A profound inside experience of the transformative potential of the Discipline of Authentic Movement
• Offers insights from the author’s 50-year study of the inner witness developing toward compassionate presence, intuitive knowing, and direct experience of the divine
• Illuminates how commitment to this mystical practice supports participation in evolving consciousness within groups, grounded in personal healing
The Discipline of Authentic Movement, grounded in the relationship between a mover and a witness, connects us directly with the inner wisdom of the body. In the emptiness of the movement space, a mover’s inner experience--feelings, sensations, images, and thoughts--become outer, unchoreographed gestures. Seen by their inner witness in the presence of an outer witness, the mover steps into the intimate mystery of who they are becoming.
Sharing vivid examples from founder of the Discipline of Authentic Movement Janet Adler’s 50-year inquiry, Intimacy in Emptiness brings her essential writings, including new and previously unpublished work, to a wider audience, guiding readers through the multiple layers of this experiential and innovative approach to embodied consciousness. Her writings illuminate the path of the developing inner witness, transforming toward compassionate presence, conscious speech, and intuitive knowing. This contemporary mystical practice, a breakthrough in the field of consciousness studies, includes personal healing as an essential base from which direct experience of the numinous can safely emerge, be witnessed, and become integrated into the fullness of the whole person. The emergence of the unique gesture and voice of each individual develops toward participation in consciously embodied groups. A new form of intelligence moves through collective bodies in service of healing in our world.
About the Author
Janet Adler is the founder of the Discipline of Authentic Movement. She has been teaching and exploring emergent movement in the presence of a witness since 1969. Her archives are housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The author of Arching Backward and Offering from the Conscious Body, she lives on Galiano Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Bonnie Morrissey is a licensed clinical psychologist, a poet, and a teacher of the Discipline of Authentic Movement. A faculty member of Circles of Four, she lives in Colchester, Vermont.
Paula Sager is a teacher of embodied and contemplative practices, a writer, and founder of Three Stone Studio where she teaches the Discipline of Authentic Movement. A faculty member of Circles of Four, she lives in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
“An important new vision for the transformation of suffering at the intersection of the individual and the world. Eye to eye, heart to heart.” — Mirabai Bush, coauthor with Ram Dass of Walking Each Other Home
“Intimacy in Emptiness invites us into the embodied witnessing of our moment- to-moment experience--a portal to the sacred mystery behind all existence. The gift is discovering the fullness of our love, creativity, wisdom, and aliveness.” — Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance
“This book is a harvest, an ingathering, a symphony, singing us back into our sacred embodied selves. Janet Adler’s writings are deeply personal and powerfully universal, life-changing and life-giving, rendered even more lucid and accessible through the deft overtures offered by editors Bonnie Morrissey and Paula Sager. Intimacy in Emptiness not only invites us to celebrate the temple of our own bodies but is also an elixir for healing the body of the world.” — Mirabai Starr, author of Wild Mercy
“Imagine a somatic practice that is disciplined yet mystical, individual yet collective, ‘not knowing’ in the mind yet conscious in the body. This is the Discipline of Authentic Movement, a deeply spiritual approach to witnessing one’s inner experience. The path may lead to healing, to evolving, or to finding divinity within. Janet Adler and editors Bonnie Morrissey and Paula Sager use poetic language to offer an exquisite sense of the uniting of body and spirit.” — Wendy Perron, dancer, choreographer, and former editor in chief of Dance Magazine
“Janet Adler has helped us negotiate our own humanity with her profound wisdom and empathy. Expertly edited by Bonnie Morrissey and Paula Sager, this new volume gathers together writings from Adler’s career, mapping her journey and her unique understanding of the sacred bond between witness and mover, central to this embodied awareness practice. It is essential reading for anyone attempting to understand the related fields of somatics, meditation, spirituality, and dance.” — Linda Murray, curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library
“Intimacy in Emptiness is a jewel adding significantly to the treasury of contemplative wisdom. Cultivating the practice of witnessing the human essence reveals the depth and mystery of embodiment.” — Jeff Genung, cofounder of Contemplative Life and managing director of Prosocial World
“This book is a celebration of and a call for both humanity and divinity, crystallized through the deep healing power of the Discipline of Authentic Movement. In this turbulent and polarized world, Janet Adler’s focus on compassion, clear seeing, and embodied consciousness is a necessary and precious gift to our global community.” — Tony Yu Zhou, founder and CEO of Inspirees Institute, China
“A must-read for contemplatives, regarding the enfleshed communion of the physical and the metaphysical. Janet Adler’s half-century of work and writing calls us to develop our inner witness toward presence, toward coming to know our humanity as consciously embodied, deeply interconnected, and an ever-evolving experience. I will be thinking, being, moving with and through these writings for a long time to come.” — David Robinson-Morris, executive director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
“An important tribute to an invaluable life’s work. Janet Adler’s Discipline of Authentic Movement unites body and psyche, individual and collective, psychotherapy and spirituality in a profound experiential exploration of the relationship of mover and witness. A unique portrayal of the potential of embodied consciousness.” — Gay Watson, author of A Philosophy of Emptiness
“Janet Adler’s life and work are a powerful, creative, and generous manifestation of a process of embodied and relational awakening, so necessary for the healing and transformation of humanity in these critical times.” — Donald Rothberg, author of The Engaged Spiritual Life
“Authenticity is a practice. Although it can arise spontaneously, it also requires discipline. Each of these chapters with their introductions and images are companions, perseverant guides helping us endure with hope and celebrate with imagination.” — Andrea Olsen, author of The Place of Dance