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#1996 - Tuesday, December 7, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1996 - Tuesday, December 7, 2004 - Editor: Jerry Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm Letter to the Editors: Click Reply on
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2004

      #1996 - Tuesday, December 7, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

      Highlights Home Page and Archive: http://nonduality.com/hlhome.htm   
      Letter to the Editors: Click 'Reply' on your email program, compose your message, and 'Send'. All the editors will see your letter.



      If you know of any books or articles that convey nonduality and dance with the spirit of the writings below, please write me about it. Thanks. --Jerry


      ... at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
      T. S. Eliot

      If you find the perfect beat pass it on.

      x. Indigo g(^_^) tentman

      ...there is no dancer and the dance; there is only dance! One comes to a state of non-duality, and non-duality is orgasm. Osho

      Nina Murkkis, writing on Nonduality Salon (featured in Highlights #1097)
      From  'My Body, the Buddhist', by Deborah Hay

      Photo: Deborah Hay
      "My Body, dancing, is formed and sustained imaginatively. I
      reconfigure the three-dimensional body into an immeasurable
      fifty- three trillion cells perceived perceiving, all of
      them, at once. Impossibly whole and ridiculous to presume,
      I remain, in attendance to the feedback. At such times
      Deborah Hay assumes the devotion of a dog to its master;
      reading the simplest signs of life, lapping up whatever
      nuance my teacher produces. When the greater part of the
      Buddhist world finds it strength, solace, and wisdom
      through a practiced devotion to a guru, or Rinpoche, please
      iamgine my hesitancy in admitting to twenty-eight years of
      devotion to an imagined 53-trillion-celled teacher."
      I like that she admits that her teacher is imagined.
      I also like the chapter headings of her book, originally a list of
      things her teacher has taught her:
      1 my body finds benefits in solitude
      2 my body finds energy in surrender
      3 my body enjoys jokes, riddles, and games
      4 my body engages in work
      5 my body commits to practice
      6 my body seeks comfort but not for long
      7 my body is limited by physical presence
      8 my body knowingly participates in appearances
      9 my body likes rest
      10 my body is bored by answers
      11 my body seeks more than one view of itself
      12 my body delights in resourcefulness
      13 my body trusts the unknown
      14 my body feels weightless in the presence of paradox
      15 my body equates patience with renewal
      16 my body hears many voices, not one voice
      17 my body relaxes when thoughts abate
      18 my body is held in the present
      I like that Deborah Hay, dancer, choreographer, doesn't choreograph
      to music.
      What is choreography? Is it the conversation of a past place of
      being? Could it possibly be exactly in the moment instead? That's
      what Deborah Hay seems to be getting at... that the most essential
      choreography is exactly that.
      The word 'practice' comes to mind.
      What is practice? The repetition of a prescribed piece of work? Could
      it possibly be the expression of what is happening right now?
      Practice practice practice.
      back into the body, where am I?
      back into the body, where am I?
      back into the body,
      where was I?
      Oh yes...
      When the practice is the choreography, what is had?

      Rave Dancing
      "Rave dancing is not choreographed," said Wyoming Telford,
      a 23-year-old cocktail waitress from Seattle who has been
      going to raves for seven years.
      "You don't count steps, you don't have to work with other
      people, and you're not trying to evoke a story line.
      It's a pure transmutation of energy."
      Though raves originated in Europe in the late 80's, the
      dance style is a distinctly American contribution. More
      than just dancers at a late-night club, most ravers are
      part of a community devoted to the hippy-esque mantra known
      as PLUR: Peace, Love Unity and Respect.
      Ravers may not learn their steps in a classroom, but they
      are as devoted to their dancing as ballerinas are to
      theirs. . Not unlike ballet or any other established genre,
      rave dancing requires dancers to possess tremendous passion
      and discipline both to excel and to avoid injury; ravers
      wear costumes ( albeit "phat pantz" and sneakers, rather
      than tutus and tights ), and the dancing consists of
      distinct techniques.
      Of current dance styles, rave most closely resembles break
      Both emerged out of American youth culture, namely hip-hop
      and raves, and both thrive on the democratization of dance,
      the notion that anyone can participate or perform.

      Photo: Raver with chew toy
      How to Rave Dance
      by Bam-Blizzard
      If you find the perfect beat pass it on.
      x. Indigo g(^_^) tentman

