Dance, Theatre & Games
One of the reason I enjoy reading Ngakpa Chögyam (NC) is that I resonate with many of the images he uses. In this post I link to several Triangulation posts which perhaps illustrate that resonance — that yuan.
In chapter 1, “Limitless Dance”, NC describes Tantra as a “florid, fecund and fiery dance” (pg 29). The Dance reminded me of one of the gods on my Atheist altar , Shiva — the Lord of the Dance.
If I have a non-Buddhist, inner theist self, he would look toward a monkey-god deity like Shiva. In his ecstatic dancer form (Nataraja), Shiva is oblivious to the details of the world. His dance both indiscriminately creates (Lasya) and destroys (Tandava) — to me it declares a beautiful roadkill theology. Yes, ‘beautiful’ because it is what is! I see specialness in the mundane and find glory in insignificance. Saying life is a game, is a positive statement for me.
Having done acting when I lived in Japan, I thoroughly enjoyed a theatre analogy NC made on page 33 where he writes:
The theatre provides a form for the formlessness of not knowing what’s going to happen next — but life doesn’t seem to provide that. The theatre and the theatrical performances that occur can be understood as the structural back-drop for uncertainty [emptiness]. You don’t mind the uncertainty because you have the definition of being a spectator — of being part of an audience. But who are you when the theatre is the entire context in which you find yourself? … What happens is: you experience emptiness.
Though I meditated and was sympathetic to much of Buddhist thought, before reading David Chapman’s site “Approaching Aro” and then NC’s writings, the Buddhist theological notion of “Emptiness” was not inviting. In his theatre analogy, NC tells us that tantra is the ability to experience emptiness as exhilarating and to know its inseparable (non-duality) with “Form”. These are not terms I would have used before, but when understood in the Aro sense, they resonate with what I understand with games, dance, theatre, insignificance and yuan — my mind’s familiar tromping ground.
My other posts on:: “Weaving the Body of Visions” by Ngakpa Chögyam.
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