Dance With Rapture (or Not at All)

“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” – T.S. Elliot

The dance started way before our first memory. In our mothers’ womb, we danced to the beat of her heart. Silently and slowly, we surfed the universal pulse.

As a child, this pulse shaped our moves and we made our first memories as a dancer. Mine was when I was about five years old, taking one of my first ballet classes. I was concentrating on mastering my first demi plie and the next thing I notice, I’m standing in a big pool of pee – yes, I peed in my pants. I was so embarrassed that I ran out of the room and my ballerina fantasies were finito.

Since then I have danced in the dark, gloomy clubs for men consumed by their own fantasy. I have taken off my dress in front of hundreds of eyes ready to make me part of their fantasy. I have felt the smoky walls collapsing over me in the early morning hours. I have danced for the sake of my own healing, growth and ignorance.

I have spent hours in champagne rooms fulfilling someone’s broken dreams (unsuccessfully). I have made money. I have eaten burgers in Chelsea diners at 5 a.m. before riding my bike back home on an empty 5th Avenue. I have counted twenty dollar bills and placed them on my altar before falling asleep right before the first rays of sun hit my pillow. I have woken up right on time for an early dinner to repeat it all again.

I have danced for Krishna and Radha. I have danced on the streets shouting their names. I have danced in deep devotion in temples at sunrise, intoxicated by the smell of fresh flowers and sandalwood. My longing had no limits. I was yearning for my body to be a temple for eternal love.

I have danced blindfolded and I have danced in a desert for four nights around fire without food. I have danced for world peace and I have danced for the peace of my own mind.

I have also sat for hours moving only my own breath; days and years of meditating, expanding into that formless space beyond my everyday reality. I have seen a lot of light there. In this formless presence I have let go most of my expectations and hopes and bullshit—not because I wanted to, but because I had no choice.

I have worshipped the body to the point of exhaustion. I have worshipped my Spirit to the point of isolation.

The time of worship has come to end. No more extremes. Meet me in the horizon, where the unity of the two knows no pretense. Meet me on this stage where Heaven asks you for a dance and your Earthly yes is so clear that it shakes away anything and everything you were planning on holding onto for future’s sake.

Because you know this new home knows no future.

The beat is a lover that never disappoints and, like all lovers, it demands 100% surrender. It has the power to seduce moves we couldn’t dream. It grabs us by the belly, turns us inside out and leaves us abruptly begging for more. We love beats that move faster than we can think, beats that drive us ever deeper inside, that rock our worlds, break down walls and make us sweat our prayers. Prayer is moving. Prayer is offering our bones back to the dance. Prayer is letting go of everything that impedes our inner silence. God is the dance and the dance is the way to freedom and freedom is our holy work. ~ Gabrielle Roth

How do we dance ourselves to such a state of openness that in the end there is just pure knowing? How do we dance with such purity that it is impossible for our spirit not to penetrate our flesh? How do we dance with such rapture that when the dance is over, we have moved into a new reality, a new future? How can we dance in a way that whatever it is that we are still resisting, is swallowed and digested by the beat of your own heart?

In a trance, the mind dissolves into nothingness. When you allow your body to dissolve into an active prayer, you have the forces of nature behind you. And when you dance with your eyes closed, you have the power of your own soul assisting you.

For some people, the word “trance” is frightening. But trance is really nothing more than another word for meditation. It’s the state of no mind. Meditation is the state of no mind. The question is, how do you get to that state? When you meditate, you sit in silence for extended periods of time until the mind empties out and you become an empty vessel. Then your spirit can move in. Trance is the same way except the doorway is different. It’s done through catharsis. It’s done through rhythm, sound and movement of the body. And what occurs either in that movement or at the end of that movement is trance, a very deep meditation. Trance and meditation are the same except the path is different. In shamanic cultures, they used trance and in the East they used contemplation and meditation. ~Wilbert Alix

When you dance this way, there is no place within you that you cannot enter. You may not want to move your body at all, because if you do, you know there is no going back. Resistance is frozen, allowance is fluid.

If you move, you become vulnerable—you have taken your first step out of your own resistance, your own illusory protection. There you are, blindfolded, heading to the unknown that may very well bring you back to the lost pieces of your soul.

Photo by Weegee

Photo by Weegee

Dance into the dark. It is in the dark that the mystery is captured, the pearls are made and the dawn is born.

“Like all vibrant elements of nature human beings grow in the light and transform in the dark.” – Wilbert Alix

© Riikka Rajamaki

Riikka Rajamaki