I spent the day at Hovander Park for the Bellingham Highland Games. I have become fascinated with bagpipes ever since hearing some guy from British Columbia, who was playing at the farmer's market two years ago. He was playing this incredibly upbeat fast piece with most of the notes in staccato rhythm. There was something about the song that touched something deep within me, because I suddenly started to cry almost to the point of sobbing. I had to walk away some distance till I calmed down. I then went back closer again and the same thing happened all over again. I was quite puzzled by this. Afterwards, I asked him the name of the song, hoping to get some information from him to explain my experience. But, nothing came of it. I went today in the hopes of hearing that song again and finding out the name of it and to do some research into it. When the opening ceremony was completed, all the bagpipe bands (with drummers), left the field. As they marched by playing, this one song touched me again like the other.
Later during the day, there were practice sessions prior to having to go out onto the field for competition. I got to stand right next to many of them and at times there would be a particular song playing that would touch me again. At times there would be a group of bagpipers on the left and a group of drummers on the left. Or sometimes several groups of bagpipers all playing different songs simultaneously with drummers nearby and it was just incredible hearing all the sounds. My energy would just flow out the crown chakra, and it was just the most beautiful thing to experience. During all this, it occurred to me that I must have had a past life experience, more specifically as a bagpiper. I think this is why I was so deeply moved by the music. Up until this time, I hadn't entertained the idea that I'd played in my past. This revelation just sort of bubbled up in my consciousness as I listened to the music. Along with this realization, I found a part of myself making the decision to learn how to play after graduate school.
A week or so ago, I'd been reading that the bagpipes had been outlawed many centuries ago in Scotland in 1745 and were considered weapons of war. So, as I stood there listening, it became apparent how these could be used in war. Their intensity and presence is immense, especially when standing right next to them. My left ear is a bit sore, as all of them wear earplugs. I wound up buying four CD's. One of the groups playing on stage was "Wicked Tinkers"; Simon Fraser University Pipe Band.
Ever since I had my kundalini awakening in 2000, I've become more sensitive to the flow of energy in my body. There are times when it gets really intense. For the first five years, there were times I would wake up early morning (2-3 AM) and the energy was so intense I thought I was going to die; it was that intense. At which point, I would get up and start doing my Qi-gong exercises to balance it out. I should've been doing them daily, but we all know how that goes sometimes, putting things off for later. At any rate, I still get intense flows, but not like that anymore, which leaves the left side of my entire head feeling bloated energetically. I've learned how to physiologically move the energy so that it is balanced on both sides, but sometimes it doesn't always work. I've found that body work helps a great deal to open up the energy channels/meridians. I am open to the possibility that there are other channels as well. I often use acupuncture, reflexology, SOMA body work, CranialSacral, and chiropractic (Toftness Method).
I find that music and dance actually assist in opening the flows in the channels as well. I often find myself listening to music and getting moved by spirit to get up and dance. When I dance, I find myself moving in ways that are totally intuitive versus culturally accepted or learned. It reminds of Qi-gong and Tai Chi in some ways, but more freestyle. I was talking with my SOMA practitioner, who also teaches Qi-gong and Tai Chi, about some particular experiences where I felt myself being moved by the energy into a form and being held there. I might add, this was quite an incredible experience and feeling, and its happened more than once. I was told that in Qi-gong, you are taught forms so as to learn how to move with the Chi, and to eventually get to a level of being moved by the Chi. He went on to tell me that there is something called freestyle Qi-gong where one is open to allowing the Chi to move them, which is what I am doing. This is the most incredible thing to do and I often find myself in my art studio for hours moving to this flow of harmonics. There are times when I am moved to tears, and I feel strongly that I am in a process of expressing what has no words.
This dancing with spirit (The Divine as it is called in Sufism and other traditions), is the most satisfying experience. I have found that techno works well, as well as other forms of electronic dance music, but also certain classical and new age music. While at the Highland games I felt a great stirring to move to the bagpipes and drums. I still have some work to do about letting go of what others will think in this category. Dancing in a space where others are dancing is one thing, quite another where no one is dancing. I went to the Highland Games with my friend Jules and when we got there, we went to the main stage to listen to Wicked Tinkers, and everyone was sitting for the most part. I commented to Jules on how everyone is no longer a participant in living, it is as if they just sit and watch. How sad. Anyway, just before we left, we met up in the area where the bagpipe bands were practicing prior to going on the field for competition. We were standing near one group and I was telling her how I really wanted to dance to the music, but felt people would think I was weird. So, she just started doing this wild movement with her arms moving all over the place, which then moved something in me and I started to dance to it. It was just incredible to say the least. I should have done it way earlier. Of course there were some people walking by us that were obviously uncomfortable with the fact that we were not abiding by the cultural rules of conformity. Oh well.
I am so wanting to open a space where people can come to move to music. Dance is really body movement, a connection where one can move with spirit, one's spirit and it is healing in ways that most are clueless about. My idea is about creating space for dance and a place for others to commune in a spiritual community where one can be nurtured, respected, comforted, and healed by others. There would definitely be no smoking or drinking. I might add organic foods and drinks and most definitely use my art projected onto screens to add to the experience. Wood floors would be key so people can dance barefoot for a good solid connection to the earth. Shoes are not conduce for this. I've gotten some good feedback from others about this idea and hope to create this after graduate school. Matthew Fox had something like this called the Techno Cosmic Dance, but it was still wrapped up in his belief system of mainstream religious ceremonies, which really turned me off.
I'm not interested in traditional ceremonies, such as communion. Spirit is not communion or a ceremony or a verse in the bible, it is a direct experience for each person to experience first hand; it has no name, no words, no intellectual process to it other than feeling it, moving with it and being moved by it, and experiencing the nuances of the energies of spirit. If others have had similar experiences, I would like to hear about them. There are people who are so bound up with the rules of cultural conformity that they are unable to do even simple movements. I used to do a body movement class and was able to witness first hand how others in the class could not do simple movements like slow log rolls. This is not a mocking of them, but of pointing out how controlled we are by our upbringing. When one watches little children, they are totally uninhibited in their movements. This is one of birth rights in expressing our spirits. Perhaps those who have a hard time with this can try doing this at home when no one is around. I used to dislike dancing unless I was drunk. I no longer care for alcohol and much rather enjoy the energy of spirit, which makes the dancing much more enjoyable due to many facets of our consciousness.