Tag Archives: presence

So much is happening. And so much is not happening. There is a tsunami of suffering and simultaneously there is wonder and beauty and the unfurling of spring. It’s everything. All at once.

The practice is to bring presence to all of it.

Presence is not some exotic state that we need to search for or manufacture. In the simplest terms, it is the felt sense of wakefulness, openness, and tenderness that arise when we are fully here and now with our experience.
~ Tara Brach, True Refuge

Presence requires open eyes, soft hearts and the strength to turn toward, to step toward the grief and the gratitude, the sadness and the sunshine. Our practice today is Nourishing Movement that invites just that. Please find the video here.

Playlist for Nourishing Movement: Presence, Tue Apr 7 2020
Liberation 4:31 Asher Fulero, YouTube Audio Library
Love or Lust 3:39 Quincas Moreira, YouTube Audio Library
Sunspots 5:43 Jeremy Blake, YouTube Audio Library
The Bucket List 3:31 Quincas Moreira, YouTube Audio Library
Blue Moon 3:33 JVNA, YouTube Audio Library
Mia 5:00 Jeremy Blake, YouTube Audio Library
Don’t Look 4:26 Silent Partner, YouTube Audio Library
El Magicia 4:06 Kevin MacLeod, YouTube Audio Library
James River 5:25 DJ Williams, YouTube Audio Library
Late Night Drive 4:53 Nat Keefe & BeatMower, YouTube Audio Library
Sunny Looks Good on You 3:41 Midnight North, YouTube Audio Library
Baeb Steps 3:46 Noir Et Blanc Vie, YouTube Audio Library
Heuristics For The Brain 3:48 pATCHES, YouTube Audio Library

And the poem Thanks by W.S. Merwin (with thanks to Zakira Beasley) is below

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Help me sustain your Dancing Water Daily practices! No matter how far apart we are physically, we are all connected. The path that we all move along together is held by an Invisible Net of Love that is always there even if we can’t see it. The Dancing Water Daily practices is my thread in that net. Please support my work by offering a donation so I can keep creating these practices for you. With your generous support, I can continue to invest in making these classes available to anyone who can benefit. Please click here to be part of the Dancing Water Daily Net of Love. And please “Send to a Friend” to avoid PayPal fees! Suggested donation: $5 a class or $15 a week.

Shout outs to this week’s generous donors: Becky Trexler, Gwen Baber, Janice Burnham, Zakira Beasley, and Kathie Anzalone! A thousand thanks! Together we can extend this Net of Love.

AND if, like me, your finances are akimbo, I get it. Another way to help is to share these video practices. Send a link to a friend! Post it on social media! Help spread the word about nourishing movement and moving together apart.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As I continue to work on all aspects of offerings online classes, you might also check out NiaTV — an online service offering 30 days free access to Nia TV’s at-home dance workouts, podcasts, meditations, and exclusive livestream.
• To register, click here and start your free trial today.
• Please note: you will need to cancel your Nia TV account within 30 days to avoid being charged after the 30-day trial period.
You can help to increase community engagement (and assure me that you are out there)! PLEASE DO:
• leave comments on the Facebook videos and share them with friends
• subscribe to my YouTube channel (it’s FREE, of course), like, comment and share them
• subscribe, comment and share these blog posts
• email me at with ideas and suggestions for what would be of the most help and support in these days

A reminder that YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU. Remember that you are responsible for knowing what your body needs. As with all exercise programs, use common sense and what you know about yourself. To reduce and avoid injury, check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program. By using this video, you are acknowledging that you are fully responsible for your own health and well-being. And by performing any movement exercises, you are performing them at your own risk. Susan McCulley, my website or associated online venues are not responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of what I offer here. Please listen to yourself and do what feels good.

Monday, Apr 6 ~ Dancing Water Nourishing Movement: Presence on Susan’s YouTube Channel ~ find it here
Tuesday, Apr 7 ~ Dancing Water Nourishing Movement: Presence on Susan’s YouTube Channel ~ find it here
Wednesday, Apr 8 ~ Moon River Restorative Yoga on Susan’s YouTube Channel
Thursday, Apr 9 ~ Dharma Dance from Dancing Water on Susan’s YouTube Channel
Friday, Apr 10 ~ All Out, All You Dance Party from Dancing Water on Susan’s YouTube Channel

What’s a silver lining that you are seeing or experiencing? What is a suffering that you are seeing or experiencing? I’d love to know and I always love to hear from you ~ please reach out with email or a comment below!
Until soon, my friends!

