Abhyāsa

“Keep practising!”

That was the last message from my new Bharatanatyam teacher. And I’m spun back into the Patanjala Yoga Darshana, 1.12:

[The vritti states of mind] are stilled by PRACTICE and dispassion.

The ordering of the two requirements to still the mind is significant: first, PRACTICE. After much practice, the ability to remain dispassionate ( Bryant) , or, in other words, to embody surrender.

This translates perfectly into the world of dance. Learning to dance within a specific tradition requires enormous discipline and constant practice. At a certain point of mastery, the possibility of dissolving into the flow of the Holy Mystery in which our particular bodies are embedded, arises.

This surrender allows the individual dance to merge into the Universal Dance – into the wild and whirling dance of Lord Śiva’s great Tāndava…

Shiva Tandava Stotram by Cristiane Lopes
cover of Shiva Tandava Stotram by Cristiane Lopes

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