The Depth of The Dance
Yakzan Valdez and The Ways of The Inner Dance
Hearken to the sound of the
'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
I want a Heart torn by separation,
that I may truly declare the
agony of yearning
of everyone far from a lover and
who remembers the joy of union.
And, yes I seek the one who knows
one who can mingle all their soul
Hearken... The sound of the Reed
is Fire, not Wind.
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.
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.
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
livingness who we are and who is
indeed beyond the union of these parts of
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.
There is really no great mystery
It is no special talent. It is
simply feeling one's self
and noticing the changes of resonance
self as you join hands in a circle
or when you enter a room of people.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
the Sacred Dance List.