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Meditation: Catharsis and Celebrative Dance

Hoje em Dia, Brazil
by Alessandra Anselmo

     It could look strange but, while most of us are sleeping in the early hours of the morning, a group of people in more than 70 countries – including Belo Horizonte and more than 6 other cities in Brazil – are singing and dancing in a movement of catharsis that culminates in a real ballet...all of it for those in search of inner peace.
     These people have been participating since June 24th in the 21 days Dynamic Meditation project around the world, which finishes on July 14th.
     According to the organizer of the project in Belo Horzonte, Marga Premen, the basic idea is to create an energy chain around the world, directed towards meditation and inner peace.
     But what is meditation? According to Marga Premen, meditation is to experience yourself as a watcher, free of thoughts or – as Zen philosophy expresses it – meditation is the art of sitting and doing nothing.
     "This [Dynamic] meditation activates the obsession of modern man's mind to do; it allows for expressing the unexpressed and finding the space of the watcher," explains Premen. "One of the significant contributions of Osho was to adapt the traditional oriental meditation to modern man," she says. "Modern man is devoted to action, he is obsessed with doing. And it doesn't make sense to isolate oneself in order to meditate, like monks do, who renounce the world."
     In Dynamic Meditation, the rhythm of modern man's life is respected and used to move into consciousness, to find meditation.
     "Dynamic uses movement of the body to bring it to a state of exhaustion," affirms Premen. In one hour, the five stages of this technique are developed, moving from action to celebration. Viewed rationally, Dynamic Meditation can look like nonsense but, according to Premen, enterprises around the world are using it as a way to reduce the violence and stress between their employees.
     An example is the ..."Driving Yourself Sane" for bus drivers in Sweden , which is also used by a collective transport enterprise in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, the Banco da Brazil, Lufthansa in Munich and the British Gas Cooperation in England.
.      Premen explains that meditation is the first step, according to the Osho vision, for one to attain the plenitude of the inner world of Buddha and the exuberance of the outer and earthly world of the character Zorba the Greek – the same principle of balance of all oriental philosophies.
     In Osho's words: "In the first place one needs to be a Zorba, a flower of the earth, and through this human state acquire the capacity to be a Buddha, a flower of the other world. The inner world is not far away from the world we live in, on the contrary the inner world is hidden in this one. This world is only a manifestation of the other, and the other is the non-manifested part of this one."
     The people who participate in the Dynamic Meditation use diverse words to describe a similar feeling at the end of the technique. Psychologist Erica Maria da Silva Ara-Fajo is participating in Dynamic for the first time. She is an adept of Transpersonal Psychology and says she is interested to know everything in this field. "After the meditation I feel super-light, clean and loose. This technique allows for an incredible 'let go'," she says.
     The musician, Paksha, a sannyasin, has known Dynamic since '82 and, according to him, this is the most significant technique developed by Osho. For Paksha the aspect that is most important is the balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual sides of oneself. "In daily life there is always a side that is uppermost, but Dynamic includes all of them, creating a great balance," he affirms.
     For businesswoman Rosilene Tolentino, to do Dynamic was a challenge. "In the beginning I found this technique very tiring, but today it is already a great pleasure," she says, and continues, "So much transformation happened – it saved my life."
     The same feeling of challenge was what brought the owner of the bistro of the Belos Artes Cine/Liberty, Alex Alano, to do the meditation. He says that, in the last year, he spent 30 days doing Dynamic Meditation, and found it difficult and tiring. To dissolve this impression he decided to do the 21 days and now everything has changed. He finds the Dynamic great and it is not difficult to wake up early to do the meditation, even though he works at night. "Dynamic brings a great feeling of clarity, non-anguish, non-anxiety," he says. For Alex, the sequence of the 21 days makes the benefits of the meditation felt more intensely.

I Did Dynamic Meditation

     On the Thursday just passed I woke at 5.30 am, after a few hours of sleep, took a shower, dressed in comfortable clothes and went to the auditorium of the Instituto Anix, at 800 Mato Grosso Street. My aim was to do the Dynamic Meditation, out of curiosity and to be able to describe the atmosphere and talk to people who were participating in this technique. The curiosity was satisfied, but to describe the milieu and the behavior of people became very difficult as Dynamic is done wearing a blindfold. We don't see anything; we just feel.
     Before the meditation starts, Marga Premen played a tape where Osho was explaining the fourth stage of Dynamic. The mystic was speaking in English and she was translating. After that Premen explained what I would do in each stage of the meditation. Everybody stands up, blindfolded and Dynamic starts....
     A deafening music of drums, played arhythmically, echoes in the room, while I hear people breathing vigorously through the nose, and I try to do the same. In a few minutes I am dying, so hot, and at the same time my hands and feet are freezing cold. Waves of heat and cold pass through my body. I become tired of breathing this way but I persevere.
     After what seems like infinity, a very high gong resonates, indicating that it is time for catharsis. We are already in the second stage and the drums go on beating. People start screaming like mad, me included.
     But suddenly I am taken over by an overwhelming fear and I feel like lying on the floor. I don't want to do that, out of pure fear – the fear of the hell described by Dante. Then, for no reason at all, the fear is gone and I start screaming in different ways, alternating with groans...so that when – finally! – we pass on to the third stage, I am dead tired and consider whether it is not better to stop and just watch.
     Now I need to jump, raising the arms, touching the floor with my heels, shouting "Hoo." The music now is a rhythmic beat. Sometimes I shout and jump; sometimes I only shout "Hoo" and sometimes I am quiet, listening. I am sweating like mad and can't wait for this stage to be finished.
     When I hear "Stop!" I realize we are in the fourth stage. I should stay exactly as I am, at that order. It is at this stage that we meditate. I am in an uncomfortable position and, even knowing that I should not move, my legs move involuntarily. I start to be aware of the movement of the city waking up around me, and forget the discomfort of the position. I don't know how long that lasted but I didn't want this stage – the best I had experienced – to ever finish.
     Suddenly very soft Indian music starts playing. Even though I don't want to stop being quiet, I realize we are in the fifth stage and we are to dance. I dance with pleasure – why, I don't know. The rhythm is changing and carrying me, and I just let go. I feel an incredible freedom, especially because I know I am not being watched. I dance vigorously until the music quietens and finishes.

     When I took off my blindfold I had the impression that millions of synthetic lamps were turned on. But no, it was only the sun shining into the auditorium. Some people were lying on the floor, others were spread out on cushions and a few were moving around the room: all were silent. After a few moments the noise came back into the room – people were talking and laughing, and I was looking forward to talking to them.
     During Dynamic Marga Premen was guiding people, giving some instructions which for me, a sailor on my first trip, helped a lot. In this first experience of mine with a meditation method I don't feel I found the overflowing state of well being and quietness that people talk about. But I feel I came very close to it.
     The experience of Dynamic, even though it was trying, was very positive. I thought I would be dead tired but, just the reverse: I felt super-active and full of energy while running home, at almost 9 o'clock, to write this text. I don't know if I will go back tomorrow, but I feel the desire to overcome the body's lethargy, and it is a challenge to experience more intensely the state of calm, joy and wellbeing that invaded me.

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