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Thread: Mindfulness ?

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    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Default Mindfulness ?

    In other areas of my life I am trying to learn to be mindful of what I am doing, that is think exactly about what I am doing so I can do it to perfection or the best that I can do it. But in dance I understand that mindfulness is a complete hindrance, start thinking about what I am doing and I lose it, every single time as there is I perceive a delay between thought and action and I lose the timing. But I have observed in dance the mind kicks in and kicks out at intervals, almost like it is sticking it's nose in to ask illogical questions, not waiting for the answer and then going only to come back at another time to ask the same stupid questions.

    So any ideas how to shut the door on the mind when in dance, or can mindfulness be got on the dance side ?

    How to stop thinking about dancing and how to start dancing without thinking ?


    Last night in class, it was a disaster, I was losing it all the time, stuff I could normally do I just couldn't and I identified I was thinking too much, the mind was too active, so I think I have to learn to feel the music not analyse it.

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    Super Moderator Mosaic's Avatar
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    Khanjar I've moved this thread and your other thread about feeling the music to Instructors & Students, as your questions fit nicely there
    ~Mosaic
    Dance is like glitter, it not only colours your life, it makes you sparkle, you find it everywhere and in everything and it's near impossible to get rid of. (unknown)


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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Try picking one move (or maybe two) and dancing to a whole track with just that move. This should at least kill the flipping through the Rolodex type thinking. Basically dance as meditation.

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    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    I might be wrong with how I see what you are saying, but do you mean mindfullness = concentration = trying to do the best that you can. That involves a whole host of thoughts on how to do something, on how it should be done, was done, is being done. Brain goes blah blah blah and everything goes blehr-blehr-blehr. 'Doing the best you can' (or conversly 'giving up') involves the ideas of success or failure, which gets in the way of just doing.

    I think you're trying to reach a state of being present in the moment. Where what happens, happens without any conscious effort, and you respond without thinking and that response fits the moment, each moment, as they pass? That takes time, and also a change in thinking - releasing desires, not trying to do well, just letting your body do it the way it can. All a bit Buddhist, but I guess it is a form of meditation - or at least shares some characteristics.

    Or am I going too spiritual here?

    If you are learning new moves, I think you are being too hard on yourself. The very newness means you are trying - you only learn by trying. At that stage, you have to direct your body. Once a move or routine becomes familiar, then you can let go of the trying.

    But if your brain is too busy with the stuff of stress and worry of outside the classroom as well, then you need to find a way of releasing or putting away that mind blabber before you dance. There are lots of different ways (one is imagining those thoughts being put in a box, closed up and put in a cupboard, , ready for when you need them, but you can put them to one side right now and do something else) I personally just try to tell myself that I'm here to dance. Nothing I'm going to do in this hour will help or affect my other stuff, so stop thinking about them. If you can't do anything about them right now, thinking about them won't help, but if you can do something right now, then go and do it and stop worrying about it. Doesn't always work of course, but you get the idea.

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    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duvet View Post
    If you are learning new moves, I think you are being too hard on yourself. The very newness means you are trying - you only learn by trying. At that stage, you have to direct your body. Once a move or routine becomes familiar, then you can let go of the trying.
    Good point. While learning something new you do have to use the front brain. You use it to create new pathways so you don't have to later think "push, twist, change weight, twist" etc. That bit is in muscle memory.

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    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input people, I guess I am going to have to find my own way of shutting out stuff, because it is at it all the time, the mind going haywire, it is why I cannot get to sleep either. But the movement I stuffed up was movement I know, hip circle travelling to the side, the whole movement normally is pleasing to do and natural because the shift of weight inspires the direction of travel, but my last class I was all over the place as if I was learning it for the first time getting my directions wrong and all sorts, it actually ended up more akin to horizontal eights I was that confused, a totally unnatural movement and not pleasing to do which added to the problem trying to correct it. Normally with the movement I am at the stage where I can feel if something is right and I was not getting that feeling in my last class.

    But the Buddhist stuff, there is some guidance in that as I try the Buddhist stuff as a philosophy for living, I am not very good at it, but that's the point of it, to keep trying to better oneself.

    But perhaps meditation is the key and yes drilling should be a form of it.

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    Okay , that was better tonight, as I had been reading a bit of Zen for the last few days and learned to stop thinking about what it will be like when I am more advanced, that being live in the moment, not the future. So I was aware the mind was starting to wander in class, fantasising but I brought it back to the moment and a as result, no problems this week, everything I was shown I could do, even my co-ordination and directional issues, I was not conscious of and rarely I went a different way to everyone else. But thinking in the moment, there is an energy in that, a very powerful feeling, I read somewhere about empowerment, and yeah that is the feeling, a strong feeling of being empowered through one self.

    But a good class, the emphasis these last few weeks has been on feeling the music and responding in tune with it, interesting method of teaching as well, the pratting about fun sessions have a reason and I can see what's going on, so a good teacher, I am impressed.

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    Senior Member Duvet's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you're getting so much out of your class and finding a way deeper into what you are doing.
    I'd recommend the book "Zen in the Art of Archery". I found it really inspiring and thoughtful.

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