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Long Body Prayers

Long Body Prayers

By Shante' Zenith
Long Body Prayers is a flexible jam space to play with the themes I’m exploring in my practice of animist somatics and also a container within which I can invite conversation with other practitioners doing resonant work.
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Wild Animal Body
This video is an introduction to Long Body Prayers, an animist somatics ritual art project and graduate thesis. This thesis will take the form of a podcast and video series to witness the relational ruptures of kin  who have been touched by colonization.  Stemming from Haudenosaunee culture, the phrase Long Body speaks to the  indigenous awareness of the self as a living process of emergence held  within supportive webs of relationship that extend far beyond the human.  This thesis project witness the way that settler colonist kin have  become dissociated from the perception of this wider body in the absence  of a developmental welcoming of felt sense awareness, attunement to  ancestors and earth body dreaming, and the skills of emergent creative  process that shape a coherent and rooted nervous system.    This thesis is a gift to the part of me, and maybe the part of you, that  doesn’t feel like there is room for my animal body within the consensus  reality of being human. This thesis is an invocation of protecting the  wild animal that lives inside my body, of witnessing the wild animal  that lives inside your body too. Of noticing the communication, the  contact that is always happening between a diversity of wildnesses  meeting each other in each moment. Inviting a curiosity about what a  kind of relating would look like that honors the wild animal in each of us, that honors that part that is still connected, that part that  senses, that moves from the river beneath the river, the mycelial root  system that creates the microclimate of the forest. The part of us that  still knows how to feel that we belong. The part of us that claims our  existence, here in this moment, in this context, our feet fully touching  the earth.    You can learn more about the project and look out for future episodes by visiting www.earthpoetedgeweaver.com/longbodyprayers
05:14
September 17, 2021
Long Body Prayers: Contact
This episode is an exploration of contact, the dance of relationship between the most ancient core of self and the vast aliveness of beings and flow and root systems and warmth and drying mud and plant matter. I pray with the river and the river speaks in return. A dance of feet and mud and poetry. And a wild splashing puppy engaged in play. I highly recommend that you check out this particular episode of the podcast in video format if you are able to, to get a sense of the way that river and mud and so many other beings were conspiring in the creation of this experience:  You can learn more about this podcast and my practice at my website: www.earthpoetedgeweaver.com    This podcast is available in video format on youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFrG5_SwNokyJAN7zBZkXMg Gratitude for listening and blessings to you and all the beings you are in relationship with.    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  I want to name that I am speaking from an entangled root system of animist somatics that will have aspects of my teachers and collaborators voices in my own words. What I speak is a transmutation of many voices, including Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Liz Koch, Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul, Deb Dana, Suzanne Simard, and Sarah Peyton. Other influential beings in my unfolding have been the moon, a birch tree in Vermont, an oak tree in California, and the turtles of Bass Lake marsh on Dakota land in Mni Sota Makoce.
29:09
June 28, 2021
Long Body Prayers: Rupture
In this episode, I channel the spirit of Rupture, a root spirit from which stems colonization and whiteness. I begin to play with relating to that energy within my own body and I talk about the way that energy of rupture is a part of the dynamic unfolding of life that became stuck as a pattern of relating within the lineages of my European kin. I explore the relationship between rupture and developmental trauma, and the longing of an individual part of a system to know itself in relationship to the wider system it is embedded in. You can learn more about this podcast and my practice at my website: www.earthpoetedgeweaver.com This podcast is also available in video format on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFrG5_SwNokyJAN7zBZkXMg Gratitude for listening and blessings to you and all the beings you are in relationship with. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I want to name that I am speaking from an entangled root system of animist somatics that will have aspects of my teachers and collaborators voices in my own words. What I speak is a transmutation of many voices, including Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Liz Koch, Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul, Deb Dana, Suzanne Simard, and Sarah Peyton. Other influential beings in my unfolding have been the moon, a birch tree in Vermont, an oak tree in California, and the turtles of Bass Lake marsh on Dakota land in Mni Sota Makoce.
24:57
May 20, 2021
Long Body Prayers: Longing
In this podcast I explore longing, in its various permutations as relationship to body and land, a dance of aliveness and harmonics, and play with energies bigger than myself. I speak about the ways that my european lineage kin have become immersed in a perception of self that is cut off from the wider ecosystem of entangled relationship. And I explore the necessity of contact and support with wider bodies to begin the process of coming back from dissociation to risking a sensate relationship with body and earth. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I want to name that I am speaking from an entangled root system of animist somatics that will have aspects of my teachers and collaborators voices in my own words. What I speak is a transmutation of many voices, including Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Liz Koch, Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul, Deb Dana, Suzanne Simard, and Sarah Peyton. Other influential beings in my unfolding have been the moon, a birch tree in Vermont, an oak tree in California, and the turtles of Bass Lake marsh on Dakota land in Mni Sota Makoce. You can learn more about this podcast and my practice at my website: www.earthpoetedgeweaver.com  This podcast is also available in video format on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE21ySDPDyjcsp0iTNsKhuR_lWWkYa3Rc Gratitude for listening and blessings to you and all the beings you are in relationship with. 
10:33
May 15, 2021
Long Body Prayers: Invocation
The introductory episode for Long Body Prayers, a podcast exploring animist ritual and embodiment practice. Long Body Prayers is a flexible jam space to play with the themes I’m exploring in my practice of animist somatics and also a container within which I can invite conversation with other practitioners doing resonant work. TRANSCRIPT FOR "INVOCATION": So just take a minute to feel where you are—if you know the place name of where you are—just to greet the land, and to greet your body here. And this is a really tangible way to just invite in any support, the support of the land, the support of the ancestors or other beings that are with you. Just ask them to hold you, to accompany right now. I've spent a lot of time feeling into this, this animal body that I inhabit, and feeling into the earth that supports me. And the ancestral lineages that I come from. I've spent a lot of time sitting in a sit spot on some land near a marsh and watching turtles. And that became a place for me to feel into the different threads of relationship moving through my body, like feeling for: "Is there anybody else here? Am I alone? " You know, this cultural story that we're all isolated individuals and we're alone. Within dominance, culture, within colonizer, whiteness, industrial framing, the self is an acorn. And there really aren't many possibilities for relationship or connection, or history or lineage or support when you're an acorn. Whereas within indigenous cultures, traditional cultures, there are perceptions of the self, that include this idea of the long body. That the self is actually this tiny little sprout that connects to ancestors, the land you're on, the microbiome of your gut, all of the people you know, all of the history that you've lived through, that this whole root system of self exists underneath the surface. And that, even wider than that is the way that root systems connect with each other. One thing about old growth forests that always just blows my mind is that they create a microclimate. They actually become—through the root system—they become this larger body, and they actually change the temperature around them. They're that powerful as a body. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I want to name that I am speaking from an entangled root system of animist somatics that will have aspects of my teachers and collaborators voices in my own words. What I speak is a transmutation of many voices, including Kris Nourse, Azul Valerie Thome, Francis Weller, Annemiek van Helsdingen, Susan Raffo, Liz Koch, Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, Larissa Kaul, Deb Dana, Suzanne Simard, and Sarah Peyton. Other influential beings in my unfolding have been the moon, a birch tree in Vermont, an oak tree in California, and the turtles of Bass Lake marsh on Dakota land in Mni Sota Makoce.
03:31
May 15, 2021