Nowadays many people are aware of meditation, which has been helped along by research in neuroscience. This is helpful for people to come into this understanding of just how helpful it is to have a practice of being mindful. My 'training' in meditation began 17years ago with Antoinette Spillane on the 'Teacher Training of Dancing the Rainbow'. And yet this was not the first time I had felt such stillness within...memories of singing in our local choir, of lying out in the garden looking up at the sky, immersed in knitting and baking and during free dance in ballet classes. All these activities can bring us into a state of meditation.
What I loved about Antoinette's way of teaching, was that it was so creative and deeply rooted in the Body. It never felt like a chore because Antoinette along with Lani O'Hanlon (Co-Creator of DTR) always encouraged us to bring in the imagination. Using colour, sound, image and movement, coming into meditation was an invitation to feel good and nourished and enlivened. Setting aside time and space for a daily sitting/movement practice is important and as Antoinette would encourage “If you find yourself waiting in a queue, practice bringing your awareness to your body, how are you standing, notice your breath, place a hand on your belly to feel the rise and fall of your breath, its discreet, where is the weight of your body, are you leaning forward, are you leaning backwards, allow all your weight rest on your left foot…”. It’s not rocket science!! It does take Time, it helps to have others to practice with, to share in what delights we discover and what is difficult. Although I have since trained with other teachers, I still come back to the basics I first learned in DTR and even though I have been doing this 17 years, I still find days where I’m going around like a ‘headless chicken’ but with the practice it doesn’t turn into months or years!!
This series of classes uses the image of the jug and the quote from Lao Tse “Pots are formed of Clay, but the empty space within it is the essence of the pot’.
Letting the body pause
Bringing awareness to the Body to the Breath..
Then Pouring out the contents of the pot, pouring out any tightness, any thoughts, any worries, any joys
Coming back up to stand and noticing the settling within….
Other images are helpful for people then as we practice sitting meditation…A mountain as clouds come and go, letting the thoughts come and go
In the stillness..what matters to you
And then coming to stand again and moving now with awareness.