Guest Scribe Craig Kohland: Find Yourself Ecstatic Dancing
Across time and culture, music and dance have long been revered for their power to heal body, mind and soul, strengthen the bonds of community and commune with spirit and nature. Exploration of music allows us to discover deeper aspects of our inner selves. Creating music to facilitate ecstatic and intentional movement practices has been my personal passion, career and life long spiritual path.
Cut off from its healing and esoteric roots, western culture has reduced dance to a form of entertainment, a way to socialize, or to attract a mate. It’s generally not thought of as a way to pray, meditate, evoke visionary experience, or commune with spirit and nature. Yet in the past decade or so, it seems that the ancient understandings of dance as a healing and spiritual modality are impressing themselves upon the modern mind, as if welling up from old, vibrant memories of the tribal soul within.
Just as we’ve seen with the growth of yoga in the world, the use of dance as a tool to initiate healing, visionary and ecstatic experience is being explored by increasing numbers of people searching for new levels of health, wholeness, and spiritual connection.
Ecstatic experience is the oldest form of healing and spiritual practice known with evidence of it dating back over 30,000 years to ancient traditions of Shamanism. It is believed that Shamans were the first to discover and codify the use and power of rhythm through drumming, dancing, and chanting to carry them on their journeys into a world beyond the ordinary. This understanding was the inspiration that lead me to choosing the name Shamans Dream for all my musical projects.
Ecstatic Dance in its most basic definition is free-form movement that is inspired by music, allowing our bodies to move freely without judgment or concern. It develops a direct body-spirit connection, letting our innate body wisdom to be our teacher. It's about being conscious to the present moment, our energy and what we are really feeling. This awareness can help us to release stuck patterns in our bodies, emotions, mind and spirit.
If any of this sounds exciting, you will have a chance to experience it first hand at Wanderlust Tahoe this year. I hope to see you on the dance floor.
~Craig Kohland is a talented multi-percussionist, performer, DJ, music producer, retreat and ecstatic dance facilitator driven by the healing rhythm of the drum and the creative expression of the sacred. Shaman’s Dream has been at the forefront of the yoga/ ecstatic dance music scene, producing some of the key albums used in this industry. Craig's most resent projects are his newest release Prana Pulse, produced with Bluetech and the 2nd Ecstatic Dance Retreat Hawaii. Learn more about Craig here, or follow his Facebook page for updates. For more info about one of his epic ecstatic dance retreats, look here.