I’m dancing in my room. Naked. Only for me to see. Or even not that. I’m blindfolded. It’s a little tantra exercise. A shaking meditation and I’m in love with it.
I’ve done it over and over again. My friend Erwin Coenen, one of the two Happy Healthy Travelers, knows it as an Osho meditation. Margot Anand uses it as one of her tantric meditations. I know it as something that is happening to me when I do Trance Dance.I’ll have to admit: in all those versions you have your clothes on, but this time I want to feel totally free. And what better way to feel totally free without any clothes on?
Bring me in my body
The whole idea – for me – is to bring me in my body again. I think I’m a pretty grounded person and with all the yoga I do, I think I have a pretty good connection between my body and my mind. But it can always be better and this shaking meditation is for me the way to do it. It takes me ‘out of my head’ and into my body.
Okay, this might sound weird. That’s how it was the first time for me as well. It was years ago. I think it short after I returned from Australia in the summer of 2000. I met this girl, Susan, who was into spirituality. I just opened up a little bit to it. A tiny little bit, after reading some books on shamanism in Australia. Susan took me to the Eigentijds Festival (Nowadays Festival). The festival started on Thursday evening. Because I had to work, I was only able to be there on Friday afternoon. It meant she had to register me for workshops. I had no clue what was what anyway so I was fine with it. I spare you all the strange things I did that weekend, but the highlight by far was Trance Dancing.
Ritual of old Indian chiefs
As far as I understood then it was a ritual the old Indian chiefs used to do. Whenever they needed an answer of the ‘Divine’ they would bring themselves in trance. For example: the harvest would be devastated by a big fire. Should they stay on the place they where or move their tribe to another place? To get the answer on a question like that they would start to dance, get into trance and get an answer on their question of the ‘Divine’.
Getting answers from the Divine was far out of my comfort zone in those days. Getting into trance was a little closer. Not that I ever attained it, but I knew how it was to feel drunk, stoned or out of my mind from a combination of happiness and adrenaline, like with the skydive I did above Adelaide. So being in trance was something I could imagine and wanted to experience. Dancing didn’t seem the way to reach if for me, but he: why not give it a chance?
Light in my head
With a blindfold on – to go deeper inside myself – we started to breath: twice deep in through the nose and once out through the mouth. It made me feel a little light in my head. After a few minutes the music started. Grounding, earthly music: African drums, Australian didgeridoos. Djembes. I started to dance. Normal dance moves as far as they are normal with me. Slowly I felt that my body started to move on its own. It wasn’t my mind anymore that created the moves, it was my body doing it. It wasn’t voluntary muscle movement, but involuntary. It didn’t look anything like dancing at all. I was just shaking like hell. I could stop it, if I wanted to, but seemingly this was what my body wanted, so I let it shake.
In that dance it became clear for me that my body and my mind are two separate things. My body has a will of its own. Now I’ve studied anatomy and physiology I know my body does a lot of work without my mind being in charge of it. Think of your digestion, heartbeat, respiration rate. It’s not our mind depending what and how; it’s our body. But our body can move on its own as well.
To reconnect with our body again, this shaking meditation is a wonderful exercise. In our Western society most of us have become too much head and have become disconnected from their bodies. This shaking meditation is not only good to reconnect, but also to let go of any tension or stress we might have in us.
How to do the shaking meditation
- Warm up the room you want to dance/shake in. Feel free to do it naked, but if you’re more comfortable wearing something wear some loose sitting clothes
- Make sure you have space to dance and that your room is safe enough to move around with your eyes closed
- Have some water or tea ready. You might get thirsty from all the dancing/moving
- Have a blanket close by
- Now lets shake:
- Close your eyes
- Start shaking your left hand. Only your left hand for about 2 minutes
- Stop after these 2 minutes and feel the difference between your left and right hand
- Start shaking your left hand again and now let the movement go to your whole left arm. Again for 2 minutes
- Stop shaking and feel the difference between your left arm and your right arm
- Start shaking your right hand only. Dot this for 2 minutes
- Stop and feel how right is feeling and how left is feeling
- Start shaking your right hand again and let your right arm follow the movement and shake with. Do this again for 2 minutes
- Stop shaking and be aware how left and right are feeling
- Start shaking both hands, let your arms follow, let your belly and chest follow and your head and neck. Try to keep your legs still. Do this for 5 minutes
- Stop shaking and feel the difference between upper and lower body
- Find your balance on your right foot. Maybe you have to hold on to something. Start shaking your left foot for 2 minutes
- Stop and feel the difference between left and right foot
- Start again with your left foot and let the rest of your left leg follow. Again 2 minutes
- Stop and feel the difference between left and right leg
- Now it’s the turn of your right leg. Find your balance on your left foot and start shaking your right foot for 2 minutes
- Stop and feel left and right
- Start again with your right foot and let your whole right leg shake. 2 minutes
- Stop and bring your awareness to both legs
- Start again and shake both legs. Keep your upper body relatively still. Do this for 5 minutes
- Start again with your hands, let your arms follow, your belly, chest, your legs and finally your head. Make sure you don’t lock your neck and head. Let it move free and shake it. Feel free to make noises if you want. You can groin, moan, sigh, shoot; just let go of it all. Shake for 20 up until 30 minutes. More if you want and have energy
- Find your blanket, lay down on the floor and cover yourself with your blanket. Focus on your body and your breath. Keep your eyes closed and just be
- Stay laying down 10 up until 15 minutes. Slowly stretch yourself and roll over on one side. With the help of a hand come sitting up. Take a few, slow, deep breaths before you open your eyes again
- Go slow for the rest of the day
If you don’t get into a trance the first time you do this shaking meditation don’t worry. It’s completely normal. The more you can let go, the easier you will get into trance. The more you’re striving for it, the bigger the chance it won’t happen.
If you dream very lively the night or the nights after: that’s perfectly normal as well. The shaking meditation is a strong meditation and there is a chance your unconsciousness is letting go of a lot of old emotions.