Extraordinary People


Miyoko Shida’s performance is a meditation that demonstrates that it is possible to bring balance to the different elements of our lives through cultivating patience, stillness and attention. The structure she creates is a visualisation and expression of inner quietude, balance and harmony and we are grateful that she has, even for a moment, recalled us to the understanding that creating space for these qualities within is at least as important as anything we can create externally.

Miyoko’s act is called Sanddornbalance. She did not originate it:

For more than 15 years .. Mädir Rigolo ..[was] the only performer until he took the decision to share his experience and transfer his knowledge to a small number of selected artists who .. now on carry on the tradition of Sanddornbalance in their own individual style and adaptation.
Thus, nowadays there is a celebrated Sanddornbalance at Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, performed by Mädir’s daughter Lara Rigolo (Nestruck’s Top 10 in 2012). Or the powerful and energetic interpretation by Memet Bilgin Rigolo in Australia. We meet the mysterious elegance presented by Japanese dancer and choreographer Miyoko Shida Rigolo. We listen to and watch Naima Rhyn Rigolo who enriches the performance with the sonority of her voice.
Mädir Eugster himself will not stop performing himself – no way – but will surprise audience with a new creation Wings in My Heart in 2014.

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o stunned her audience and has created a stir on the Internet with her honest and therefore very courageous speech on being black in a world where a dark skin is not esteemed. It is important not to miss its significance. It is not only about black beauty but also about true beauty, which she names as compassion. It is right and very welcome that Lupita has become a role model for black girls but it is fabulous that she points beyond glamour to a more fundamental reality. And glamour will be Lupita’s most seductive and dangerous challenge as she continues to be lauded by the world’s media.

Clearly a remarkably articulate and intelligent young woman Lupita will have to remember the lines from Kiplings’s ‘If’:

“IF you can keep your head ..”

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;”

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much”


Mick Dodge is an exceptional person who followed his own path right out of civilisation and into the wilderness. Someone posted about Dodge on Facebook and I read more about him on the Zen Gardner blog. I commented that he is a real life Tom Bombadil.

Dodge is inspirational even though I could never follow his example nor would want to. He chose a life of what I would call extreme hardness and became a kind of nature mystic. The details of that life, eating grubs and road kill are not attractive to me. Evading the poisonous aspects of our social reality is, however, ever more attractive. What we can learn from Dodge is that it is possible to break the pattern and step into a different reality. He also reminds us to be close to the body and to nature and to work in harmony with them. It’s in the attitude. Don’t mind the discomfort, dirt and danger; live with them, work with them, get out there and be more alive.