Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Redefining the Meaning of 'Community' in 2020
Category:
Healing
"We cannot change what is, but we can change how we respond. This is a time where we must move into the right action for the benefit of all beings. It requires us to consider with compassion, how we may be of service to all those in need." —Lucia Horan

Esalen faculty and 5Rhythms® instructor Lucia Horan recently shared her thoughts about community and the transitions she has faced this year with ConsciousDancer.com. We share her wisdom with our community with permission from ConsciousDancer.com.

by Lucia Horan

I was born and raised at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif. A year ago, I returned to my homeland with my husband and daughter. It was a full circle to where I began.

My way has always been to dance. I was born into the path of the dance. I was raised dancing 5Rhythms®. At the age of 19, Gabrielle Roth asked me to begin teaching her work. I have danced through all of the most joyful and tragic moments of my life. Above all, dance has been my refuge. Through this uncertainty, it is the only thing I know how to do.

March of this year brought to the world COVID-19. Its wave broke across every continent on Earth, impacting our globalized way of life. As it became unsafe to gather in groups to dance, my life’s work was brought to an abrupt halt. In those first two months, I turned inward to focus on my family and 2-year-old, unsure how to proceed.

After re-centering, I was encouraged by my beloved partner to use this time of radical limitation as an opportunity to cultivate radical creativity. Though I resisted teaching online, I let go in the empty space and offered online classes and workshops. I began with a five-week series focusing on the emotional intelligence of Gabrielle Roth’s Heartbeat map.

In those many weeks, we danced through fear and courage, anger, acceptance and forgiveness, grief and surrender, joy and generosity, and compassion and connection. During this time, nothing seemed more appropriate than to dance the map of the heart.

It has been a great challenge to move from in-person work to a Zoom platform. I had to trust that the experience would be transferable. Without receiving the biofeedback that I am used to, I had to believe that this was enough. After hearing from students how powerful it was to dance in this way, I was encouraged to keep going.

In addition to teaching classes and workshops online, I have continued to offer private sessions. My one-on-one work consolidates many of the methods I teach into a powerful space where individuals can dive deep into self-awareness and growth.

As we held tight in our bubble, another wave hit our country. Instead of physical sickness, this wave exposed the systemic prejudice of racial conflict poisoning our communities. The tragic and traumatic loss of lives in the United States brought a wave of grief through many of us as our hearts were shattered open by outrage.

The night of George Floyd’s memorial in June, we danced in remembrance for all those who have lost their lives to racial injustice, donating the funds in their honor.

The next blow came as recently as several weeks ago. As wildfires raged through Big Sur, we were evacuated from our home. Losing our last place of refuge and safety further ungrounded and uprooted us. With our lives upside down and inside out, we face yet another dance of uncertainty. I held trust in my heart and prayed for support.

Through the challenges of COVID-19, social uprising and injustice, and now wildfires, we dance on. I have decided to continue to teach my upcoming five-part 5Rhythms and mindfulness workshop. There is nothing I know more than how to practice when life is complicated. Often the biggest challenge in life is to show up when we least feel like it. Now, I practice what I preach and dance on for myself and all those in need.

I believe that if we can bring our feet into freedom, then our hearts and minds will follow. As a teacher, my intention is to offer what is most authentic and real in transparency and love. The Dharma of these times provides us with the opportunity to awaken.

Dance catalyzes the nervous system and allows us to externalize and release what is in the heart. At other times, our nervous system needs to quiet and still. Through seated meditation’s silent introspection, we cultivate the space of balance, integration and peace.

I invite you to join me as we practice mindfulness in both stillness and movement. We cannot change what is, but we can change how we respond. This is a time where we must move into the right action for the benefit of all beings.

It requires us to consider with compassion how we may be of service to all those in need. May we break through the illusion of our separateness and begin to act as a global community to heal the climate crisis, the social injustice and the virus as they rage on through our neighborhoods. May we be at peace and find the freedom and motivation to do this sacred work. May we do this not for ourselves, but for all the generations that will follow us.

