No Frills Walk-Stop Meditation

September 24, 2010

Randy Newswanger, Megan Shirle, Susan Main in Wing It! Performance Ensemble

*No Frills Walking, Stopping, and Running
Youtube Body Wisdom
Raise a hand in connection


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

No Frills Walking, Stopping, and Running is an InterPlay form that bumps up our connection to the bigger dance. In “NO Frills” we don’t do anything but walk. We don’t even skip or wiggle or get creative with our limbs. We DO get to look at each other though. It’s all about simplicity and connection!

I put myself on “stop mode” at the Intermezzo cafe on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley and got to witness the movement all around. We can do this ANYWHERE!

Bodies have a remarkable ability to sync up.

Even now, at our computer we can sync body, mind, heart, and spirit to the images before us.

Use easy focus and welcome your whole being to synch with this virtual Walk Don’t Run (Isogabamaware) Youtube

Youtube Body Wisdom:
At the beginning the rabbit says “Lets get this over with quick, so we can go eat.”

Bear says “yeah.”

Rabbit says “Let’s go.”

Most of the rest of the lyrics say “isogabamaware” which is almost like the proverb haste makes waste.

On the grass they’re talking about relaxing and going slow. Rushing is bad.

After the song the rabbit says “perfect.”

We can practice No Frills in everyday movement. Here’s the question. Is it 1) a relief? 2) boring? 3) a way to heighten connection? 4) all of the above? Practice it like you would sitting meditation and you’ll be in sync with your world. Who knows where that will take you.

Raise a hand in connection to dance our greater connection through time and space to David Benoit Freedom at Midnight

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


If you are looking for more than “no frills” Check out upcoming InterPlay events online at


Gift Some Following

September 17, 2010

next gen interplayers photo by carly rosin

*Girl with a Catchy Dance
*Now for some brain science
*Following is fun

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

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” (poster)  So, why not be intentional! Give a gift of ecstatic following. What you follow with full bodied ease changes things.

Girl with a Catchy Dance.

If we followed more five year olds, humans could be springy-er and looser!

Poem: Eleanor Frye (Elizabeth Mendana’s sister) paying attention as a kind of following…

This was my first assignment for my class.
I was going to do an interpretive dance for this assignment,
but couldn’t figure out how to post it… so this will have to suffice:
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
At this point in my life, I am young, single, and the possibilities of my future seem endless.
So many factors are unknown, such as: Marriage?  Children?  Location?  Career?
However I do have a vision of who I will be regardless of the above unknowns:
I will listen to people’s stories (even the ones I have heard over and over before.)
I will ask questions.
I will figure out how to replace the windshield wipers on my car.
I will learn from people’s stories.
I will know that I have something to offer.
I will still make mistakes.
I will learn from them.
I will have a garage, so I don’t have to scrape the ice off my windshield in the Wyoming winter.
I will pay attention – to others’ feelings and to my own.
I will seek to understand people, even when I don’t agree with them.
I will understand people because I know their stories.
I will ask more questions, even the hard ones.
I will still be in touch with my inner 5-year-old self.
I will have stories to tell and when I have something important to say, I will say it.
I will ask questions of myself, even the hard ones.
I will contribute.

Practices: (Done with subtle or big, voices, just eyes (try to keep from laughing) or without letting your leader know at all!)

1: Follow from your own center, taking care of yourself: Feel, sense and think for yourself as you follow others! It’s a body thing.

2: Follow with easy focus. Wheee: let go of trying to be exact.

3: Use following as a power tool: underline actions you value to increase fun.

4: Go with, go with, go with. Following longer is Improv’s #1 practice because creative types tend to go off on our own.

Now for some brain science “The salient discovery is that certain things leaders do — specifically, exhibit empathy and become attuned to others’ moods — literally affect both their own brain chemistry and that of their followers. Indeed, researchers have found that the leader-follower dynamic is not a case of two (or more) independent brains reacting consciously or unconsciously to each other. Rather, the individual minds become, in a sense, fused into a single system. We believe that great leaders are those whose behavior powerfully leverages the system of brain interconnectedness.”  Daniel Coleman in the Harvard Business Revie

Following is fun—raise your hands, bounce, do whatever you can

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


For more on InterPlay following and leading see Dance: the Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as Spiritual Practice Skylight Paths Publishing: Follow and Lead p. 142 Dancing in Rapport p. 144 Dancing in Sync p. 143 Gesture Choirs p 154 and Chapter 20 on Ecstatic Following in What the Body Wants

P.S. Did you know that our Million Connections Tour is going to Boston, New Haven, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Seattle and back to Oakland, all before November 7?!? If you’re near one of those towns, click the name of the town to sign up and join us!

Rub a dub—Together Action

September 10, 2010

*Friction Frees
Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh…


Enjoy the soothing sounds of William Ackerman’s guitar while you practice:

Give your face a rub.

Rub your scalp for a few seconds.
Check in with your skin.
Re-sensitze this amazing organ.
Lean into something—the floor- the chair, the bed, another body?

Together-action is like washing potatoes. When people wash potatoes in Korea, instead of washing them one at a time, they put them all in a tub full of water. Then someone puts a stick in the tub and pushes it up and down, up and down. This makes the potatoes rub against each other; as they bump into each other, the hard crusty dirt falls off. If you wash potatoes one at a time, it takes a long time to clean each one, and only one potato gets clean at a time. If they are all together, the potatoes clean each other.
— Hyon Sunim in Only Don’t Know by Seung Sahn

When you move- muscles rub. When you breath air and tissue rub. Check out this this potato salad!

Friction Frees

Bring your hand into light contact with the air like these waves from Grand Wailea beach on Maui

Friction take many forms. May we dance with them.

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

Hold er steady.

September 3, 2010

*Creative people are prone to invention and complexity
*Practice: Hold a steady beat.
* You have the power to hold the beat AND to let it evolve.


Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh…
Creative people are prone to invention and complexity

When complexity grows tedious hold a steady beat.

Practice: Hold a steady beat.
Deepen it into chant, rhythm, repetitive movement
Repeat until it MUST CHANGE, irresistibly spawning creativity.

Returning to the beat seeds the next fertile moment.

You have the power to hold the beat AND to let it evolve.
As you raise your hand in blessing to all directions
move to the beat with easy focus.

A simple beat may be exactly what the world needs right now! Keeping the beat is easier with others. Check out