Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘dancing’

Let’s Dance

Let’s Dance: Transforming our lives through meditation.
by Lawrence Levy
Tricycle

At a group meditation I led recently, I was discussing the importance of properly preparing for meditation by paying attention to the elements of time, place, and posture. Segyu Rinpoche, Juniper’s founding teacher, was present. At one moment, with a playful look on his face, Rinpoche asked me a question. He wanted to know what I had meant when I mentioned the possibility of placing a flower or a candle in one’s meditation space.

030LetsDance

I understood what he was asking. I was reluctant to share details about my meditation practice, and I knew that Rinpoche believed it was important for me to break that resistance. As he smiled in the background, I took a leap. I described the care I put into my own meditation space—the way I look for just the right flower in my garden, or the perfect orchid at the local market, the attention I pay to making sure the area is clean, and the feeling I experience when I light a candle and imagine it radiating to my family, friends, and others.

I had confessed to my ritual. Later, at the end of the meditation, I said to the group: “You see how Rinpoche was playing with me earlier. It’s like a dance. He prompted, I followed. That’s the dance of meditation, the dance of moving ourselves inwardly.”

Dancing is a beautiful metaphor for the richness of meditation. More than an exercise to focus the mind, it is a transformational journey inward, a means to know ourselves and refine our way of being. It is an art, full of rhythm and beauty, crescendo and quiet. It can be moving, light and joyous. Like removing kinks from a hose, it propels us to overcome our resistances so the best in us can flow.

Sometimes the step onto this dance floor seems like a large one. We don’t want to learn the moves; we’d rather have something quick. We don’t want a relationship with a dance partner; we’d prefer to go it alone. We don’t want to look inside; we want to stay as we are, only freer, happier, and wiser. But freedom, happiness, and wisdom may not arise from merely staying as we are.

The genius of the Buddha—the Indian prince Siddhartha—and many who followed him was the realization that the mind is not static. It is living, breathing, evolving. Because it is the medium through which we experience our lives, there are immeasurable benefits from refining it, sharpening it, and discovering its potential. Therefore, sometimes we have to push ourselves; we have to learn some steps that might at first feel awkward but soon become second nature.

To do this dance takes two sides. On the one is our own effort to grow and refine our way of being and experience. On the other is a partner—a teacher or guide to show us the steps and keep us moving. This requires teachers who know how to transmit wisdom not as ancient knowledge but as living tradition. It calls for a community of individuals, born out of local culture and united by the idea that the inner journey—the dance through which we learn to live fully and freely—is a deep and beautiful way to engage life.

At stake here is not just our own well-being. We live in a time when our narratives are increasingly about what is broken in our world: how the institutions charged with running it are brokers of self-interest and power; how modern governments work for corporations and the wealthy; how media is in an ever-increasing arms race for control of our preferences.

Look for the root of these problems and we end up at the mind—its greed, fear, and craving. If the mind is the root of the problem, then solving the problem—crafting a humanity in which our leaders are stewards of a peaceful, noble, and just world; in which individuals give full expression to their talents and creativity; and in which each person feels relevant and important to the whole—will only come from a change in mind. For this, we have to do the dance that will move us inwardly.

These ideas are not new. A long time ago the Buddha realized the immeasurable benefits to be gained from refining the mind. He also implored his followers not to turn his teachings into dogma but to have the courage to examine the reality we are in right now and to become the best we can be in it.

Read entire article and more at TRICYCLE.

So You Think You Can Dance?

It doesn’t really matter who wins, it’s the process and amazing choreography, dancers and dancing that occurs throughout the show So You Think You Can Dance? It’s on in the summer, every Wednesday and Thursday evening.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the show has all kinds of dancing (hip-hop, ballet, modern, jazz, tango, quick-step, breaking, folk, Bollywood, waltz, contemporary, etc. etc.) and incredible guest dancers (and dance troupes). It’s been nominated for 8 Emmy awards and deserves more.

Last night there were 3 over the top performances which took your breath away and the last of the evening topping it off with Melanie and Sasha dancing a strong, graceful powerful piece choreographed by Sonya. It was mistressful!

If you like to dance or watch dance (of any persuasion) you may want to take a peek at So You Think You Can Dance. No need to get caught up in the competition part of the show, just enjoy the dance.

Great Day for Rwandan Orphanage

Just received this post from ROP Stories about a great event they were asked to put on at the ROP Center for Street Children in Rwanda.

A Great Day for ROP!
Posted on June 21, 2011 by Sean

About ten days ago we were informed that our Rwandan Orphans Project Center would be hosting an event for the government in Kicukiro District to celebrate the pan-African holiday, the International Day of the African Child. This surprised us because ten days is not very much time to prepare for such an event. We knew we had a challenge ahead of us, but we were up to it.

In the coming days everyone pulled together to make sure our home would be presented in the best way possible. Everyone, from the administration to the teachers and children worked incredibly hard cleaning, landscaping, making repairs, painting, etc. You name it, we did it. The boys, especially the older ones, really worked their tails off and we are quite proud of them for that. Compounding the preparations that had to be made was the fact that we already had to other major projects happening at the Center. On one side we had the construction of the new kitchen. It was nearing completion but there were some changes that had to be made after construction and it had yet to be painted and thoroughly tested. On the other side of the Center much needed new toilets and showers were being built. These were proving to be a headache because the builder wanted to keep all the profit for himself and so he refused to hire laborers to help him. So despite his promise of finishing on Thursday they still appeared to be only about 70% finished by the morning of the event.

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