“Dance classes have become the latest weapon in the fight against breast cancer in the US. Modern surgical and drug treatments have vastly increased the survival rate in women with disease.
“But many women find that they receive no help or advice on how to re-adjust following medical treatment. Patients say that the classes help in the healing process and boost their self-esteem. Ninety percent of participants have regained their flexibility and avoided the symptoms usually associated with the aftermath of surgery.” – Philippa Thomas (BBC Health News)
The alchemy of dance
Dancing is an experiment, an experiment to bring your body, your mind, your soul, in tune. Dance is one of the most rhythmic phenomena. If you are really dancing there is no other activity which creates such unity. If you are sitting, the body is not used; then you use only your mind. If you are running very fast, your life is in danger, then you use your body and you don’t use your mind. In dance you are neither sitting nor running for your life. It is movement, a joyful movement. The body is moving, the energy is flowing, the mind is moving, the mind is flowing. And when these two things are flowing they melt into each other. You become psychosomatic. A certain alchemy starts happening.
That’s why you see a new kind of grace on the face of the dancer, it is alchemical — the body-mind meeting, merging, the body-mind becoming one tune, one rhythm, one harmony. When this harmony has happened then the third, the soul, starts entering into it. The soul can enter into your existence only when your body and mind are no longer in conflict, when your body and mind co-operate, when your body and mind are deep in love, embracing, hugging each other… that’s what happens in dance.
[Excerpted From: The Sufis: The People of the Path]
Health is a dance
Health is never serious. Health is laughter, health is singing, health is a dance. The healthier you are, the more you take life as a play. The whole existence becomes fun.
That was the religion of Dionysius but the serious people drove him out of existence. All the churches, all the temples and all the mosques are full of psychologically ill people.
The healthy person feels almost repulsed by religion, for the simple reason that the healthy person wants to live totally. Health means life; it is never renunciation. Renunciation is a kind of suicide, a slow suicide; you are renouncing life.
If people start laughing and dancing and taking life as fun, then where will all these so-called holy people and saints and the pious people and the moralists and the puritans be? They will have to be thrown on the junk-heap. We can save a few specimens in the museums…
The future belongs to Dionysius.
[Excerpted From: Fingers Pointing to the Moon]
Listen to the body
You cannot live just as a body. That’s what Jesus means when he says, “Man cannot live by bread alone” – but this is only half the truth. You cannot live just as consciousness alone, you cannot live without bread either. You have two dimensions to your being, and both the dimensions have to be fulfilled, and given equal opportunity for growth. But the past has been either in favor of one and against the other, or in favor of the other and against the first one.
Man as a totality has not been accepted. If you listen to the body, you condemn yourself; if you don’t listen to the body, you suffer – you are hungry, you are poor, you are thirsty. If you listen to consciousness only, your growth will be lopsided: your consciousness will grow but your body will shrink and the balance will be lost. And in the balance is your health, in the balance is your wholeness, in the balance is your joy, your song, your dance.
[Excerpted From: The Rebel]
Let the sunshine in
While you are dancing something is happening. It is an experiment. It is not just contemplation – just sitting and thinking about the divine – it is allowing the divine to enter into you, it is opening yourself to existence. It is like a flower opening in the morning. When the flower opens, suddenly sun rays start dancing on its petals. When you open, the divine starts dancing in you. There is no other activity which is more harmonious than dance. That’s why all the primitive religions were dance-based, and all the modern religions – the so-called civilised, sophisticated religions – have nothing like dance in them; they are dull affairs.
[Excerpted From: The Sufis: The People of the Path]
Flexibility and aliveness
Dance to orgasm; let the whole energy become dance, and suddenly you will see that you don’t have any head – the stuck energy in the head is moving all around, creating beautiful patterns, pictures, movement. When you dance there comes a moment when your body is no longer a rigid thing; it becomes flexible, flowing. When you dance there comes a moment when your boundary is no longer so clear; you melt and merge with the cosmos, the boundaries are mixing.
Watch a dancer – you will see that he has become an energy phenomenon, no longer in a fixed form, no longer in a frame. He is flowing out of his frame, out of his form, and becoming more and more alive. But only if you dance yourself will you know what really happens. The head inside disappears; again you are a child. Then you don’t create any problems.
[Excerpted From: Ancient Music of the Pines]
Dance in the service of life
The destructive mind has brought us to a situation where we have to re-code the mind for construction, for creation. If the mind can be so destructive, it can be transformed in the same way to great creativity, with the same energy. Energy is neutral: you can put it in the service of death or you can put it in the service of life.
Our effort here is to put our minds, our bodies, in the service of life – in creativity, in music, in poetry, in dance. Great is the moment when we can change the mind, feed it with new information. The same mind that brings nuclear weapons can bring great joys, plenty of food, better clothes, more health, longer life, less disease; it can eliminate old age completely.
[Excerpted From: Turning In]