The Depth of The Dance

Yakzan Valdez and The Ways of The Inner Dance

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Hearken to the sound of the Flute Reed
'Ever since I was cut from my stem down by the sea,
my cry has been and has set to tears all the men and all the
women.
I want a Heart torn by separation, that I may truly declare the
agony of yearning
of everyone far from a lover and true friend
who remembers the joy of union.
And, yes I seek the one who knows the sign;
one who can mingle all their soul with mine'.
Hearken... The sound of the Reed is Fire, not Wind.
-Rumi
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I should say that the person who offered me the richest deepening in the way
of the dance was Yakzan Valdez, of Brazil and Hawaii.
With his sweet and unpretentious nature he prepared me for the journey into the
dance for which I had been yearning and which, after leaving his area,
I entered upon.
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Unfortunately, I do not believe he left behind any writings,
though he did leave within the hearts of a few hundred folk a sweet, subtle and powerful legacy.
Each Monday Eve Yakzan hosted an 'open' circle, where-in anywheres from one
hundred to two hundred folk of various walks of life and from the many
diverse cultures which are the blessing of Hawaii would gather.
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Yakzan, like many another teacher of the Sacred Dance,
used the dance as one of his mediums to cultivate what he sometimes called the collected state,
a united awareness of one's breath, of one's body, of one's emotional body
(not what one is feeling so much as the substance from which one's feelings arise),
of one's mental body (not what one is thinking so much as the substance from
which one's thoughts arise)
and the body of the witness, the tender
livingness who we are and who is indeed beyond the union of these parts of
ourselves.
Upon entering a Monday evening circle and joining hands, one would simply
breath and center and feel the self. With very little practice and only a
slight intent of being present, several interesting awarenesses would arise within the self.
One could easily become aware another person in the circle - perhaps three
people to the left - who was tight in the shoulders, still holding like
Atlas the worries of the world upon their shoulders. This could be felt by
becoming aware of one's own state and of the resonance of tightness or
looseness in one's own shoulders (the wings of the heart). Or perhaps there
would be the feeling of a person thirteen people to the right whose being
that evening happened to be open, centered, peaceful and nourishing. This
could be felt by, having become aware of one's own stae, feeling the
liquidity and softness in one's own body change resonance as you opened to
the feeling of the circle.
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There is really no great mystery to this.
It is no special talent. It is simply feeling one's self
and noticing the changes of resonance in one's
self as you join hands in a circle or when you enter a room of people.
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Most folk are aware of such feelings. Most of us have experienced being in a
room, our back to the door, when another person entered the door. A deep
sensation of distrust and frigidness may have crept upon our back just
before we turned to see who had entered. Or perhaps as light smile of joy
had brightened our heart just before we turned to see who had entered. We
all, at various times, will carry both emanations when we enter rooms. Some
more strongly than others.
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So it is in The Dance. But here we cultivate the awareness of this capacity
and, in the aware experience of such feelings, deepen our capacity to
witness the general state of both ourselves and others.
But what to do with this awareness?
The dance is inner as well as outer and utilizes the breath as much as the body.
If we are in the presence of a soft and nourishing being,
we may wish to simply breath softly,
inhaling as though sensing the delicate fragrance
of some rare rose.
In this way we conciously develop the capacity to drink of the other person.
This is a kind of nonviolent vampirism.
If the being in whose presence we find ourselves seems to have to much hardness,
too many needles in themselves, we may wish to do one of two things.
We could simply center in our breath, maintaining a soft nourishing life feeling within.
Or,
if we feel particularly strong in our selves, we may wish to kind of 'hug'
that other person with our breath. Exhaling softly and with kind intent. A
kind of reverse vampirism where-in we allow that person to drink of our
subtle life blood.
Under any circumstance, if we reacted from fear or
anxiety to a person who was injured and carrying violence or pain,
we would simply amplify the violence and pain and - no matter what wished to do -
would allow these qualities to seep into our hearts.
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The breath is like a footstep upon the shore of our ocean.
It is one of the
ways we travel along the edges of our deep and unknowable inner being.
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