Meditation in Movement
The Dance of the Vajra is a unique form of meditation that has the capacity to harmonize our energy. It is performed on a mandala that represents the correspondence between the internal dimension of each individual and the external dimension in which we live. The precision of the movements, together with the energy of sound and melody, bring the mind into a contemplative state. In this way we harmonize the three main aspects of our existence (body, energy, and mind), and find calmness and deep relaxation. The gentleness of the movements and the immediacy of the experience are characteristic of the path of Dzogchen.
The Dance of the Vajra is a meditation in movement.
The simple, slow and fluid movements relax the body, clear the mind, and relieve the tensions of our daily life.
Through dancing we activate and coordinate specific energy points in our body according to an ancient knowledge of channels and chakras. In this way the Dance of the Vajra dissolves energy blocks, harmonizes the three main aspects of our being – body, energy and mind – and develops presence and awareness.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu introduced the Dance of the Vajra to his students for the first time in 1990.
Video: Izabella Jaroszewska / Editing: Mirella D'Angelo/ Text: Prima Mai, Izabella Jaroszewska/ Music: Constantino Albini, Prima Mai.
The Dance of the Vajra can be practiced on a mandala by up to twelve dancers, six men and six women. Following precise sequences of steps, the men move mainly in a clockwise direction while the women move counter-clockwise. The movements are coordinated by the sound of sacred syllables (mantras), which can be found in the original texts of the Dzogchen Teaching. On special occasions, the dancers may wear original multi-colored costumes.
Chögyal Namkhai Norbu has taught different Vajra dances. For example, in the Dance that Benefits Beings, twelve practitioners, six females and six males, dance together on a five-color mandala representing the correspondence between the internal dimension of the individual and the external dimension of the world. The Dance is accompanied by the music and the chanting of the mantra of the Six Spaces of Samantabhadra (the primordial Buddha).
Vajra is a Sanskrit term that can be translated as "indestructible condition", a condition which, in the Dzogchen teaching, corresponds to our true nature, the real condition of all phenomena, non-dual and beyond judgment and conceptual thinking.
The Dance of the Vajra is an expression of the principle of Dzogchen practice, or contemplation. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu said about it: "In the ancient texts of Dzogchen we find described various Vajra Dances that seem to have been used in those times, although more recently only a scant number of Vajra Dances have remained a living tradition in a few monasteries. A Vajra dance is generally considered to be a sacred dance and is presented as such. This Dance of the Vajra is related to the practice of Contemplation or what we call the state of Dzogchen.”