      1.To dance liquid, hold your wrists together and break da hands at 90 degree angles. (whenever you change direction, have hands at 90d)
      2. When you do the arm wave, unroll wrist, hand, knuckles, fingers.(go ahead and started with a bent knee)
      3. Know what the D.J.s are going to play, when. (Be versitile)
      4. When you bounce forward, backwards, side to side, know how far out your body will fly so you don't hit anyone, but don't look at where you will LAND!
      5. It's hard to practice to most styles of dance because everyone's vibe is a little 'parking elf'. HAPPY HARDCORE is great to practice to.(Anyone can dance great to it. Chemical bros.= X)
      6. Take drugs, drink Jagermeister. It's the ultimate fairy booster juicer, only dance on marrijuanna when a) theres no room to leave the dancefloor even if you wanted to b) you know the music style like the back of your hand c) yer battling a friend{not in a circle} d) if the the lighting is awesome(let the music take control)
      7. Breathe and stop. Come alive, show me what you got {q-tip}
      8. Make eye contact with someone whom you are seperated by 12-15 dancers
      9. give the dj props, s/he is the star(or whatever your high idol is at the minute)
      10. Chemical bros. revolutionized movement{including making 'ruff beats' acceptable in dance clubs which almost cost us blah blah blah}
      11. huff and puff
      12. smile, let someone around you know you are enjoying yourself
      13. 8 consecutive moves are a rootine
      14. when instructors are choreographing, they go "BAM! BAM! BAM!"
      15. Practice glides
      16. If you get good at glides, {James Brown good} (<--the Idol) move your hands the same as you move your feet
      17. the basic for glides {moonwalk inc.} is heal, toe. toe at heel, push toe flat heel, bring heel up to toe {L,R}
      18. The best motivation is critisism, the best sense is olfalctory, the best sweat is "I'll Show hir!"
      19. Get an Identity, I.e wear the same thing until you have a repetoire
      20. Slow beats fast 10 times out of 10.(If you like my style, E me)
      21. the 5th freedom is the freedom to have your mind at whatever state you want it Ok
      22. If you feel you are being judged, you will have many "cobwebs" to work through
      23. Angels, Devils, modesty, humility, showooffynes and self are all on the edge of the tea cup that is your soul. Submit, and let the power of your centrifical force show you the way.(Or: chase the dragon to the berry cave and get the amplifier plunger and parachute the turntable. Go to the leaky old one and charm hir with some jolly ranchers)


      2. RASTAFARIANISM, JAH, TELLING STORIES THROUGH DANCE, DANCING ALL DAY AND NIGHT, THE BEATLES PAST MASTERS WHITE ALBUM, AND USING DANCE TO SAY NO TO FASHION, all *Poop* to put in upper case(OR: we are all being offset in our DNA by the soundwaves and soon we will mutate)
      3. I wish I were an animated gif.
      Peaceeaceeace Loveoveove Unityunity RESPECT

      P.S. HERES THE BREAKDOWN (If you will train raver-san, we will have mighty rave power and be in newspaper)

      1. spining on the ground
      2. liquid
      3. waving
      4. glides
      5. popping
      6. breaking
      7. popping with glides
      8. locking

      1. combo uprocking (or dancing to jungle with someone who dance like u)
      2. choerographed uprocking
      3. dancing with fire
      4. glowsticks
      5. touching
      6. stomping to the beat
      7. dancing to speed garage
      8. conceptual dancing and perceptable rhythm(yeah)

      CRAZY KUJO from the It's Like that! video jason nevins (Afro, also bboy.com vet)(Myself. Hello?)
      AIR FORCE CREW SF exploritory breakdance styles
      the beat in Breakin' where they first show the RadioTron (real place)((It goes DIP DIP DAP DOO . . DIP DIP DAP DOO . . BIP BDIP BDAP DOO .. DOOOOO.... DOOOOO.WHBDOOO..DOOOO)
      the racial minority
      DJ ICEY, Freddie Fresh
      The first DJ you lost your inhibitions to
      breaker memorabilia
      The APHEX TWIN video will show you the ultimate in bad habit, sorry, it's UNLEARNABLE
      JAMES BROWN a better sex machine
      Tha Rascals, The Jungle Brothers, Jamiroque
      (The older the information is the more awesome it is. heres a line from beatnuts I dig ((because I love you, and respect is due))
      If you owe me money better find that *Poop*, cus ****** is dyin', behind that *Poop*) Tell me if you find the perfect beat.
      x. Oom


      Ceremonies of the Living Spirit

      Benito Rael is a Native American of Tiwa and Southern Ute
      decent whose father was a Picuris holy man. He is a carrier
      of the teachings of his brother Beautiful Painted Arrow,
      Joseph Rael. The following interview was conducted before
      the Sun-moon dance held in Manchester during July 2000 at
      which Benito Rael was the dance Chief.

      The Sun-moon dance lasts for a period of four days in which
      participants dance backwards and forwards to a ceremonial
      tree in the centre of an Arbour. During this period they
      abstain from food and water. This is spiritual ceremony.

      Joseph Rael in his book “Ceremonies of the Living Spirit”

      'I don’t teach Picuris (Tiwa) religion or Ute religion. I
      teach what has come to me from my visions. I spent fifty
      years becoming a visionary, so that what I do in ceremony
      comes from the Source and it works. I don’t know how these
      ceremonies work or why they work, but they work. People who
      criticize me for sharing ceremonies with non-Indians don’t
      understand that the ceremonies I am doing are not
      traditional or tribal.'

      'I believe that this is a way of bringing people who really
      want to know the Spirit into the context of the Spirit, so
      that they will know their own inner source and how to bring
      that forth in their lives in an active way and awaken their
      own spiritual awareness.'

      The following interview is with Joseph's brother, Benito

      Photo: Benito Rael

      Can you explain something about ceremony for those who
      haven’t come across it before?

