La Danza de la Consciencia es un viaje hacia adentro, observando las cualidades de aquello de lo que somos conscientes en el momento presente, y describiéndolas con nuestro cuerpo. Conectando nuestros mundos interno y externo. Comenzamos con los dedos, ya que son nuestros instrumentos más refinados para reflejar las cualidades de nuestras sensaciones. Y comenzamos con la respiración como nuestro primer foco de conciencia. El baile se puede hacer de pie, tumbado o sentado en una silla, o puede expandirse para usar todo el cuerpo moviéndose a través del espacio. A menudo, es sanador, ya que nuestra atención se dirige a una parte de nosotros que se ha sentido descuidada. Es un camino de amable descubrimiento.
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Information in English
The Dance of Description
The basic practice of the Dance of Description is to describe, with the fingertips, what you experience in the act of breathing. Our fingertips are the best describing tools we have, especially for texture, but if fingers are absent, use whatever part of your body has the greatest capacity for detailed description.
The practice begins as a meditation similar to Zazen (or in Tibetan, Shine), in which the mind is focused on observing, (rather than imagining a deity, repeating a koan, or holding a thought, etc.) If the mind wanders, the discipline is to bring it back to the chosen focus, a practice that quiets discursive thoughts and judgments. With the Dance of Description, the observation becomes finer as it continues, revealing the vast array of subtle textures within your experience. The more detailed the description, the deeper the practice goes. It can be done in any position in which your hands are free to move. Stand. Walk. Lie on your back. Sit in a chair.
This is the starting point. After practicing with the breath, pick something else in your field of awareness to focus on. It might be a sensation in another part of the body, or something you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel as you move. In describing these events in your awareness, when you want to describe aspects of contact, such as pressure, impact, sliding, release, etc. you can use the other hand, or any other part of the body, or the floor, etc. to depict it.
There are many variations and directions the practice can take. Some of them are based on repetition of a passage of description, in which you shift your focus from the breath, or whatever else you have been describing, and repeat a passage of description that calls you to explore it further. This is a moment in which your hands start becoming an oracle, delivering messages to you.
It is an open territory to explore, with some paths already made by nomads through the mountains. These are some I have given names to:
– take the quality you are describing and spread it from the fingertips through the whole body. You can play with expanding it sequentially through the body from joint to joint, or spreading through the deep fascia, or applying it globally all at once. Another image for this is Dye in the Water
– imagining the quality as a color that enters the body at the fingertips, like dye spreading through a vessel of water, until the whole body is colored/engaged in that quality.
Changing Scale –
As small as possible. As large as possible. Use the entire space. Whatever scale feels best.
Seed to Fruit
– Repeat a passage of description that feels fertile. Allow it to unfold, morph, amplify, deepen, engage your mass, etc., until something opens that had been knocking from the inside. The revelation, «I’ve been needing that.» Often it is the experience of a quality you have not had in a long time. The fruit.
Sketch to Paint –
A variation on Seed to Fruit. Start light, a drawing, a pencil sketch. Add the weight and color of paint, the language of the brush, the energy of gesture. Forget the brush and become the paint.
The Interview –
Two partners standing: One person asks (silently) through touch: «What is your experience of this?» The answer is a Dance of Description. If the interviewee has their eyes closed, the interviewer keeps them safe from bumping walls, etc. Stay aware that reacting to touch is different than describing the experience of the touch. After a few minutes, I usually say,
«Let the next question be the last question, and take as long as you want to answer it.» Then partners talk a bit to share observations, before switching roles.
Your Hands Are Your Teacher –
A kind of fairy tale: Consider the wisdom of your hands. Who knows you better than they do? Who has been with you all along on your journey, learned everything with you, felt all your feelings? Imagine you have climbed the mountain to the cave of the Enlightened One, and it is your hands who are waiting there for you. As they describe something in your field of awareness, you notice the description is also an instruction. You keep repeating the description until the instruction becomes clear, and you follow it. You do what your hands are telling you to do. Your intuition will show you how to interpret the instruction. Then, you begin a new description, of something you are experiencing in carrying out that instruction. The cycle of description and instruction can begin to feel like a waterwheel. It generates energy and gets very intense. Find places to rest within it. Don’t wear yourself out. Be on the lookout for feelings like «I needed that. . . I get it. . . thank you. . .» and for feelings that your hands are winking at you. They are also pranksters and sometimes give you instructions that are impossible to carry out, except in the imagination.
The Healer –
This works best with pain. It can be good to do it sitting on a cushion, if the pain is in the upper body. Begin a description of the pain, using both hands, in contact with each other. Take your time, breathe, wait, and adjust the hands to match the sensations. As your observation gets more accurate, thus making your description more precise, you will notice that the pain begins to respond to your attention. You may choose to magnify the area, and augment your description of sensations with your anatomical knowledge. Here you will encounter proof of how moving it is to make your description as finely detailed as possible. It is your faithful description that will convince it you are sincerely paying attention, and it will then give you its full attention. At this point, start changing your description to an instruction, a suggestion, if you will, of what it needs to do. And it will do it. It often feels like luring a wounded animal to you, so you can help it. It takes time. You can also imagine that sitting in front of you is an avatar of yourself, and your hands are actually going into your body with that description, developing into the healing instruction.
My personal journey to the Dance of Description
I have always been interested in the function of the oracle, such as the oracle at Delphi in Greece, or at the temple of Isis in Egypt. So I was more delighted than surprised when, in 1983, a reputable channeler told me that I had worked in both places. In those traditions, the oracle was a woman working in a trance state, channeling a message from spirit in answer to a seeker’s question. Since it was believed that her sounds and movements were unintelligible to the questioner, a priest/ess served as interpreter. The priest/ess would usually write as the oracle spoke ‘in tongues’ or moved, and would offer this translation/ interpretation to the person who had come seeking advice.
Whenever I speak of the Dance of Description, at some point, Cezanne’s apples appear. How moved we are by the sight of them. How mysterious. Nothing special about apples in a bowl. But Cezanne was seeing his consciousness seeing, and that is what’s moving. And he lets us see it, in each small stroke, describing what he is next aware of, that change from rust to ruby in three stages, that facet, and that facet, making the curve. His dance of description, dab by dab, texture by texture, hue by changing hue, moves me to my core. And I am moved every time someone takes up the dance of description, in word, or movement, paint, or sound, sharing the experience of awareness.