Saturday, November 6, 2010
Something Doesn't Always Have to Give
In the last week, I have probably danced at least ten hours. I have been recruited to Salsa Reno's Bachata Dance Troupe which entails weekly rehearsals leading up to the International Bachata Festival in January 2011. Considering that I have a full-time job, friends outside of dancing, and an endless stack of books, it is a lot of time away from other things in my life. There's ultimate frisbee and running that I have to add in to that mix. In the backburner, there's rock climbing (the most immediate one since I intend to rock climb in Koh Laoliang, Thailand in a month), GRE for Grad School, and a foreign language class before Europe next summer.
I was supposed to play frisbee at 10:30AM today, but I had to cave in to more time resuscitating and reenergizing. I was up until 3AM this morning and was dancing from pretty much 9PM onwards. My feet hate me right now. I am sorry, frisbee. My bed takes precedence. I think I might have to give you up for now.
I have been running like a madwoman at 100 miles per hour last week and my one constant fear is that I will lose time for probably one of the most important things in my life which is nurturing my spirit. I think I will absolutely loathe myself if I give that part of my life up. I checked my email today and I came across a series of lectures on "Art Sutra - Buddhism, Yoga and the Search for Selfless Expression". I missed kirtan last night, but I could still manage to go to "Art, Music and Spiritual Practice" if I so desired. And so I crawled out of bed telling myself if I can dance for 15 hours, I could do something meditative for 1.5 hours.
I walked in the room and I immediately felt embraced by the potent energy of the room, the people. I sat on the floor and dropped in. I got goosebumps. The collective energy of the room was wildly, palpably, overwhelming. I needed this.
The talk was given by Darin McFadyen, a lively person with his soul right in his laughing eyes, for everyone to take. He had long, thick hair in dreadlocks, I was curious what how they would feel like between my fingers. He had a very endearing English accent and I suspect he's from London. He sat in front of the room, on a cushion, cross-legged. He had a very lean body frame which tells me he could be at the very least vegetarian (if he's Buddhist, he very well must be), or a raw foodist, and maybe does Yoga. He had a white t-shirt on and jeans. He is a DJ. A regular guy. Nothing about him would say "spiritual" except if you picked up on the red string (is it a kalava?) tied on his right wrist.
I went to this place without any expectations. I didn't know what he was going to talk about. It turns out, it was about making your art (be it music, dance, visual) your Yoga. Making it your meditation. Making it your spiritual practice. How? Simple. By offering your art for the goodness of the world. Can you imagine this kind of loving consciousness? It's insanely radical.
I already see my dancing as a meditation. Outside of class, I get absorbed by the dance. It is a transcendental experience for me. I am lost. There is no dancer. There is no dance. One melts in the other. And I believe in the inspiring power of art in whatever shape or form. It can lift you up. It can take you to higher consciousness sometimes. It is a medium for people to come together and meet in the unitive space of the oneness. I remember a few weeks ago at a social dance party, someone approached me after I had finished dancing the merengue. She said, "It was so beautiful watching you dance." I have only been dancing a couple months then and I was so honored to touch something in a complete stranger without doing anything extra-special or world-churning. I just danced.
But to offer dancing for the love of humanity? That is just totally radical. I have never heard of such a thing. But I see the unseen in this DJ and I touch it. The genuineness. I intuitively see that this is what he does. This is his truth. This is reality. He believes in it with every strand of his wild dreadlocks. If he can do it, why in the world can't I?
I am deeply attached to my spiritual practice. I often say that it saved my life. And my belief is, all beings, at some point in their lives, have to find it. It is an inevitability. To even fathom that I could lose it because I am pouring myself into other things kills me. But today, I realized that something doesn't always have to give. There can be a merger of these two passions. They are not delineated. They are different expressions that can lead to the same place.
And it blows my mind that until noon today, I did not know that I would be meeting such a soul today with such a message. There are no accidents.
When the talk was over, Darrin and I chatted for a little bit. He grasped my hands and held me tight and we were crown-to-crown. We were not talking - it's not necessary. We held each other and was lost in the pure love of it.
True unconditional love, baby.
Unconditional love from me to you and Namaste,