Most of the things that we can practice with the dance of shiva can be applied to anything we do. They include:
- learning to break complex tasks into simpler ones,
- sensing and choosing options,
- knowing what we are doing before we do it.
One of the advantages of the Dance of Shiva is that it provides a good way of practicing any of these skills. Plus you don’t have to figure out how to practice them, you can simply get on with practicing them.
One of the things we can practice is “leading with the mind” or “leading with a clear idea”.
In the more advanced practices (I call them “Warps”) we can memorize a sequence of moves. An example would be “CF-T, CF-CF, CF-B, F-CF.”
(CF=CHANGE FORWARDS, T=TRANSQUARTER, B=BACKWARDS, F=FORWARDS.)
This is a “generic” formula that can be used to start from any of the 64 different positions of the dance of shiva. Repeating this formula 4 times returns the arms to the position from which they started. So that we use each of these moves from each of the 64 positions we need to practice this formula from 16 different positions.
When practicing this sequence or any other sequence, before we “do” each move we can first see it with our mind.
As an example, starting from position 1-1 the first move is a CF-T which takes the arms to b-3. With enough practice we know the positions so that they are easy to see with our minds eye. As a result we can see our hands in position b-3 before we actually move them there.
From our new positions we can then see what the result of the next move is before we do it. From b-3 we can “see” that the CF-CF move will take our arms to 3-d. Having seen with our mind we can then move our arms there.
Rather than moving automatically and then checking where we are once we get there, we use our mind first and then follow with our body.
If we move first (automatically) and we move correctly, our hand position shows us where we went. That is not a “bad” thing. However, if we think first then we have to use our mind to draw up the memory of where our hands should go. Rather than relying on our body to give us the answer we use our mind and then we use our body.
We can learn to use our mind quite quickly in this fashion. Rather than waiting for our body to give us the answer so that we can check it, we use our mind and then check that our body has done the move correctly.
This is exactly like the kung fu movies where the adverseries see the fight and what they do in it before the fight actually begins.
Another term for gong fu is inner skill. I like to take this as meaning seeing with the mind first and then doing with the body. Practicing “inner skill” with the dance of shiva we develop our ability to think fast.
Thinking fast, we can do quick movements knowing that we are doing the movement correctly, or we are able to correct ourselves while we are doing the movement if we spot that we have made a mistake.
This “leading” with the mind lends itself immediately to what we do outside of the dance of shiva.
Do we know what it is that we are trying to do? If not what is it that we are trying to do. We can then spend time figuring it out rather than wasting time by doing something we don’t need to do. Then once we are doing something we can do it quickly, efficiently and like a martial arts master.
Practicing Warps, if we use our mind to know where we are going before we get there we can then lend additional brain power to monitoring our arms as they do the movement (since we already know where they are going.) We can make our movements more precis, more exact.
We then not only train our brain, we also train its ability to control the body while training the body at the same time.
To try out a warp (don’t worry, this is for free) click here.