      The thing about ceremony is, you need to want to better
      your life.

      In my brothers books he states - and what I was taught when
      I was growing up - that ‘work is worship’. In Picuris where
      I was raised, just to go out and irrigate your fields, or
      hoeing, or raising food we see as spiritual endeavours.
      This work for us is worship. So when you do a dance, the
      effort that you place in the dance, whether it be a Drum
      dance, Long dance, or whatever, the effort that you put in,
      you get out of it. If you have some issues that you want to
      work with, you work with those issues in the dance. You
      make your path forward or backwards. A lot of people go to
      the dance saying I’ve got a lot of trouble in this area or
      that area and they want to make them right.

      When you’ve decided to do a dance it's commitment. And when
      you decide you want to do something you commit to it just
      like you do in a job. You say I want to do a Sun-moon
      dance. I’m going to commit myself for four years. And then
      when you reach that four your going to say “gee whiz”, so
      you might decide to make another commitment. What you are
      doing every year is you’re taking your brain and what
      you’ve learned to the dance and enhance that learning
      process in the dance and like I said ‘work is worship’.

      You give up your food and you give up your water- you’ve
      made a commitment to do this.

      Many years ago when the non-Indian heard about this way of
      worship they said, “What’s the trade?” - “Why are you
      dancing to this tree?” or, “Why are they dancing to this
      line of feathers”, or “Why do they do what they’re doing?”

      A priest asked me once, “What is it in that tree?”

      I compared it to his ceremonies. I said, “What is it
      sitting at that altar and going to church and getting
      calluses on your knees?”

      He said, “Don’t you talk about it like that!”

      And I said, “Well, what are you doing to me?”

      I said, “When I go and do ceremony it is done in a manner
      that I know. Many years ago my Dad said there are so many
      directions you can go - you’ve got a sister who is a
      Methodist, a mother who’s baptised Catholic and a brother
      who’s Pentecostal, and another brother that’s a Mormon and
      they all chose what they wanted to do. And he said, “Son,
      one of these days you’re going to have to choose the kind
      of work you want to do.”

      And what I’d seen in that vision when I was 15 years old
      **, that’s when I was told what I’m going to do. Now that I
      have been brought into this way of life I realise what that
      vision was. When you dance to that tree, that tree is the
      tree of life, that tree is a symbol that we use for dance,
      just as churches have symbols or procedures that you have
      to follow. It’s the same thing, it’s just a different way
      to believe and to bring yourself to spiritual life. And in
      this way, in a pure way, we worship.

      (** When Benito was 15 years old he had a vision of many
      bad spirits and animals closing in on him from the side,
      and the only way out of this was to pull a piece of string
      that hung from the roof. When he pulled the string he was
      taken to the spiritual realms.)

      To a lot of people this may seem a bit backward - a bit
      simple. People might be thinking you are missing the point
      or something. Can you explain to someone with these views?

      There are different ways of making yourself right with the
      higher power. Some kneel for hours and hours because it is
      really good - and it’s the same thing as dancing until you
      wear down. That discipline always has a factor in how you
      do the dance. That discipline you learn from your parents.

      They imposed religion on us. And you think “gee whiz” they
      were trying to take away our belief because it wasn’t their
      way and they didn’t understand it. A lot of it has to do
      with if you can understand this way. A lot of people say I
      don’t know how you can do what you do and receive spiritual
      light. So a lot of people need to experience this for

      If you get a person and set them out in the middle of
      nowhere and there’s no means of food or water who do you
      think they turn to? That’s where this comes from.

      When you’ve reached that last bit of water and you are
      wondering where the rest is going to come from, then you
      come to realise that without the guy up stairs, Great
      Spirit, Wah Mah Chi, God, or whatever you want to call it,
      you wouldn’t be where you are today because he’s the only
      one who gives us this divine calling as you would say.

      So, it’s all a matter of preference. Some people don’t
      understand it at first. So my brother wrote his books so
      they could read and he could explain what all this stuff
      is. So therefore when the time comes to right your way of
      believing you can use the dance. It doesn’t have to be a
      Sun-moon dance or a Long dance or a Drum dance. You can
      give thanks through many different dances. The way I was
      raised the animals were our bothers, and we protect them,
      and in return they give themselves to us. They were gifts.
      So sometimes we do animal dances.

      We are all raised in a society where things are cut and
      dried - this is what you believe in and that is it, and
      there is no other avenue. A lot of people who do this work
      are the clergy. I’ve had clergy come. They say I’m father
      so-and-so, I’m sister so-and-so, and I’m Reverend

      I say, “Well what are you doing here? You don’t need this

      They have said, “No, but there’s something in there as far
      as discipline is concerned. I need discipline to go out and
      teach my congregation. I need the discipline it takes to
      confront my daily endeavours because I was taught this
      stuff here but I was never taught the discipline it takes,
      that I receive from this kind of dance.”

      We have preachers and lawyers and people of high standing
      that are doing this work because they’ve come to a point
      where the way they were brought up and taught is not
      exactly what they want. So they’re looking for something
      different. This is something they do for themselves for
      their own spiritual strength.

