5Rhythms Returned My Body

March 21, 2018 | By More

By Evangelos Diavolitsis

In my early 30s, I felt something was missing in my life.  I needed external stimuli to be happy, and I suffered from acute anxiety when things did not go my way.  I did not know who I was, what motivated me, or how this ‘self’ was created.  I needed to find myself.

Through a series of meditation retreats, I concluded that I did not want my body.  It seemed to be a burden.  I had to feed it, clothe it, keep it in shape, monitor it, massage it, etc.  When meditating, my body often disappeared; the ‘I’ had separated itself.  A friend once stuck a needle in my foot and there was no feeling.  This is sometimes referred to as Zen Illness.  I had managed to use meditation to repeat my lifelong pattern of numbing myself and disconnecting from the world.  Using tools like breathing meditation can misguide us on the path to liberation.  Taking refuge in meditation, I had isolated myself.  People seemed like too much work.

A healer suggested that I attend a 5Rhythms movement meditation class to get grounded.  After my first two-hour class, I felt physically alive!  I could feel my feet, my belly, and the lightness of my elbows.  Through movement, music, and good ‘ole fashioned sweat, my mind and body became stronger and clearer.  I started to connect, express, and share with a community who understood me and accepted me.  We danced and created a non-verbal movement culture that transcended everyday relating.  I attended every class twice a week for two years and felt a profound transformation.

The calming effects of formal sitting meditation and a regular practice of the 5Rhythms dance combined with the investigative approach of Tibetan Buddhism became the holy trinity of mindfulness in my life.  In my exploration, I learned to take refuge in the mind that is awake, in the teachings that keep me awake, and in any community willing to make the effort to stay awake.

Now, I meditate at the Dharma Hub in Calgary, live in a conscious community, and teach and practice the 5Rhythms.  Learning how to balance bliss, wisdom, stillness, and movement has not been easy.  It actually takes great discipline to become a free spirited dancer.

I have realized when I am in a good state and feeling connected to the earth, I am in community.  When I leave my body, numb out from meditation, and withdraw, I am out of community.  A healthy, balanced practice of formal sitting meditation combined with the 5Rhythms empowers me to take my calm mind and express it in the world with wild physical creativity.

The 5Rhythms (Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical & Stillness) are patterns of movement which anyone can do everyday as a grounding spiritual practice.  These dance waves returned me to my body and to my community.  I am eternally grateful to have discovered their magic.


To experience the 5Rhythms movement practice, attend The Hero’s Journey, April 6-8, at Centre Wakefield La Pêche.  https://meditationmoves.ca/event/the-heros-journey-ottawa/

Category: Articles, Fitness & Bodyworks

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