The creative seed
how ‘dance as one’ turns out to be ‘life as one’
‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ evolved from an ecstatic, creative exploration of expressing non-dual poetry through free- form dance that I felt incredibly moved to engage in, when I began to understand that the body could be aligned to the reality of no-separation that I had opened into.
I realised that there was a very supportive practice that I could develop. Experimenting for hours and hours for several years in the dance studio on my own, I began to understand that every form of spoken word transmits a tangible and specific energetic frequency.
I was very drawn to poetry that radiated and invoked that incredibly attractive, indescribable, all pervading reality, that I had come to tangibly know. I felt a strong desire and longing for that reality to fully be seen and felt and known right here in so-called manifest existence. There was a sense of dancing it down into ‘here’, whilst knowing that paradoxically it always already is.
I also noticed that speaking powerful words invoking the reality of inseparability of the totality of life and moving the body in resonance with those words’ transmission was an incredibly potent process, as it could disengage the various ideas of separate self that we tend to hold within the physical body. Over time I felt embodiment as a human being can become more and more of an expression that is totally identical with the beauty of body as life, body as love, and body as one with all there is. The practice of embodied one being itself begins a process of clearing out the habitual patterns of separation we perpetuate in human life.
Here is an example of a simple poem, that has the quality I just described. I invite you to read it out loud to yourself to get a feeling of how the words create tangible resonance.
For me personally, the word ‘Love’ is a word that invokes infinite being and is very invlusive. There is a possibility that the word ‘Love’ doesn’t work for you and that the poem just raises questions, like “yes but what about hatred”. Or internal comments like:” Yes, but I can’t just be Love”. If that is the case, you can experiment with replacing the word Love with for instance “Light”, or “Life”, or any other word that invokes an indefinable freedom that does not exclude anything for you.
As a next step you may want to experiment with adding movement to the process of expressing the words. The movements can be very simple, and they don’t have to look like dance at all. Allow your body to simply respond in which ever way it feels ‘moved’:
If you did the suggested practice above, you may have gotten a sense that the words can affect you deeply and create shifts in your sense of identity. You may have felt tensions or awkward feelings in the body that may have dissolved over time, or may be you felt a certain easeful relaxing into indefinable being straight away. You may have felt moved to add words to the poem spontaneously. The invitation is now to notice and embrace whatever happened with real curiosity. If there are judgments of any kind (of yourself, or this process, or of me) just make note of them arising. And you may even want to enquire into why they are coming up. In any case, I invite you to ask the question “who am I?” and ‘does the embodiment of the poem above challenge any beliefs of “who I am”?
During this Foundation Course we will go much more deeply into self-enquiry and how it is a unique process, when it is based in an understanding that there is no I and other. So the magic of practicing ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ is that it is a profound and universal process of self-discovery, unfolding organically with its own intelligence, gradually opening up more and more infinite possibilities of unique, creative expression of what is. It is incredibly rich and nurturing.
The creative ‘outcome’ tends to always surpass individual expectations as it unfolds freely. It certainly has for me. I never expected that I would be sitting here writing a course, or that I would be making co-creative films, or that I would end up exploring separateness with such intensity, or that the more I engaged in this life’s passion, and the more I was ready to share the gifts of this research, the more readiness for this would show itself in people I meet. But most of all, the freedom of who I am, just unravels in ecstatic and unexpected ways continuously, which comes with incredible happiness and a richness of life experience that I can only wish every human being to have.
When you feel perpetually at a new beginning of a new vastly incredible possibility, it is a clear sign that the process is being allowed to be guided and taken over by the intelligence of one incomprehensible reality, rather than being controlled by separate selves. An example for this free creative unfolding is the video I contributed to the Caravan of Unity 2020, an online convergence facilitated by ´Co-creating Europe´.
18 participants offered an amazing variety of very different interpretations of ‘The Universal Prayer for Peace’, a poem I wrote in 2015. You can view all the amazing contributions here. At some point during the process of coordinating the project I felt moved to produce a personal contribution. It became an experimental collage of written and spoken word, drawings (I created as a teenager), movement clips, music and sound. It was so much fun to play with all these old pictures which made so much sense in hindsight. As I had been mainly focused on co-creative community work and collaborations at the time, I was put in touch with how very beautiful and crucial it was to cultivate a space for my own deepening in the process of creative expression of embodied oneness again. And it was wonderful to suddenly have a reason for all these drawings I mainly created when I was bored in school many years ago. As you will see, my topic then was already oneness and separation, I just didn’t fully know it yet.
from the individual to the collective process ‘as one’
how a logo evolved
I developed the original ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’- Logo during the co-creative Universal Prayer for Peace film project that manifested in 2019 before the Caravan of Unity in 2020. Yes, I am going back in time… I tend to be at home with being and perceiving life as non-linear.
