Sawubona: Art, Insights, Music & What’s Happening ~ Sep 2 – 5, 2019

FOCUS POCUS NOTE! As you may have noticed, I’ve been rolling the two weekly FocusPocus posts (art and content on Sundays, playlists and announcements on Thursdays) into one complete post. So whether you come to the blog for the art, the information, the music or the latest happenings and offerings, you are in the right place. Every week on Thursdays, you’ll get it all. Thank you so much for being here.

In Zulu culture, there is an ancient greeting: “Sawubona!” which (as indicated in the art above) is a rich and complex word that means many things. At its essence, it means “I see you and WE see you.” But more deeply, it means that you are accepted, you belong, you are valued and important. The response when someone says this is “Yabo Sawubona!” or “I see you seeing me” indicating a willingness to be seen.

In the U.S., the most common greeting is “Hello, how are you?” which is usually both insincere and asking the other to respond in a socially acceptable way, “Fine, thank you, how are you?”

What strikes me is the superficial nature of the American greeting as opposed to the depth and care of the Zulu one.

This week, we focused on the practice of “Sawubona” and “Yabo Sawubona”: the presence to really connect with another and allow another to connect with you. We also explored the neuroscience of how we direct our eyes. Lowering the gaze lights up the egocentric part of the brain while looking up fires the allocentric or other-centered section.

Play with the sensation of really seeing as well as using the eyes mindfully.

Here are some resources to explore a little deeper:

Global Oneness Project with a beautiful explanation of Sawubona.

Sawubona TEDx Talk by Julie Pilat — an American’s experience of the word

In regards to the brain science of using the eyes, an article from the Buddhist magazine, Tricycle called Eyes and the Brain.

Here’s an excerpt of the piece:

Another fundamental duality arises as the brain interprets information received by our eyes, formulating two different views of visual-spatial reality. The egocentric perspective always sees things subjectively, in relation to “me,” while the allocentric, or other-centered, point of view represents an object as “out there” so that it can be identified and interpreted objectively. These two systems operate unconsciously and for the most part seamlessly, although the strong psychic representations of our ego-self tend to dominate our weaker perception of the outside environment.

The first of these processes, the one that determines where things are in relation to “me,” is deactivated during kensho, Austin contends, while the second, which decides where objective “things” are in relation to one another, is enhanced, leading to a startling experience of self-less reality. During kensho, “perception seems to be realer than real and fundamentally the way all things are,” he explains. “The other-centered landscape comes in, occupies the whole mental scenery, and lacks all self-referential ties. This happens for the very first time in an individual’s experience, which makes it startling. It’s actually been there all the time, but many veils of the personal stuff had been interposed, distorting the way in which the real world enters our consciousness. Let all that stuff drop out, and you start seeing the world through an allocentric prism. So two things go on simultaneously, and they reinforce each other in the final experience. One of the Buddhist terms for that remarkable allocentric perception is ‘suchness.’ Suchness is the way things really are, without self in the picture.”

And if you’re feeling science-y, Zen and the brain: mutually illuminating topics by James H. Austin

(Thanks to my friend and TEDx Charlottesville speaker, Tim Cunningham, for connecting me with those last two articles.)

Below are our playlists for the week. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

Before the playlists, here is the scoop on a whole slew of great things happening!

Nourishing Movement Classes at the Studio at Dancing Water on Thursday mornings at 11am!
Nourishing Movement classes with Susan on Thursdays at 11am ~~ my mix of guided and unguided movement, meditation and creativity! Please go to http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop for the details. Come join us in the trees by the river for grounded, flowing, spacious movement. Second Thursdays are followed by a pot luck lunch! Nourish yourself with movement and bring something nourishing to share! There is space in upcoming classes so please go HERE to sign up!
* The Studio at Dancing Water is at 2370 Old Lynchburg Road ~ detailed directions at http://www.susanmcculley.com and via email when you sign up!

Nia Jam: Balance is a Verb ~ Saturday, September 21, 1230-145pm at acac Albemarle Square Studio A with Susan, Kate & Jeanne (No Nia 101 and class will start at 1230!)
Balance isn’t something we have, it’s something we do. Balance is a constant dance of push and pull, squeeze and release, reach and root. In our fall equinox jam, we’ll focus on balance in the body and in particular in shoulders and hips. Jeanne, Kate & Susan will play with all the balances that happen between upper/lower, left/right, front/back, diagonal lines as well as fast/slow, challenge/recuperation, sharp/fluid and everything in between. Please note that there will be no Nia 101 and that the jam will begin at 1230! And don’t forget, you can bring a friend for FREE so grab a buddy and join us!

