When 10 years ago I was getting into yoga, nobody told me that yoga deals with a masculine type of energy and that women who practice it better balance it through practicing some “female” type of practices. That’s how dancing became a part of my life. And through dancing I came to three major rules for any type of dance:
I like to experiment with different styles of dancing: it can be a temple dance Mandala, African dance, belly-dance, tribal-fusion or Bollywood style dance. I also love to practice different dancing meditation techniques many of which I describe in my book “Design of a Cloudless Life: Big Book of Practices and Meditations for everything and from everything” (in Russian it sounds better J). Here I’d like to share with you two meditation dancing techniques which you can do at home any time and which probably will change your understanding of the word “meditation” per se.
This dancing practice has different variations. I am offering the one I used to practice in the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune (India). It lasts 60 minutes. Choose a place where nobody will disturb you throughout that time. You can choose to wear a wide skirt as dervishes do. On the other hand, you can wear anything you want as long as it is comfortable for you.
Meditation has two stages. Practice can be done in silence, or you can download the music specifically for this meditation (it’s called Osho Whirling Meditation), or you can make your own playlist with Sufi music. In this case make sure that the music doesn’t distract you, that it doesn’t have any text and that each stage has a separate music. You can also find the demonstration of this practice online.
Before the meditation make sure that you didn’t eat 2-3 hours before, otherwise you might feel sick. If you still feel nausea, skip to the second stage even if the first one isn’t finished yet.
“Whirling” is one of my favorite Sufi techniques. It makes us centered, and when we are centered, stresses don’t affect us, and we go back into our natural condition of health and beauty. Whirling also connects the Earth with the Sky and helps us to get rid of the excess energy in the body. This practice of the whirling dervishes clears our mind and makes us aware of the universal love. In the past, dervishes used to whirl in the crowds clearing and balancing the space. It would be great to see this practice restored. Who knows, it could be you!
Dervishes’ homeland is Konya in Turkey, and few years ago I was lucky to go there and visit sema with the whirling as a part of the sacred ceremony. It was an amazing experience, I would recommend it to everyone. Here is the description of the technique itself.
First Stage lasts 45 minutes and consists of whirling. It is done on one spot in an anti-clockwise direction, with the right arm held high, palm upwards, and the left arm low, palm downwards. Don’t think whether you do it right or wrong. Let go of any judgement. People who feel discomfort from whirling anti-clockwise can change to clockwise, changing the position of the arms as well. Your body should be soft, eyes opened but unfocused, so that images become blurred and flowing. Remain silent.
Start doing slowly and let the pace pick up the speed on its own. The whirling will takes over and you become a whirlpool of energy. By the end of this stage your body will be ready to fall by itself. Don’t make the fall a decision on your part and do not try to arrange the landing in advance; if your body is soft you will land softly and the earth will absorb your energy.
Second Stage lasts 15 minutes. Let your body fall down on the ground. Immediately roll onto your stomach so that your navel is in contact with the earth. Feel your body blending into the earth and the excess energy going into it. If for some reason you feel discomfort lying this way, lie on your back.
Keep your eyes closed and remain passive and silent.
Regular active meditations can be literally the answers to your prayers, especially if you are a Manifestor or a Manifesting Generator which is about 40% of the world’s population. It helps to release their anger in a healthy way. I love Nataraj, it’s one of my favorite meditation techniques.
Duration: 65 minutes.
Place to do: any place where no one can disturb you.
Clothes: freestyle. Whatever you are wearing shouldn’t restrict your movements. It is best to be barefoot.
Stages: there are three stages in this meditation.
Music: download Nataraj music from the Internet.
When to do and why? Any time. With Nataraj meditation we can release any emotion and feeling that disturbs us in a healthy way. It also helps to bring forth the catharsis when it is needed and to calm down whatever needs to be calmed. At the same time it is a rather pleasant technique!
Instructions: As usual, read the instructions completely before doing the meditation. Nataraj is a dance as a total meditation. Nataraj is a king of dance and one of Shiva’s images. It starts with the first stage which lasts 40 minutes. We close our eyes and we dance. How? As anyone who is possessed with a dance would dance. Let your unconsciousness take over. Don’t control your movements, nobody is watching you or judging you, there is no one to be shy about, no one to show the beauty of your movements to; this meditation is not about that. Just move, just dance, just become the dance where the doer, the dancer, completely disappears in the act of dancing. As beloved Osho says, be total in that dance.
Second stage lasts for 20 minutes. Lie down with your eyes closed. Keep quiet and still.
Third stage lasts for 5 minutes. Since we started the meditation with a dance, it is best to come out of it in a dance as well. So we are dancing, again, but this time we are just enjoying and celebrating. During this stage you can keep your eyes closed or open, it doesn’t matter.
This is what Osho says about Nataraj Meditation.
“Let the dance flow in its own way; don’t force it. Rather, follow it; allow it to happen. It is not a doing but a happening. Remain in the mood of festivity. You are not doing something very serious; you are just playing, playing with your life energy, playing with your bioenergy, allowing it to move in its own way. Just like the wind blows and the river flows – you are flowing and blowing. Feel it. And be playful. Remember this word “playful” always – with me, it is very basic. In this country we call creation God’s leela – God’s play. God has not created the world; it is his play.”
I have come across some meditators who were resisting the music that was written specifically for the Nataraj Meditation. They were saying something like this: “This music doesn’t suit me, I can’t dance with it. Let me create my own playlist and do my own Nataraj.” Right? Not exactly. If you create your own playlist, it will be a different meditation. Probably, it will be a great one, but different, not Nataraj. The music here is not accidental, so please, trust Osho, and trust me. Everything is perfect as it is in this music, so there is no need to make it more perfect. Accept your resistance if it comes, don’t scold yourself for that, just accept that there is discomfort there, that something hurts and aches inside. And continue dancing and celebrating that discomfort and pain in spite of everything.