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Dancing a Concussion

Struck my head again, a repetition I seem to lean in to.
Ice and arnica soothe a space of hope.

I can only think of loving the Centrum housing my third eye, pineal, and fourth ventricle all poised at the brink of tranquillity.

And yet as a practitioner of Craniosacral Therapy, I know my conversation can not push its way into the precious lung like sponges of my inner self. These seemingly unspeaking sparkles within me, these cells, can they lead me to the source of my concussion?

Like a conversationalist of any persuasion, I ask first what questions we share within these depths that reflect to the surfaces in my tottering movement.

I walk into the trees allowing my apertures to play among the nearest and the fartherest, among the subtle and the bright, the yellowing and the greening. Behind my eyes, I fall into a lovely hovering space.

It is here where I can counter my movements side and side, around and through, back and forwards. I can allow my eyes to spin ahead or behind me, tottering in the first steps it seems of my mind to pass a thought of myself from brow to resting point at the back of my head, which happens to lie just above my spine as it enters my brain.

And it is here that I can gulp enough to ask about the question I share with this light bounding amongst the tree sprigs. I can now admit that the grape vine leaf is like me, tittering at the end of a spindly twig. We both balance in ongoing movement shared with the breeze, with the sound of creek water below us, and perhaps with the warmth of our shared energies.

In this delicate shared space , I need not ask what life we hold in common. Going beyond the huge question, I must brave a glimpse of our clarity. What cells do we share and what wishes do we create as we discard and reshape phase upon phase?

To surrender the question and its journey through me, I ask to see life passing through my brain’s Centrum. I ask for the presence with my cells to inquire of their life.

And as if waiting for a distant breeze to return through the trees of an immense gorge, I move through my asking toward receiving a surprise worthy of the immensity on which I am delicately perched.

And yet I am not a grape leaf attached to a vine strangling the trees around it. I lift ankle and foot prancing in place as I spin on my precipice with a joy beyond anything I could imagine. My Centrum and I arrive at a moment of balance.

Yes my eyes ask only to grasp at a stare that will slow the turning. Yet my Centrum spreads a smile through me and I have no choice but to love the arriving moment.

My concussion registers my tottering around and through a stare, through a frozen landscape to a lush receiving of many versions of light and glimmering shape in resonant sounds that each of my cells can taste. My concussion is in conversation now and I can lay this dance of myself to rest to welcome waters of cleansing and gratitude to wash over me.
Tim Hurst 10/02/17

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Brain Body 2X Helix

Today I felt the image process of replicating a double helix in my movement. For the first time I experienced the Chi Gong healing movement of counter rotation following the shape of the double helix. The figure eights of the head and eyes along with the hips travel up and down my body imitating a helix spiral. With palms facing my arms move across my body in counter rotation with the unity of head and hips rotating in the opposite way. The counter rotation is the double helix that meet at one crossing point at the body center in front of me. This crossing point moves slowly up my body and culminates at the peak of my reach overhead. My hands then fall caressing the air on either side of the helix until my hands hang at the sides of my body preparing to rise into another wave motion.

What the experience meant to me was the importance of a macro view of a structure through my entire self.

I experienced the importance of an image being energy and the shape of lines or bands or cloud like vortexes being a quality that I vary. With a micro view I am also varying the speed and the willingness to allow continuous motion to flood me with a fully engaged perceptual experience.

I experienced the importance of the image as a structure that is in continuous motion connecting and reconnecting all of myself. With a macro view I allow all my entire self to join in the continuous motion that brings me into the fully engaged perceptual experience.

I experience the image as a continuous motion internally to externally as well as the opposite externally to internally. My ballet teachers constantly remind me that signals must go down through the feet and through the floor to access the power of rising whether it be a small movement or a leap into the air. Likewise the landing of the lowering is not a crash but a continuation of the lowering of each cell in anticipation of the rising.

This moment by moment shift of micro and macro imagery is integral to the experience of dance no matter my states of awareness. It is what gives the quality of my movement an equal attention to weight in the springing upwards, the floating downward, and the landing in preparation for another spring. This is the dance study of a balance of force at each point of a movement.

The importance of the absolute slowest rate of motion becomes more apparent. My focus wants to skip in order to take everything in at once. Heloise Gold as dancer and Tai Chi Master have taught me that I can train myself to experience the coordination of slow motion of the eyes with slow motion of each part of my body. The Chi Gong healing movement is what I return to often.

Like the wave motion of lowering anticipating the rise and rising to a peak anticipating the lowering, I experience the expansion and contraction like the wave of my breathing. It is the attention on breathing that many meditation techniques and forms of yoga use to experience the wave motion within all the senses.

I experimented with taking my experience of the double helix in this healing movement into a spinning motion used by the Sufi as a form of communication with God. I simply took myself into a slow spin with the semi- circle of my hips to the back. My head and eyes followed my hips while my arms were in counter rotation to the opposite direction. I combined two traditions of entering full engagement of my entire self. The busyness of the multiple movements easily become a full person experience from a macro view.

