Ahead of this Winter Solstice...
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Below is info on how to see the visually and emotionally sublime dance "We choose to go to the moon" free this week and next at the National Portrait Gallery, some updates, a meditation, and at the end, your horoscope.
I am leaving for an ashram in Mysore, India on December 13th, returning mid-January. I am going for spiritual learning, and to practice yoga and meditation there. I look forward to sharing some of the experiences.
My father, James Shepherd Freeman III, left his earthly body on the eve of Thanksgiving, November 21st. He was a great teacher, a brilliant mind, and a good and loving father, brother, son, cousin, friend and man. His middle name is apt. I look forward to honoring him with wise choices.
I know I am quite a trend-setter by doing so, but I am setting some New Year resolutions, and I'm going to share four:
1. Get through resentment - against others, myself and God.
2. Listen to what the body says - about itself and about the world around me - for the body is wise.
3. Create stability and build stamina in order to help others in ways that best serve them and suit my nature.
4. Be willing to surrender, but never give up my Self.
In addition, I share four prayers for us collectively:
1. May our tolerance for imbalance never be stronger than the weakest among us.
2. May our acceptance of others be genuine.
3. May we shun those who make it a practice or apply effort into discriminating unjustly against others.
4. May we remember that it is often easier to wage war than maintain peace; that it is often easier to hate or to fear than it is to love; that it is often easier to keep fighting than it is to find common ground; yet the work for good is worth it.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company's We choose to go to the moon will close out the National Portrait Gallery’s special 50th anniversary programming tied to the museum’s 50th exhibition, "One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey" exhibition. The program is also in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s kick-off of year-long programming with events honoring the Apollo missions and the country’s future in space. An aside: my father, a sailer at heart who loved looking at the stars and planets - with and without binocs or telescopes, loved this dance when he saw it premiere in 2015 at the Kennedy Center.
Inspired by the space race and President Kennedy’s 1962 speech at Rice University (serendipitously my father's undergrad alma mater ;)) entitled “We Choose to Go to the Moon,” Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company developed this performance in collaboration with NASA. The piece explores the connection between humanity and space, touching upon America’s idealism around the space race, the mystery of the cosmos, and the fragility of life.
We choose to go to the moon received rave reviews and standing ovations when it premiered at the Kennedy Center in 2015. The sound score features interviews between Dana and the late astronaut Bruce McCandless (first man ever to float untethered in space), scientists, and a New Mexico medicine woman. Do not miss this opportunity to see this brilliant dance!
Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company at the National Portrait Gallery
Dec. 12th, 15th, 18th, at 6:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public
McEvoy Auditorium (enter at G Street lobby)
Select your date and reserve your seats here!
Free Thursday Restorative Yoga to continue in 2019 starting January 17th at 6:30 p.m. at the Palisades Recreation Center in NW DC. To RSVP: DC residents please create an account with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation here. If you are not a DC resident, you can email or text me. I have so enjoyed practicing with those that have participated in this offering since it launched in October.
$10 Saturday Morning Yoga to continue in 2019 starting January 19th at 10:00 a.m. at the lovely and historic Arts Club of Washington. Please RSVP through their events page on their website, which will be updated with future classes, or email email@example.com to RSVP that way. A $10 donation to the Arts Club of Washington (check or cash) is requested.
FABUM will be hosting a rescheduled screening of the documentary "Magic Pills" by Ananda More early in 2019. Details will be forthcoming.
Winter Solstice Leaves Meditation:
Clear here to listen aloud on YouTube (voice is yours truly), or read a transcription below.
(If you were at my free yoga class last Thursday, this is from memory as best I can recall of the guided meditation we did that evening.)
Imagine that you are walking, floating...moving through the woods. Most of the trees have shed their leaves, because they no longer need them. Notice how much sky is visible. Sunlight shines through the branches, touching the ground that it is typically sheltered by them.
Just as we cannot recount every thought, stress or distraction from the last year, nor can we count the leaves. However, we do not question the trees for shedding them, or the wisdom of the earth for knowing what to do with them. We just know it is correct that leaves fall to the ground.
Imagine each falling leaf is a thought that no longer serves you. Each leaf on the ground is a thought already shed. You do not need to know which thought corresponds to which leaf, you simply trust the process. You allow what no longer serves you to fall from you, to return to the ground, where it will nourish new life.
While you are aware of the shedding, thanking the leaves for their service, you also become aware of the genesis beneath your feet. The life under ground that the leaves will feed, and that will flourish come spring.
You begin to become aware of a path through the woods - to a clearing, one that may not yet be visible, covered by the fallen leaves. But you trust that the path will be made clear to you when it is correct for you to follow it.
In the mean time, breathe in love, and exhale peace and gratitude - for the woods, for the earth, for others and for your Self.
Find your breath, and inhale and exhale fully.
Below is your horoscope.