The Universal Prayer for Peace was the first poem I wrote that inspired me to invite participants into a global co-creative project. In fact I intended to make a film that had just me in it, but by then I was thoroughly bored of being the only person in my videos, and The Universal Prayer for Peace called for a larger expression than what I could have come up with at the time. So the lovely spoken word artist Muneera Pilgrim and I invited anyone who felt moved to support the interpretation of this poem in which ever way they wanted. Interestingly enough I was only moved to make a video version of the poem myself again, after being nurtured and inspired by the various expressions of the poem that so many beautiful creatives had contributed.
The image of the amazing rainbow colored kite included in the co-creative film made in 2019 was sent to me by the transcendental artist Jan Kerrschot. It reminded me of so many things. Most importantly of the totality of existence, simply because all colors of the rainbow are contained in white. The first ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ logo was inspired by the possibility to include the image of the kite.
White is not a color and yet it contains all colors.
White is a mirror of the depth of being,
pervading and breathing all there is,
the reality beyond time-space,
that is fully alive,
containing the -everything there is- in its one body of light,
in its one being,
in its one heart
and true love lives just there:
in the no land of everywhere,
as you and me- as is.
As the contemplative writing and the quote by Megan Rebecca beautifully describes: ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ is an organic unfolding, you could also call it non-strategic, as we do not need to be effortfully good, or effortfully perfect. We neither have to protect ourselves by hiding as unworthy in a metaphorical cupboard anymore, nor do we need to work on our self-worth.
You may have noticed that Megan came up with the quote above at an ‘Embodiment of the Conscious Heart Retreat’. I replaced the word ‘conscious’ with the word ‘one’ as it was suggested during a group process on zoom later on in the emergence of this work. I did feel it was a better fit as the word ‘conscious’ can be interpreted in so many ways. The limit of language and what it can or can not communicate is definitely an intriguing challenge, especially if words are meant to summarise a rather multidimensional and indescribable process.
The term ‘one heart’ was chosen because the aliveness of heart emerges as our true personal identity and simultaneously as a universal ethical identity. It naturally thrives by true human values, such as harmony, peace, mutual empowerment, and sustainability. This is exactly what the Universal Prayer for Peace represents. It transmits embodied oneness which coincides with the quality of unconditional Love and is an invitation for human transformation through the heart. I so very much enjoyed putting together the co-creative film from the amazing variety of contributions people offered. It was incredibly ecstatic, how completely independently created pieces of the puzzle ended up slotting together magically. It showed the heart intelligence ‘of one being’ at work. The poem just gave the inspiration and held the thread of the transmission of non-separation. I find it was very amazing how both strands of possibility, the individual and group work bring unique aspects of learning to embodied oneness practice. I consider both processes equally important.
Imagine the world that is being invoked here so heart-fully. Imagine it literally manifesting on planet earth. A world including the totality of humanity, that is naturally understood as one body of life. It would be a world that mutually empowers, that sustains, that nurtures and that truly enlivens. Imagine a natural unfolding in understanding our true needs and the true needs of anyone and anything else. We could not agree to war anymore, we could not agree to the destruction of the earth, we would not look for endless material possessions. We could not suppress the feminine aspects of life as inferior, we would want to resolve conflicts with everyone’s benefit at heart. We as humanity would not allow junk food, factory farming and obesity on one side of the world and starvation on the other. We would not base healthcare on fear and coercion and a war against disease, instead we would allow so-called scientific and so-called holistic perspectives to coexist and complement each other to evolve in our capacity to heal. We would create an education system that really grows children’s understanding of who they are. We would be in touch with the reality that suppression, exploitation and taking advantage of anything or anyone hurts everyone. We would not allow humanity to destroy the natural world all life depends on. We would not allow money to decide the status quo. We would see the bigger picture and we wouldn’t be able to un-see it. We wouldn’t do justice to life to ‘be good’, we would do justice to life, because everything else hurts profoundly at heart and simply doesn’t benefit anyone or anything truly.
You may have also noticed that there is an invitation to participate in a One Heart Community at the end of the film above. This possibility began to emerge when a group of people from various countries explored ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ with me regularly on zoom. At some point the process came to an edge, where I felt we needed a capacity as a group to process separate patterns that come up along the way, but at the time we had no agreed procedures for that. That is why I felt a foundation training could bring the structure needed for a mutually empowering group process to be successful long-term and to be the seed for the vision of humanity as described above. Let’s see if that is a realistic vision. Only time will tell. It is a strong heart desire of mine to explore how to build human community in embodied oneness in a truly thriving way, without falling into often disguised power and control games undermining the freedom of the practice.
