Dancing in the Dharma

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Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Jikan » Fri May 17, 2013 1:48 pm

Some traditions practice specific kinds of dance. Others do not. I'd like to know what your experiences are with dancing as expressions of Dharma practice, or as something that just ain't Dharma at all.

Whaddya think, folks?
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Adamantine » Fri May 17, 2013 1:54 pm

There's a rich tradition of sacred dance in the Vajrayana
tradition. From the traditional Lama dances to terma revelations such as
Mipham Rinpoche's Lingdro dance that have some folk dance elements: they all engage
the dancer with the unifying of body speech and mind
in the form of dynamic offering. They are profound, and even HH Dudjom Rinpoche
said one could attain enlightenment through the Lingdro, and the
old carrier of that tradition at the time of his passing clearly
saw Gesar of Ling appear to him.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri May 17, 2013 2:19 pm

Adamantine wrote:There's a rich tradition of sacred dance in the Vajrayana
tradition.
And not just! Thai Buddhism has many "Dharma" dances (I put Dharma in quotation marks because the tradition tends to be highly syncretic, ie one canot say that they are "Buddhist" dances).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby shel » Fri May 17, 2013 4:48 pm

There's no dancing at all in Zen.

That sounds bad, doesn't it?
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Meido » Fri May 17, 2013 5:07 pm

shel wrote:There's no dancing at all in Zen.

That sounds bad, doesn't it?


Korean Zen has ritual dance. Here's one clip: http://taegojong.blogspot.com/2012/06/k ... sa-on.html

Japan: we could look at the intersection of Zen and aspects of Noh (not strictly dance, I know). There's also tradition of Buddhist song as well (goeika). But I know nothing of the native Japanese dance traditions that might ever have been adopted for ritual use.

Not sure what exists in Ch'an.

The ways in which arts of various kinds have been used in a ritual manner, or been used as supportive practices, is very interesting to me.

~ Meido
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby lobster » Fri May 17, 2013 5:25 pm

I have never seen anything but dancing in Buddhism.
Before, during and after practice.

:woohoo:

Most of it is dharma dance, love to find more enlightened one step . . . :twothumbsup:
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby shel » Fri May 17, 2013 5:29 pm

Meido wrote:
shel wrote:There's no dancing at all in Zen.

That sounds bad, doesn't it?


Korean Zen has ritual dance. Here's one clip: http://taegojong.blogspot.com/2012/06/k ... sa-on.html

Japan: we could look at the intersection of Zen and aspects of Noh (not strictly dance, I know). There's also tradition of Buddhist song as well (goeika). But I know nothing of the native Japanese dance traditions that might ever have been adopted for ritual use.

Not sure what exists in Ch'an.


I guess that I was thinking of Western, Japanese, Chinese, and South East Asian Zen.
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Meido » Fri May 17, 2013 7:17 pm

shel wrote:I guess that I was thinking of Western, Japanese, Chinese, and South East Asian Zen.


RE Japan, how could I forget: Bon Odori, a very widely practiced dance done during Obon (Ullambana) observances.

Vietnam: Lion dance is common enough at temples during religious festivals, of course.

China: ancient traditions of Buddhist dance, but again am still unsure what is done these days.

Easy enough to find westerners who know Bon Odori; there's a group here in the Chicago area.

~ Meido
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby shel » Fri May 17, 2013 7:24 pm

Honoring the spirits of the dead. Sounds fun.

So when was the last time you've gone out dancing, Meido?
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Meido » Fri May 17, 2013 8:19 pm

Here's another interesting bit on Korean Buddhist dance and music:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/his ... rean07.htm

~ Meido
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Jikan » Fri May 17, 2013 11:23 pm

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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Huifeng » Sat May 18, 2013 3:53 am

Some examples of dance in modern Chinese Buddhism:

Thousand hands thousand eyes Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva:



Dunhuang Dance (apsaras):



~~ Huifeng
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Ayu » Sat May 18, 2013 10:15 am

Hi,
but these kind of dances are not part of a personal practice? They are just for showing or for some rituals? Means, they are only done by dancers?

I never heard about dance as a buddhist spiritual practice.
But i practiced some kind of dance-meditation when i practiced Ananda Marga Meditation (some kind of Hindu) long time ago: Kiirtan.
One steps left and right while singing, keeping the arms uplifted somehow, tipping the toe on the ground...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJTKyfal ... re=related
I liked that very much. It could grow into a very high inspiring vibration.
They do this Kiirtan before the sitting meditation.

Then i heard from dance as a practice in the Antroposophy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurythmy
This is often performed, but also given as a practice for the benefit of people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSoq6gdmOwE

And very nice are the findhorn-dances. They touch something deep inside while dancing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHTe2CssKcI
:oops: Am I off topic?
Ah, no - because Dharma must not be inevitably buddhistic.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby mandala » Sat May 18, 2013 2:50 pm

Jikan wrote:Some traditions practice specific kinds of dance. Others do not. I'd like to know what your experiences are with dancing as expressions of Dharma practice, or as something that just ain't Dharma at all.

Whaddya think, folks?


the only 'dancing' i do is the Friday afternoon "interpretive chair dance" at work to welcome the weekend. I really hope that's not an expression of my dharma practice...
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Jikan » Sat May 18, 2013 5:01 pm

Ayu wrote:but these kind of dances are not part of a personal practice? They are just for showing or for some rituals? Means, they are only done by dancers?


Ritual and performance are a kind of collaborative practice. (The practice of Buddhism need not be "personal," and often isn't.) The dancers are practicing, certainly, as are those who make the costumes and other supports, just as the person sewing the robes for the monks or preparing food for them also collaborate in their practice.

On the fundamentally social nature of Buddhist practice, particularly in Mahayana:

http://www.amazon.com/Liberating-Intima ... 0791429822
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 7:09 pm

In the Nyingma, dance often be a practice of Dzogchen integration, or / and deity pride, or / and offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 7:11 pm

Dance begins at about 0:20:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Konchog1 » Sat May 18, 2013 7:25 pm

Adamantine wrote:Dance begins at about 0:20:
This is awesome! Any more footage or information about the dance?
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 7:28 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Dance begins at about 0:20:
This is awesome! Any more footage or information about the dance?


Just that these young dancers are part of the inner mandala of the late Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, who raised a number of dakas and dakinis according to rigorous Vajrayana discipline, these dances being just one profound example.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dancing in the Dharma

Postby Punya » Sat May 18, 2013 7:47 pm

I didn't attend but Evam Institute ran this session on Indonesian sutra dance in January

https://www.facebook.com/AnnualBuddhist ... 7048246835
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Strife with outer enemies will never end.
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