To shift my spin to the opposite direction, I rotate my hips in a back semi-circle to the new direction, follow with my head and eyes. My arms, palms facing, moving in figure eights across my body. My arms move upwards and downwards imitating the crossing of a double helix.

A visceral experience of the double helix occurs when I stop spinning. This is a favorite movement of children who have discovered the connection of cells in the brain and body within the spin. Stopping the spin, the entire body perception is equalizing and the double helix experience is waves of crossing and recrossing energy.
Tim Hurst 09/30/17

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Reversing Trauma

My study is of the point of venturing beyond known territory and receiving the courage to surrender previous connections. Prayer, meditation, and religious ritual have long been the entry points for this balance point. The tools for these practices since the earliest humans have been dance, rhythm, and singing. My study of these practices is my life’s work.

So many discoveries are being made about our neurological connections to our experience. Anat Baniel works with children and adults to retrain neurological connections. Her books, Kids Beyond Limits and Move Into Life are breakthroughs as are her therapeutic work with all ages.

Last night I saw two movies. One called Resurfacing was about the discoveries of combat veterans who stored their experiences as PTSD. This group used surfing to bring the veterans to confront the way they stored their experiences and get ways to begin there lives again. They used phrases like, “Learn to tell yourself a new story.” Meet that place of complete uncertainty. “I was totally engaged with the wave. Nothing else could get into my mind.”

They also dealt with the larger question of vulnerability that has been erased from their minds as soldiers. The ocean became a power greater than themselves. Their only hope was to respond to the power of the waves under them. Crashing and bailing off the surf board were a part of the learning. So was surrender to personal intuition and to the power beneath their feet and beneath the board they were standing on.

A second movie used martial arts and sword fighting in Korea as a metaphor for dealing with past traumas, ancestral and personal. The television series was Lucid Dreams. The process was the meditative experience of being able to go backwards in time to change an experience. Their use of music, artistic imagery, and martial arts gave me a visceral experience of this process.

With lifetimes of practice individuals supported by groups have achieved the ability to go inside a trauma or a guilt and reverse a downward spiral of self destruction and addiction. Today this critical balance point is being explored by the necessities of modern culture.

Experience of this balance point have been codified for example by meditation and martial art practices. What happens in building a code for a process like tottering on the unknown is identification of a specific goal like Nirvana or domination. Then we have to force ourselves to be true to the process. The examples are obvious, to meditate we have to remain still or maintain positions beyond our endurance level. With martial arts we have to hold the goal of meeting an adversary.

These systems have value in themselves yet they do not deal with the original search for access and entry into both an open macro view with no specified goal and a specific micro view to create and interchange connections.

My study is of the point of venturing beyond known territory and receiving the courage to surrender previous connections. Prayer, meditation, and religious ritual have long been the entry points for this balance point. The tools for these practices since the earliest humans have been dance, rhythm, and singing. My study of these practices is my life’s work.
Tim Hurst 09/06/17

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Experiment Dance Meditation

Continuing experiments with sending and receiving signals, my wish is to prepare my attention for the unexpected and become responsive to the messages of my body, my self.

I practice movement meditations that blend micro movements, spinning, and singing. One element of dance that is consistent to these experiments is curved motion, rising and falling in every movement and movement patterns that involve loops and spirals.

I may follow a sequence but mostly I practice listening to my inner messages and making shifts of direction and using pauses that seem to satisfy the flow of my sensations, emotions, thoughts.

Dance incorporates this kind of responsive meditation at the beginning of each Ballet or Modern class. These beginning sequences are often called Barre whether standing or laying.

A dance approach to meditation is different. For me it is important to understand what is involved in meditation and how it can help me to be more receptive to internal and external signals.

Dance has inspired and absorbed the wisdom of many traditions, one is meditation. Meditation is an attempt to be completely receptive, attentive to internal sensations, feelings, and thoughts. The process is to allow all these inner experiences to flow through the self awareness without interruption. By following this process, the hope is to train ourselves to an agility in our thoughts, emotions, and eventually our actions. The results can be peaceful or can be a flood of unattended emotions and fears that must be allowed to work their way through our self awareness.

Meditation is a ritual to follow and has been associated with holding ourselves in stillness and sometimes in a variety of positions as in Yoga.

Dance has also inspired and absorbed the wisdom of interactive prayer. Interactive prayer is the sending and receiving of messages that are designed to open the doorways to the person. Messages sent vary from gratitude to asking for openness. Messages received also vary from a kind of spacious anticipation to specific insights or even visions.

Interactive prayer is also a ritual that has been associated with both stillness, with singing, and with movement. Examples of singing range from communal singing to ritual chants. Examples of movement are monks walking a labyrinth and Sufi spinning dances.

Dance training mirrors this process as each dancer develops a receptivity to their internal messages, asks for an attitude of curiosity for the next moment, responds with melodic sequences that reflect their discoveries, and then hold a moment of silence to allow their whole self to integrate these experiences.
Tim Hurst. 04/05/17. D