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Archive for June, 2017

EurythmyAlive Curriculum


A New Certificate Course in

Eurythmy and Anthroposophy as Life Practices

A Series of IntensiveWorkshop Modules with Cynthia Hoven

Seven Modules—-5 Days Each—–1-3 years

Eurythmy Alive a series of modular workshops to bring the enlivening gifts of eurythmy and anthroposophy in a new and fresh way. Thousands of people have felt the magic of eurythmy, but are unable to take a full, four-year training. These workshops will offer a non-professional course to people who want to go deeper without becoming professional eurythmists.

Over the course of one to three years, Cynthia will offer a series of seven 5-day workshops modules that will build upon each other. Participants are encouraged to attend all seven courses, because the exercises that are developed in each module will be increasingly difficult, so that earnest students can truly develop their eurythmy skills. Those who attend all seven courses and practice diligently at home in between classes will receive a certificate of completion.* Gifted students may be recognized as capable of sharing in small circles with family and friends, as part of a new movement to expand eurythmy into general community life.


*This certificate is no substitute for a full training, and does not certify students to charge money for their work, nor to teach children or do therapy.

All courses will consist of 4.5 hours of eurythmy each day, plus one lecture on the workshop theme, concentration exercises, and conversation.

 Contact Cynthia Hoven at &

The Eurythmy Curriculum:

What you’ll learn

  • Social exercises: Learning to move as a group
  • Eurythmy with balls, Learning to be aware of others while you move, Coordinating geometrical forms with others, Coordinating poetry and music forms with others
  • Warm-up Exercises:
  • The 3 dimensions of space, Standing and posture development, Threefold (eurythmical) Walking—in different speeds, Contraction and expansion, The 7 basic rod exercises
  • The Heart of Eurythmy: Sounds of Language
  • The 7 primary vowels, Diphthongs, long vowels and short vowels, Over 22 primary consonants
  • Eurythmy as Living Poetry
  • In each module, 3 new poems will be learned
  • Sacred Eurythmy
  • Halleluiah, IAO, TIAOAIT
  • Eurythmy for Health and Healing
  • Eurythmy exercises that can support your energetic and emotional health
  • Cosmic Archetypes
  • The seven planets and the vowels, The twelve constellations and the consonants
  • Colors and eurythmy gestures
  • Colors as gesture and movement quality in eurythmy

Languages and eurythmy

  • Each language can be moved in a different way. Explore at least two different languages, their sounds and qualities
  • The human soul and eurythmy
  • Thinking, feeling and willing forms
  • Rhythms and eurythmy
  • The role of rhythms as cosmic-earthly archetypes, The archetypal rhythms in movement: rising rhythms, falling rhythms, balanced rhythms
  • The Human Being and Music
  • An Introduction to the basic musical elements in eurythmy: Beat, Rhythm, Pitch, Tones, Intervals and Melody

Adjunct Topics

Your other Artistic Courses

  • Speech formation
  • Drawing from the book of nature
  • Painting
  • Form Drawing
  • Singing

Anthroposophical Studies

A Different Topic each Session

  • The Nature of the Human Being: Body, Soul and Spirit
  • The Four-fold Human Being: Physical, Etheric, Astral, I-Am
  • Nature Observation
  • Phases of Life: the Seven-year Cycles and Personal Biography
  • Cosmic Evolution: Finding our place in Time and Space
  • Life before Birth and after Death, and the Meaning of Karma
  • Epistemology: the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Living ThinkiThe Mo

The Modules*

*Subject to Change in Accordance with the Needs of Students

 Module Number 1:The Human Being between Heaven and earth

            Eurythmy Topics:

  • Social exercises
  • Contraction/expansion
  • Walking
  • Geometric forms
  • 7 vowels
  • 3 Poems
  • Auftakt

            Lecture and discussion topics

  • The spiritual meaning of eurythmy
  • Spiritual traditions of different cultures: East and West
  • The 7 fold human being
  • Looking up, looking down, looking within
  • Inner work, outer deeds
  • Concentration exercises

Module Number 2: The Human Being and the natural world

            Eurythmy Topics:

  • All the above plus:
  • Rod exercises
  • Consonants, evolution series
  • Auftakts (group forms)
  • 3 Poems

            Lecture and discussion topics

  • Nature observation
  • The kingdoms of nature
  • Contemplation
  • Drawing nature

Module Number 3: The Human Being and the Soul World Part 1

            Eurythmy Topics:

  • All the above plus:
  • Geometric forms, straight lines and curves
  • Look into yourself, look into the world
  • 2 Poems
  • Music

            Lecture and discussion topics

  • Communication skills
  • Biography part 1: Life Cycles
  • Speech

Module Number 4: The Human Being and Soul World Part 2

            Eurythmy Topics

  • All the above plus:
  • Thinking, feeling and willing

            Lecture and Discussion topics

  • Communication skills
  • Child Development
  • Biography/Fairy Tales
  • Speech or Painting

Module Number 5: Cosmic Evolutions—Finding meaning in Existence

            Eurythmy topics

  • All the above plus:
  • The Healing Nature of Eurythmy

            Lecture and Discussion Topics

  • Cosmic Evolution
  • The Cosmic-Creative Word
  • Life before Birth and after Death
  • Speech

Module Number 6: The Human Being and Consciousness: How do we know?

