The Third Body


Take a moment to contemplate the places, practices, and people that enliven your spirit.

Notice the shapes and colors that invigorate and uplift...the sounds and experiences that strengthen…the gestures and movements that revive and animate the fullness of who you are.

For me it is the dance that fortifies my soul and strengthens my capacity to stand in the center of my experience, just as it is. It is the dance that ushers me into a place of immediate and unfiltered intimacy with myself, from which I can encounter a level of resonance with "other" (person, animal, tree, etc.) that is beyond anything I can experience on my own.

Regardless of the practice, most embodied explorations invite us to begin within our own body - the 1st body. It is here that we discover what it means to center and ground, to inhabit our experience and deepen our capacity to be Present. Once anchored, we can expand attention outward and connect with "other" to explore the interplay of 1st to 2nd body...sovereignty and connection...sensing and feeling into something outside of ourselves without losing ourselves. This can be tricky terrain and the place where many of us get stuck and/or bypass altogether. Yet it is HERE, within the relational field, that richness of opportunity is available.

As we consciously explore the nuances of relational dynamics, we become aware of the obstacles AND the opportunities. As we slow down and open our attention to the physical, emotional, mental and soulful levels of embodiment, we can notice when and how we move toward/away from solitude, connection, community, and spirit. We can begin to disentangle and re.weave what is possible. We can gain new insights into the mystery of our lives and move into and from the 3rd body, a place considered by some to be the Soul of the relationship.


“Movement has the capacity to take us to the home of the soul, the world within for which we have no name. Movement reaches our deepest nature, and dance creatively expresses it.“

-Anna Halprin

Whether through dance or singing, writing or drawing...within ritual and the deep wild of nature or life itself...the 3rd body yearns to be sensed and experienced. At any moment...between, around and wants to be brought to Life. To be cultivated through friendship and time. To be known.

"The greater part of the soul lies outside of the body" -Sendivogius

In a recent course with Francis Weller, he named the 3rd body as the Soul of the relationship, the vessel which holds all that is moving and being exchanged between you and the other. It materializes and takes shape, he shared, when we hold our own sovereignty while opening to intimacy and shared connection with another dancer, a friend, a pet or a tree. It is the field through which we touch each other, where we reach across and find a place of overlap. It is the field that embraces us on the dance floor, the aliveness that pulsates within shared space, the harmony of the whole structure. And it has it's own dream about what it wants to become. According to Francis, there are 6 tasks that the 3rd body asks of us:

Learn to love 
Be creative 
Honor the mystery and the sacred 
Renew culture and community
Nourish the erotic and beauty
Embed in local ecology and geology

Take a moment to breathe these in. Sense and feel how they land in your body. Consider how you may cultivate them on the dance floor, within communal spaces or when tuning into place or the land you call home. Consider how you can bring the soul of relationship - the 3rd body - into the life through which you are woven.

I'd love to hear what you sense and feel...what you discover or uncover in this space between, around and through you/me/we.

With love, Teresa