Cathartic Dancing Meditation
Meditation practices use various ways to engage the mind and body as a via media to deepen concentration. Dance is one such technique. Ritual dance is an ancient practice. Dancing can be ecstasy in a few minutes. Aggression is also harmlessly released though dance.
There are many forms. Dancing meditations are most closely associated with the Sufis. It can range from simple walking steps in a circle to elaborately costumed processionals. Of these the Circle Dance, the Dances of Universal Peace and the Sema or the Whirling Dervish Dance are some. Rajneesh Dynamic Meditation is similar, but cathartic dancing is simpler.
Why It Works
Ritual dance asks you to listen to the sound of music and rhythm, and use it as a medium to listen for the rhythm of your consciousness. Dance is used as a bridge between consciousness and the psyche. It integrates meditation with action (the act of dancing is representative, symbolic) and thereby real life. Thus it helps dissolve the barrier between contemplation and the conscious living of everyday life, making being in a meditative state a way of life rather than a short term activity, segregated from life.
What to Do and How It Works
The idea is to allow for life. Dancing without hesitation, without effort and without social purpose, allows the flows of energy, physically expressed through the action of dancing. Alongside, and without conscious effort, the obvious effect on the body is accompanied by the release of emotional dams that you have created in your attempts to cope with life’s challenges. As energy is freed, it works on the resolution of emotional crises. Belief systems that no longer relevant are discarded, memories which have outlived their usefulness are forgotten. As the body loosens up and moves without the hindrances of hesitation and self - consciousness, so is the soul freed of its reservations and slides into being one with the universe.
The act of dancing in itself can be quite self absorbing. Cut through this surface and you will find that it allows you to cut out the distractions of the external world, allowing for self reflection and exploration of your being. You are bound to find that your mind is rebellious, argumentative, or even bored – don’t give up.
Central to this form of meditation is repetition. It usually revolves around a simple formula of rhythm and song, repeated over and over again. The repetition, much like an incantation can induce a meditative trance.
Do-It-Yourself - 3 Stages, 40 Minutes
Stage 1(10 Minutes) -- Start by standing with your eyes closed and breathe deep and fast through your nose continuously. If you are only physically capable of doing deep breathing for five minutes, then reduce the length of the first stage. Allow your body to move freely as you breathe.
Stage 2(20 Minutes) -- Totally let go and act as an ancient human dancing in tribal celebration. Energetic, nonverbal background music is recommended. Screaming is encouraged. All of the suppressed emotions from your subconscious mind are to be released. If at anytime during the second stage you feel that your energy level is starting to decline, you can resume deep and fast breathing.
Stage 3 (10 Minutes) -- Be quiet. Lie still. Get comfortable
Tips and Warning
- You can dance alone in your room, in a class or group, or in front of before supportive spectators.
- Have a space for dancing – a stage, an altar, a studio. When you physically enter it, the moment will begin the journey to the meditative state – a good assistance to the transition for beginners. Ideally, indulge in a quieting ritual as you enter the space – such as deep breathing.
- If you are dancing in a group, move together. Resist the temptation dance individualistically.
- Trust the simple, repetitive ritual of the dance.
- Allow silence after the dance. This is the most important part of the dance, so don't rush it.
- It is entirely possible that you don’t feel connected in a group dance. Try again.
- Move simply and slowly. Too much muscular effort overwhelms the brain's ability to make sensory distinctions and restricts the mind's ability to work on the body's behalf.
- Obviously, one must practice Cathartic Dancing Meditation in a safe location. A large room or hall with thick carpeting is good. Outdoors in the early morning on a soft and well tended lawn with group participation is best. Do it on an empty stomach and avoid falling into dangerous objects such as windows. It is allowed to briefly open one's eyes occasionally to maintain your location. Create a safety zone around you.