After conducting a Meditation Camp on ‘Dance, Body and Soul’ last week, Kul Bhushan got inspired to write about dance
Run away from the towns and cities. Go out into the wide, open spaces in the lap of nature. When you take it all in – the unending horizon, the whispering wind, the swaying trees, the gliding clouds, the moving sun or moon – you find that it’s all a dance! If you just ‘let go’ for some time, you will feel that everything is constantly celebrating life, dancing around you.
Deep inside you, something stirs – a dance awakens. And you want to dance with the wind and the trees and the clouds and the sun. It all becomes sacred. Not to be happy is to be ungrateful to existence. So you just let go and dance in thankfulness to nature, to the Supreme Being that you are alive to experience this.
The same feeling comes to you in meditation. When you have exhausted your body with vigorous movement and can take it no more, you become still and let it all settle down. The mind stops for a time. Then peace descends upon you. You lose count of time and go on floating into the beyond. You do not want this to end – ever. But it does and then you want to celebrate and by itself the body breaks into a graceful dance.
In ancient India, this dance was represented as the Nataraj – when Lord Shiva became the Grandmaster of Dance. This nataraj pose is the defining portrayal of all dance down the centuries. Each mudra or gesture has a deep meaning and is well-worth understanding and following.
Throughout the centuries, mystics have been dancing in this ecstasy. The so-called normal people who live by their heads cannot understand this: “Why is Meera, the total devotee of Lord Krishna, suddenly dancing?”
”Meera danced all over the country. Nobody knows how many people understood the dance. She sang beautiful songs. They are not philosophical treatises, but they have beautiful gaps. If you can catch those gaps, you can enter into the unknown. Her dances are a language of a totally different calibre. If you can understand her dance, perhaps something will start dancing in you. All that is needed is an openness, a receptivity, so that her dance can trigger the dormant energy in your being. And if you can also dance, you will have communicated, you will have understood what meditation is.”
The Sufis dance. They get so drunk with their whirling that they can go on dancing for hours – as if in a trance. But they are totally alert and very focused as they whirl at a single point. All through the Middle East, North Africa and North India, the Sufis sing and dance when they cannot hold their elation anymore.
The Baul Mystics dance. They sing and dance in West India to express their bliss. They dance on their own, by themselves, as they are so full of the juice of meditation.
Then there was George Gurdjieff, the Russian Mystic Master, who lived around 50 years ago. From North Africa, the Middle East to Afghanistan he searched and, influenced by the Sufi dancers, he devised his special dances known as Gurdjieff Movements as the center piece of meditation.
Osho incorporated all these dancing techniques into the meditations he created. The most important of them is called – no wonder – Nataraj. Osho’s other major meditations revolve around dance to celebrate. This issue presents all these dances as meditation and celebration. With these techniques, Osho enables us to experience the joy, the bliss, the ecstasy of dance to reach the unreachable, know the unknowable.
“The painter, poet, sculptor, singer or dancer becomes instrumental in the hands of existence and no longer remains an artist but dissolves into existence and becomes one. The artist disappears and becomes one with art. The painter becomes the painting, the singer becomes the song, the poet becomes the poem and the dancer becomes the dance.”
Except man, the whole of existence is dancing. Come, become a pagan, a Meera, a Sufi, a Baul, a Gurdjieff and dance your way to God.
Text by Kul Bhushan