            Eurythmy Topics

  • All the above plus:
  • Poems and music

            Lecture and Discussion Topics

  • The Spiritual meaning of eurythmy, part 2
  • Philosophy of Freedom

Module Number 7:The Human Being and the Universe

            Eurythmy Topics

  • All the above plus:
  • Planets and constellations
  • Performance

            Lecture and Discussion Topics

  • The Philosophy of Freedom
  • Living thinking

Why eurythmy?

Because in eurythmy, we truly become Human Beings. Eurythmy is

a beautiful, unique spiritual-physical practice that brings us into the heart of Anthroposophy, into the heart of our selves. We overcome the cold, hardening forces of consumerism and intellectuality, and unite body, soul and spirit into a beautiful harmony.

In our age, everyone suffers under the pressure of intellectualism. We may be clever, but are we loving? We may be successful, but are we in touch with our spiritual source? Anthroposophy, Spiritual Science, is a modern and active way of learning to bring cosmic light and warmth into our thinking, feeling and willing. This involves personal examination, dedication, practice and work, because our powerful spiritual core lies sleeping within us, and we ourselves must do the work of awakening it. But through this journey, we discover the true joy of being alive, of being human.

With the study of anthroposophical lectures, we transform our thinking, entering into a new relationship to heaven, earth and our social life.

Yet all thinking can have the potential of remaining cold and abstract if it does not become alive! We must learn how to overcome “automatic” or “dead” thinking, so we can connect our mental activity with warmth of heart.

In creating the new art of Eurythmy, Rudolf Steiner gave us tools to become fully present and active, not only in our minds and feelings, but all the way into our bodies! In Eurythmy, our Soul-Spirit overcomes the robot-like habits of modern life. Every thought, every feeling, every gesture, every step in eurythmy is developed not according to earthly laws, but in harmony with the divine-cosmic archetypes out of which we are born and which make us truly human.

Contact Cynthia Hoven at &

China Blog 2017


China is a  land of speed and vigor, of ancient wisdom and modern consumerism, of fabulous wealth and desperate poverty, of top-notch intellectuals, scientists and financial wizards as well as of the laborers in the urban shadow economy, the stooped rice farmers of the hilled terraces, and the millions of minority tribes, some of which still practice the ancient ways of their elders.

    I have just returned from my seventh trip to China in the past four years, where I am active as a lecturer and workshop leader, specializing in Eurythmy as a Personal Practice and Anthroposophical topics. In this last trip, my husband Harald was able to join me, teaching Plant Observation and also consulting with various growers about how to grow biodynamic crops.

    Through my semi-regular trips to the East, I am able to keep my finger on the rapidly evolving societal and cultural developments I have experienced, even though I know that through my insights I can only scratch the surface of this ancient and complex land.

      In this last trip, my husband Harald was able to join me, teaching Plant Observation and also consulting with various growers about how to grow biodynamic crops.

            First: China is vast. That which is modern is far more modern that what I know of from the US. In Shanghai, which I consider the world’s greatest mega-city, the subways are super-fast and clean. Mile after (seemingly) endless mile of skyscrapers fill the skyline, from the south of PuDong to the north of PuXi, and the super-high skyscrapers are lit each night from top to bottom with magical LED lights. Traffic is riotous, and no westerner in their right mind would dare to drive some of the roads here. Conversations are bright and intelligent, and life fast-paced and stressful. Yet even in the midst of the fabulously wealthy and well-heeled newly-rich, job-seeking immigrants from distant cities live in abject poverty.

            China is, however, a large country (roughly the same size as the US), and there are great differences between the regions. Those who live in the first-world consciousness of the mega-cities lead completely different lives that do those who dwell in country villages still largely untouched by the rush and stress of the modern world.

            Through my workshops and lectures on Anthroposophy and Eurythmy, I have visited many of the major cities. I have taught in Beijing in the north, Xi’an in the middle, Chengdu in the west, Guangzhou in the south, and QingDao, Shanghai and Nanjing in the East. Recently I have also begun teaching in Taiwan, (which presents a strong counter-point to mainland China, and deserves an entire blog on its own). I have vacationed in Yuunan, and, most recently, in Guilin, the land of the fables karst mountains, where thousands of single limsestone peaks rise up from the plains as fingers of God pointing heavenwards.

