We have been exploring the time and space of an unusual form of practice: combination of interactive theater and meditation practice. Practice through theater has been undertaken by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the great tibetan master who brought tantric buddhism to the west. Psychodrama is also being widely used as therapy in modern spiritual organizations.
The approach that we have taken is based on the tantric Deity mediation, one of the most common and important of Tantric Buddhist ritual practice. The practice is accomplished by visualization on the chosen deity (yi dam) and pronunciation of mantra that goes with it. The practice is the method of transforming ones ordinary perception of reality into the non-dualistic perception. By trying on different aspects of energy, like fierce Kali or compassionate White Tara, we recognize that we have these energies in us, we understand them and make peace with them. Through the play we also experience the dynamics between different energies, we are able to express our innermost fears and desires, and reconcile them leaning on the wisdom of the deities and ancient mythology.
As practitioners try different roles, they invoke aspects of their personality which are yearning to be express, seen and understood. The transcendental nature of the workshop environment allows students to fully experience catharsis and find a resolution. Through the play we transform and ultimately become free of judgement towards different aspects of energy in the divine pantheon, as well as in ourselves.
Meera: Kali Circle was one of the most expriences I have had in my Life. Beyond Mind, Beyond Body, Beyond Understanding, Nothing, Nowhere, total Insanity and surrender to the Divine. Kalis fierce power has been present in my life ever since. I know who I am, what I am worth. And I am not putting up with anything less than that!
With great respect towards the deities and towards hindu mythology we create in interactive modern liturgy, which serves the highest person of ancient theater – raising the consciousness, healing and communicating with divine. Serving as a bridge between modern and ancient, we use humor, parody, dance, cutting edge technology, inter-cultural and inter-faith references to connect the dots between different times, cultures and languages.
At the end of the play we integrate our roles into the everyday life experience and dissolve them, coming into the inner silence, stillness and spaciousness. The premise of Tantric (Vajrayana) Buddhism is that any person has a potential to become a buddha. As we karmically fulfill our participation in the cosmic dance, the water in the ocean of our consciousness becomes calm, clear and blissful.
Our first exploration of this form was a play To be or Not to Be on Tibetan Book of the Dead. In our interpretation, a russian programmer was facing departing elements, and five realms of Bardo, as he was speaking to his body, played by a doll made out of wire. Each realm of Bardo featured a dramatic dance and a dialogue between the protagonist and the guide. We learned quite a lot from this first attempt.
Our next experiment was Kali Ma Transformation Circle. The event was held in New York and in Bristol, UK. The plot was based on the ancient legend, in which Kali Ma, the ferocious Goddes was called to slay the asuras (demons).
As she came to the battlefield she became so entrapped in the battle that she could not stop the slaughter, and the Gods we worried. They sent Shiva to stop her. Kali did not event notice Shiva, until he full manifested himself. In our event Shiva, who symbolizes the hero of our times, manifests himself fully by becoming fully conscious, going through renunciation and rebirth. We had sitar and tabla players, belly dancing and interactive/improvisational performance by the crew. The audience (practitioners) were fully involved by going through various still and dynamic meditations, dancing, singing, interacting with each other and reciting poetry. Participants of this event went through a deep transformation. Go Deeper
Currently we are engaged in the production of When the Gods are Laughing, a story where two biggest snakes of the world meet: the snake of Kundalini and the snake of DNA. It is a story whispered by the wind of Burning Man desert, secrets of the Vine and ancient city of Varanasi, one of the seven oldest cities on Earth. In this breathtaking interactive performance we meet humorous Ganesh, courageous Shiva, beautiful Parvati, wrathful Indra, shining Lakshmi, wise Sarawati and terrifying Kali. Go Deeper into the Story of two Snakes
See the play: Calendar