This week, the practice was all about the presence. I found myself tipping in and out of being in my body and in the moment and cascading into the future or the past. I wonder how it went for you?

As I mentioned in a couple of classes, I’m not much of a Christmas-y person but I do love the song Little Drummer Boy as it speaks to the gift of bringing our unique selves as the greatest gift of all. And I discovered a new version of the song that rocked my world. You can check out the video here.

Also helpful to me this week was Leo Babauta’s post about navigating stressful holidays (or any other stressful time). You can find that post here.

You can find our playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

acac Holiday Hours + Nia Classes
Monday, December 31
Albemarle Square & Downtown: 5:00am – 6:00pm
Susan teaching 1045-12noon at The Square
Tuesday, January 1
Albemarle Square & Downtown: 8:00am – 10:00pm
Susan teaching 840-940am downtown

Buddha Cat & More at the Cville Arts Cooperative
I’m delighted to announce that my work has been accepted at Cville Arts Crafts & Art Cooperative ( on the downtown mall at 118 E. Main Street (near the fountain and next to the mosaic sofa)! This beautiful, eclectic gallery offers a variety of art and crafts made by all Virginia artists. My display is up ~~ you’ll find it in the back gallery! I am honored to be included in this talented gathering of artists! Please do some of your holiday shopping at Cville Arts!

Buddha Cat Now on Amazon
Buddha Cat is now also available on the world’s largest retailer! You can find both Kindle and paperback editions! AND if you are already a reader and fan, PLEASE would you write a review? A review is one of the most powerful things you can do to spread the word. Find the book listing here! Thank you for your energy and support!

Buddha Cat Available at Local Stores!
If you’d rather not order online and/or if you’d like to support an independent bookstore, you can find the book at some local establishments!
Over The Moon Bookstore at 2025 Library Ave in Crozet, Virginia. It’s a beautiful store filled with great books, lovely things and chocolate and is well worth a visit. They also carry Buddha Cat postcards!
New Dominion Bookshop on the downtown mall at 404 E Main St in Charlottesville, Virginia. New Dominion is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia, and carries books in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, and a unique selection of architecture and landscape gardening resources…as well as Buddha Cat – the book, prints and cards. Please do go in, ask for Buddha Cat by name and support local artists, local booksellers and local cats.
Quilts Unlimited / J. Fenton Gifts on the downtown mall at 118 West Main St in Charlottesville. This is a great place to find contemporary American Handcrafts, artisan jewelry and whimsical (even Buddha-y) gifts.
Hot Yoga Charlottesville at 216 West Water St., Charlottesville, VA. The home of hot yoga since 2004, HYC offers a variety of heated yoga classes that heal body, mind and spirit.
The Elderberry at 1917 Commonwealth Drive in Charlottesville. A full service herbal shop, The Elderberry is a place to get expert advice, a full herbal apothecary and a supportive community.
PawPrints on the downtown mall at 201 East Main Street near the fountain. A locally owned shop, PawPrints offers unique items for both people and pets. You can find fun cat and dog themed toys, treats, gifts and apparel – and Buddha Cat!
Integral Yoga Natural Foods at 923 Preston Ave, IY provides the foods, supplements, personal-care products – and Buddha books! – needed to maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Pantops Veterinarian Hospital at 315 Winding River Lane, Suite 101
Charlottesville. PVH  is a full-service small animal veterinary facility, with practice for dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs and where they celebrate the Buddha in all of our fur babies.

Yoga Retreat in Mexico with Lynsie McKeown ~ February 9-16, 2019
It’s time to say YES to you and your well-being; to put you first. Join Lynsie McKeown, February 9-16, 2019, for 8 days of daily practice, luxury villas, delectable meals and immersive experiences in paradise. This retreat is designed to nourish, support and celebrate YOU. Immersed in beauty and nature, you’ll experience the benefits of a complete practice; asana (vinyasa tantra), pranayama, guided meditation and Yoga Nidra (a deep state of restoration, relaxation, and awareness). Body, mind, heart and soul will be rejuvenated. You’ll leave feeling full—full of more joy, motivation and inspiration to carry you through the rest of your year. Find out more here.

