A Story About The Passion of Art As The Path
« Cycle of the Five Wisdoms »
Dancer since birth, Buddhist practitioner since 1981 and now Choresopher as my central activity, my name is Yumma Mudra and my heart has always felt love for Vajra Yogini, the Wisdom Dakini who « dances in the sky » manifesting the nature of mind itself. Her seductive light would be the secret beating leading my heart into the simple mystery of presence.
I met Michael Ash [founder of Dakini As Art and The Yogini Project] through videoconferences in 2014. His work and social media page « The Yogini Project » struck me and retained my attention because I simply loved his publications. Through a series of video calls we began to deepen the our conversation of possible collaborations. He shared his intention to create « Dakini As Art » and thus we began to dream about creating productions all over the planet, ultimately joining in a single « Dakini As Art Festival » with many different Dharma Art artists.
Although our plans unfolded differently at that time – Dakinis have their own ways – a year later Michael asked Dakini As Art painter Tiffani Gyatso and I to connect, with the intention of eventually publishing conversations among Dakini As Art artists online. Tiffani’s paintings were among my favorite in the « Dakini as Art » galleries, so I was delighted by the opportunity to meet her online. Our connection would continuously unfold from Michael’s initial invitation then.
In 2004 I had created the « Danza Duende Network », an international network of training through the deep study of Dance as a path towards vital human qualities. Body awareness, full musical body, geometry consciousness, space awareness, mindfulness in action and in meditation, transformation of emotions, knowledge of one’s own breath and of one’s own anatomy, are among the tools used to increase heartfelt listening and communication, in order to create what I call : « Fields of Wisdom ». The concept is to join those trained into the « University of Choresophy » through events which become public Mandalas of offering. The productions, are created with the intention of co-creating compassion and wisdom through Art.
These events are more about jumping into presence and the simple ritual of spontaneous art than about promoting religions or theoretical views: To share an authentic experience through the training of Body, Speech and Mind that can take many, many very different forms. The main manifestation of this human Laboratory happens every 3 years in a lovely small city of Serpa in Portugal. This is where, in 2016, I would finally meet Michael Ash and Tiffani Gyatso in person, surrounded by the hundreds of people who came to this very special meeting of the Duende Network.
Mandalas are interconnected between all beings, and this here outlines how Raji Choresopher and myself ended up teaching and dancing in Brazil during all of March 2018. Virginia Diano Teijeiro, an Uruguayan Dancer living in Florianopolis, was longing for us to extend the Duende Network into Brazil, giving the impulse for all this to happen.
Tiffani Gyatso and Ahanti Camarano kindly hosted Raji and myself during the teaching of « Breathe of Choreosophy » at their new « Atelier Yab Yum » in Brazil. « Atelier Yab Yum » is on a magic mountain , just near « Retiro Tao Tien ». Tiffani and Ahanti built from the bottom of their hearts this tiny retreat house where one can see the sunrise, and talk with birds or monkeys. It is a marvelous place to contemplate the beauty of life, to share, to create and to dance.
The core of the tour was my teaching of « Cycle of the Five Wisdoms », a week long retreat, which is the main aspect of our three Cycles of trainings in Duende Network : « Cycle of the Dragon », « Cycle of the 5 Wisdoms », « Cycle of the Mysteries ».
Beyond providing the space, I invited Tiffani Gyatso to offer a few of the sessions during the retreat. Tiffani showed to us her amazing artwork and as we shared our intuitions, we decided to take the « Flower of Life » , a basic frame for Islamic geometry, and the experience of full color as the basics for our investigation. My vision since the beginning was to demonstrate how the body is our main instrument for everything we do, be that dance or painting or singing . As the teaching on 5 Wisdoms relates to colors, that was obviously easy to integrate. Discovering the Flower of Life, gave us a very new perspective, this frame of circles adapted perfectly to the structure of our Dance and Breath teachings, based also on geometry and space awareness.
On the celebration of the Day of the Woman, I invited Tiffani to perform with me « One Tree, Two Lives » a Choreosophy Ritual based on a poem I wrote about the « Tree of Life ». It was a strong experience of spontaneous performance, which felt from the beginning something we were dreaming about years ago – Inviting the Wisdom Dakini to manifest in the world through « Intemporal Authentic Performances », not based on « style » but rather on direct presence.
After this the 7 day retreat commenced, living fully our natural relationship and inner reactions to 5 main colors, to situations, to the touch of clay, the contemplation of colors, the dance and the body dynamics in space, the study of our own breath through movement, stillness and also, through communication.
The last day of our retreat happened on the birthday of the Atelier Yab Yum. Thus we ended with a simple feast. Raji performed a magnificent Solo of Choreosophy, and Tiffani danced as Ahanti played music. We burned in a joyful fire the mandalas we had been creating on paper all week. This ritual burning served as both offering and reminder, how precious and rare is our human body, how important it is to us to fully live this present and enjoy the opportunity to free ourselves from what binds our heart and what can blind our mind. These precious days are secret to each one’s heart and impossible to describe. The blessing of living together in such a perfect environment came to me as a treasure of gratitude.
I am happy to remember all of that which now is gone into our memories but which created some light in our hearts. Helping us approach carefully and humbly the brightness of the Wisdom Dakini that dances in the sky of the essence of our very own mind, here and now, always.
Yumma Mudra 8 May, 2018