Rather than using the language of Advaita Vedanta, or nonduality, I’m content to borrow the term “Living Teaching” in reference to this spiritual path that invites you to discover and love your natural freedom - freedom from suffering and discontent, freedom to know, engage, and experience life in which you are the dance, dancer and the dancing.
Unencumbered by the familiar restraints of conditioning, and empty of learned beliefs and concepts, you are invited to become free from limiting ideas about personal identity, thus enabling the flow and experience of this grand dance of creation in whatever way pleases your soul.
The Living Teaching is an invitation to life, love, and beauty, and to engage in the mystery of creation itself. It’s a path of trust, surrender and not knowing. It’s about seeing through the misunderstandings and falsehoods that have become like prison bars. It’s about realizing the natural happiness that's already here as your birthright. Adyashanti called it “Emptiness Dancing,” and Ram Dass named it “The Only Dance There Is.”
The statue of the Nataraja at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research
The dancing form of Lord Shiva is not only an extraordinary expression of Hindu art but also expresses a desire to help all people access their untapped inner potential without promoting a particular religion or spiritual belief. Lord Shiva is regarded as the most powerful god in Hinduism. Nataraja means "King of Dancers" In this form, Shiva dances the Dance of Bliss symbolizing the cosmic cycles of creation and dissolution, as well as the daily rhythm and harmony of life, of birth and death. The purpose of this dance is to release humankind from ignorance and the snare of the illusion of the self.
There is a saying in Zen “When the realization is deep, your whole being is dancing.” For realization to be complete it has to hit on three levels —head, heart, and gut. You can have a very clear, enlightened mind, but you’re being won’t be dancing. Then, when the heart starts to open along with the mind, you’re being starts to dance. Then everything comes alive. And when your gut opens up, there is that deep, deep, unfathomable stability where that opening, who is you, just died into transparency. You are dancing—the emptiness is dancing.
There is no one on this earth who does anything.
The whole universe is a puppet show. We're dancing the dance of Shiva.
We think we're something important. But we're really nothing as we appear.
Your job is to observe to watch, to see what's going on and not to react to anything that is happening but to stay separate from the happenings. To separate yourself from what is happening.
What's happening is happening to the I, to the ego, not to you.
Nothing can ever happen to you.
For your true nature is Brahman, Absolute Reality, Pure Awareness.
Yes, you are God whether you like it or not.
~ Robert Adams
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
A divine dance appears in the soul and the body at the time of peace and union. Anyone can learn this dance, just listen to the music.
Every subatomic particle not only performs an energy dance, but also is an energy dance; a pulsating process of creation and destruction…without end…For the modern physicists, then Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter. As in Hindu mythology, it is a continual dance of creation and destruction involving the whole cosmos; the basis of all existence and of all natural phenomena.
~ Fritjof Capra in The Tao of Physics
Your Beloved calls you here today
to ask you for this dance; what will you say?
Are you going to throw the chance away?
or listen to the music, listen to the music
in your heart.
~ Kirtana from the song Do You Hear The Music
Every child has known God,
not the God of names,
not the God of don’ts,
not the God who does anything weird,
but the God who only knows four words
and keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come dance with Me.”
This dance is the joy of existence. I am filled with you. Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul. There's no room for lack of trust, or trust. Nothing in this existence but that existence.
Those who say “You are not the body”, are only half-right.
Those who say “You are the body”, are only half-right.
We will never work it out.
We have no choice in the end, anyway.
We must all join the dance.
- Jeff Foster
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
The purpose of a song is the singing.
The purpose of a dance is the dancing.
The purpose of life is the living.
~ Chuck Hillig
Everything is determined…by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for the insect as well as for the star.
Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust—
we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
~ Albert Einstein
Mad with joy, life and death dance
to the rhythm of this music. The
hills and the sea and the earth
dance. The world of man dances
in laughter and tears.
Why put on the robe of the monk, and
life aloof from the world in lonely pride?
When life breathes love, what can we do but dance?
~ Pamela Wilson
When it is realized that you live in the present moment, that you are indeed the present moment, (the what-is here and now) and that therefore apart from this there is no past and no future, you cannot but relax and taste to the full, the pleasure or the pain, His will - the present moment. And then everything becomes obvious: why this universe exists, why sentient beings have been produced, why sensitive organs, why space, time and change. The whole problem of analyzing and justifying nature, of trying to make life mean something in terms of words and lateral thinking - all this becomes meaningless. Obviously, it all exists for this moment. It is a dance, and when you are dancing, there is only the dance, not any intent of getting somewhere.
~ Ramesh S. Balsekar,
Happiness is your nature,
effortlessness is your dance,
peace is your fragrance,
love is your perfume.
I am happy even before I have a reason.
I am full of Light even before the sky
can greet the sun or the moon.
we have been in love with God
For so very, very long.
What can Hafiz now do but
For the moment
are clothed in flesh.
Everything you do, whether you’re cooking food or doing therapy or being a student or being a lover, you are only doing your own being, you’re only manifesting how evolved a consciousness you are. That’s what you’re doing with another human being. That’s the only dance there is.
~ Ram Dass
Life is a dance. We are dancing...we are being danced...we twirl and spin and leap and exalt in the sheer joy of this dance. There are no wallflowers here. It is all dance floor. It matters not if we have a partner dancing opposite us. We are joined in the dance by all the other dancers. We are all in this ballroom together, bound by the music and compelled to move to its rhythm.
No it is not always graceful. We bump into each other, trip over feet...others and our own. Sometimes we fall.
Funny thing about this dance of ours...the harder we try the more clumsy we become. Our grace is in the letting go. When we surrender to the music it is free to move through us unrestricted. Our bodies and minds sway freely, smooth and effortless. It is ecstasy, in its purest, simplest and most mundane form.
We are blessed indeed to hear the divine choruses, even though
those who hear not the music, think we dancers are mad!
May your dance be joyous and effortless!
~ Wayne Liquorman
The most elegant and sublime of these is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle, a motif known as the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva. The god, called in this manifestation Nataraja, the Dance King. In the upper right hand is a drum whose sound is the sound of creation. In the upper left hand is a tongue of flame, a reminder that the universe, now newly created, with billions of years from now will be utterly destroyed. It is the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of.
~ Carl Sagan
You are free when you discover that your flaws are part of the Great Perfection, that your accidents are part of the Great Synchronicity, that your chaos is part of the Great Harmony, that your missteps are part of the Great Dance.
~ Michael Rodriquez
"We are so addicted, either to materialism or to transcending material reality, that we don’t see God right in front of us, in the beggar, the starving child, the brokenhearted woman; in our friend; in the cat; in the flea. We miss it..
All mystical systems are addicted to transcending this reality. This addiction is part of the reason why the world is being destroyed. The monotheistic religions honor an off-planet God and would sacrifice this world and its attachments to the adoration of that God.
But the God I met was both immanent and transcendent. This world is not an illusion, and the philosophies that say it is are half-baked half-truths. In an authentic mystical experience, the world does disappear and reveal itself as the dance of the divine consciousness.
But then it reappears, and you see that everything you are looking at is God, and everything you’re touching is God. This vision completely shatters you."
We love to see a child lost in the dance and not performing for an audience. To be happy and know that you are happy is really the overflowing cup of life. To dance as if there was no audience.
~ Alan Watts
When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
~ Thomas Merton