I think of the Sweat Your Prayers experience as a combination of yoga, meditation, dance and spiritual connection. Based on The 5 Rhythms practice, it is a moving meditation of listening and following, integrating our physicality, inner awareness, spirituality and feelings into each movement.
Also known as The Wave, the experimental dance has been around for over 25 years. The process starts with calming music where you move using gentle motions, then you gradually increase your pulse rate (staccato), work up a sweat (chaos), and then luxuriate in it (lyrical).
At the end, you ultimately come to a place of positive and conscious relaxation (stillness) — the 5th and final rhythm. Regular practice offers the chance to free yourselves from inertia, to shift the habits and attitudes which keep you stuck in old patterns.
I don’t have an opportunity to go regularly, but whenever I do, I often meet interesting people who are working on projects at the opposite end of my professional spectrum, like Jack.
His photography has appeared in numerous national magazines, books, calendars, posters, greeting cards and advertising. A few years ago, he started The TreeSpirit Project, which combines his lifelong passions for nature, people, his photographic heritage, and continuing support of organizations that preserve greenspace and wilderness.
The project is a series of nudes on trees. An example of one such shot, entitled The Tea Tree Tangle, is below. More photos can be found on his site. Apparently there are also a few hanging at my friend’s Italian restaurant: Frantoio in Marin, the only restaurant in the U.S. which houses an in-house state-of-the-art olive oil production facility.
Says Jack, “In and around trees, people feel they are a part of something bigger, as we humans do at the ocean or under the night sky.”