            There are ever fewer places in rural China that are untouched by modern life. Roads have reached most of the distant villages, even those more easily accessed by foot. Horses, as beasts of burdens, carry the supplies of the modern world, but so also do diesel-spewing trucks. Tourist industries have helped fan the hunger of the villagers for an easier, more “comfortable” life. I have seen this myself, and talked to guides and hosts in distant places who have their finger on the pulse of the regions they serve. And as much as I may rue the disappearance of the old, romantic lifestyle of such figures as the rice famer with water buffaloes, I must acknowledge that the winds of change are also bringing positive benefits to these communities.

            Wherever I went in China, nearly everyone I saw was technologically “plugged in.” Even in the most remote valleys that I have visited, I have been able to access 4G on my cell phone, and in the big cities 9 out of 10 people on the street are negotiating phones as they walk. In my experience, the consumer and the tech industries in China are “on steroids.” People have dozens (perhaps 6 or 7 dozen) different cell phone models to choose from, each one classier than the last. Everyone wants a bigger and better television/ stereo system/ home security system/ smart car than the one they bought last year. In these things, they are leaving the rest of the world “in the dust.”

            Pollution is pervasive, and I fear that the environmental consciousness has not yet awakened. Only a few of my friends here know that GMO crops are being planted everywhere in China (and are present in the daily food of most citizens), the fisheries in the oceans are dying, trash that is being (illegally) dumped all around the cities is poisoning the soil, and schools are being built on top of toxic dumps. The skies are mostly gray, and the stars can seldom be seen. I hope we will see big changes in ecological consciousness soon!


            As the rising Chinese middle class evolves out of survival mode into a bit of a leisure-society, hundreds of thousands –perhaps millions—of people have begun to examine their lives and values on deeper levels. Self-help groups, meditation groups, NVC workshops, family-constellation and yoga and tai chi lessons abound in the new China: the possibilities seem endless.
            And in the midst of all this, there is a vigorous movement examining the educational systems of China. There exist quite a few alternative education models, with Waldorf education one of the most sought-after, with hundreds of school initiatives across the country. Their challenges are many: how can there be enough trained teachers? How can their teachers be helped to connect deeply with the roots of Waldorf principles? And very importantly: can they collaborate and cooperate so that the term “Waldorf” always refers to a vibrant and rigorous education and not an improvised system? How can they contextualize Waldorf education so that the richness of their own cultural heritage finds its rightful and valuable place in the curriculum? And, equally importantly, what do we, as Westerners, have to learn from the heritage of the Chinese people? What have they been given to carry into our time, what wisdom have they been guardians of? I find it fascinating to observe that, as the movement grows, there is an increasing number of schools that are including finding ways to integrate Chinese arts, history, philosophy and values into the Waldorf sol.
            Much of the pioneer teacher training work in Waldorf education was begun through dedicated teachers from the English-speaking world, but I am finding an increasing number of German teachers who are carrying the teacher training work in the larger centers. 
            However, nearly every school that I know of aspires to run their own teacher-training program. While I am excited at the idea of seeing vibrant teacher mentoring programs as well as parent-education initiatives, I am concerned when resources for teacher training are scattered and educators are not deeply enough trained to be able to have a deep understanding of the underlying principles of anthroposophy, the philosophy that underlies the work.
            My own work, meanwhile, is focusing on students who have been inspired by my workshops with Eurythmy and Anthroposophy. In addition to short courses, in various cities, I have also started a EurythmyAlive, a certificate course for serious students. In seven 5-day long consecutive eurythmy modules, we focus on deepening themes: Nature of the Human Being, Biography classes, Nature Observation, Karma and Reincarnation, Planets and Constellations, and the like. These 5-day modules are spread out over the course of 2-3 years, and committed students get together in the intervals between modules to practice together. These courses are running in Taiwan and in Chengdu, and are scheduled to begin in Shanghai in the fall.


            I find that my greatest personal challenge when teaching in China is understanding the deep levels of the collective unconscious that lives in the foundations of Chinese culture. Eastern wisdom is ancient, resting on primal dualistic philosophies of the Yin and the Yang. These understandings still color all of daily life, reaching into habits of food and medicine and clothing and architecture. In the bedrock of the culture are also the expectations of respect and duty. For China, the most important value was always the thriving of the community, even at the expense of the individual.
            Most of the ancient wisdom was, however, ruthlessly destroyed during the 20th century. Much of the ancient insights have now faded into what I experience to be tradition or even superstition. And it is upon this phenomenon that the intense modern drive for individuation arises.
            My Chinese friends and colleagues are beautiful, loving people, and I hold them in high esteem. It is an honor to be invited to work with them. Anthroposophy and Eurythmy have sprung from a universal philosophy, yet were rooted in the Western world. Those of us who teach these subjects in China carry a great responsibility to discover how this modern mystery wisdom can find its right relationship to the cultural tasks of the people of the East.