      How would you define ceremony? How would you say to people
      what ceremony is?

      It’s like that festival that is on in Holland right now.
      They are having a Revival that is lasting four days or a
      week or so. People go there and have a Revival. That’s what
      you could say this could be. It’s a Revival for you to make
      yourself right in you.

      You could say “I’m going to a Native American ‘traditional
      / non-traditional’ Revival where everyone can participate
      if they want to. And maybe they fast and through prayer
      they receive.

      The Native Americans, the South Americans and the Greeks
      used to do it and they just got away from it. Christianity
      changed a lot how we perceive this. If they would have
      understood it many years ago then it would have been
      different. If they’d have understood it then maybe there’d
      be more people interested in it. Interest comes with the
      knowledge. Like I said, my brother wrote those books to
      give the knowledge to the world and through that people
      have dedicated their lives to this kind of work.

      Because this is a non-traditional dance people don’t have
      to feel excluded?

      Everyone who wants to enhance their way of believing can do
      it this way because there is no certain set pattern, you
      just go to an Arbour and you do it in a circle of light and
      you do it in a line, to where you can focus on what you
      want. That’s what the dance is about - focus and making a



      Capoeira: where dance meets martial arts

      On it's deepest level, Capoeira transcends martial arts, music and ritual and is a philosophical framework for approaching and interacting with the others and the world at large. It is a deep and holistic art form that pushes the practitioner to the proverbial limits - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
      from http://www.capoeira.com/planetcapoeira/

      Photo: Mestre Manoel performs a bananeira - a move mimicking the swaying of a banana tree


      Capoeira’s Serious Play Teaches Spiritual Lessons


      Contributing Writer Monday, August 2, 2004

      To its adherents, Capoeira is a conversation. Two people
      meet and express their feelings and desires through
      movement rather than words. Although initially developed as
      a martial art, today it serves as a means for spiritual
      reflection and growth. Its origins, however, reach into the
      dark history of slavery and oppression that has gripped the
      western hemisphere for more than 500 years. Born among the
      slave populations of Brazil, Capoeira brings together a
      unique mix of Afro-Brazilian cultures with music and dance.
      Players of the art, the capoeiristas, set themselves in a
      large circle, the roda. At the head of the roda are
      musicians with handmade instruments. The berimbau, a single
      string instrument resembling a bow, sets the pace for the
      game. Two enter the roda, while all around them a great
      conflagration of sound arises from the chests of their
      compatriots. They sing of nature, which provides the seeds
      for their movements.

      The “shua shua” of rustling leaves are lyrics made manifest
      by swaying bodies—this swaying also mimics the undulating
      rise and fall of the ocean waves. The rabo de arrais, a
      side kick, takes its name from the stingray who extends its
      stinger in self-defense. Then there is the bananeira, named
      for the banana tree, embodied as a capoerista stands on her
      hands and sways her feet to and fro.

      Although Capoeira requires all of an individual’s skill and
      wit, it is from the interaction between players that the
      game acquires a deeper meaning. Because each motion is a
      reaction to one’s partner’s movement, a dependency forms
      between the players. Ultimately, this serious play enacts
      the highest respect possible between two human beings.

      But what they call a game today was once a means for
      liberation. Just as each movement represents a struggle of
      the player, Capoeira represents to some the struggle of a
      people to maintain connections with their ancestors. Traced
      to its roots, Capoeira celebrates the powers of the human
      body and mind to overcome oppression.

      During the struggles between Portuguese and Dutch traders
      to control Brazil’s wealth in the 17th century, many of
      those who had been taken from Angola as slaves escaped into
      the jungles. In those jungles they formed communities with
      those who, like themselves, sought freedom. When the Dutch
      were expelled and the Portuguese came looking for their
      lost quarry, the slaves developed a means of defense to
      stand up to firearms. They named the Capoeira for the brush
      woods in which the slaves hid themselves.

      Today, Capoeira is taught in schools and prisons around the
      world as a means of self-discovery and escape—a means
      limited only by the player’s creativity.





      Tango traces its roots to the loneliness and longing of
      mostly male settlers in Argentina nearly 100 years ago.

      Its unique dance “language” is now spoken in nearly every
      country on earth. However, A dozen couples in downtown
      Winchester (Virginia) are learning this language on Wednesday nights.

      Instructor Ting-Yu Chen’s passion for tango infects her
      lessons and her students — not to mention a wide-eyed sense
      of humor that cuts through the tension of students trying
      to shed their extra left feet.

      “Women, when you sense danger, you move to him,” she
      explains, demonstrating a step where the woman leans at a
      precarious angle against her partner while he dances around
      her. “Hold him, so if you’re going to fall you take him
      down with you.”

      Chen, who has danced since kindergarten, said she fell in
      love with tango through the music in 1996. She now teaches
      beginner and intermediate classes each Wednesday night at
      the Shenandoah Arts Center Gallery in Winchester. Although
      classes are larger at times, she said usually about five
      couples attend both the beginner and the intermediate
      classes that started Jan. 14.

