Ecstatic Following

July 30, 2009

Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay: Ecstatic Following

Photo from the movie Winged Migration.

Photo from the movie Winged Migration.

~Take a deep breath
~Ecstatic Following by Cynthia Winton-Henry reading
~Guy Starts a Dance Party movement
~Wild, Holy Power song

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Take a deep breath and let it out with a loud sigh.

Ecstatic Following by Cynthia Winton-Henry
(What the Body Wants, p. 162-163)

Imagine a drummer beginning to drum. Everyone starts tapping and clapping and moving. Being part of something bigger than us, the spontaneous parade, the spirited crowd, the song that rises out of nowhere, is magic.  A Chinese proverb proclaims, “Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck leads the flock to fly and follow.”  To be transported beyond individualism, two things must occur: someone must start something physical, and others must follow. Follow-the-leader is a core universal activity for the whole human race. The more physical, the more fun.   […]

Phil and I believe that too much emphasis is placed on leadership in our culture, and far too little on the power of followership. There is no communal play if there are no followers.  Following is what makes a communal body.  Following is part of what makes families function.  And in spiritual traditions disciple literally means to follow or go with.  Following does not mean subservience.  It is a form of honoring whatever we enjoy and believe in by reinforcing it with our whole body’s “yes!”

Guy Starts Dance Party

Talk about ecstatic followership! Watch what happens when this man dances with abandon at a music festival. Turn up the volume and dance along, if you like.

Wild, Holy Power song

This year InterPlay celebrate 20 years of ecstatic followership, thanks in large part to the hundreds of folks around the world who recognize a great thing when they see it. This week the national board met in Raleigh, North Carolina.  In this video Cynthia leads us in singing one of the first InterPlay songs.

Sing along with us with us!

Something, nothing
Maybe everything
Wild, holy power

Singing, laughing, dancing, chancing
Fly away

Raise A Hand in Blessing movement
When we dance hand-to-hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle as you turn and know that others are sending blessings to you too.

Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh.

_____________________________________________________

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell quotes (American prolific Author, Editor, Philosopher and Teacher, 1904-1987)

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Our Bodies as Art

July 23, 2009

Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay: Our Bodies as Art

Painted feet and painting with feet

Painted feet and painting with feet

  • Masks of Expanding Light body poem by Chicago InterPlayer Mary Susan Chen
  • The Omo People visual musical meditation
  • Big Body Story by Australian InterPlayer Lillian Rodrigues-Pang  written DT3
  • Decorate yourself! practice
  • Raise A Hand in Blessing move to music of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Fences”

________________________________________________________

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh….

Masks of Expanding Light body poem

by InterPlayer Mary Susan Chen, Northside Valley, St. Croix, Ill.

I have come to tell you all that each of you is a healer.
You have within you the powers of the heavens
and the powers of the earth.
These powers come together within you.
Within your body, within your life.
As your spirit takes action in the world,
Divine creation continues to evolve.
Keep growing, keep creating, keep being You.
The original wonderful beautiful You
that has been born into this world as a blessing to All.
Sometimes you may be afraid.
Keep showing up.
Sometimes you may want to hide.
Don’t hide for too long.
You are necessary, precious
and oh so valuable.

The Omo People visual musical meditation

sent by InterPlayer Devi Whetterer, Kansas City

Watch the YouTube video of some incredible body art.

(7’)

Big Body Story by Australian InterPlayer Lillian Rodrigues-Pang

I stood looking into a concrete enclosure housing three echidnas. The
enclosure looked small, the sand and dead trees fake. It all seemed like a
depressing attempt to cage an animal in an ‘appealing’ manner. My kids
always want to look at the echidnas, whenever we go to a zoo it’s the one
exhibition they have to see.

Zoe and Oscar climbed as high onto the walls as they could and then
flung themselves over – hanging half their body into the echidnas space,
laughing, giggling, pointing. One of the smaller echidnas came trundling
forward. In hunting mode, it ignored my children’s noise and all of our
stares. There were ants to be had.

As the echidna advanced the ants scattered. Left, right and some straight
ahead up the wall and out of the reach of that deadly snout. Good move I
thought to myself. Surprisingly the echidna did not divert and chase the
ants that scattered to the side. It made straight for the wall. Pushing its
snout and head as close to the wall as possible it stared to climb. Those
little side paddle paws scraped away at the concrete till this little hunting
beast was standing parallel to the wall.

With her tummy up against the concrete barrier the echidna stretched its
little snout and neck as far as it possibly could along the wall. She
paddled one extra time, stretching even higher. She stood suspended in
mid air standing on two feet for at least two tenths of a second …
Zoe, Oscar and I held our breath…

And then it fell…

Ka plonk

Straight backward onto its back. Looking too much like a turtle.

Zoe, Oscar and I screamed with laughter.

The echidna kicked hard and turned herself over. “Well you don’t see that
everyday now do you?” I laughingly stated to my kids. Movement from
the echidna made us quiet down. She was on the advance again. She
walked straight to that wall. She lifted her snout, bent her neck up and
started to paddle. Up the wall she went again.

Zoe, Oscar and I were stunned into silence.

