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Zed Recommends: Hozier on Song Exploder

I have been listening to Hozier’s 2019 album Wasteland, Baby over and over. It’s been a while since I have been into an album start to finish — usually, I get into songs, and make playlists, or sometimes put the entire catalogue of an artist on shuffle, but albums are less common. This one, though, still has me on the edge of my seat.

You probably know Hozier as the guy who sang “Take Me To Church,” still an incredible song (though I don’t know about you, but it was definitely overplayed in my life, as it was such a hit). I love that

I think it was the song “Shrike” that got me first. I couldn’t tell what he was singing, so I looked up the lyrics: “Remember me, love / When I’m reborn / As a shrike to your sharp / And glorious thorn.” Turns out, a shrike is a bird — well, more of a family of birds, about 30 different kinds.

As I was waxing poetic to a friend about how much I love Wasteland, Baby, a friend recently asked if I’d heard the podcast Song Exploder. No, I hadn’t, I said. They recommended the episode about Hozier’s song “Nina Cried Power” — and I thought it was just incredible.

“Nina Cried Power” is a protest song in a lineage of protest songs, and it did feel, I’ll admit, a little heavy handed. It’s the first track on the album, and I often skipped it when I put it on. Not after this interview, though.

The interview includes discussion from Hozier about how the song was written and how it came together, and an interview with Mavis Staples, who sings on the song as well. I loved hearing her words and interpretations of the song.

Hozier shared that the whole song started with the opening line, “It’s not the waking / it’s the rising” — and oh, I just love his songwriting. I love focusing on the rising — which calls to mind the idea of “rising up,” for me, immediately — and not just waking. Both in activism, and even with the beginning of a day — it’s not the moment you open your eyes, he says, it’s when you get out of bed.

I loved listening to this interview, and hearing the depths of how the song came together and was made. And now I listen to that song much more deeply than I did before. I never skip over this track any more.

Here’s the video for the song, via YouTube:

Listen to Hozier’s “Nina Cried Power” episode on Song Exploder on their website, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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Get to Know EroSomatics: Interview with Max

Who are you and what are you passionate about? What is your calling or work in the world?

I am a learner, a seeker, someone who is always curious – curious about myself, the present moment, and the world. I am passionate about learning and joy. And to me, as a Black trans man, the joy of those who have been oppressed is itself revolutionary.  To create the conditions for more joy for us means the world has to change.

Who have you learned from? What are your lineages?

One of my most important lineages is the lineage of scientific inquiry. My Buddhist practice is in the Vipassana/Thai Forest Tradition, and I learned from many teachers in that tradition. I have a long Authentic Movement practice, primarily working with Lysa Castro. I’m learning classical Tantra from Mark Fleming. I have also learned from a wide variety of other teachers, including the Earth.

What inspires you (to keep going, to do your work, to get out of bed in the morning)?

The deep quiet of where I live is probably what makes it possible for me to get out of bed every morning. Greeting the day hearing almost nothing but birds and frogs, and drips of fog falling from leaves on the trees. I am inspired by how incredibly robust and insistent life is – how it pops up in so many places. What also inspires me is seeing other people live their best authentic lives.

What are you most excited about for EroSomatics? Why are you part of EroSomatics? What do you hope we’ll do, change, accomplish?

I am super excited to be a part of the EroSomatics team. Joy and pleasure are revolutionary, and learning about our bodies, and how to live fully in our bodies, learning all that our bodies have to teach us – this is so important to me, and it’s central to what we’ll be doing. I want us to create spaces where everyone, regardless of race, class, ability, gender, sexuality, or neurodivergence, can deeply explore, know and live in their bodies, explore what the erotic and sensual mean to them, and find pleasure and joy.

I’m also especially excited about the intentionality with which we are working to be inclusive, and our own understanding that our conscious work together can create change.

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Get to Know EroSomatics: Interview with Tru

Who are you and what are you passionate about? What is your calling or work in the world?

I’m Tru and I use she/they pronouns.  It’s always been a little hard for me to answer the question “who are you” perhaps because I feel so multi-dimensional and inhabit many “roles” in various parts of my life.  I’m also a shape-shifter in some ways (a skill learned first for survival and now used for my own pleasure).  Or maybe I’m just overthinking the question.  One of my passions and callings is cultivating more connection and intimacy, not just with other people, but with our own body and soul, with the earth, with the divine, with death.  I believe the more connected we our to our bodies, the more access we have to our aliveness, to be full-spectrum human beings, which includes everything — joy, grief, loneliness, longing.  I believe embodiment heals and the more connected we are to our bodies, the less we are able to dehumanize others.