‘Embodiment as the one Heart’ could bring people together from many walks of life. The human body as such already knows that it is life itself and the mystery of the cosmos and existence. If you really approach or come from any topic of life, be it embodiment, be it science, religion, philosophy, biology, education, psychology, music, art, dance, no matter what it is, if you do it fully, always daring to ask new questions, you can not avoid stumbling into the mystery of life.
I met a kite builder once, he looked at bird wings and translated them into designs of kites. He told me how this has changed the way he views the world, as the mysterious intelligence of nature just overwhelmed him. I have looked for it in the human body, and I absolutely found it there, too.
That bigger picture in oneness fully and tangibly felt through the body
is the foundation of ´Embodiment as the one Heart´.
It is not a longing for unity, it is a knowing that unity is.
It allows the body’s wisdom to come forth.
So the more deeply we drop into the body, and enquire into what actually is there, the more evident it is, that it does not contain an entity of a separate self. Instead it holds patterns of habitually enacted separation. Let’s look a little more into what that kite represents in the logo.
The circular shape, its solemn movement and even the circular hole in the centre that points to infinite expanse through the element of water and the sky, all felt deeply reflective of what ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ is. It is reality just being itself, in its endless changes and unique expressions.
it also reminded me of an artwork I designed when I studied Fine Art at Kassel University. In this zoom call I am describing it:
For ‘Embodiment as the One Heart´ to be real and to become truly life transforming, we need to begin to be able to recognise that very living frequency of life itself, that frequency where “everything turns white whilst it is paradoxically still here”, as I said in the video. In this Foundation Course I support you to develop individual capacity to notice, invoke and enhance this tangible frequency of totally incomprehensible aliveness without habitually shutting it down.
Over time we will end up having more and more choice to step into unfathomable aliveness as one, or to choose that it may be necessary to explore some intense pattern of separativeness. But then we can be held by the knowing that no matter how frightening and overwhelming a pattern feels, it is just a withdrawal from what is and even that is always contained within all there is, no matter if we can feel it or not.
That is how in my experience the strength comes about to move through really intensely challenging processes of self enquiry. Over time it becomes clear that life is the teaching, the teacher and who you are. And when that is obvious, the most heartbreaking times in one’s life can bear tremendous fruits.
When we are in a place where we are very clearly in touch with reality beyond good and bad, we can be curious about anything that comes up, without judgement and blame, or self- judgment or self-blame, because we do not have to centre ourselves around survival via any particular self image anymore, allowing us to nurture incredibly freeing ways of being.
In the context of this consideration I created a visual that helps to symbolize what happens when we relax more deeply into reality and also what happens when we withdraw from that.
The square in the middle of the image represents that really black and white space of a very dense sense of ‘I and other’. It is contracted from the bigger picture of reality. It is the place where ‘we’ want to be right and where we want to make ‘the other’ wrong.
The realm extending from that square is what I would call the ‘slice of experience’. Absolutely every endeavor of human making that is founded in the idea of separation lives within that slice of experiencing. It’s a linear and hierarchical world, it’s a world where we seek to move from small to big, it’s the world of transformation and improvement of the separate self. It contains all worlds that are based on subjects and objects, on I and other, on you here and god there, or you here and the enemy there.
You may feel that this is mostly everything we know! Yes, but what we can know within the framework of seeing separation as real is extremely limited, no matter how sophisticated our knowledge may be. Even in the personal growth world, we tend to create an ´I´ and an ´other´ all the time. There is me and my inner child, me and my shadow, me and my inner critic, me and my limiting beliefs, me and my lack of self-worth, me and my self-love and so on. I am not saying that these considerations aren’t important, I am just asking what shifts, if we don’t objectify patterns into the I and other category? I am all for encouraging the seeing that a self belief began with a certain childhood experience for instance, but that doesn’t mean that there is a separate “I” that needs to heal the ‘inner child’. So there is something very liberating to not have to fix the separate I. The separate I-idea instead simply dissolves over time, and leaves necessarily who you truly are to finally embody fully.
Speaking from my personal experience, being more and more at home in embodied one being means that there is a sense of lifelessness, of automaticity, a sense of closed-down energetic space, a deep sense of often unseen sadness, a sense of energy being drained, whenever I encounter an environment in which separation is the unspoken law of relating and interacting. From the point of view of no-separation, there is just reality and then the contraction from it, which takes endless forms and births in infinite variations of experience.