Paddle paddle paddle. She was upright again. One extra stretch, one extra paddle and she was standing on two legs AGAIN. One hundred, two hundred

BAM

She went straight backwards again. Zoe, Oscar and I stayed for 15 more
minutes. She made two more attempts. She seamed to have a lot of gun.

We experienced one of the best-shared memories of our lives.

I am an Australian born female with blood that is the colour of the world. My mother is a mixed blood born in El Salvador. Her mother is a native Pipil Indian. She learnt to speak Spanish as a young child but Nawat was her first language. She married a Palestinian man. You see when the fall of Palestine was imminent the boy that was to be my grandfather got onto a boat. There were eight boys from the one family all with their youngest uncle. All set sail with no firm destination other than freedom. They found land on the coast of Central America. The found freedom and forged opportunity love and life in El Salvador.

My father is also a mixed blood. He was born in Australia to a Scottish mother and a Portuguese father. Don’t ask me how that happened at the time!

I suppose I see myself as the result of world politics. All these people moved, floated and lived as a result of world tension and political opportunism. And here I am.

I speak Spanish and English. When I was younger we faced a lot of racism. My brothers and I all have dark olive skin, dark eyes and dark hair. My mother and two older brothers have all been hospitalised from racial beatings. At a young age we started martial arts. As a result of that I now speak a fair bit of Japanese. I married a Chinese man and took lessons in Mandarin.

Is it any wonder that I went though a bit of an identity crisis!

So how do echidnas in a zoo and my confused sense of self-identity have
anything to do with InterPlay?

InterPlay has encouraged me to move my body, to dance, sing, make
music and play. Interplay forms allow me to move a concern or an issue
out of the whirlpool of concern within my mind. I do not have to speak it
to another. I can dance the delicate nature of balance for myself, on
behalf of another, speak it in gibberish or simply watch it in someone
else’s story/dance.

I had a tendency to take myself too seriously. I have now integrated play
into my every day. Like the echidna – not everything has to be viewed as
a trap!

Practice: Decorate yourself!

A deep sigh, a painted toe, a scarf, a tattoo, a pen on skin doodle. Let the story out!

Raise A Hand in Blessing

When we dance hand to hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can often feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Put the YouTube of the Omo people on again. Let them be your muse as you move to the music of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Fences.” Turn in a full circle (or not) and know that others are sending blessings to you too.

Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh……

Visual arts a challenge? Want to doodle your prayers? Get Memphis InterPlayer Sybil MacBeth’s Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God.


Blessing

July 16, 2009

Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay: Blessing

Joan Reynolds and Alison Luterman dance a blessing to each other

Joan Reynolds and Alison Luterman dance a blessing to each other

Take a deep breath
Fill Up with Blessing       toning
A Blessing and More        poem by John O’Donahue
Raise Your Hand in Blessing    movement
________________________________________________________
Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh…

Tonal Blessing practice
Take  a deep breath and tone.
Follow your breath and voice through a series of tones.
Let your heart fill with gratitude and blessing.

A Blessing and More Poem by John O’Donahue
Used at the InterPlay teaching practicum in Nashville

May you awaken to the mystery of being here, and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
…and receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

May you respond to the call of your true North and find the encouragement to follow its path.

May the flame of anger free you from falsity. May warmth of heart keep your presence aglow.

May anxiety never linger about you.  May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul and grace.

May you be consoled by the wisdom and secret symmetry that is body, mind, heart, and spirit.   May you know all is one.

May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
…and experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

May you live and breathe and play and have your Being in the presence of each Divine Other
and for Holy Yourself.

Raise A Hand in Blessing movement
When we dance hand-to-hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle as you turn and know that others are sending blessings to you too. Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh


Gibberish 101

July 9, 2009

Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay: Gibberish 101

Kairos daughter of Leah Mann and Ela Lamblin

Kairos daughter of Leah Mann and Ela Lamblin

Speaking in tongues     babytalk
Gibberish Affirmation by Jockie Fairley from Adelaide   Practice
How Using An Alien Language to Love, Fight and Pray is Saving Our Marriage by Sharon Pavelda       body wisdom
Gibberish Exformation     practice
How to Speak in Gibberish     video from Laguna Laughter Club
Raise Your Hand in Blessing    movement and gibberish
________________________________________________________
Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh…

Speaking in tongues babytalk

Welcome to the meaningful world of made up languages (Sent by Katie Winton-Henry who takes speech and communication at college)

Baby Talk

Gibberish Affirmations
by Jockie Fairley from Adelaide

I was sitting on the wharf watching a contortionist busker doing the most amazing things with her body. Words could not express my awe and amazement but gibberish came to the rescue and I babbled my admiration to the artist and she responded with a gibberish stream of her own and we had a delightful few minutes babbling and gesticulating together. I thought I’d better move on when people started throwing money in the hat. (that last bit is a makey-uppy).

Download the Gibberish Document to read more about how Jockie incorporates Gibberish into her life.

A practice
Think of someone or something that you love too much for words.
For ten seconds let your heart speak it in a made up language.