Saturday September 28, 9-12noon – Moving & Writing with Light: Nourishing Body & Eyes with Susan & Rebecca
Susan & Rebecca offer a morning to expand your perspective on two things that everybody has: a body and a smartphone. The word “photography” means “writing with light.” A photo isn’t a copy of something— it’s a story written *by light*! And light is weaving stories all around us, all the time. Using the simple cameras that we all carry —the ones in our phones! — we’ll play with the stories of light around us and experience how changing our perspectives can change everything. Susan will weave movement and mindfulness into the morning to practice being with light & shadow. No experience in photography or movement needed, just bring a phone or tablet with a built-in camera and your body. No experience with movement or photography is needed or expected. If you like, from 12-2pm, bring a lunch and savor it on the porch, on the bench overlooking the river or on a rock in the middle of it. $75. Register at http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop.

Octobusy Launch Celebration at New Dominion Bookshop ~ Saturday, October 19, 7-8pm
I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my new book, Octabusy: How to Let Go in a Sea of Doing at the wonderful New Dominion Bookshop on the Charlottesville downtown mall on Saturday evening, October 19 from 7-8pm. I’ll read a little, talk a little, sign a little, snack and do a happy dance! You can get the information here and here and if you can’t be there, you CAN preorder from NDB!

Saturday October 26, 9-12noon – Nourishing the Nervous System with Mindful Movement
NOTE from Susan: I am thrilled, honored, excited to welcome Emily Wright to teach at Dancing Water. She is an extraordinary, approachable, gifted teacher. I can’t wait to do this with her. Will you join me?
The body is a central portal to nervous system regulation. When we are regulated and integrated, we have the capacity to be our most awake, available, creative, curious, flexible selves. Using a blend of guided movement work, journaling, visual art-making, poetry, and mindfulness practices, participants will explore states of autonomic nervous system regulation as a means to establish safe, nourishing connections to ourselves, each other, and the natural world. 
About the instructor:
Emily Wright, MFA, PhD, is a movement educator, author, and practitioner. She offers classes and workshops in functional movement, contact improvisation, and intergenerational community dance informed by her extensive background in dance and other somatic disciplines.

Nia resumes in Studio A at acac downtown
Nia is back in Studio A at acac downtown:
Mondays 4:15–5:15pm ~ Rachel
Wednesdays 6-7pm ~ Jeanne
Fridays 9-10:10am ~ Loring
Saturdays 9-10:10am ~ Anne
Sundays 3:30-4:30pm ~ Anne
PLUS
at acac Albemarle Square, Tuesdays 12-1pm Nia Moving to Heal ~ Rachel (starting Sept 3)

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom ~ Video Series with Cecily Armstrong
Over the past few years I’ve been inspired and energized by the teaching and guidance of Cecily Armstrong. She is so generous with her offerings ~ her latest is a three-part video workshop Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom. If you’ve ever felt confused about how best to nourish yourself and live your healthiest, happiest life, Cecily offers amazing insights. You can sign up for the video series here. And/or you can get access to a longer 1-hour on-line workshop with Cecily here! https://cecilyarmstrong.com/decoding-your-bodys-wisdom-workshop/

Decoding Your Body’s Wisdom [optin]

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ Sep 6 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, Sep 6 from 11:25 -12:25.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Sep 2, 2019, 1045am ~ Sawubona “I See You” ~ Labor Day!

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Papasus 6:08 Loop Guru
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Cotton Eyed Joe 2:50 The Chieftains & Ricky Skaggs
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Carnival 5:59 Natalie Merchant
In Your Eyes 5:26 Peter Gabriel
Mirrors (Radio Edit) 4:37 Justin Timberlake
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Plegaria para el Alma de Layla 3:19 Pedro Aznar

Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019, 840am ~ Sawubona “I See You”

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Papasus 6:08 Loop Guru
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
Cotton Eyed Joe 2:50 The Chieftains & Ricky Skaggs
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Carnival 5:59 Natalie Merchant
Mirrors (Radio Edit) 4:37 Justin Timberlake
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Plegaria para el Alma de Layla 3:19 Pedro Aznar

Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019, 11am ~ Sawubona “I See You”

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Shut Your Eyes 3:16 Snow Patrol
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Sawubona 3:57 Lucky Nabavimbezeli
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Suddenly I See 3:22 KT Tunstall
Sawubona 4:01 Nicolay
Mirrors (Radio Edit) 4:37 Justin Timberlake
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
See Yourself 3:44 Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019, 840am ~ Sawubona “I See You”

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
burundi 6:26 Star Sounds Orchestra
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Sawubona 3:57 Lucky Nabavimbezeli
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
I Can See Clearly Now 2:43 Johnny Nash
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
See Yourself 3:44 Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station

Thursday, Sep 5, 2019, 11am Nourishing Movement at the Studio at Dancing Water ~ Sawubona “I See You”

Relaxer 7:58 Deep-Dive-Corp.
A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
burundi 6:26 Star Sounds Orchestra
Doctor My Eyes 3:21 Jackson Browne
I’m Looking Through You 2:24 The Beatles
Sawubona 3:57 Lucky Nabavimbezeli
Cirrus 5:49 Bonobo
Jets 4:35 Bonobo
See Yourself 3:44 Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers
Looking in the Eyes of Love 4:19 Alison Krauss & Union Station
Devorzhum 6:13 Dead Can Dance

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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