Dance of Liberation™ offers a sacred container with an easy-to-follow methodology for living a modern life of purpose and connection. The 7 foundations of DOL are a map that guides people to live their lives to the fullest with commitment and accountability. The DOL formula has been adapted to meet the needs of non dancers both on and off the dance floor.
Seven Foundations of Dance of Liberation™:
- Sanctuary: Creating Sacred Space
- The Power of Intention
- The Blindfold: Insight
- Embodied Breath
- Music: Attunement
- Dance of Life
- Integration & Service
Foundation Three--The Blindfold as a Tool for Inner Sight
In the Third Foundation of Dance of Liberation (DOL) we incorporate the blindfold as a tool for inner sight. Through closing our eyes, we discover what it means to go inward. We then create a new relationship with dance. Through dance, we can then cultivate a new relationship with ourselves. After all, the way we are on the dance floor is the way we are in every part of our lives.
All too often when we dance we spend our time wondering if we are doing it right and evaluating how we look. In these moments, judgment becomes our dance partner. When our inner dialogue is filled with self-criticism, mental chatter, and repetition of old attachments, it can be an obstacle to seeing ourselves clearly. On the other hand, closing our eyes reduces these distractions allowing the dance to be an opportunity for self-discovery. Dance becomes an act of liberation allowing us to receive the lessons from the dance floor.
In my own life, I connect to this exploration every time I put on the blindfold. As I write this, I am setting my intentions around partnership after being divorced for seven years. When my eyes are open, I am busy working. When my eyes are closed, I am able to ask myself the questions I am too distracted to consider otherwise. When my eyes are closed, I connect to my feminine energy and desire for a family.
You may have your own process of inquiry, the questions you would like to ask yourself, or the areas in your life where you seek more clarity. This Foundation of the Blindfold supports your ability to listen to your inner voice to reveal your own answers. Our bodies are the repositories of wisdom. Our goal is to learn to embody the intelligence found here.
Dancing with our eyes closed may seem disorienting at first. With practice, become comfortable with the process of changing our orientation from looking outside of ourselves to looking within ourselves. Through closing our eyes and using senses other than sight, we take a journey into a vision quest of our own making. We become sensitive to and aware of the feel, rather than the “image,” of our own bodies. Our other senses become more heightened. We move through space differently. We discover the truth of the poet William Blake’s line, “The body is that portion of soul discerned by the five senses.”
In the seclusion of darkness, we awaken our intuition and strengthen our ability to see our inner truth. We become the observer and the navigator of our experience by letting go of our visual distractions. The blindfold allows a person to see beyond seeing. There is a Native American teaching that describes the ability to see things not just with the physical eyes, but with the heart. According to my Elder Wakia Un Manee, Thunder He Walks With, “If you see a drum with the eyes of your heart then you’re going to see the animal that gave its life for you to have that drum.” This is the practice of the blindfold. Since we are so used to having our outer eyes be our teachers, closing our eyes allows us to connect to what lies beneath.
Beloved teacher and author Debbie Ford explained this interaction beautifully. In a conversation with me, she said, “The use of the blindfold is so powerful because it takes all the attention off the outer world and draws you right into your inner world. When you have the blindfold on, you enter an internal journey that opens up your heart and allows you to be liberated from the bottom of your toes to the top of your head. It is an amazing dance between your humanity and your divinity.”
My own personal practice has enabled me to cultivate the relationship between my humanity and my divinity. When I dance blindfolded, I am able to shift from the performance of dance to the pray-formance of personal ritual space. Dance shifts from exhibition to exploration. It becomes a chance to gather both information and wisdom. I dance again and again in a quest to reveal my personal truth. Off the dance floor, I utilize what I have discovered in order to bring change in my daily life.
Blindfolded Meditation Practice
You can also engage with the blindfold through meditation. This can be as simple as closing the eyes. If you want to reduce your temptation to peek, or if you would like to calm and comfort the eyes, try a blindfold. Some blindfold suggestions include an eye cover, an eye pillow, a scarf, a bandana, or a piece of soft fabric.
Work with the First Foundation of DOL and Create Sacred Space. Simply sit with the blindfold. Make a connection with it. In the practice of the inner vision quest, this prop is not just an eye cover; the blindfold is the gateway to the inner experience.
The second foundation of DOL: The Power of Intention, set a focal point for the journey. You may have a question you would like to answer, or something for which you are seeking guidance. There are many right intentions and no wrong ones.
Once you feel that you have an intention in mind close your eyes and/or place the blindfold over your eyes. Breathe. Connect. View yourself from your inner sight.
You can remain here for a few breaths, for a few minutes, or longer. You may find that you start out with shorter sessions, and then allow them to naturally increase over time.
After you remove the blindfold, take time to reflect. You can journal, talk, draw, drum, or share to integrate your experience.
May the power of the blindfold fully release me from any and all obstructions to seeing clearly with my heart. May I let go of what is ready to be released, may I recreate my new life, and rewrite my soul’s contract.