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The Most Subtle

“What happens in that passage between the subsiding of the movement and the beginning of deep rest?” That is the study question I asked my NYC Dervish Dancemeditation group in last week’s session. The perfume of a meditation period—from The Rosebush story—is most palpable in the stillness and inner gaze during the Deepening Phase that follows the active Effort Phase. (Three Phases of Deepening: Effort, Expansion, Deepening)

Here are a Sri Prem Baba’s thoughts, that are may be relevant: “Perhaps one of the main challenges for the spiritual seeker is the impulse to keep doing things. The ego always wants to do something, but there comes a time when there is nothing else that can be done. One simply needs to stop and quiet down, which will enhance one’s perception of the truth.”

Dream Swimmer SmallHal
Halat, the Sufi term for ‘mystical states’, is the intimacy with One that happens through the meditations—in our Dervish Practice, through Dancemeditations. These states are subtle, magnificent, penetrating, transformative. 80% of spiritual development happens during that state of hal. We could say that 80% of our time and energy goes to traversing Effort Phase and Expansion Phase and 20% to the Deepening Phase, while the inverse is true of spiritual growth—20% of the growth happens in Effort and Expansion, while 80% of the growth happens in Deepening Phase and ‘hal.’

Fine-ness and Subtlety
Jane Schmidt, CDMT, wrote: “Fine-ness, subtlety.  Same, same?  By some token?  I am listening to some music and want to somehow dive into it, the “fine-ness” of it, the subtlety… and just noticed in my “mind” the two words come up/came up together—subtlety and fine-ness. Smaller than small, essence-stuff, the indescribable fineness of it all.”

The word ‘subtle’ as an adjective is an attribute, like fine-ness, of the psycho-mystical state—hal. Subtly is also an attribute of the Divine. In Sufi, the Divine is characterized as attributes (versus a being or figure.) The Subtle is a name of the Divine. The Subtle embraces, underlies, contains, and motivates existence. The Subtle is All-pervasive. The Subtle is the Most Subtle. Sufi Master Ibn ‘Ata’Illah writes beautifully of this in Sufi Aphorisms (Kitab al-Hikam), translated by Victor Danner. Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1984.)

Dream Swimmer SmallIn the Sun, at the Waterfall
Krys Statho, CDMT wrote about my Passage question: “When I reflect on these moments, the words and phrases that come to mind are: nothing and everything, unfurling, unwinding, peace. Sometimes it feels the same as feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin while lying on a rock at the base of a 100 foot waterfall but quieter. Being in a state of humble awe.”

Yes, being in a state of humble awe…


2013 DM LOGO dancerMedSmCome, join me, for the experience ~

Cape Cod Winter Intensive | Dervish Dancemeditation
Feb 16-20
of which you can do a day or two days, etc.




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    1. Anastacia #

      As movement subsides, my heart rate and respiration rate slow. The preceding movement has moved any agitated energy through the channels so that the body can sink into relaxed awareness. Because of the nature of this work, usually, my mind has settled down and rests in the breath or in the moment. It seems perfectly okay, or even delicious, to simply sit and listen to the ambient sounds or the last strains of music.

      There is nowhere else to be, nothing to do.

      The moment seems to expand and expand and expand. The boundaries of my flesh seem permeable. Sensation is heightened- in a subtle way. It feels as though I can feel the blood flowing in my veins and arteries, I can feel the air flow over alveolar tissue deep in my lungs, I can feel prana/ energy flowing through the tissues and channels. Sometimes I can feel a pulsation in my brain, or perhaps it’s in the chakras of the head. Sometimes this effects the vision and the room can light up with colors and swirling eddies of energy. Amazing. I like the phrase “humble awe” from Krys, above.

      At some point this settles and becomes “deep rest.” Either lying or sitting, sleeping or awake, the body-mind feels as though it is using the energy generated to heal – to knit myself back together.

      February 7, 2013
    2. AK, I love the quieting description of what you feel in the subtle time. Just reading it calms me…

      There is, I see, some power in words…

      February 7, 2013

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