      She is also an assistant dance professor at Shenandoah

      Tango’s essence is the communication between partners, Chen
      said. While much contact occurs throughout the dance, the
      main focus is on communicating through the hands.

      It is also essential that the male lead in the dance and
      the female follow, she said. “For the follower to try to
      lead, then there is no tango.”

      While this may seem contrary to modern interpretations of
      gender equality, Chen said, to assume tango is a man’s
      dance is to miss the point.

      “It’s a dynamic lead and follow,” she said. “You lead and
      you respond to what the other person does.”

      When she first took tango lessons, Chen said she reacted
      against her perception that the male was in charge, and
      tried to design a dance where the woman led the man.

      But in time she learned that there was tremendous freedom
      and grace in giving in to the male lead and responding in a
      more feminine way.

      “The true tango really respects this gender with equal
      importance,” she said. “When you have to totally trust and
      surrender to the moment, you know you can interpret it and
      redirect it into something that’s graceful.”

      She said men too must “listen” to what their partner is
      communicating through the dance in order for the tango to
      go on.

      “It comes to that place where you can feel each other’s
      movement and, not using words, you know exactly where they
      are,” Chen said, thumping her chest, “It’s right here. It’s
      from the heart.”

      Rooted in the late 19th century in Argentine, tango
      flourished as an art form after World War I, Chen said,
      when waves of mostly male immigrants flooded into

      “Tango has that close embrace, and that’s where it came
      from: from that loneliness and the need to be hugged,” she

      Then, in the 1920s it became a popular pastime among the
      upper class in Paris and other major European cities.

      Now, she said, tango is danced in every major city in the

      “In a way, tango is like a passport. You can talk to people
      in every culture, and you can connect even if you don’t
      speak their language,” Chen said.

      Despite its risque roots, tango provides a model for a
      healthy relationship between a man and woman or a husband
      and wife, she said.

      “My couples’ dynamics show so much in their dancing
      lessons,” she said. “I can see taking a tango class as
      almost a marriage therapy.

      “It requires you to be attentive to the person in front of
      you. It makes you be present with each other. So much of
      our lives we can be vacant, even with the ones we love.

      “Harmony is the focus.”

      Erica Helm, dance chairwoman at Shenandoah University,
      assists with the classes. Tango is unique among formal
      dance because it combines intimacy with a complete freedom
      to improvise, Helm said.

      “I grew up doing the two-step and rock and roll dancing,”
      she said. “A lot of those dances, you’re dancing at
      someone. ... With tango you are dancing for them.”

      But unlike ballroom dancing or the older regency dancing
      Helm also participates in, tango is neither scripted nor a
      memorized routine.

      “It is a complete improvisation,” Helm said. “In tango, you
      don’t have to memorize anything. The man can do anything at
      any moment.

      “For the woman to just follow, for the man to just lead
      where he wants to go, just interpreting the music — there
      is so much freedom.”

      Many of Chen’s students seem to have gotten the message.

      Rick and Paulette Aboe, of Martinsburg, W.Va., got
      interested in tango three years ago when they saw the stage
      show “Forever Tango” in Washington, D.C.’s Warner Theater.

      Rick loves the freedom. “Almost every other dance is based
      on the music. You do something on every beat of the music.

      “With tango, you can adjust your dance to whatever you feel
      fits the music.

      “And besides, it’s a sexy dance. It’s a playful dance.”

      Greg Cone, a Winchester native who lives in Loudoun County,
      got involved in tango through his job. Greg works as an
      engineer with The Wright Stuff — recently famous for
      attempting to re-enact the Wright Brothers’ first flight on
      its Dec. 17 centennial.

      “When I took the job I work now, I was expected to get a
      little more social,” he said.

      At a ballroom dance and dinner in Kitty Hawk, N.C., he said
      he embarrassed himself pretty badly on the dance floor.

      In desperation, he turned to a dance studio in Upperville
      and ended up taking lessons from Sharon Duvall, wife of
      film star and tango aficionado Robert Duvall.

      “Of all dances, this is the dance,” Cone said.

      “You are dancing for her. It’s not just my dance; it’s her
      dance,” he said. “She doesn’t just follow, she adds
      embellishments in response to me.

      “You’ve got this unspoken communication going on. It’s the
      emotion of the music. You can display any kind of emotion
      with this dance.”

      Cone, who takes intermediate lesions from Chen, is modest
      about his own abilities.

      “I’ll never learn it,” he said. “Really, I’ll be a beginner
      all my life.”

      “That’s the best attitude,” Chen replied.




      A Dance With Spalding Gray

      by Neda Pourang

      When I was 22, I spent an entire night dancing at the
      Palladium in New York City with Spalding Gray. We danced
      and danced to every song- danceable or not. I didn't know
      who he was but my friends did and he was a very cool older
      man who seemed to still like the things I'd assumed you
      stopped liking when you turned gray.

      I had been in a fashion show at the Palladium that night
      and I still had on my long white Mary McFaddon dress while
      bopping around to Madonna's "Express Yourself." My friends
      and I were new to the city and looking back it seems
      perfect that Spalding Gray was one of the first ambassadors
      to guide us into the mysteries of New York. He treated me
      like a grown up and was a perfect gentleman. More than
      anything, he reminded me of the shy art majors I was at
      grad school with at NYU. At the end of the night, my
      girlfriends and I walked him home before heading back to
      our apartment on Second Avenue -- the first of many
      apartments during my ten years in New York.

