I very much appreciate dance both for the beauty of movement and for its ability to convey ideals that are more clearly expressed non-verbally. Aakash Odedra: “Murmur: A Dance In A Hurricane Of Paper, Wind and Light” is a very powerful and meaningful work. I appreciate both its artistry and reflection of the life quest for Enlightenment. We are entangled to the Karmic world and enter each new existence with our individual Alaya-Vijnana, the collective store-consciousness, a collective stream of consciousness carrying our hopes, dreams, desires. It is our past Karmic deeds and the subjective reactions based on our individual Alaya-Vijnana that envelope us in the whirlwind of life and lead us astray from The Path.
Aakash Odedra titled his piece “Murmur” and indeed our collective conscious package and the yearning for the meaning of life is within each of us and propel us in the present existence. It is easy to fall into the trappings of the “only one life to live” falsehood and the annihilation of accountability for the unfolding of our Karmic existence. It is too easy to succumb to the defeated notion that our fate is willed by an external source and our life circumstances is outside the realm of our own doings. It is essential to realise that ultimately we are both accountable and self-empowered to save ourselves. We must stand firmly in the whirlwind of life to observe, analyse, and react to the challenges and opportunities from a position of stillness and clarity.
“Murmur” is a multi-media performance dance that is mesmerisingly beautiful and deeply moving. The work convey much depth through the well-thought staging, movement, music, lighting, and multi-media usage. The performer dances inside a circle formed by fans representing the eight winds of life. The winds blow and envelope us in the whirlwind of chaos and confusion within an endless cycle of birth and death. They are the external and internal distractions and diversions that hinder our quest for spiritual knowledge and Inner Peace. As the dance progresses, the performer acknowledges the murmur inside himself and embarks on the discovery for knowledge and everlasting peace. His sincerity and conviction lead him to a downpour of information, and the concrete knowledge envelop him in a hurricane of paper, wind, and light.
Encountering the knowledge for our self-salvation and endeavouring to understand and live in The Teaching are essential elements along the journey toward Nirvana. Standing in the whirlwind of paper, the performer recognises The Teaching as symbolic by his picking-up the book. He holds onto the book throughout the chaos with the determination to understand the meaning conveyed. As he begin his study, the words flies off the pages into him and information pour from the open pages in an avalanche of concrete meanings. Disorder and chaos persist as an influx of information is absorbed and engaged. He remains determined to decipher and distill the meaning from the concrete words. He continues striving for knowledge no matter how the strong the eight life winds are blowing around him and he progressively assimilates The Teaching into life.
In the dance, as the performer begins applying his knowledge to daily life, whirlwind of confusion, disorder, temptations becomes formidable and challenges his progress. Both the inner and outer diversions keep him from standing upright in his life path. As we move along the life journey, there are a multitude of desire, distraction, and noise all competing to silent the inner murmur propelling the search for spiritual nourishment.
All the life experiences can either aid or hinder our life path depending on whether we can remain steadfast along the spiritual quest and remaining firmly grounded when encountering the flurry and fury of daily life. Using the Inner Light to shine upon and transforming each facet of everyday life into an opportunity for inner contemplation and outer expression of The Teaching. For me, I feel it is essential to participate and integrate into the flow of life, so that I can confidently and consistently assimilate The Teaching under all circumstances. Life with all of its complexities, temptations, and banalities is an essential laboratory to test the validity of The Teaching for transcendence into Enlightenment. All aspects of life from the daily food choices to nourish the physical body to the current news event are essential knowledge for a Karmic citizen. One must have awareness in order to make informed decisions rather than follow in blind faith.
It is vital to not be caught in the whirlwind of the concrete words and the varied conveyance methods. It is critical to not let the concrete agent distract from the transmission of The Teaching. It is all too easy to be cling to metaphors and lose sight of the wisdom being conveyed. The trappings of the concrete meaning are perilous since they can lead one astray from The Path. The written words are meant to transmit The Teaching by making the invisible visible through the myriad of examples and metaphors. The Teaching is abstract and difficult to grasp, since we are limited by the physical Karmic existence and the reality of our own creation. Our interpretation of the concrete agent can either trap us within or set us free. We can only breakthrough the confinements of the Karmic existence by letting go of the concrete teaching and embracing The Teaching conveyed.
In the end, the performer is able to both overcome and negate the whirlwind. He gets up, stand firmly and finally objectively face the events unfolding around him. He has already puts down the book and let go its concrete words and ultimately live with its Meaning. There is clarity, peace, and stillness. The steady light shines and illuminates throughout. He negates the life winds to stand upright unswayed and existing in the infinite stillness and light of The Truth.
As I continue my own dance in the hurricane of wind, paper, and light, The Teaching shall keep me steady and firm in life’s whirlwind. I am determined to achieve a Timeless Inner Peace and Enlightenment in the here and now. My life journey is toward my the ultimate spiritual destination: Nirvana.
December 15, 2014