Who have you learned from? What are your lineages?

I have learned from so many amazing teachers.  But one of my greatest teachers was my first real love, who I met during my first year of law school.  He was born with cystic fibrosis, received a double lung transplant on Sept. 3, 2001, and lived for 10 more years after that, eventually dying at the age of 43.  He taught me breath is sacred.  He taught me how to live.   

What inspires you (to keep going, to do your work, to get out of bed in the morning)?

I’m not much of a morning, get out of bed person, but I do love breakfast.  I love food and eating and waking up to a good breakfast.  What inspires to keep going and to do my work is the belief that what we do matters.  Transformation happens, usually in microscopic ways, but it does happen and it does matter.

What are you most excited about for EroSomatics? Why are you part of EroSomatics? What do you hope we’ll do, change, accomplish?

I’m most excited about working and playing with such an amazing group of humans that make up the collective.  I hope this group brings nourishment to each other so we can each continue doing our work and I hope as a collective we provide offerings that support and nourish others in their “becoming.”  One of my teachers once said as teachers what we offer students is simply to “love them into being.” 

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Newsletter

What happened to Body Trust?


In late 2019, what was Body Trust — a circle of four (Alex, Amy, Lizz, and Zed) in a circle of beloveds — paused to digest and ponder. We had clarity to celebrate the past year and say goodbye to Amy, who felt it was time to move on. With three of us left, we asked: how should we change? Body Trust as an organization was cleared, organized, accounts closed, and taken down to the bones of it. Then we paused again, as COVID hit the world. We let things settle. And as we rested within ourselves, imaginings started emerging.

Eros, circle, collaboration, social justice, decentering our whiteness, anal breath. In order to fully live into our values, which are centered on liberation for all bodies, we wanted and needed to dismantle our all-white leadership and become part of a multi-racial organization. 

So we pondered: How many in the circle … 4? 5? 6? 7? And then we gathered. First 5, then 6, then 5 again, and then 7! Adding juice, ideas, possibilities. A sexy septet of queer erotic educators, artists, conjurers, practitioners, sacred intimates, and tricksters — Zed, Tru, M’Kali-Hashiki, Max, Lizz, Garland, and Alex.

And we began emerging! One (anal) breath at a time, we became the EroSomatic Arts Collective: Liberating Bodies for Radical Pleasure.

We are so excited to offer some new workshops, online and in person, in 2022. Keep an eye on our social media, on our mailing list, and on erosomatics.com, for what is coming next. We are so excited to play with you!

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Newsletter

Community Meditation Connection Series with Lizz

This is a difficult, yet wakeful, sorrowful time … between politics, intensified systemic racism, covid and the election, many of us are aching and overwhelmed while feeling the unraveling of the planet.
And, there is medicine for each of us when we drop in, connect with the above and below, in a circle of beloved community. This beautiful Body Trust community has been built on being with each other in the flesh: skin to skin, sweat and tears flowing, hearts opening. Our community of embodied explorers has been painfully impacted by the pandemic, our bodies now in isolation, this hurts my heart and every cell of my being. I crave being back in circle with you all. So, let’s gather….. to ground, meditate and share from the portals of our being in a community of body trusted folks.
We will begin each gathering with a guided grounding and meditation led by Lizz and then have a portal sharing circle weaving our community thru embodied presence.
Will you join me?
Dates: October 31st: November 21st, December 19th
Time: 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET
Duration: 60-75 min
Cost: $20 each (drop in once or come to all)
*no one turned away for lack of funds
To register please go here: https://forms.gle/1pmWjeHHt8UiZ1EDA

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Newsletter

Equinox BDSM & Energy Gathering in Seattle

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The year wheel is turning,
light in the sky changing:
harvest is here.
 
At Equinox, there is a balance between the day light and night time. Pause during the day that the sun provides a zenith, a downward gaze allowing for equal illumination.
This gives us an opportunity to harvest and embrace the fruits from the cycle started in the spring.
Notice your ripe, your withering and what is your natural seasonal rhythm. Reflect on the balance of rest and activity/play. Conjure ideas for sensing your needs. An occasion to mark and acknowledge our living relationship to the Earth.
Equinox is the zenith, the harvest from seeds planted during the spring.
We have an invitation to gather for the Autumnal Equinox.
Use the season change as guide for reflection and balance. In the autumnal equinox, we will meditate, have time to share with each other, and explore experientially.
Year Wheel: Energy & BDSM
Intermediate weekend workshop with Alex & Zed
Seattle, Saturday & Sunday, September 14-15[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Are you called to it? Click here to sign up” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fbodytrustcircle.com%2Fyear-wheel%2F|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Podcast Workshops

