Here are some notes from the first meeting of the October Online Intensive I shared to begin to frame what I hope to happen in the group.

-Let’s take this opportunity of the month to saturate ourselves in practice.  Let’s take the time to explore what it is that is walking around, moving, etc.  It’s a great opportunity to be artists exploring our internal process.  Please don’t waste it.  We’ll be there to support you.

-Each participant will choose their commitment level.  Each person will use the time uniquely. I think setting goals would be wise.  That will vary according to each person.  Even the term practice is unique to each person.

-What could be considered practice?:  Zazen, Non-directed body movement, Zhan Zhuang, qigong, creative movement, walking, and anything in life that you can extend what you are exploring in these other practices through.  As we get more and more into these practices, they become more of what we are than what we are doing.  

-Going to classes, participating with the group. Going to the pop-up practice sessions as they evolve.

-Authenticity, honestly, sincerity. 

-Journalling, as little as a sentence or two a day. You’ll be surprised what you forget the next day, so it is nice to track it and keep a record of it, as well as to keep inspired.

-Checking in on the Intensive group.  Maybe putting yourself out there to ask questions.  We all need our porch talk.  Your question will likely help someone else in their process.  This is a supportive group.  All questions are valid.

-Being a good sangha member and looking out for other participants, giving support.

-Deciding to do a little practice during this time, rather than deciding you will do it later. For instance, many of us think, “I’ll do that non-directed exploratory time some other time, when it is the right time.” Well,  maybe it is the right time now.  Or, when going for a walk, seeing how to integrate what you have discovered in the classes and private practice.  Being curious about this.  

-Using Kufu!  Be creative!  Break down barriers of what it means to move through space.  Where the division between self and other dissolves. 

-Be fascinated. 

 -If you are struggling, use that struggle to dive into your practice/process.  My most transformative times have come through hitting a wall, and then needing to open up because of that.

-Some type of creative expression is recommended.  For some, it may be painting, or dancing, etc.  I think especially an embodied expressive exploration is beneficial.  For me, that is usually extended non-directed time, or free movement of some kind.  

-Please take out some unstructured time to explore these practices every day if possible. It is better not to squeeze these practices in, but to have some time when you can put the clock away and not be forced to race time.  This open “Sandbox” time is fruitful. 

-Please read my blog.  If you have a question about something related to these practices, chances are it can be found in the blog. Please ask for a recommendation if needed.

-Please take walks.  Take some time to integrate and digest these practices.  If you do the ZZ, then go out and walk for a while sometime that day. Same with the NDBM.  Integration will happen more as we bring it out into walking around.  This is so Important.

For those who like reading, just to mention a few of my favorites, here are some related books to this work:

-And There was Light Jacques Lusseryan

-Kazuo Ohno’s World: from without & within. Kazuo and Yoshito Ohno

-The Unfettered Mind. Takuan Soho

-Life on Land: The Story of Continuum, the World-Renowned Self-Discovery and Movement Method, Emilie Conrad

Ki in Daily Life  K. Tohei

-The Way of Energy Lam Kam Chuen

Inside Zhan Zhuang Mark Cohen

There are No secrets, Wolfe Lowenthal 

Cultivating Empty Field Hongzhi

Bone Breath and Gesture Don Hanlon Johnson (a great anthology of Somatic lineage)

Weekly Themes-

Week 1(10 days): Discovering and Feeling the Tanden

Week 2: Moving with the Whole Body

Week 3: Relating with Others, Removing the Barrier Between Self and Other

Week 4: Bringing the Essence into Life.  

Please become Fascinated with this process. Break down barriers of what practice is. Using kufu all of the time. Saturated in practice/reality/Transparency.  

Good luck!!