A note from Carl,
I hope this finds you well.
Inside of this liminal timelessness of pandemic, it is a glorious fall day here in Salt Lake City.
On Wednesday, I gave my presentation at the online Embodiment Conference. The topic I presented on was “Embodiment and Animism, A Living Body, a Living World.”
One of the passages I read, that has been so alive for me since, is from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s amazing book, Braiding Sweetgrass:
“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, the feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street to a sacred bond.”
Can we just pause with that one for a moment or two?
To really feel, in your bones, a love for the Earth. A love of life, of estuaries, and Red-Tail Hawks and elk herds, of salmon runs and murmurations of starlings. I imagine, for most of us this is not so much of a stretch, and likely, as it is for me, flavored with grief at the dire state of things right now.
But can you feel in your bones, or imagine feeling in your bones, the Earth loving you, in your uniqueness? Loving you completely, as you are in this moment, your particular quality of genius, you particular quality of neurosis- just as you are?
To imagine gravity’s pull on you, from your belly to the center of the Earth, as an act of love?
Te feel, as you read this, your contact with the ground the way you would feel contact with any beloved being, a child, a lover, your dogs?
Does anything change in your breathing to feel loved by the Earth?
Does anything shift on the expression on your face?
As the profound teaching from Thich Nhat Hanh, which truly could be a complete life path invites, can you walk as if your steps are kissing the ground with gratitude?
The free conference is still going on until Sunday if you want to check it out, you can sign up here. It is a big room, with almost 1000 speakers, and 500,000 participants, but there are some real gems in there. I enjoyed a conversation on trauma with Gabor Mate, Dan Siegal, Peter Levine, Richard Schwartz and Alanis Morrisette on a panel. I loved, loved, loved a conversation between Philip Shepherd and Dave Abram (we are hoping they will get together again on our podcast as it seems they were just warming up.) I also was deeply moved by Lakota teacher Tiokasin Ghostorse’s presentation on language.
One of the things I love about the conference is the many overlapping circles of friends, colleagues, and mentors from so many of these realms we move in: meditation, Feldenkrais, Natural Movement, Martial Arts, Rolfing, neuroscience, Dance, ecology, social justice, poetry, and more, all gathering under the large umbrella of embodiment.
And speaking of overlapping circles, this weekend, Erin and I are teaching in a context that is like the center of the Venn-diagram of circles of what we love. In our Grounded and Spacious retreat, we will be exploring many movement lessons that can help the sitting posture of meditation be more aligned, easy and natural, as we explore how to deepen the qualities of groundedness and spaciousness in our everyday lives. Because don’t we all need more of those qualities in this world, and in particular, these next weeks for those of us in the US during this election season?
We are recording the whole weekend, and you are warmly welcomed to join us even if you can’t make both days or have to miss certain sessions, you will get recordings of the whole retreat once it is complete. You can read more about the retreat or register here.
Wishing you well, with deep gratitude for your presence in our lives,