Simply trying to trace the origins of dynamic meditation is the proverbial mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.
As with many spiritual practices, dynamic meditation really finds its roots in Hinduism– even if it has evolved significantly over time. In temples throughout India, and particularly in East and South India, spiritual dance used to be a part of a sacred ritual, where devadasi’s (girls dedicated to worship) worshipped the divine through a complex system of gestures and mimes. Modern Christianity also uses a form of spiritual dance meditation to bring a person closer to God.
Judaism also involves a sacred dance meditation: the messianic dance or Davidic dance (in reference to King David, who is said to have danced before the Ark of the Covenant). Buddhists also use ritual dances and spiritual dancing, and it’s here that dynamic meditation began to take shape. The butterfly dance is a dance for novices which incorporates lotus flowers and costumes that depict butterflies.
If you like to travel you will probably have seen many different types of meditative movements that are not strictly religious or spiritual.
Iran and Turkey also use similar unconscious movement and spiritual dancing meditation exercises. Clearly there are very many ways in which movement and spiritual dance have been incorporated into spirituality and religion.
As a spiritual seeker, and as a guide and mentor for some, I hold many questions about the state of spiritual practice in today’s world.
One of the questions that spiritual teachings face is how to adapt to changing times without diluting the essential nature of the tradition.
Now we see potent teachings being appropriated and brought down to the most common level — principally to serve illusions of the ego and the needs of the wordly self.
Inner work is alchemical; its aim is a transformation of being, an uplifting of flesh and blood to the blood of Christ, to a consciousness is larger than we are — yet also exists within us. A genuine search is a call, often a whispered longing, from the deeper parts of our nature, calling us to become whole, to connect with the sources of wisdom and knowledge that lie covered over, unseen due to the dominance of our social and material selves. Laura and I, and others, have engaged in an ongoing dialogue about spirituality today and embarked on a study of the topic. Those who responded were fairly unanimous in their experience of the great difficulty of finding a genuine spiritual teacher.
Laura writes in response to her own inquiry: For a long while after starting a yoga practice I was on the hunt for a guru — a guide even, someone who might be able to help me understand some of the esoteric things I was exploring. About three years ago, I decided to take a look beyond postmodern yoga and cast a wider net. As I looked beyond asanas and the body, and as my inner life grew richer, I stopped kicking up stones looking for “the One.” The people in my sitting group became a good sangha, when the yoga community had not provided the same support. One of the great dangers in the climate of today’s spiritual search is what I would call “a little here and a little there” — the smorgasbord approach. The Dalai Lama teaches that the global dissemination of spiritual teachings is very healthy, giving seekers an opportunity to experiment with different paths to find what is right for each person’s temperament and being. The Dalai Lama often reminds us that the greatest impediment to our awakening is self-centeredness. In this post, we have tried to raise the relevant questions and lay the groundwork for a series of upcoming essays.
So many different spiritualities and religions have used what could be called “dynamic meditations” or “dance meditations”.
Hindus believe that the entire universe is the manifestation of the Supreme Dancer Nataraja.
This sacred ritual evolved to become the South Indian Classical Dance, which is still practiced today. This spiritual dance is slow, quiet and meditative, and is backed by peaceful Buddhist chants. In Japan, for instance, one very popular type of exercise is Katsugen Undo (regenerating exercise). The Mevlevi Dervish is a spontaneous type of movement that, like Katsugen Undo, involves giving up control of the body.

