Saturday, April 10, 2010

A spiritual experience

Last night, I attended an amazing performance of a spiritual dance troop called U-Theatre. This group, from Taiwan, did a powerful performance with Taicho drums, tai chi, martial arts, and choreography entitled "Meeting with a Bodhisattva."

I enjoy dance performances and watching people move their bodies to music and I firmly believe that creative efforts are either a conscious or unconscious spiritual practice. But this particular performance, based on the Buddha's teachings and on the dance troop's commitment to meditation, was something at a whole other level.

Set in six scenes, it told the story in rhythm and movement of one man's journey into understanding. The chanting and few spoken words were in Chinese with no translation but it was so clear what was happening to him. The drumming was hypnotic, fascinating, inspiring, and transcendent. I want some place inside myself that doesn't happen very often. It became clear that his journey was my journey, his search for understanding my search for understanding.

It's hard to describe what happened. My reaction was visceral and emotional, not verbal. But it is a performance I will not soon forget.

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