      That old apartment is gone -- burned down. The Palladium is
      now NYU dorms. All that thumping house and lit staircases
      -- razed to house the students who were babies or not even
      born when the dance hall was king. And this week I know for
      sure that Mr. Spalding Gray is gone too.

      Years later I saw and read his work and wished I'd asked
      him clever questions when we met instead of just jumping up
      and down to George Michael.

      I'm gone too. Ten years of parties, boyfriends, school and
      false career starts awaited me in New York after we left
      Mr. Gray at his brownstone. I am not anywhere close to
      being the un-jaded newcomer that I was. I have left. I
      drive a green Honda in Los Angeles traffic and think about
      my own struggle with depression. I didn't know what it was
      or how many pills there would be for it back when I was
      spinning around in my white gown with Mr. Gray.

      I always assumed I'd run into him again. New York is like
      that -- you don't worry so much about exchanging
      information because you live by the city's serendipity. But
      I never did, and for a long time, I forgot all about it.
      Now I feel a loss I don't really have the right to because
      it is not sadness for the tragic death of a talented man --
      a good man -- I feel. It is more about the loss of
      everything that changes and passes. From legendary clubs,
      to my own unaccounted-for twenties. And then there is my
      feeling that I didn't so much leave New York as get spat
      out by it. Anyway, I danced one night in New York City in
      the early nineties with Mr. Spalding Gray and he never got
      tired or missed a beat.



      Spalding Gray dances with The Dalai Lama



      Inside Out
      The Dalai Lama interviewed by Spalding Gray.
      Reprinted from the Fall 1991 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review (premier issue).

      Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people and the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate. Born to a peasant family in 1935, in the northeastern province of Amdo, His Holiness was recognized at the age to two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, and a manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

      Spalding Gray, born in Rhode Island in 1941, calls himself a writer and performer who has been “circling my meditation cushion for almost twenty years.” His best-known performance is the stage and film version of his monologue, Swimming to Cambodia.

      The paths of the revered Buddhist leader and the avant-garde performer crossed in a hotel suite at the Fess Parker Red Lion Inn in Santa Barbara, California, on April 8, 1991.

      Spalding Gray: We’ve both been traveling these last weeks and the most difficult thing that I find on the road is adjusting to each location, each different hotel. I have a tendency to want to drink the alcohol, which, as you said in an earlier interview, is the other way of coping with despair and confusion. Just what are some of your centering rituals and your habits when you come into a new hotel?

      The Dalai Lama: I always first inquire to see “what is there.” Curiosity. What I can discover that is interesting or new. Then, I take a bath. And then I usually sit on the bed, crosslegged, and meditate. And sometimes sleep, lie down. One thing I myself noticed is the time-zone change. Although you change your clock time, your biological time still has to follow a certain pattern. But now I find that once I change the clock time, I’m tuned to the new time zone. When my watch says it’s eight o’clock in the evening, I feel sort of sleepy and need to retire and when it says four in the morning I wake up.

      Spalding Gray: But you have to be looking at your clock all the time.

      The Dalai Lama: That’s right (laughs).

      Spalding Gray: Did you do a meditation this morning?

      The Dalai Lama: First I take a bath, then I sit on that bed (in the other room) crosslegged.

      Spalding Gray: And when you go into the meditation, is it similar every morning?

      The Dalai Lama: Similar, yes.

      Spalding Gray: And can you tell me a little bit about what it’s like?

      The Dalai Lama: (sigh, laugh) Mmmmmm…The first portion is the recitation of a mantra. There are certain mantras aimed at consecrating your speech, so that all your speech throughout the day will be positive. These recitations should be made before speaking. I observe silence until they are finished and if anyone approaches me, I always communicate in sign language. Then I try to develop a certain motivation, or determination, that as a Buddhist monk, until my Buddhahood, until I reach Buddhahood, my life, my lives, including future lives, should be correct, and spent according to that basic goal. And that all my activities should be beneficial to others and should not harm others.

      Spalding Gray: How long does that take?

      The Dalai Lama: Some ten, fifteen minutes. And then I do a deeper mediation where I mentally review the entire stages of the path of Buddhist practice. And then I do some practices aimed at accumulating merits, like prostrations, making offerings to the Buddhas, reflecting on the qualities of the Buddha.

      Spalding Gray: Is there a special visualization going on?

      The Dalai Lama: Oh, yes. Along with these are some cases of visualization. We call this guru yoga. The first part of guru yoga means dedicating yourself and your practice to one’s own teacher. The second part is deity yoga, transforming oneself into a particular deity. Deity yoga refers to a meditative process whereby you dissolve your own ordinary self into a sort of void and emptiness. From this state your inner “perfected state” potential is visualized or imagined as being generated into a divine form, a meditation deity. You follow a procedure known as the meditation of the three kayas—dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. These correspond to the experience of natural death, the intermediate state, and rebirth as described in the Buddhist literature. With each different deity, there is a different mandala in my daily prayer. All together there are about seven different mandalas involved. These deity yogas, they involve visualization of mandalas. That takes two hours.