Many authors and teachers have shared acute observations about the “flatlining” of modern society — that many don’t acknowledge any reality higher than what can be perceived directly by our senses or by the means of scientific inquiry. Nearly thirty years ago, at a weekend gathering devoted to inner work studying the Gurdjieff ideas, one of my primary teachers, D.M. People meditate merely to become free of stress and trauma, use powerful techniques of mindfulness for the lesser goals of finding relaxation and lowering blood pressure, and seek magical states through shamanistic rituals and drugs such as ayahuasca and ecstasy. Yoga and pop-culture Buddhism have become the poster children of the compromised spiritual practice. To seek health, happiness, and success and to strive towards excellence in our endeavors represent honorable and normal goals.
It is essential to have a relatively healthy psycho-physical-sexual integration of our lower nature before we can approach the great aim of transformation. Laura posed a few questions regarding inner work in the modern world to a group of ardent seekers and spiritual people of younger generations.
Furthermore, upon finding a teacher, people have recounted disillusionment from witnessing a lack of integrity or a wide gap between a teacher’s public face and their private activities, with criticisms such as self-absorption, selfishness, exploitation, and patriarchal attitudes. I didn’t find anyone in the yoga scene, though the ashtanga practice has been a valid way to cultivate self-observation.
So many students come into yoga studios with a range of questions about their bodies, their minds, and their lives. I revived my sitting practice and joined a weekly sitting group that also took the time to discuss ideas on inner work. I haven’t found “gurus” who know lots of esoteric things, but in their place I have discovered a world of guides and elders who have walked this path before me. It’s okay to question a path, it’s okay to question your teachers, and every once in a while it’s okay to take a journey away from familiar territory to see what else is out there.
Every genuine teaching — Buddhism, the Gurdjieff Work, Sufism, Esoteric Christianity, Native traditions, and others — forms an integral whole of theory and method, cosmology and stages of practice. We take this technique and idea from this teaching, and this philosophy and method from another teaching based on what we think is right for us. But, he claims, we need to find one teaching and make some level of commitment to genuine study and practice. When we begin to perceive the interconnectedness of life the unity of all things, we draw strength and inspiration from this larger perspective.
It offers a new perspective for caring, intelligent individuals that remains fully aware of human folly, but encourages us to keep on trying—bringing our wisdom to others with persistence, detachment, and the unshakable conviction that the world is worth saving and that we can transform and evolve as individuals and a race.
The most popular one is meditating by clearing your mind, but there are also focused, thoughtful meditations.
In this article we’ll dip into the history of dance meditation before discussing dynamic meditation techniques and its many amazing benfits.
All Hindu gods have their own style of dance and there are 23 celestial Apsaras, beings who dance to please the gods and who express the supreme truths via their movements.
It is said that many of those who perform the South Indian Classical Dance are incarnations of apsaras. It’s a wonderful exercise in which you give up your conscious control of your body and allow your body to heal itself.
These Sufi movements are said to have been created when Rumi was walking through a marketplace one day. Myth and magic, religion and the soul are considered suspect as they cannot be proven or measured. Without this drive for self-improvement we would be ignoring the fundamental levels of our humanity. Ironically, we need to build our ego to meet the demands of the world and to make it strong enough to let go, surrender, and relinquish its hold over us. Those questions included: Why have we committed to a real spiritual practice (that is not just self-improvement)? Why have we hesitated around such a commitment? Can you name what it is you practice in simple terms? The cycle I repeated followed a sequence of: idealism upon finding someone who might fit the “guru” category, tentative commitment, and disillusionment when my expectations were either not met or completely steamrolled with the emergence of inconsistencies between what is practiced and what is preached. I’ve met meditation teachers, philosophers, and spiritually minded elders who have not only made themselves available to me through face-to-face meetings, email and phone conversations, but also have allowed me to explore my questions with the knowledge that those questions will never cease.

This often takes the guise of “seeking my own truth” and is really just a manifestation of our lower nature, what Ken Wilber calls “the ego in drag.” It can also be highly destructive to the teaching itself, giving rise to all manner of distortions and misunderstandings. Each teaching is whole; in a sense it is larger than we are, and it’s aims and methods cannot be taken apart without diluting its potency and capacity to assist us in a transformation of being. I’m going to give several different types a try in order to see what works best for me. He heard the goldbeaters hammering rhythmically away and in a state of bliss he spontaneously broke into dance, spinning in a circle. She spoke of one of the defining characteristics of society in the modern era; that in our quest for democracy and justice for all, we no longer honor the existence of forces, energies, and sources of wisdom higher than ourselves. We need to look within our own darkness and strive to heal the complexes and wounds from our childhood (or earlier) in order to create a solid foundation for growth.
And if not, how would you speak about it to someone who knew nothing about anything at all spiritual in this postmodern world? Thankfully so, since the spiritual plateau I had found myself on for the previous five years turned out to be flat prairie land. In doing so, they have given me great freedom to return to a state of innocent curiosity and enchantment with the inner world. The attitude of the spiritual eclectic often remains rooted in personal spiritual growth without considering the development of others or the impact on the teaching itself. The spiritual search is not just about me; changing this attitude will alone make an enormous difference in the way in which we explore teachings, ideas, and our inner work.
We no longer believe in varying levels of existence and even differing levels of being amongst people. We are meant to live in two worlds, to traverse the regions between the lower and the higher, to embrace both aspiration and inspiration. Do we meditate, do yoga, and engage spiritual practices for the aim of becoming a better person, having an attractive body, or even for the development of the mind? Engagement in genuine spiritual teachings is equally for oneself, for others, and for the world itself.
Both courage and compassion derive from the epiphanal recognition of our profound kinship with each other and with all living things.
Spirituality has become commodified and denigrated, echoing Chogyam Trungpa’s powerful phrase “spiritual materialism.” Once powerful teachings from all over the world have come to Western shores and mixed into the fabric of modern life. Power corrupts only when the ego is unhealthy and appropriates the legitimate gains we may make. My admitted cynicism has served me well in protecting me from charlatans and whackos, but it’s done little in helping me look deep within. Indeed, the aim of one’s own enlightenment is no more important than the awakening of others and the healing of the world.
We see ample evidence of this with the bedfellows of manipulation and power games leading to exploitation and abuse of the sincere seeker. For that, I’ve needed to cultivate some degree of faith and trust of a teaching just as much as in a teacher.
Can we begin to critically examine what is needed for teachings to remain alive and relevant? We seek to transform the entire body-mind into light-giving, living energy, to transform negative emotion into faith, hope, and love, and to find an intelligence and quietness of mind that is sufficient to embrace and reflect the whole range of life’s manifestations. What is the obligation of the seeker, and what responsibilities are held by teachers or the teachings themselves? We intend to explore these questions in a series of essays, starting with a brief snapshot of the state of modern spiritual practice.

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Comments to «Guide to meditation and spiritual development questions»

  1. lala writes:
    Make clear their values and ideas developed by Ruth Baer (College of Kentucky.
  2. L_E_O_N writes:
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