Tag Archive: solastalgia

Bodies in Between: Dancing Our Death Cycle, Limbs Loving Life

Our heritage of rhythm, music, and dance, free from relying on tools and symbols beyond the body, often touches the imminent divine more directly than other arts. Tools do occasionally also help. The annual weeklong session at Esalen with the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Department at CIIS brings us Joshua Halpern ~ conducting a somatic, shamanic, and sensual exploration of our shared ecological, cosmological, and relational moment. Expect Movement! Intensity! Fun! Because when Josh’s new blue pedal is combined with Josh’s body, the Universe arrives in some particularly thrilling ways.


Joshua Halpern discusses climate-based migration through an Integral Ecology lens. (30 mins)

He also drew the poster for the Grounding Terrestrial Wisdom Culture Event:

Josh recently helped his mother move out of the house his father built in Princeton, NJ in 1960. Breathing life into family artifacts dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 1860s, engaging the land where he was born one more time, contending with numerous old and often difficult stories calling out for attention, and capturing over 3500 photos, (only 350 of which are found below) Josh found creative ways to transform the experiences of loss into those of rebirth.
When Josh presented this work at The Esalen Institute and the Landscapes/Soulscapes Symposium in San Francisco in the Fall of 2011, he began by initiating somatic explorations with the group, attempting to presence home in the room and in the bodies of the participants. Then, after taking the audience through his personal explorations, Josh connected his final encounters at home with the larger experience of solastalgia, a feeling which accompanies the loss of an individual or community’s home, losses which often occur in much more devastating ways.
For climate migrants and the increasing number of displaced peoples around the world, the questions of how to transform these relationships to home are critical. More on this can be found in Josh’s more recent talk Climate Migrants and Solastalgia: Transforming Homes of the Displaced and Disconnected.


I am compelled by views.
I am captured still, connecting yet again to my position in the ebb and flow of earth.
The curling mountains, the frothing streams, we share backs.
But we have shared badly our sustenance and space.
I am sorry for this, and I am in your service.

I humbly ask for a new home, a place to be of help.
A community in conversation I could join.
And love.

My roots, grown strong in their twisted explorations,
drunk from a deep but dwindling aqueduct,
held on here for life for so long,
finally release.

I follow the skies, moon over the birds, climb to high places,
but though I can bounce,
my wings, stuffed between my shoulders,
have waited till now to unfurl,
and I have forgotten my methods of flight.