Honoring the Ancestral Feminine
A dancer who has devoted her life to understanding the body through movement and artistic creation to enhance her relationship with the ancestral Feminine as part of spiritual practice is Rev. Doju Dinajara Freire, a Buddhist nun of the Zen Soto lineage.
For the last 40+ years, Rev Doju has held dance seminars called 'The Mother Dance' , a spiritual and artistic exploration of the Feminine. Currently, she teaches meditation at Dojo Zen Sanrin community in Fossano, Italy.
She discovered through her travels and work that, across all cultures, there have been themes of the ancestral Feminine. She exclaims, “every place I went there was a manifestation of different myths, but it was always about the same thing. It is the demonstration of something that is really old inside of us, something that is really essentially the power of life.” Rev. Doju feels it is necessary to grow and cultivate a relationship with the ancestral Feminine.
In this week’s 5Rhythms Ancestors series, I will work with the Female lineage, honoring mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and Mother Earth.
I want to also invite in the trans-cestors, the gender-fluid, non-binary ancestors. Those individuals who were not allowed the space to be their authentic selves in their lifetime. This coming Wednesday, we’ll invite them into the female lineage and into the male lineage the following week. They’ll receive a sense of belonging and may appear in both classes or whichever dance they feel drawn to be part of as we dance with our ancestors.
I’d like to offer you a prayer composed by Rev. Doju Dinajara Freire as we honor the Feminine ancestral heritage this week, whether you are participating in the Syzygy Dance Project Ancestors series or not:
Honoring The Lineage of The Ancestral Feminine by Rev Doju Dinajara Freire
Oh, Great Ancestral Mother,
Of my Grandmothers, and of all Mothers,
That with love have nursed their own,
That have taken care of my mother, daughter, and all my children,
As well as my sisters, aunts, cousins, and friends,
Women both known and unknown,
The kindhearted and the malicious alike,
That have taken care of those who know how to pacify
To be serene and happy and rejoice sincerely for others and themselves,
And those who are unable to do so, prisoners of their own suffering – mental and otherwise – that blurs the light of their hearts,
Great Ancestral Mother who always cares equally
For all animals and plants, forests, mountains, and caves,
Rocks and crystals, water, air, fire,
All beauty and all food,
For the body and for the spirit of all of us,
Your daughters and children,
I invoke you, and I invoke all mothers,
My mothers and relatives,
Please show me yourselves, luminous, here and now!
May You be blessed and honored by me and all beings
At every moment and everywhere in life!
I bow and touch the Earth, as a witness to my heart and my love for beings,
Learned from You and from the ancestors of my mothers, and fathers,
As you taught me to pay respect to Life!
Speak to me about You,
About you all,
Please tell me what you want me to know,
Now my listening has grown deeper,
I can feel your warmth in the eloquent silence of the Earth.
I am here.
For this week’s class, I’d like to remind participants to create an altar of their female lineage. Any photos, symbols, or any of their favorite items can be placed there, and something from Mother Earth is good too. And for those of you who can’t make it to any of these classes in of this ancestors series, I invite you to create a place to honor the feminine past in your own surroundings and see what comes through for you this week.
But if you can, come join us in dance and in honor of our Feminine Ancestry.
Sylvie and the SDP Team
PS. For the 6-week Wednesday Ancestors series of classes, no dance experience is needed. Beginners are always welcome. You can register for the entire series or single classes.
Even though we love seeing your face, you don't have to attend class via video. When the Zoom window launches, you can choose to listen to the class audio-only. It's another beautiful way to experience our Wednesday class!
Each of the six Wednesday evening classes in the series begins at 7:30 PM PST and ends at 9:00 PM PST. The Zoom Class Waiting Room opens at 7:20 PM PST. The classes follow the following schedule:
REGISTRATION FOR THIS CLASS IS CLOSED
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ABOUT SYLVIE MINOT'S ANCESTORS CLASS
Sylvie Minot's Ancestors classes explore your often unconscious family/ancestral patterns and offers a way to shift and release them.
Through dance, movement, voice/sound, and guided group exercises, Sylvie uses each of Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms—flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness—to honor your past and create new pathways for healing.
5Rhythms is a simple movement practice designed to release the dancer that lives in every body regardless of shape, size, age, or experience. While the dance itself is simple, it has the power to catalyze deep healing and creative expression.
Classes feature DJ music that is facilitated by the teacher, Sylvie Minot. There are no dance steps to follow, but you are guided in breath and movement through the different musical choices. Each rhythm has its own energy and tempo in which you tap into the wisdom of your body, bring awareness to the patterns in yourself and your life, and find your individual expression. No two classes are the same.
Any level of fitness, agility and ages are invited to participate. All are welcome and no prior dance training or ability is required.
Please note -- for this virtual class, you don't have to connect via video--you can choose to call in or join by audio only and listen to the class through a headset. Some dancers enjoy being outdoors while they move to the music.
About Sylvie Minot
Sylvie Minot received her BA in Dance from San Jose State University and is a certified 5Rhythms® Teacher who was also trained in the Heartbeat (emotional) map by Gabrielle Roth.
Sylvie has studied psychology, indigenous healing rituals, energy medicine, and sound healing and is inspired by the teachings of cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, author Caroline Myss, and sound healer and renowned Peruvian master Tito La Rosa.
Since 2000, Sylvie has taught weekly dance classes and workshops for a variety of populations. Sylvie is often described as a catalytic shape-shifter because of her ability to meet people right where they are and move with them into new possibilities.
The image at the center of the class banner is "Peace, Pink, Power" by artist Cheryl Braganza. Born in India, Cheryl Braganza is a Montreal artist, poet, writer, pianist, and cancer survivor. A prolific painter, she has held several exhibits around the world and is very implicated in the city she loves best, Montreal. You can find more of her paintings on her website at http://www.cherylbraganza.com.
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Syzygy Dance Project (SDP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that transforms lives through dance movement. We offer regular dance classes to the public and outreach dance classes for inmates, veterans, recovering addicts, chronically ill patients, and the elderly.
Syzygy Dance Project
P.O. Box 2532
Sausalito CA 94966