"...If you are able to go deeper in yourself then you will come across an experience of immortal and enduring bliss. The experience of the self is called ananda, which is neither pain nor pleasure. It is a state of balance..."  Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The lamps are different, but the Light is the same. One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind, endlessly emanating all things. -Rumi

Tune in

The more we are able to follow the flows and pulses of the energy body the more freely it starts to flow. Movement raises our vibration and expands the energy inside us. The effect of energy flowing freely and expanding is a feeling of well being. Hence the term ecstatic movement. Ecstatic movement opens us up to the possibility of tuning into and moving with the energy flowing in the body and with its relationship to the environment. Within  a conscious dance class this would include tuning into the energy generated by the music, rhythm, repetitions of movement, and the group field. How it affects your energy field and the result of all these energies mixing is the dance.

Energy is subtle.

First we focus our awareness on feeling the energy as it manifests in the body as sensations, the mind as our thinking, or emotions as moods. The breath is also a very good place to focus attention as how we are breathing often reflects the present energetic state in the body. People experience energy moving in the body differently. For some it is a more tactile experience, for others they may see colours, and light. Often it is a combination. Anybody can experience energy moving, all it takes is practice.

Cultivating awareness of energy takes time.

This form of conscious movement requires one to become deeply present and to expand our awareness into the finer and more subtle sensations within the body. It is dancing with almost a sixth sense. Initially dancing with the eyes closed is very helpful. We usually access this form of dance through somatic dance, moving from gross sensation to ever more subtle experiences.  Tune into heat and cold, pulsing, tingling, a feeling of current or electrical sparks. Blocked energy may feel like an area that is heavy, damp, stiff, cold, or painful.  Areas where energy is flowing may feel warm, light, alive, or pleasurable.

Using the Shamanic Dance door to experience energy

You could also enter into the energetic realm through shamanic dance, exploring movement based on breath and awareness moving in areas of the body where you wish to perceive energies flowing or allow your breath to flow along imaginary pathways of energy that could be similar to the maps of the nadi, chakras, or meridians. Use your imagination to "feel" the energies of another dancer or the space between. You could play with allowing your energy to flow outwards into the space, or inwards to an area of your body. You can explore letting your energy leak out and be lost, exhausting yourself, or containing it within your body and expressing your full power.

Initially you may feel like you are making it all up, but over time you start to notice what is real from fantasy.  When it is real it is almost always met with a feedback loop that will confirm it. For example the experience makes you feel grounded, connected and lead to a sense of well being, not just within you but around you too. Over time you will learn to trust what in all of this  is real and your feeling becomes an intuitive sense of the energy in the space rather than an imaginary one.

Energetic Maps

In many spiritual traditions energy flowing in the body has been mapped and paradigms exist to explain  the flow of various kinds of energy and its function. In Chinese medicine they talk of energy as Chi.  Chi flows in channels called the meridians. Along these meridians are points of energy which have become known as the acupuncture points. Likewise in yoga we talk of prana, nadi's and chakras. In some shamanic traditions, the energy field of a human is seen as large egg shape.  There is overlap and similarities between the maps, and also some things that are very different. They are after all just maps that help to provide a framework to the experiences you may be having. They may be useful to a point but are not substitute to trusting your own experiences of energy as you encounter it. Map your own territory.

The general  idea

When energy is flowing in harmony and is balanced, our body is in good health. Our minds are balanced and calm. Our moods and emotions are less volatile.  If our energy stagnates or is blocked dis-ease manifests in the body.  The mind becomes psychotic. Our emotions and feelings become stuck. So you can see why movement and dance help to get the energies flowing more freely in the body and why this would lead to ecstasy.

A word of warning though.

As you open up to the flow of energy, you may raise your vibration higher and enter into ecstatic states.  It is important to remember that this is not the aim though. The aim is to learn to feel. To move with energies within your present field. To go deeper into yourself. We try not to expect or desire ecstatic states. It may not be the experience you have in a particular dance. In fact it could be the exact opposite experience.  That disappointment could lead to you stopping your dance altogether. Cultivate equanimity. It will lead to freedom. When you do have a dance that makes you high as a kite, remember that that the ecstatic state will not last either. Energy moves and changes. The experience however,  will bring insight and wisdom.

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