Sitting or Moving, modes of meditation…
Being the bellydancing version of the everyready bunny, I am most definitely a mover. In so many ways. Dancing, working out at the gym (and now I’ve taken up jogging), walking the dogs, gardening, even cleaning the house, I have to move. My sanity requires it, my body quests for it, my mind stills with my movement, and it makes me feel just freakin’ good. Put me in a chair all day, and it’s not pretty. And that’s is why I started practicing moving meditations twenty years ago. Incorporating dance into my rituals…at that time, I also started a class called Dance as Ritual and it was life-changing, as I studied different cultures healing and trance dances, and brought them into my personal practice.
Walking or dancing, with repetition, sets my mind at ease, releases the monkey chatter, and allows me a divine pleasure, with that deep connection to myself and my goddess spirit. Magic. It raises and/or lowers energy for me, if you can understand that. My favorite walking meditatoin, and my students’ favorite, is the Walk To Nowhere… where we walk forward and backward, with a repetitive drum beat, for 8-14 ish minutes, and it becomes pure bliss. It is my prayer and my salvation.
Salvation. Oh, those days of questions, of stress, of overwork, of worry, of happiness. Moving is my coming home, where I know myself, and my body, inside and out. I know what “right” feels like, as in sync, in balance. When something isn’t right, I know that too. And I listen and walk or dance to find out how to make it right. To find Bliss. And Preservation! Forgiveness. Pleasure. Release, Answers, Healing… so much more. Do you know what I’m talking about?
It even makes me excited to write about it, to share these words with you. Because I want to share with you ways to listen to your body and what it needs–what we need as humans, or women, or men, alone and together if we are grooving in our circle. We move, listen, watch, share, become vulnerable…which opens us up even more. We can break down the walls that confine us if we listen to our inner guide, the walls that block us from feeling the love, from finding our god, from peace and pain, to get down to that authentic self.
For me, it is like an intense need, I have to have it, like an addiction, because of how it makes me feel, and I want to feel that way… content and in charge of myself, explorative and creative, sometimes with peace, sometimes with exuberance, delicious and provokative…just the way I like it! My two words again for 2014 are Excite and Ignite…and I want those feelings too.
I want stillness…so I am learning, more and more, how to sit in that stillness, how to breath slowly to refocus and to let go. To be still…when my body wants to move… but I know I need to stop. My spirit says so. Listen. Can you hear yours? What does it desire from you?
While I am not a good sitter, I do enjoy and appreciate a sitting meditation. And I find it necessary, like a massage…not a luxury. Sitting meditation…tranquil, release and refresh… breathing deep in and out…into my own being, into my soul…stopping the movement, the mind chatter, the what ifs…
Sanguine, luxurious, just me…and my spirit, my god… 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes.. longer…I can do it…ah, my legs are stiff, ah, you’ll get over it…ah, how long has it been, ah set your timer so you don’t have to worry… make it work for you, not against you, I say to myself.
My dancing sister, Cinzia, is a good sitter, with an incredible daily discipline that I am envious of! I have seen a profound change in her as her yoga and meditation practice have evolved over the years, and I know that it is not always easy…she is quite an inspiration. (You get to practice with her in my Tribal Quest Experience course and see her dance in Gypsy Caravan Dance Company.) I love using delicious and varied breathing techniques, with that focusing/unfocusing thing you do to sit still as you let the outside world drift away. And this goes back to my last blog post as Body As Temple…well, here you are!
I also love a good sitting visualization…different, but it can be so evocative and spirit finding and intuitive reaching. Having a guide take you deep to help you listen, leading you on an internal journey with words, and you allow pictures and experiences to travel through you with your own creative visions. These have been profound for me over the years; I have talked with my spirit and my animal guides, been given sweet gifts of life answers, and I now enjoy sharing a visualization in many of my courses… to guide you to find some answers, to learn quiet, to blend, relax, ah… bliss…especially after a workout or dance session, in our classes or a trance dance session…like a savasana in yoga (the corpse pose), which is relaxing and restorative, with the body quiet, the down to the ground time, the releasing, internal quest and external bliss.
One of the things I have found as I teach some of these ways of meditation is that there are folks who are horrified to do this. Scared shitless even. Wow. What? Why? Yes, so afraid of finding out what is really going on, what their spirit truly wants, what their bodies, minds, and souls desperately are craving, and what that quiet place is like. Afraid of the unknown, an answer they don’t want to face, the dark the light. They have expressed fear of that quiet, because they don’t know what will happen, or they do know what will happen and they don’t want to know. Whoa…uncomfortable. They may not want to connect that deeply with themselves and their spirit/soul because they may have to acknowledge a truth, an issue, a real part of themselves that they have suppressed. Like a protection of the not knowing. Hhmmm…you know, I can help you with that. (Just fyi, through some private coaching or my Tribal Bliss and Tribal Quest Experience e-courses…you can start, with both moving and sitting meditations and visualizations. Need some guidance, let me know!)
I’ve always been inquisitive of everything, and like my soul card in the Tarot, #9–the Hermit, not afraid to walk forward into the dark and unknown, teaching along the way with only a dim light ahead. But for others, it can be awesome and empowering to honor that fear, and acknowledge it, and move into it.
Yes, it can be scary, unnerving even, going into that unknown place, the depths of your being. But once you find that sweet spot, it may not be so dark and mysterious. It can bring joy and enlightenment, release and healing. A connection that you have never felt before. Comfort. Trust. Like that breath of freshness and knowledge. It can be finding your true self, your intuitive soul, your peace. On many levels. You deserve that connection with yourself, you can have that time for yourself. Oh yes, you can.
No matter what method of meditation I undertake, I just try to find that particular way of the moment, that I need right then, alone, or in a group or a class, moving or sitting or laying down, it is a joy, and saves me from my crazy self! And that feeling I get, I want that… more of that, all the time! (Along with journaling daily–my other salvation!) It helps keep me connected and whole. Got to love that…
Now you, what do you do? Do you have a preferred practice? Daily, weekly? Are you nervous to undertake a meditation practice? Fearful or curious? Can you share in the comments? Would love to hear from you…
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I love that you are here!