Slow Dance with Trees

Hello, Loves.

I missed writing to you last week. I was away at Camp Earnest near Twain Harte attending a spectacular nature meditation retreat with Mark Coleman and Lori Schwanbeck. It’s been a long year (in so many ways) and I have profoundly missed attending workshops and retreats. The extended weekend was beyond glorious as I felt my nervous system drop down into a whole new level of ease. It was a joy to slow down, be silent, and commune with nature. It was a joy to meet new people and re-connect with old friends. One of my favorite things to do was to eat breakfast and lunch outside on the deck, gazing at the trees and listening to the birds. Food tastes different when you’re meditating, when you’re in silence, when you’re not distracted by reading material or conversation. The delight of that burst of berry in my mouth, or the texture of the pecan crunching between my teeth-----my senses came alive in a most delightful and unexpected way. I could hear more: that harmonious birdsong! I could see more: the beauty of the breeze dancing with the treetops! It was pure sensuous pleasure. Amazing how slowing down and being mindful shifts one’s perspective, one’s mindset, one’s experience of the world so profoundly. My heart felt full and open and light.

Does anybody else remember those day-long workshops that Mark and Lori (Saltzman) used to have at Spirit Rock where we’d sit meditation and then we’d dance, then sit again? Have lunch. Repeat the process in the afternoon. It was fabulous! There’s something really special and different about sitting after you’ve danced; it’s like you can access a deeper sense of stillness because the movement inside the body has been expressed. And when I dance after sitting, I feel lighter, more fluid because the stillness has been expressed. Friends, I tell you, we need more sitting & dancing combo platters!

And friends, I tell you, I want to dance with you again. Yes, it’s pure joy to dance outside with others, to feel the sun on my face and feel the breeze on my arms is bliss. Having said that, I’m also hoping we’ll shift back to the MLK gym. I don’t know when, but I trust Lori & Kathy to determine the best time to return. Tears spring to my eyes at the thought of dancing together again, the way it used to be. Yes, I know, it will never be exactly as it used to be as we’ve all been powerfully shaped by this pandemic. How will it be to hug again? To get sweaty together again? To snuggle, close-in? To dance with wild abandon? I don’t know, but it’s something to consider. All I know for sure is that I need this beautiful practice because it feeds my heart & soul, makes me the best version of myself, quiets my busy mind, opens my heart, connects me with you, melds me with spirit, sets me free and settles me into a deep state of contentment.

Yeah, let’s dance together tomorrow!

It gives me joy to tell you that the lovely Stacey Butcher will be at the helm tomorrow. I’ve missed Stacey and I’m sure you have too!

Helpful link:

Helpful location:

Sunday, June 13

9:45am - 11:00am

Corte Madera Town Park - grassy area directly in front of the skate park

28 Pixley Ave, Corte Madera, CA 94925, USA

Helpful poetry: (😊)

When I am Among the Trees

Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness, and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It's simple,” they say,

“and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine.”

A Voice from I don’t Know Where by Mary Oliver

It seems you love this world very much. “Yes, I said. “This beautiful world.”

And you don’t mind the mind, that keeps you busy all the time with its dark and bright wonderings? “No, I’m quite used to it. Busy, busy, all the time.”

And you don’t mind living with those questions, I mean the hard ones, that no one can answer? “Actually, they’re the most interesting.”

And you have a person in your life whose hand you like to hold? “Yes, I do.”

It must surely, then, be very happy down there in your heart. “Yes,” I said. “It is.”

Insert happy sigh here.

Hope to see you on the dance floor.

Much love,


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