Some of you may be able to trace back limiting beliefs for instance to earlier life events and to your reactions to them. Some patterns may have formed in this life, some may be connected to associations with other lives, some may be handed down through your ancestry. What you’ll discover though is a common thread in all these levels of occurring patterns. It doesn’t matter how much of this you are aware of now. Recurring life themes will be recognisable for you. As they will keep showing themselves in different aspects, until they are dissolved in Light.
The current most beneficial lesson is always in simply what presents itself now. Authenticity with your process stops you from running after an idea of who you should be, whilst pushing who you really are more and more under the surface. No seeking is necessary, just openness to be with whatever presents itself in any given time.
When identification shifts into the realm beyond ‘the slice of experience’,
we stop identifying with the idea of one life lived,
we stop seeing birth as a beginning and death as an ending,
we stop identifying with one culture, one race, one country, one person.
And yet we are more fully alive than ever.
As we increase in ability to relax into profoundly fulfilling indefinable beauty of being – in utter oneness with everything arising – simultaneously also our capacity to embrace the pain of human life, the pain of loss, of suffering, of heart break, of grief, of despair and rage increases. Those experiences may be elements of human life that we don’t desire, to say the least, but we will begin to see how our feeling capacity in all its intensity has a profound purpose, as it is fuel and medicine for deeper understanding. Loosing the fear of intensity of feeling, even if it is painful, is then very liberating.
This is why now the new logo for “Embodiment as the One Heart’ includes the kite and the image of the bigger picture of reality. Nothing is being rejected. Nothing, not even the deepest darkest experience of separation, contraction, withdrawal from life. It fully embraces the ‘slice of experience’, where separation into polarities is seen as ´real´, as not even the harshest experience of separation is not separate from the oneness of all of life.
The consideration of ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’ does not exclude anything that comes up. It truly explores authentic seeing of humanity’s capacity to be embodied as infinite life which naturally brings alive the integrity of one universal heart.
A few more insights into ‘the other side’ of embodied oneness that isn’t ‘other’
So what type of separateness perpetuating patterns tend to come up most frequently and why? When we open into unlimited freedom, we are evidently beyond any form of control and in the unknown, which then tends to trigger mechanisms that are geared towards survival of the separate self, and tend to carry an element of attempting to perpetuate:
the body as separate self,
the person with all it’s thoughts and feelings as separate self,
the individual and it’s unique gifts and limits as separate self,
and ultimately the idea of separate self in and of itself.
This is why ´Èmbodiment as the One Heart´ teaches the language of oneness and the language of withdrawing into separation. It can for instance happen very easily that our separate self sense hijacks truth and begins to pose as reality. This is a very common strategy to escape the depth of the unknown and unknowable. The innate capacity in humans to pretend that what is not beauty is beauty has always been fascinating to me. I have discovered such sophisticated ways in which I fool myself into separativeness.
Humanity in general is very good at blanking out truth and at convincing itself that mere beliefs are truth when they are just empty beliefs. That can happen in personal communication or in cultural and global contexts. Pretending to be the good or spiritual or holy person whilst being actually self- and other-destructive is a widespread phenomenon. The play with words and image below demonstrates that principle:
So yes, the mechanics of separation are powerful and deeply embedded into humanity’s identity. They are so normalized, that we often can neither see them nor notice how they limit us. Beginning to see them is very liberating. There are always new ones I see in myself. The more insightful I become in spotting patterns running themselves, the more intelligently they disguise themselves. The more we notice this, the easier it becomes to step back into unfathomable being.
To end this introduction I am inviting you into a conversation with George Sargent-Childs. It touches on most of the principles described above in very practical ways. It may demonstrate also how embodied play brings so much more clarity to the process, and why only so and so much talking and writing about it is useful.
At this point I just want to express my gratitude to all the people who have made this course possible. The list would be long if I started naming everyone! But I am especially dedicating this work to my dear friend, supervisor, mentor and supporter Chris White. He has been an absolute rock of loyalty in the most toughest time of the birthing process of this work and the work with him created wonderful educational materials. You will meet him in some of the upcoming videos.
I am also deeply grateful that George Sargent-Childs, Jamila Signora, Wazee Walks and Megan Rebecca participated in the creation of educational material as well.
My gratitude goes out also to all the participants in the many Universal Prayer for Peace videos, and anyone else who has supported the emerging of ‘Embodiment as the One Heart’.
I wish you now that the study of this Foundation Course truly benefits you and the unfolding of your life in the best way possible.
With Love and gratitude,