Nataraj, dance and stop!

Tiny Meditations

Osho explains in a darshan Gurdjieff’s ‘stop exercise’ to help make one’s frozenness conscious.

Nataraj the Dancer

Dance will be good, mm? continue Nataraj. You can join the Sufi dancing also and in the night, the music group. And any time you feel that you are getting frozen, start dancing. For five minutes, deep breathing, and then dance. Then go on dancing and when you feel that everything is flowing perfectly well, simply say loudly ‘Stop!’ and freeze. For two minutes just freeze like a stone. This is going to help you immensely.

This was one of the basic techniques of George Gurdjieff to help people to come out of their frozenness. First he would teach them movement and then in the middle of it he would shout ‘Stop!’ It was called the ‘stop exercise’, and they had to stop in ridiculous, absurd postures. As they were, they had to stop. With thirty persons dancing there are all kinds of postures. And they were not to deceive; that was the whole point of it.

You can deceive – you can find a better posture. So you can tell somebody else to tell you ‘Stop’ or you can fix the alarm so you cannot deceive. Otherwise you will find a good posture and stand in it and say ‘Stop’; that will not help. An alarm will do or any child – just tell a child and he will enjoy. Tell him to find the most difficult posture and then shout ‘Stop!’ He will enjoy it! But don’t deceive even if you have to fall.

The first thing to get out of this state is to make your frozenness conscious, deliberate. The grip is always unconscious. Once it becomes conscious you are out of the grip. So you can enjoy it. Just walking on the road, freeze; doing something, freeze. Just for two minutes remain like a statue, then relax again and start your work. You have to make it very very conscious; it has to be brought to a state where it is no more automatic, where it is no more robotlike but you are the master of it. Then immediately you will be out of it. So for one month do the stop exercise and then report: Good! It will go.

Osho, Don’t Look Before You Leap, Ch 15

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