Sunday, June 22, 2008

Movement Therapy

This weekend there was two classes by a famous West African dancer, Abdul Kamara (hopefully the spelling of his last name is correct). Anyways, he is a fabulous dancer, with a spine that ondulates and moves fluidly; his whole body moves in a way that is extremely elegant and graceful. It is a combination of flexibility, muscle strength, and grace. African dance is like that. It is healing.

The sound of drums is also quite hypnotic, and puts one into a different space, where we cannot "think" in an ordinary sense. In that space, we have to Think and be Aware and yet totally Surrender. The dance is such that it is possible to do it only when we Think with something Higher inside us, when we are totally Alert yet completely Relaxed. It just flows... being in the moment.

I had such experiences today, and it was amazing to fall into that groove. That groove is something that is our birthright. It is an active yet meditative state. The state in which everything is clear and every moment lasts an eternity. Have you experienced such states?

What I experienced today was that feeling of turning the control to the body for the things it knows how to do - it knows how to jump, move, turn, etc.. The mind just interferes when it tries to control the body. In our ordinary life, the mind interferes a lot. That's why we don't move our bodies properly and that's why we end up with pain.

Another thing I experienced today was operating without that control of that ego that always thinks, judges, calculates, etc. My mind was very active, yet quiet, allowing me to do all the acrobatics necessary for the dance and to enjoy it.
It felt like I was flying on the drum music, like a kite on the wind made by the notes. I could feel the drum music inside me and It was moving me. I didn't have to think - my body knew exactly how to move with that music. The Thinking that was happening was just to tell me: ok, now the coreography says we move left and turn twice. But it wasn't "thinking" in a regular sense. It was more like ... some inner coach that was very discreet and quiet and accurate. And then I felt the music and moved with it.

The feeling was of being inside my body. I know it sounds rather strange to think so highly of being inside one's body, but: when was the last time you were inside your body? It's not something that happens all the time! Most of the time, we are stuck in our head. So, being in my body today felt marvelous.

So, feeling inside my body, it felt like I was occupying an enourmous amount of space. What I noticed is that my world view shifted: instead of constantly monitoring my environment for external threat and danger, I was on the inside of my body and staying there. My attention was inside me and outside of me, not only outside. That is a subtle but important difference. I was PRESENT.

And since I was Present, everything felt different. The sense of space, sound, other people, etc. - everything became more enhanced, more vivid, and somehow closer yet the space became much much larger.

I was just dancing for the sheer joy of it. I didn't care what I looked, what other people thought, I just *d*a*n*c*e*d, moving my body and enjyoing the sense of freedom in my whole being.

It is very difficult to describe this - just go out and do it. Try dancing with the drums and totally relax into it, and you will find out what I mean.

Watch "The Visitor" movie to see what drums does to stiffness :)

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