I often get insights during my daily practices that eventually make their way into the books that I write. The purpose of the Journal section is to share some of these insights with you and to keep you abreast of the aspects of the practice that are currently drawing my attention. I will update this section every few months.
Sudaba™: the Surrendered Dance of Balance
The publication of the book Rumi, Gazing at the Beloved marks something of a milestone in my life. Thirty years ago, when I literally stumbled onto this practice, I knew that one of my homework assignments in this life would be to share these practices. Well, I've managed to complete that assignment, and the obvious question is: what's next?
The answer is Sudaba. While I've been reasonably successful in sharing the gazing practices, I've not yet been fully able to share the physical yoga of balance. I cannot overemphasize how important I believe these practices to be. In that human evolution is largely a matter of the human animal learning how to stand up straight, the Sudaba practices allow us to fulfill our evolutionary destiny.
There has always been a mystical side to Rolfing that has been largely ignored. Ida Rolf would speak passionately about her vision of what she called the Line, a condition of effortless balance in which gravity, not muscular effort, provides support for the upright body. She believed that enhanced structural balance would manifest as an evolved consciousness, a kind of birthright state for human beings similar to the highest states of all spiritual practices. Embodiment of the Line both opens and grounds the largely dormant evolutionary energies in the human body. These energies are wholly revered in many of the Hindu yoga systems and are altogether powerful and extraordinary.
Sudaba is the practice through which I explore what Dr. Rolf called the Line. It is a spontaneous movement and balance practice that leads you into very high, birthright states of consciousness, and I have developed a number of "somatic koans" for the practitioner of Sudaba to explore. These koans, rather than specific instructions will guide you in your practice:
1) Stand as tall as you can while remaining as relaxed as you can.
2) Feel the sensations in every small part and cell of the body.
3) Yield to the body's impulse to move.
4) Breathe the entire body.
5) Stay awake and aware as you surrender to the explosive energies that are routinely liberated.
My latst book, Yoga of the Mahamudra, describes the Sudaba practices in detail. In truth, the best way to open to the practice is to come and do it with me. Please check the Workshop section for an announcement of a Sudaba gathering that I want to hold in Costa Rica in January of 2006. As with the running practices that I described in the last Journal entry, the prudent use of homeopathic doses of sacrament can powerfully initiate Sudaba.
Rumi became an ecstatic dancer. Shiva brought dance to the planet. We are all Sudaba practitioners, whether we think we are or not. Every one of us is dancing our truth in this moment. What do you want your dance through life to be about?