if movement is primal, is it “spiritual”?2009 11 25
I’ve got a nagging question that’s been bothering me ever since I first read Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia and Songlines, but more recently too.
If you accept that movement is an essential experience and a significant part of being human, then is movement, when practiced in a mindful, focused way, a “spiritual” practice?
I’m sure many Yogi’s out there would shout out : Yes! and just as many surfers would probably join them. However, if a group of rugby or soccer players also shouted Yea, how many of us would accept this?
In modern life, there’s been a healthy re-interpretation what defines, spiritual practice?
Do we have the room for this kind of interpretation?
I hope so. Don’t get me wrong, as I not completely against organized religions but rather looking for a more inclusive definition of spirituality. I believe that we all need to find meaning for our own existence, a connection to the natural world and to each other. I also think that this journey is filled with trials, mistakes and there’s no “quick absolution” for us.
Perhaps this is why, organized and group rituals like dancing and sports sometimes feel more like purging ceremonies than competitive events or performances. Their purpose being a means to create significant change both personally and socially for the members of the group.
Outside of large group dynamics, I think of people like Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, who seems to have discovered a way of experiencing reality in the moment we he’s climbing or surfing as someone like Eckard Tolle, or the Dalai Lama. Yet in his case, he wasn’t really looking for it.
- It makes me wonder, at what point in our past did we lose track of how movement, not simply reflection, is primary to feeling connected to energy of experience? My hypothesis is that we evolved in such as way that imprinted movement both socially and genetically into our species. Denying this link is simply like trying to see in the dark. We might find things but not after a lot of unnecessary bruising and getting lost.
So what kind of movements have the most profound impact on how we perceive ourselves, who we are and what we believe?
Science is tantalizingly close to answering this but I’m not waiting for all the research to come in. I feel like it’s my search to discover some of the answers.
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