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It was like the dam broke, and everything came out to be healed. I felt totally revealed and safe in the nurturing space you created. We went so deep, and yet it was so easy. Thank you. — Shela Tarwater, Paralegal ~ Florida
I am claiming and remembering my power. I am remembering to listen for my inner guidance. I am remembering the language of my heart. I have ALL the power within me NOW. I remember I am the ONE I had been waiting for. I carry this message with me every day! — Meghan Dwyer, Raw Food Chef ~ Sedona
I have a totally new understanding of who I am. I HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE MY LIFE, and the knowledge that I am supported by love to make these changes! I am ready to move forward from a trust in my own light and power. — Roko Ona, M.D. ~ Tokyo
I was guided towards profound insights that have shifted both my understanding of myself and my way of being on this planet. — Justin Caruso, Yoga Teacher ~ NYC
Dhamma Dance

I recently came out of a 10 day Vipassana silent meditation course. It was an amazing, deeply challenging and ultimately very rewarding experience. While sitting on my cushion for 10 hours a day I had a lot of time to reflect upon my life and the practices I engage with that assist me to more fully BE myself.

I had entered this container several times before, but this could still not prepare me for the experience that I had. The purpose of taking these 10 days was in hopes of calming my mind, resetting old habit patterns and to unplug from all the doing and projecting that tends to run my life. So, while all of my friends and loved ones- chose which festival or community gathering to go to over the long Easter weekend- I chose something different.

It was really difficult for me AND I gained more than I could have imagined, but I had to work for it! 10 hours a day of sitting and observing the WILD, untamed expanse of my mind was no fun at all. Some days I felt like I was under attack by thoughts and feelings, projections, goals and disappointments. Fortunately I had my breath and my bodily sensations to help teach me how to com home to the present moment.

I thought a lot about Dancing Freedom and how many of its principles and practices are similar to those of Vipassana; especially when it comes to cultivating awareness of one’s entire psycho-somatic experience. What I was consistently being reminded of through the daily teachings was that the ultimate way to gain insight into one’s own reality is to experience it within and through the framework of the body. Apparently, we humans are the only creatures who can transform our realities through the awareness and observation of our breath and our bodily sensations.

The body is the interface between reality as it is, and the external world around us. The body is ALL WAYS in touch with the truth that is present for us in any given moment if we choose to focus in on it. The world outside of us acts to stimulate our sensational world (our body)- continuously sending signals, information-and catalysts for our personal growth and deepening into the wisdom of our totality. I find this so empowering!

As I was diving deeper each day into the observation of my breath and sensations, and receiving this “dhamma” (which translates into cosmic law or universal teachings often referring to the teachings of the Buddha.) I had so many moments of gratitude for Dancing Freedom and to Samantha Sweetwater, its founder, for brining the world this living, embodiment of “dhamma,” via the dance that we all love so much!  (FYI-this practice was once called Dharma Dance- our founder totally saw the connections!)

What better way for us to know ourselves as intricately woven into the fabric of all of nature than to experience it within our own bodies?

In both Vipassana and a Dancing Freedom ceremony we are choosing to consciously step into the field where mind meets matter to observe how it relates to the NOW. The body speaks to us in sensations. Everywhere and at any given moment sensations, feelings, emotions and energy are arising and passing away within us and through the dance we get to witness them and move with them. We are continuously being presented with opportunities to respond to life- with awareness and equanimity. This was the basic foundation of what the buddha spoke to 2500 years ago.

On the dance floor and on the cushion we have the opportunity to give unpleasant sensations, thoughts and emotions just as much space to be expressed as the pleasurable ones, so that we may witness how it all inevitably changes and passes away, as do all things in nature. When we give ourselves permission to touch into what is present, whether it be sadness, anger, joy or whatever it may be- at the deepest level of the sensational body, with our attention and awareness-this is when BIG shifts happen!

Feeling is the pathway to healing and the body knows exactly how to lead you there.

I know many of us have experienced these wondrous moments of releasing, letting go and opening deeper on the dance floor. Those divine moments of truth that have radically changed you and reality as you know it are due to the willingness to meet whatever was moving through you at that time, even if it was unpleasant- you met yourself anyway and because of this, perhaps, you have found more freedom in your life.

The more any of us can learn to be present with whatever is happening in any given moment- the more freedom we will experience. When our minds are not busy chasing after the past, or future- all there is IS the NOW. So every time you get onto the dance floor, engage in an embodiment practice or even just remember to take random moments of awareness throughout the day- remember that you have the capacity to be a living embodiment of dhamma- the cosmic law of nature, with every breath and every sensation that touches and moves your body.

Freedom is not a destination- it is right here and now and it’s waiting for you and for me.

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