Portals of Pleasure Preview

It’s time for Portals of Pleasure, Body Trust’s annual deep-dive erotic residential retreat in New Mexico. Are you feeling the call this year? Find out more as Alex, Lizz, Zed, and Amy talk about the retreat, what to expect, how they are inspired by the work, and what their favorite Portals might be.
Registration for the retreat is now open. This year’s theme is “steadfastness” or what is steady and true in your body. Are you curious to learn more? Then head on over to https://www.bodytrustcircle.com/portals for more details.
Portals of Pleasure is a 5-day erotic retreat for genderqueer folks and women folks, held July 24-28, 2019 at the Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

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Podcast

Intimacy through the Wonder Body

Alex and Amy reflect on what they’ve learned from this experience of creating the Wonder Body coloring book, and specifically from the “4th chapter”. Could it be that all these senses are really what intimacy is all about?
Resources mentioned:

Plus here’s your downloadable pages for this episode, so you can color along with us.
Thanks to the folks on Patreon who are supporting this podcast and all of Body Trust’s other work! Go visit Patreon and become a patreon yourself to support the free podcasts, newsletters, and resources that we create for you.
Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro). Make sure to subscribe in iTunes or Sticher. And give us a 5-star review in iTunes, it helps us reach more beloved explorers.

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Newsletter

In Search of Lilacs

You know that feeling when you’re doing something really hard, when you’re challenging yourself, when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone?
That feeling when you have studied for weeks and weeks and weeks and your test is tomorrow and now there is just nothing to even think about because maybe you’ve studied everything you possibly can, or maybe you’re exhausted, but either way, you have to just let go and walk in to that room and pack your entire bag except your #2 pencil and open the booklet?
I’ve been living in that gap lately — continuing to run and leap at the Next Level. I don’t really know what it is, but I have some pretty good ideas of how to get there. They are involving all my strength to keep going keep pushing keep showing up when I want to quit or give up or take another nap. And how can I tell if I’m “not showing up” or if I’m taking care of myself by resting? How can I tell if I’m giving up or if I can’t actually do that without some sort of harm to myself?
These are questions I’m grappling with.
Meanwhile, it is high spring in the Bay Area. I got a sunburn this week, which is something I am usually very mindful of — turns out I burn easily, and am very affected by the heat. It’s taken me years now to adjust to the California sun, to say no to outdoor activities, to go into the shade even when the action is in the sun.
I haven’t been able to find any lilacs, though. They are quite rare here. Maybe they like to be farther north? I am used to bouquets of them, bushes of them with branches heaving under the weight of their heavy blossoms. They aren’t the kind of flower where passers-by stop to awe at their shape, but they do stun us with their smell: perfume and magic and stardust.
As a kid, I was taught never to pick flowers — except for lilacs. If you don’t harvest the lilac flowers, the dead bloom will stay there into the next season. But if you do, another flower will grow back in its place. This is what I was always taught.
They were special, personal, friends — almost like they wanted to be in homes, on dinner tables, on windowsills, rather than stay on their bush and drop their petals.
Maybe they are just good at adventuring, at going out of their comfort zone, at wanting to see more than the place from which they grew. Maybe they know they need a leap, but don’t have their own mobility, so they smell so good to encourage us with hands to take them.
Maybe that’s why I’m craving them so much during this mid-air free-fall leveling-up process of spring.
.
.
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PS: Doing a really hard thing this weekend. If you think of me May 2-3-4, send a little sparkle my way. Will report back about leveling up.

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Podcast

Wonder Body and Winter: light, temperature, and pain

Pleasure Lab Podcast, Season 3: The Wonder Body Coloring Book
In this episode of Season 3, Alex interviews Amy about her “hunting winter” adventure, and specifically about the sensory pleasures of light, pain, and temperature to be found in these colder climes.
Resources mentioned:

Plus here’s your three downloadable pages pain, temperature, light for this episode, so you can color along with us.
Thanks to the folks on Patreon who are supporting this podcast and all of Body Trust’s other work! Go visit Patreon and become a patreon yourself to support the free podcasts, newsletters, and resources that we create for you.
Music: Grateful to Little Dog Big Ears for their Creative Commons licensed music She Sees Mice (intro and outro). Make sure to subscribe in iTunes or Sticher. And give us a 5-star review in iTunes, it helps us reach more beloved explorers.