      Spalding Gray: You can see the deity very clearly in your mind with your eyes closed?

      The Dalai Lama: Sometimes very clear, sometimes not clear (laughs). My physical condition makes a difference, I think. It also depends on the amount of time that I have. If I feel that all my prayers must be completed before eight, then it affects my awareness. If I have a whole morning free, then my concentration increases.

      Spalding Gray: Do you ever entertain the distractions, invite them into your meditation and let all of these women in bikini bathing suits that you must see here out by the pool come into your meditation?

      The Dalai Lama: As a monk, I have to avoid that experience, even in my dreams, due to daily practice. Sometimes in my dreams there are women. And in some cases fighting or quarreling with someone. When such dreams happen, immediately I remember, “I am a monk.” So that is one reason I usually call myself a simple Buddhist monk. That’s why I never feel “I am the Dalai Lama.” I only feel “I am a monk.” I should not indulge, even in dreams, in women with a seductive appearance. Immediately I realize I’m a monk.

      Spalding Gray: One Western writer called Ernest Becker, who wrote The Denial of Death, said “We don’t know anything beyond it. We must bow down to that mystery because there is no way of knowing what is coming next,” and the thing that has always confused me and interested me about Tibetan Buddhism is the extremely complex system of knowledge about after-death states and reincarnation.

      The Dalai Lama: The most subtle consciousness is like a seed and it is a different variety of consciousness than the consciousness developed by a physical being. A plant cannot produce cognitive power. But in every human being, or sentient beings with certain conditions, cognitive power develops. We consider the continuity of the consciousness to be the ultimate seed. Then once you understand this explanation, subtle consciousness departs from grosser consciousness. Or we say the grosser dissolves into the most subtle mind.

      There are some cases, very authentic, very clear, where people recall their past lives, especially with very young people. Some children can recall their pas experience. I do not have any sort of strong or explicit doubts as to this possibility. But since phenomenon such as after-death experiences, intermediate states and so forth, are things that are beyond our direct experience, it does leave some slight room for hesitation. For many years in my daily practice, I have prepared for a natural death. So there is a kind of excitement at the idea that real death is coming to me and I can live the actual experiences. A lot of my meditations are rehearsals for this experience.

      Spalding Gray: Do you have one predominant fear that you often struggle with, the thing you fear the most?

      The Dalai Lama: No, nothing in particular.

      Spalding Gray: You are feeling not fearful?

      The Dalai Lama: Because of the political situation, sometimes I have fears of being caught in a kind of terrorist experience. Although, as far as my motivation is concerned, I feel I have no enemy. From my own viewpoint, we are all human beings, brothers and sisters. But I am involved in a national struggle. Some people consider me the key troublemaker. So that is also a reality (pause). Otherwise, comparatively, my mental state is quite calm, quite stable.

      Spalding Gray: How do you avoid accidents?

      The Dalai Lama: (laughs) Just as ordinary people do, I try to be more cautious. One thing I can be certain of is that I won’t have an accident because of being drunk or being stoned on drugs.

      Spalding Gray: But you are flying a lot and the pilots are drinking. That’s what I’m always afraid of. I’ve always said I would never fly on a plane where the pilot believes in reincarnation. When you get on a plane to fly, do you have to work with your fears?

      The Dalai Lama: I used to have a lot of fear when flying. Now I am getting used to it. But when I get very afraid or anxious, then yes, as you mentioned, I recite some prayers or some mantra and also, you see, the final conclusion is the belief in karma. If I created some karma to have a certain kind of death, I cannot avoid that. Although I try my best, if something happens, I have to accept it. It is possible that I have no such karmic force, then even if the plane crashes, I may survive.

      Spalding Gray: You walk out.

      The Dalai Lama: Yes. So that belief, also you see, is very helpful. Very effective.

