Vows are interesting practice. The familiar-seeming ones, like wedding vows – are conventionally approached as promises that we either succeed or fail at. Look at me, succeeding. Look at me, failing. But a vow can also be a process, an inclination, an intention to go a certain way and keep going, even when it seems impossible, or we feel unworthy of the vow. The Bodhisattva vows in Buddhism are:
Beings are numberless, I vow to free them all.
Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to let go of them all.
Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them all.
The Buddha way is unattainable, I vow to embody it.
It is pretty obvious that these won’t work from a succeeding/failing point of view: they are just too damn BIG to fit in a tidy box. Who takes the vow? Who fulfills it? Who signed me up, anyway?
I’ve been a practicing Buddhism & practicing art for many years. Gradually I’ve come to yearn to bring these two together: to make Buddhist art, to make practice-art, and to send it out into the world in forms that will make sense to as wide a variety of people as possible. Boddhisattva vows mean: not just the lovely, earnest people who show up for the meditation classes I teach, but all beings. The high school students & the busy parents & the kid no one listens to & the prisoners profitably forgotten & the animals being farmed for their organs, may God help us all. Not just art for the shrine-room, but art that advocates for the whole world & everyone in it as a shrine.
Wherever I am, my heart is there.
KATE GAMBLE (Embodied Presence Workshops)
Kate Gamble, BFA, MSPT, is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and physical therapist who is engaged in the exploration of the many faces of movement. Kate believes that movement and dance are opportunities to experience our innate grace and come to a deeper sense of who we are and what enlivens our spirit.
Kate's combined training as a modern dancer and physical therapist has allowed her to facilitate movement experiences that are safe, artistic, and transformative. She trained with the Mark Morris Dance Company in the Dance for PD Program. She graduated with honors from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree and has a Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the Mayo School of Health Related Sciences.
For more about Kate, please go to www.opendoorworkshop.com
ELANA LANGER (Inner Beauty Bar)
After a decade working for international development agencies in Africa and Central Asia including UNICEF and the Center For Disease Control (CDC), Elana began looking for ways to effectively communicate the complicatedness of our global, digitally connected, reality to a North American audience with an emphasis on how we create what exists around us. In 2013 she conceived What I Live By (WILBy), a hybrid of business, art, and pragmatic education that promotes mindful consumption and thoughtfulness as a first step toward positive global change.
Elana is an accomplished surfer, sailor, explorer, reader, unlicensed therapist, untrained singer, dissatisfied humanitarian, and proud Canadian.