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  • Writer's pictureDanielleEastman

Dancing with Care (pt. 1)


Hello beautiful humans!


Please join us this week as we dive into dancing with care.



Inspiration for this focus is thanks to Melanie and a podcast episode she recommended, where Krista Tippett spoke with professor, author, and poet, Ocean Vuong.


Ocean mentioned an early influence of Buddhist practices in his family, where performing rituals with great care was emphasized. I loved his use of the word "care" and I've been thinking about it quite a bit ever since.


In case you are curious, here's a quick glance whee Ocean first mentions care:


Context: Krista had asked Vuong if there were any areas or aspects of his childhood which he would refer to as spiritual or religious...


Vuong: My family is traditionally Buddhist, but they were also illiterate, and so the extent of their Buddhism was rooted in rituals and care. And so every day before school, my mother would get me to the altar, and we would start to name this sort of roll call, the people in our family, and try to bless them and think about them and tend to them and to ourselves. And so spirituality began with care, rooted in physical bodies. It didn’t extend beyond the household. There was no mythical presence to it. It was almost like this abracadabra that we did before we stepped out of the house into the rest of the world, and thereby, the rest of America. And I think, for me, whatever my mother presented to me those early mornings in front of the altar is still true.


And I think I embrace that in everything I do — writing, sitting with you now — how do I do it with care. And even in the temples — in many Asian American households, when you enter the house, you take off your shoes. Now, we’re not obsessed with cleanliness any more than anyone else, but the act is an act of respect. I’m going to take off my shoes to enter something important. I’m going to give you my best self. And I think, even consciously, when I read or give lectures or when I teach, I lower my voice. I want to make my words deliberate. I want to enter — I want to take off the shoes of my voice so that I can enter a place with care, so that I can do the work that I need to do.



 

I love the idea of doing what you are doing with care.


To me, "care" isn't just awareness or mindfulness.


It isn't neutral.


There's something more.


A tending to.

A nurturing.

A protecting.

A providing for.

A caring for.


And I think that seems like such a beautiful way to be present in this world.


Ever since listening, I have been excited to explore this practice of care in class with you.


So this week, as we dance, we'll explore through movement:

  • What does "care" mean to you?

  • How do we dance with care?

  • Does it change how we move?

  • What do we notice and sense?

  • How might we expand our practice of care outside of class?


I can't wait to see what we discover.


See you soon, friends!


Much love,

Dani


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