      Spalding Gray found dead
      Body of writer, actor found in East River

      From Jonathan Wald and Annie Castellani
      Tuesday, March 9, 2004 Posted: 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
      Photo: Spalding Gray
      NEW YORK (CNN) -- A body pulled from the East River at 3
      p.m. Sunday was that of actor-writer Spalding Gray, who had
      been missing since January 10, the New York City medical
      examiner's office said Monday afternoon.
      The body was identified after an autopsy through dental and
      other X-rays, said Ellen Borakove, the medical examiner's
      spokeswoman. She said the cause of death is under
      The only identifiable evidence on the body was a pair of
      black corduroy pants similar to the pair Gray was wearing
      on the night of his disappearance, she said.
      Gray, 62, was known for writing and starring in the
      autobiographical "Swimming to Cambodia" and appearances in
      films such as "The Killing Fields," "Beaches," "The Paper"
      and "Kate & Leopold," but was most celebrated for his
      autobiographical monologues, including "Cambodia," "Monster
      in a Box" and "It's a Slippery Slope."
      He had attempted suicide several times since a car accident
      in Ireland in June 2001 in which he sustained severe
      injuries. Family friend and spokeswoman Sara Vass said in
      January that he had never been the same since that crash
      and had subsequently received treatment at psychiatric
      In September 2003 Gray left a message at his Soho apartment
      in Manhattan saying goodbye to his wife, Kathie Russo, and
      telling her he planned to jump from the Staten Island Ferry
      that day. Russo called police, who notified authorities on
      the ferry. A despondent Gray was found sitting on the ferry
      and was escorted off the boat.
      Russo and Gray's therapist thought he had been making
      progress since then and that he was through the worst of
      his depression.
      His wife had held out hope he was alive during his
      disappearance, she told The Associated Press.
      "Everyone that looks like him from behind, I go up and
      check to make sure it's not him," Russo said in a phone
      interview with the AP about a week ago. "If someone calls
      and hangs up, I always do star-69. You're always thinking,
      'maybe.' "
      Telling stories
      Gray was sui generis: He looked like an Ivy
      League professor and spoke with a New England accent, but
      spent years in the often avant-garde downtown New York
      theater scene and created a painfully confessional style in
      which the stage practically became a therapist's office.
      He performed sitting down, usually with only a desk, chair
      and glass of water for company.
      "This man may be the ultimate WASP neurotic, analyzing his
      actions with an intensity that would be unpleasantly
      egomaniacal if it weren't so self-deprecatingly funny,"
      Associated Press Drama Critic Michael Kuchwara wrote in
      1996. "He questions everything and ends up more exhausted
      than satisfied."
      Gray's monologues included "Cambodia," about his
      experiences in a bit part in the movie "The Killing
      Fields"; "Gray's Anatomy," about his struggles with a
      serious eye problem; and "Monster in a Box," about an
      endlessly growing semi-autobiographical novel concerning
      his mother's suicide.
      He appeared in a handful of Broadway productions, most
      notably the 1989 Tony Award-winning revival of "Our Town"
      and the 2000 revival of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man."
      His 38 films include "Beaches," "Straight Talk" and "King
      of the Hill."

      Dervish Dancing:

      from an Osho disccourse http://www.choiceless-awareness.com/ohhm_08.htm

      Dervish dancing is a physical method to give the mind a dizziness and this is a mental method to give the mind a dizziness. If you dance fast, move fast, whirl fast, you suddenly feel a dizziness, a nausea, as if the mind is disappearing. If you continue, for a few days dizziness will be there and then it will settle. The moment dizziness has gone you will find the mind has gone, because there is nobody to feel dizzy. And then a clarity comes. Then you look at things without the mind. Without the mind the whole is revealed - and with the whole, the transformation.

      more Osho: http://www.oshoturk.com/osho-life/07-28-activities.htm

      My sannyasins have all to be dancers, and no excuse should be missed; each excuse has to be used as an opportunity to dance. Somebody's birthday, dance; somebody has died, dance. Somebody is ill, dance around him. Somebody is going for a journey, give him a farewell dance. Somebody is coming, welcome him with dance. Make it a point that the more you dance, the more you are in tune with god.

      When you dance it is god who dances in you; that's why it is so beautiful. Whenever you dance you are no more separate, you don't have a split. You are no more body/mind; you are no more this and that. You don't have alternatives. All alternatives disappear, all dualities disappear. In fact there is no dancer and the dance; there is only dance!

      One comes to a state of non-duality, and non-duality is orgasm. That's what people are searching for through love, through alcohol, through drugs—a state where they are no more separate from existence. But those methods are dangerous and very costly. You gain very little joy and you destroy your whole chemistry, your body. It is not worth it.

      Through dance you don't lose anything and you gain infinity….

      I give you this as a key, as a criterion, as a touchstone. Keep it always in mind that whenever you are feeling uneasy, disturbed, restless, remember: you are doing something which is against the universal rhythm, the universal dance. You are out of step, that's all. Start moving back into rhythm, come back into harmony, and suddenly there is sunlight; the clouds have disappeared and the path has been found.

      Dance is a rhythmic movement. Dance represents god more than anything else. In my observation, dance is the most prayerful activity possible. When your body is in a dance and you are utterly lost in the rhythm of it, you start coming closer to god. halle16

      Just as music is one beautiful door, so is dance. And dance will help you immensely. The only secret is to be lost in it, to be drowned in it. One has to dance in a kind of drunkenness. It is intoxicating, if you allow it. If you allow yourself to be possessed by it, then the very movements create some alchemical change in the inner energy. It intoxicates. Nothing intoxicates like a dance, and sometimes the intoxication is so much that even those who are looking at the dancer start feeling drunk. But that is nothing compared to what happens to the dancer himself or herself.

      But dance should not be a performance, otherwise the whole thing is missed. Then it is just acting on the outside—the dancer is never lost in it. And that is the whole point, the very crux of the matter: dance is divine when the dancer has disappeared into it. When the dancer dies in his dance and only dance remains, then you are in the hands of god. Then he is moving you, he is moving within you. Then for miles you cannot find yourself, and the moment when you cannot find yourself is the moment when god is found.

      So while you are here, dance to abandonment!

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