Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reed


Since returning to teaching from my break, I've done something rather significant but I've done this thing quietly. No announcement. Just did it.

I started to call the modality I teach "Reed Dance Sadhana."

After all these years of teaching and working on my own to explore how I teach and why and what...after the thousands of hours working with so many different students and working by myself in the studio, just playing and intuiting and wondering and waiting, my Way of Teaching, my Way of Moving, my Language for the Body...it all finally came together in something solid, something I understand and can see and talk about.

This is beyond exciting to me.

And so I finally felt ready to name this something after myself.

The name Reed, though, is not my name by birth or marriage or anything usual. It is my name by choice. I renamed myself as part of a healing process.

Which I think makes the name of the modality that much more meaningful since so many people come to such deep healing through it.

I told this story in a closed setting and someone privately sent me this Rumi poem. It was breathtaking in how personal it felt to me. It not only describes my teaching in ways that only poetry can but it also feels very much like my story.

The Reed Flute's Song
by Jalalu'ddin Rumi, excerpted from Coleman Barks' translation in The Essential Rumi

Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.

"Since I was cut from the reed bed,
I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.

At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and grieving,

a friend to each, but few
will hear the secrets hidden

within the notes. No ears for that.
Body flowing out of spirit,

spirit up from body: no concealing
that mixing. But it's not given us

to see the soul. The reed flute
is fire, not wind. Be that empty."

Hear the love fire tangled
in the reed notes, as bewilderment

melts into wine. The reed is a friend
to all who want the fabric torn

and drawn away. The reed is hurt
and salve combining. Intimacy

and longing for intimacy, one
song. A disastrous surrender

and a fine love, together. The one
who secretly hears this is senseless.

A tongue has one customer, the ear.
A sugarcane flute has such effect

because it was able to make sugar
in the reedbed. The sound it makes

is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
let them go by without worrying

that they do. Stay where you are
inside such a pure, hollow note.

Every thirst gets satisfied except
that of these fish, the mystics,

who swim a vast ocean of grace
still somehow longing for it!

No one lives in that without
being nourished every day.

But if someone doesn't want to hear
the song of the reed flute,

it's best to cut conversation
short, say good-bye, and leave.


If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.