Learn more about Lucia and 5Rhythms at http://www.luciahoran.com. Take note of Lucia’s upcoming online workshops here.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Redefining the Meaning of 'Community' in 2020

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing
"We cannot change what is, but we can change how we respond. This is a time where we must move into the right action for the benefit of all beings. It requires us to consider with compassion, how we may be of service to all those in need." —Lucia Horan

Esalen faculty and 5Rhythms® instructor Lucia Horan recently shared her thoughts about community and the transitions she has faced this year with ConsciousDancer.com. We share her wisdom with our community with permission from ConsciousDancer.com.

by Lucia Horan

I was born and raised at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif. A year ago, I returned to my homeland with my husband and daughter. It was a full circle to where I began.

My way has always been to dance. I was born into the path of the dance. I was raised dancing 5Rhythms®. At the age of 19, Gabrielle Roth asked me to begin teaching her work. I have danced through all of the most joyful and tragic moments of my life. Above all, dance has been my refuge. Through this uncertainty, it is the only thing I know how to do.

March of this year brought to the world COVID-19. Its wave broke across every continent on Earth, impacting our globalized way of life. As it became unsafe to gather in groups to dance, my life’s work was brought to an abrupt halt. In those first two months, I turned inward to focus on my family and 2-year-old, unsure how to proceed.

After re-centering, I was encouraged by my beloved partner to use this time of radical limitation as an opportunity to cultivate radical creativity. Though I resisted teaching online, I let go in the empty space and offered online classes and workshops. I began with a five-week series focusing on the emotional intelligence of Gabrielle Roth’s Heartbeat map.

In those many weeks, we danced through fear and courage, anger, acceptance and forgiveness, grief and surrender, joy and generosity, and compassion and connection. During this time, nothing seemed more appropriate than to dance the map of the heart.

It has been a great challenge to move from in-person work to a Zoom platform. I had to trust that the experience would be transferable. Without receiving the biofeedback that I am used to, I had to believe that this was enough. After hearing from students how powerful it was to dance in this way, I was encouraged to keep going.

In addition to teaching classes and workshops online, I have continued to offer private sessions. My one-on-one work consolidates many of the methods I teach into a powerful space where individuals can dive deep into self-awareness and growth.

As we held tight in our bubble, another wave hit our country. Instead of physical sickness, this wave exposed the systemic prejudice of racial conflict poisoning our communities. The tragic and traumatic loss of lives in the United States brought a wave of grief through many of us as our hearts were shattered open by outrage.

The night of George Floyd’s memorial in June, we danced in remembrance for all those who have lost their lives to racial injustice, donating the funds in their honor.

The next blow came as recently as several weeks ago. As wildfires raged through Big Sur, we were evacuated from our home. Losing our last place of refuge and safety further ungrounded and uprooted us. With our lives upside down and inside out, we face yet another dance of uncertainty. I held trust in my heart and prayed for support.

Through the challenges of COVID-19, social uprising and injustice, and now wildfires, we dance on. I have decided to continue to teach my upcoming five-part 5Rhythms and mindfulness workshop. There is nothing I know more than how to practice when life is complicated. Often the biggest challenge in life is to show up when we least feel like it. Now, I practice what I preach and dance on for myself and all those in need.

I believe that if we can bring our feet into freedom, then our hearts and minds will follow. As a teacher, my intention is to offer what is most authentic and real in transparency and love. The Dharma of these times provides us with the opportunity to awaken.

Dance catalyzes the nervous system and allows us to externalize and release what is in the heart. At other times, our nervous system needs to quiet and still. Through seated meditation’s silent introspection, we cultivate the space of balance, integration and peace.

I invite you to join me as we practice mindfulness in both stillness and movement. We cannot change what is, but we can change how we respond. This is a time where we must move into the right action for the benefit of all beings.

It requires us to consider with compassion how we may be of service to all those in need. May we break through the illusion of our separateness and begin to act as a global community to heal the climate crisis, the social injustice and the virus as they rage on through our neighborhoods. May we be at peace and find the freedom and motivation to do this sacred work. May we do this not for ourselves, but for all the generations that will follow us.

Learn more about Lucia and 5Rhythms at http://www.luciahoran.com. Take note of Lucia’s upcoming online workshops here.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Redefining the Meaning of 'Community' in 2020
Category:
Healing

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About

Esalen Team

Redefining the Meaning of 'Community' in 2020

About

Esalen Team

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