How Using An Alien Language to Love, Fight and Pray is Saving Our Marriage body wisdom
by Sharon Pavelda

…Randall and I have been married for six years, but since we met and married while in our fifties, Randall claims we get to count our anniversaries in dog years. By either count, we discovered InterPlay four years ago at just the right moment in our developing relationship. We are regular interplayers, attending (both) and leading (Randall and Theron Shaw lead Thursday Night’s Men’s Interplay) with the Oakland InterPlay community. As much as that has opened us to the wisdom of our bodies and the delight of our spirits, it wasn’t until we started doing InterPlay exercises called exforms, together in the smallish living room of our apartment, that we experienced the transformative possibilities of InterPlay’s gentle power.

We do the warmup in a relaxed leading and following way, we babble for thirty seconds about the usual everyday things, we do hand dances and contact duets and we take turns doing focus sessions with each other. Nourishing, as expected. What continues to surprise us, however, is how speaking in an alien language has become such a strong teacher and efficient ally in deepening our relationship.

Psychologists and theologians have written volumes about the wisdom our body spirits are offering us in every moment.

Randall and I believe the creators and teachers and playmates of InterPlay offer a profound and simple way to explore this wisdom and its power to change the world.

Our gratitude knows no bounds. We can only say, “Ishkohli boonka! Quilupe kahleelee, swacko InterPlay!”

Download the Giberish Document above to read more about how Sharon and Randall are deepening their communication through gibberish.

Gibberish Exformation practice
Exform about your day in a made-up language. You’ll only need ten seconds to make an emotional communication.

Shy about “not making sense?” The Laguna Laughter Club, apparently long lost InterPlay cousins, incrementally teach the basics of “speaking in made up languages.”
Gibberish 101: “How to Speak Gibberish”

Raise A Hand in Blessing movement and gibberish
When we dance hand-to-hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle (or not), speaking in a made up language as you turn (or not) and know that others are sending blessings to you too. Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh….


Sharing Secrets

July 2, 2009


Friday Morning Virtual InterPlay:
Sharing Secrets


Anita Bondi’s Secrets of InterPlay jewlrey

“InterPlay” sung by the Pacha Mamas        listen and move
Uncover the Secret Self by Scott Bickerton     reflection
Unlocking the mystery in our Voice           vocal interplay
Collecting Myself                     an InterPlay inspired poem
Raise Your Hand in Blessing                 movement
________________________________________________________

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh…
Move and Groove to the Secrets of InterPlay Listen and move
(Pacha Mamas Marquetta Dupres, Angela Holley, and Vivian Slade of Nashville created this song for the 2008 International InterPlay Conference.)

InterPlay Song

Uncover the Secret Self reflection
from Scott Bickerton in Connecticut
“I just came back from an InterPlay Untensive led by Rod Pattenden. Human beings came together. You know humans, the same ones that run in lost delusions and damage possibilities and walk right into their own disastrous walls then step onto other living creatures, well some of these beings came together and I was one of them. We had names and brought ourselves from near and far and wore loose light clothing and we had snacks and water. Source energy was tapped and flowing, the foot leg hip trunk arm head moved to its sonorous will. From the corporeal spilled joy, wonder, awe, trust. We broke for lunch and dinner too. In a final moment I saw for an instant, in full body, who I am. I am the flower panther, I am the heron dancer, I am the ever encompassing field of blooming alfalfa wisdom, I am Scott .”


Unlocking the mystery in our Voice
vocal interplay
You don’t need words to hear the mystery of soul. Let your voice and breath move and listen in on your own secret prayer, rant, rap, or lullaby. Include one hand or body movement if you like and bring someone to mind that you want to communicate for, to or with.

• Take a deep breath. Let it out with a sigh.
• Take a deep breath and let it out with a tone that goes the whole length of your sigh.
• Take a deep breath and let your face and voice squirm on the exhale.
• Take a deep breath and let your voice move anyway it wants for one breath. This is a one breath song.
• Now, if you like, listen in on your own inner secrets for two or a dozen breaths. Its OK to hum or let this be an inner song if others are nearby.

Collecting Myself an InterPlay inspired poem
(Betsey Beckman – from “Secrets” – August, 1999)

She sings a prayer
And the song
becomes my body –
one feeling
unfolding into the next.
I reach through shyness
into strength.
I lie on my back
and liquid
words pour
through me.
Memories float up from
deep pools
and rise like
bubbles
catching the sun for this
moment
until they
release themselves
again
into air.
Leading and following
I laugh
and forget myself
while my Self
grows strong.
My love is
liberated
and in the
circle I
shine –
one bright pebble
among many,
glistening
wet and new
and set in the
circle.
This stone I
carry home
and set on the
windowsill of my
soul – smiling.

Raise A Hand in Blessing movement and music

When we dance hand-to-hand we often practice opening the space between us. We can feel that connection even when we aren’t right together. Raise a hand in blessing. Turn in a full circle (or not) and know that others are sending blessings to you too. Take a deep Breath and Let it out with a Sigh……
To make this a dance play the pacha mams song again!

There are Secrets of InterPlay events coming up in Oakland, Colorado,
Seattle, Washington DC and Iowa. Check it out!

Look at Anita Bondi’s jewelry