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What Is The Evidence For Chakra Energization In Belly Dance?

Chakra Energy in Belly Dance, Part 3

(ZAGHAREET! "For Beginners", Nov/Dec. 2006)
by Anthea Kawakib Poole

Before we continue with “expanding our concept of practice” as promised last issue, let’s recap our exploration up to now of the emotional and mental attitude changes many students encounter after a year or so of belly dancing.

And I wonder, if this is so, shouldn’t teachers attend to this issue?  Isn’t this important in the overall educational consideration of the dance?  Can we effectively lead students without knowing where we’re going?  Is this so uncomfortable, weird, new, that we prefer not to go there?  (The irony is, as we see re the yoga analogy, it’s not really new at all.)

We can respect and honor our dance traditions without being stifled by them. Wisdom gained from experience, together with our increased knowledge and insight should lead to progress and development in our personal dance experience; and eventually, the wider dance community.  However, if your teacher isn’t aware of or talking about these issues, it’s not your place to bring it up in class. Some of you may–in fact, will–surpass your teacher in knowledge, experience, and ability; and you may absolutely itch with the impulse to “help her” with information she seems unaware of, but while you’re in class leave the teaching to the teacher.  If you find articles or resources of interest, kindly bring it up to her outside of class, and then drop it.

Judging from a recent search on "kundalini syndrome" in Amazon.com's book section resulting in over two dozen returns, it appears that awareness of this phenomenon is making its way into our culture. It's likely to become the next New Age fad - but our growth and understanding can be hindered by looking for a faddish “quick fix”.(7)

No book, dvd, or six-week course will teach belly dance OR enlightenment. Maturity takes time

Neither should mystical experiences (sometimes associated with the rising energies) be a measure of positive growth. Our egos can be trained to choose compassion over selfishness, but they can also fool us regarding our "spirituality" or "spiritual growth"!
Mariana Caplan writes,
"One dramatic example of ego as interpreter can be found in the 'spiritualized ego.' Ordinary egos do the things that ordinary egos do: continuously try to gain the upper hand; act selfishly; lie, cheat, and steal a little. But spiritualized egos have their own game: they talk in a soft and spiritual tone; they create a certain facial glow or aura that they learn to emanate; they have 'intense' experiences regularly; they know the dharmically-correct answer to every situation. Anyone with minimal intelligence can take the dharma spiritual teaching and manipulate it from an egoic perspective."(8)

My hope is that those of you who go on to explore the “hidden realities of the dance”, and chiefly, those among you who hear the call to be a teacher, expand and uplift the dance like yeast leavens dough, taking the time to fully develop your contribution so it can nourish us all. I’ve already seen some fruits of this “new” awareness begin to grow, from seeds planted in the rows of tradition... and while the harvest so far is small, my tummy is smiling in anticipation!

(Continued in Part 4, Expanding our Concept of Practice)

7. Greenwell, Bonnie; op. cit. p. 20: "There is a tendency to avoid serious consideration of the demands for change instigated by a spiritual life and the hope that 'enlightenment' is all accomplished in some nice, neat, and all-inclusive meditation experience."
8. Caplan, Mariana; Halfway Up The Mountain, Arizona, USA: Hohm Press, 1999, p. 146.

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