SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY OF CONNECTING TO THE SOURCE
Could Dance Meditation Be the Secret Doorway to our Creative Flow?
How it became my secret weapon against writer's block
PHILOSOPHY OF ENTERING THE FLOW
As writers, we all crave that moment when our minds click and ideas start flushing in. It’s thrilling. Suddenly we are connected to the zone of genius. All ideas are available at once, every thought sprouts and forms into a brilliant concept. We stop thinking, we perceive.
Dance meditation might be a powerful way to trigger those moments of creative flow. For me, it works like nothing else. So let me share what I’ve found on this:
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I discovered this technique accidentally, while I was experimenting with dance as a warm-up for my yoga practice.
I had learned about dance meditation during my training in India, but practicing it in a room full of other students wasn’t fruitful for me. It felt awkward, I couldn’t turn off my thoughts of how ridiculous I might look. I love dancing, a lot. But mostly when I am alone. So when I returned home, I started dancing before my yoga practice. Mostly because it seemed much more fun than doing 10 sun salutations in a row. And like I said, I love dancing.
This is when I noticed that every time I would start my practice by dancing, things started to flow on their own. Everything aligned, my breath aligned with the rhythm of the music, my body movement was in perfect harmony with my breath, I would completely forget myself. My yoga practice would be longer and deeper, more flowing. For the first time, I became one with the practice.
It was as if my body was moving on its own. And I was simply watching it.
THE UNEXPECTED CONNECTION
The more often I danced before my Yoga Sessions, the longer the dance periods became. Sometimes I would even completely skip the asana part and just dance for hours. I would turn on any music that made me feel like moving my hips, close my eyes, and let go into whatever movement felt good. After I’d become tired of dancing, I would turn off the music, sit down, and simply listen to the silence, feeling into the after-effects. And wuuushhh.. gates would open and creativity flush in.
I noticed that dancing allowed me to tap into my creative flow, within only a few minutes.
I would start writing fanatically, filming hours and hours of video material, one idea after the other entered my head. It happened frequently. The more I danced, the longer I’d find myself in the zone.
Discovering this — and because the world was facing its first global lockdown — I decided to isolate myself for three days, no phone, no internet, just me, my journal, a bag of incense sticks, and music. Though I expected to become incredibly bored after a while, it seemed like these three days rushed by in minutes. The result was a 10-hour long dance meditation, a ton of new ideas, and hours and hours of filming material. This weekend I discovered a new side of myself. And it felt genius! It felt like I had entered another realm.
But what had happened? Was this a manic episode? Was I slowly going mad?
SCIENCE ABOUT CREATIVITY
Accessing Creativity through Alpha Waves
When it comes to understanding the phenomenon of inspiration though, science is still trying to solve the mystery. There are many theories as to what actually happens when we suddenly have an idea, and why we have our best ones in the shower, which they call the Eureka Effect, named after Archimedes who found the solution to a problem that had been torturing his mind for days “in a flash of insight as he got into a bathtub”.
Most recent studies suggest that we are particularly creative when our brain is running on alpha wave frequencies, which are predominant in moments of deep relaxation — typically while falling asleep, while relaxing with a hobby, while in the shower, and — you guessed it — in meditation.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Here is what happens to your brain over the course of a creative process:
The creative process moves through stages. It begins with preparation, a time when the basic information or skills are assembled. It continues on to incubation, a relaxed time during which the person does not work consciously to solve the problem, but when connections are unconsciously being made. This then leads eventually to inspiration, the eureka experience when the person suddenly sees the solution.
1. Phase Input — Beta Waves
2. Phase Processing — Alpha Waves — while relaxing or meditating
3. Phase Inspiration — Theta & Alpha Waves
4. Phase Output — Creation on Beta Waves
Our brain starts producing Alpha Waves when we enter a state of let-go, non-thinking, non-controlling, and simply surrender to the moment. This surrender is what creates the opening to a flow of infinite creativity.
If ideas are not written down or actualized immediately, once we enter the beta state again, we’ll forget those insights quickly. This effect can also be seen when we forget our dreams soon after waking up. If they aren’t noted within 10 minutes, nothing is left of the vivid and colorful memories. It’s almost as if we cannot operate in both worlds at the same time. Either our awareness is present in the world of ideas, or it’s engaged in the material manifestation.
How can dance meditation help?
When we learn to not only enter the flow but stay in it for a while by keeping our mind empty, we will naturally increase the phases of creativity by staying in the creative zone longer instead of accidentally stepping into it in the shower and forgetting everything by the time we have stepped out and dried our skin.
OPENING THE FLOODGATE OF THE SACRAL CHAKRA
Energetically speaking, our creativity resides dormant in our Svadisthan or Sacral Chakra. Moving our hips reliefs stagnant energy from that region, cleansing the energy channel and thereby making room for that creativity to flow through. As Kimberly Fosu pointed out;
“When the Sacral Chakra is balanced, we feel an abundance of creativity and pleasure. We radiate warmth and we feel playful.” “When the sacral chakra is balanced, the relationship with the world and other people is centered on nurturing, pleasure, and harmony.”
The element of the second chakra is water. It’s all about fluidity. The same thing goes for dancing. By flowing in the rhythm and feeling into our body for the sole purpose of pleasure, we open our sacral chakra and the waterfall of ideas and insights breaks through and flushes our mind. We enter the flow.
MEDITATION HAS MANY DIFFERENT FACES
When people say, meditation is not for everyone, the image that most have in mind is that of a person sitting in silence and watching their breath. While this is an incredibly beneficial technique, getting into a meditative state by simply sitting down is hard to achieve for many.
OSHO’s dynamic meditation is a great example of how active meditation techniques help to induce a meditative experience and give more juice to the sitting part.
It is important to understand that meditation itself, is not a technique, but a consequence. Like falling asleep, you don’t start sleep intentionally, it just happens when you get ready and wait. Meditation can be triggered in many ways. One of my personal favorites is dance.
Dance is a state of being, dissolving in the rhythm. It’s not a doing. We let go of doing when we dance, that’s how we enter the flow.
In freestyle dance, we enter what Taoist call ‘wu-wai’, a state of flowing naturally and making every action as spontaneous as possible. When we dance, we don’t do anything, we simply let ourselves be guided by the rhythm. We surrender. Not we are in control of our movements, the rhythm is.
Moreso, when we dance we don’t do it to perform a great show for whoever might be watching us, no, we do it for the one who is feeling the dance. The one who melts into the drum beats and learns what it’s like to be floating above the ground. We’re doing it for the observer within. The one that is enjoying and celebrating with us.
So next you see yourself stuck in writer’s block, try to put on some music and forget your surrounding for a while. If you haven’t tried it before, it might feel awkward at first but you’ll be amazed how freeing it is once you let go and surrender to the flow. Let it take you away.
Thank you for reading :)
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