This story about two tribal communities illustrates the difference between an attitude of perseverance and persistence and the opposite attitude of giving up.
The two tribal communities lived on either side of a mountain range in a beautiful, but wild and remote part of Asia. They were animist people whose gods and goddesses were the nature spirits of sun and moon, dark and light, earth and sky. Their ceremonial practices included dancing for rain. They needed the rain because it was from the rain that life was sustained by growing food, quenching their thirst and growing the forrest.
The tribal community that lived on the east side of the mountain range would ceremonially dance for the rain that could sustain their life. Sometimes it would rain and sometimes not. It was unpredictable. They never knew for sure whether their dancing would please the rain god or not. They were often in a state of anxiety about this.
The other tribal community lived on the west side of the mountain range. They too would also dance for rain. And their rain dancing ceremony had a reputation for being potent and powerful. People far and wide knew of their strong rain magic. When they danced, it rained.
Having made the many days journey over the mountain range the visiting shaman presented himself, his gifts and his request for the secrets of the rain dance magic before the welcoming shaman and tribal elders. The shaman of the welcoming tribal community whose dance always made it rain happened to be a woman while the shaman of the tribe whose dance was unpredictable was a man.
He asked, “Mother, can you teach me to make powerful rain dance magic like you. When you dance it always rains. When we dance we never know if it will rain or not. What is your secret. Please tell.”
She looked at him with a compassionate heart and said, “Yes, I will share the secret with you.”
After a shared meal, song and ceremony it was time to Reveal the Secret of the Rain Dance. The sharmaness spoke in a quiet but firm voice, “Now I will tell you what the secret is. It’s true when we dance it always rains without fail. Our dance is powerful magic. It was taught to me by my mother and taught to her by her mother. The Secret of the Rain Dance has been passed along from mother to daughter for many many generations. It is an ancient and sacred lineage of Rain Dance magic.”
She spoke the secret. He heard the words but didn’t grasp their meaning. He looked at her with a rather confused ignorance. Stillness rose between them. She’d seen this look before. She knew the Secret was often too simple to grasp. In that stillness she continued speaking.
“We dance until it rains,” she said again. “We don’t stop. It always rains when we dance because we dance until it rains. That’s our secret.”
A smile of recognition came across his face as his lips moved toward a smile. She explained again, “We dance until it rains. We don’t give up. It always rains when we dance because we dance until it rains. We love to dance." He understood.
You give up your idea of enlightenment or some goal, some expectation or desire. Just dance until it rains. Open to your partners in such a way that you’re dancing. It’s going to rain. Of course it’s going to rain, it always rains. So you just dance and that dancing is the Enlightenment Intensive Dyad Practice of putting your attention on who you are and on your partner.
When your partner gives you the instruction “Tell me who you are,” you drop into the penetrating truth. Don’t talk about things. Push aside all that arises that’s not coming up as a result of your contemplation. It’s the surface mind chatter stuff that wants to describe and talk and intellectualise. Avoid that distraction and just get across what comes up as a result of your deep penetration into the truth of yourself. And when you deliver it to your partner as the communicator you get it across to them. You be willing to be understood by your partner. That can be scary to be exposed, naked, vulnerable, to have a vulnerable heart. Maybe they won’t get it. Maybe they won’t like you. Maybe they’ll have a reaction. Okay you do your very best. Just dance. That’s my approach.
As a listening partner you put your attention on your partner with the attitude “Give it to me, let me have all you’ve got. I’m here for you, so let me have it. Penetrate, deepen into me, I’m empty for you.”
It’s a love affair. This is not a workshop, this is worship. We’re prayers for each other. That’s what we are when we are sitting opposite each other. ‘Tell me who you are’ is a prayer. If you really get who and what you’re sitting opposite, it’s like your mouth will drop open and you’ll go “AAAAAhhhhhhh!” What would it be like to sit with God and you say to God “Tell me who you are”. I wonder what God would say if God spoke. God always answers prayers when you ask God with a sincere heart.
This is my approach. Dance until it rains.