enter into the shadow of chaos.  We begin to take control instead of allowing our natural and authentic selves to emerge.  In our 5Rhythms® practice of chaos we consciously explore integrating the natural rhythms of the whole body bringing awareness to areas where we are “out of control” or “controlling”.  The difference between not controlling and being out of control is plain for anyone to see.  When we control, we begin to be out of control.  We also stay in the same habits and patterns.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I would love for you to join us and experience this directly.  I teach bi-weekly at Presence Studio in downtown Bellingham.

See you on the dance floor.

Scotty

 

The shadow of Staccato

In our 5rhythms® moving meditation waves class last Tuesday we explored the shadow in the rhythm of Staccato. There is a lot of mystery around this masculine energy often being thought of as controlling, dominate, violent or overtly sexual to name a few. So as we practice and explore these energies in our dance at the studio, we build awareness as to how they show up in our lived-experience. As we practice, we can begin to express ourselves with clarity, being focused, disciplined, organized, protective, supportive and safe. We organize ourselves around our moving center having consistent, clear and healthy boundaries over time.

In the purity of this energy, we don’t hold back or repress our authentic selves but engage the word in a full-hearted manner. When the masculine energy is contained or repressed/suppressed it begins to build up and leak out sideways and operate in a rigid manner being edgy, eruptive and jittery. Being able to identify these shadow energies when they arise is the first step in finding
and staying connected to our moving center.

Scotty ExpressesI wanted to say thanks to those who joined me in this investigation of the shadow of Staccato. This moving meditation and expressive arts practice we call the 5rhythms® is a great way to explore the unconscious and sometimes delicate places we call shadow. Practicing and playing in these realms brings awareness to these sometimes dark and dusty corners of our lives. The awareness we generate gives us a choice in our full-hearted expression.

Thanks for risking.

Scotty