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

Monday, Dec 24, 2018, 1045am ~ It’s All About The Presence

What Child Is This 2:59 Dan Crary
Factor 30 9:34 Bjarno
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
One Hundred Lights (Grouch Remix) 5:31 Kaya Project
Qalanderi 7:10 Cheb i Sabbah
Torch 7:49 Bob Holroyd
Afronaut 5:23 Shaman’s Dream
Carol of the Bells Medley 3:25 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Little Drummer Boy 4:16 Pentatonix
Greensleeves 4:29 Steve Erquiaga
When Comes December 4:04 Tim Story

Tuesday, Dec 25, 2018 ~ It’s All About The Presence

Happy Merry Everything…

Wednesday, Dec 26, 2018, 11am ~ It’s All About The Presence

Eireann 5:10 Afro Celt Sound System
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Mission of My Soul 4:09 Peter Himmelman
Fingerbeat 5:57 Drumspyder
Little Talks 4:28 Of Monsters And Men
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree 2:51 KT Tunstall
Shakin’ It Up 6:15 Ganga Giri
Why Must I Feel Like This Today? [Feat. Baaba Maal, Michael Franti, Ulali, Radio Active & Krishna Das] 9:28 1 Giant Leap
Little Drummer Boy (Live) 4:38 for KING & COUNTRY
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting If
Peace 6:36 Ajeet Kaur

Thursday, Dec 27, 2018, 840am ~ It’s All About The Presence

Eireann 5:10 Afro Celt Sound System
Pavement Cracks 5:10 Annie Lennox
Mission of My Soul 4:09 Peter Himmelman
Fingerbeat 5:57 Drumspyder
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree 2:51 KT Tunstall
Shakin’ It Up 6:15 Ganga Giri
Why Must I Feel Like This Today? [Feat. Baaba Maal, Michael Franti, Ulali, Radio Active & Krishna Das] 9:28 1 Giant Leap
Little Drummer Boy (Live) 4:38 for KING & COUNTRY
The Hounds Of Winter 5:51 Sting If
Peace 6:36 Ajeet Kaur


For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at…
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!

In this season, it can be easy to get caught up in the things, the activities, the expectations. I know I get focused on what am I going to give, cook, do? Who will we see, what are the plans, what will I wear and do I have everything? But the truth is, this season — and this life — is about our ability to show up. It’s about our presence.

Take some time every day, especially in this week, to drop into the sensations of your body, to notice with your full attention whatever is happening. Make the choice — especially when things feel familiar and are full of memory — to really smell the spices, to taste the cookie, to hear the laughter, to see the faces, to hold the hands. Make the courageous choice to really BE with the people you are with — including yourself.

Presence is the real gift.

ONE WORD 2018 & 2019

As the year comes to its end, it’s a great time to find One Word for 2019. For the past many years, instead of making a resolution, I’ve been choosing one word to guide me through the year. I often think think think about it for a while and then when I stop and ask myself how I want to FEEL in the coming year, the word finds me.

These are the words I’ve lived with for the past several years:

2011 – OPEN

2012 – RELEASE


2014 — WORTHY

2015 — FREEDOM

2016 – heARTful

2017 – AWAKE

2018 – HEALING

Living with one word for a year is a simple way of creating a year-long focus to guide and inspire choices. Now is a great time to open your attention to the word you might like to be with for 2019. And if you had a word for 2018, now is a great time to reconnect with it.

P1 Joy of Movement feet to be herePrinciple 1 – The Joy of Movement…succinctly

The Big-J Joy is less about happiness or enJOYment, more about being present no matter what is happening. Practicing the Joy of Movement makes whatever you do with your body — running, knitting, cooking, shuffleboarding, triathaloning — more connected.

Whatever you’re doing, choose to be here for it.

If whatever is happening feels painful or difficult, stay in but make a small modification, a “tweak” to increase ease. An act of self-compassion and kindness, a tweak is how we take care of ourselves and still stay present.

Big-J Joy is the zone that creates a body-mind relationship.

%d bloggers like this: