Bouncing around happily on your living room floor, swinging arms and legs – seen from the outside this may not resemble the classical buddha image of calm sublime meditation. However, the core of the delta dancing meditation is the basic form of awareness training captured by Jon Kabat-Zinn in his classic definition: Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. This is exactly what you will find in the delta dancing meditation. Like other meditations, it is paradoxically easy and difficult at the same time. Easy because no effort of changing the moment is needed, difficult because we are so used to a constant focus on effort and accomplishment.
Today, mindfulness is widely practiced in the West. A growing body of research has shown it to be an effective self-help measure for stress, pain, depression. Our own research team has developed the delta program, a mindfulness-based group intervention for overweight citizens, to support healthy lifestyle changes - with promising results.
A new approach
As an interesting new development of our time, the body tends to play a central role in meditation practice – usually in a passive and observing mode. Some teachers and schools have carried this trend forward into dynamic body meditations. We have gone along with this innovative movement, combined it with clear systematic mindfulness instructions, designed music to support it, and shaped it into 20-minutes sessions for our delta lifestyle groups. As the delta dancing meditations turned out attractive and useful for many others, they now have a life of their own with this CD.
Ways of using this CD
If you already have a practice of mindfulness-style meditation, this CD can work well as supportive inspiration and variation. Mindfulness teachers can use it as additional teaching material. Anyone can use this CD for exercise and refreshing experiences. Along with this you will have a taste of genuine mindfulness meditation the effects it can have on general well-being.
This CD is not sufficient to establish the solid, regular practice necessary for the full benefits of mindfulness. We suggest personal teaching and feedback that comes from retreats and courses like the eight week basic MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) course and other trainings or retreats.
Ground-breaking work of several meditation teachers have been essential sources of insight and teaching styles without which nothing like the Delta Dancing meditation would ever have happened, in particular Jon Kabat-Zinn, Osho, Gabrielle Roth and my own beloved teacher throughout half of my life Michael Barnett. My “Surrender Cowboys” band fellows contributed magic bits of sound, chords and solos here and there: Kenneth Plon, Henrik Svenningsen, Christian Uhrskov, Max Bering. The research team at Center for Research in Existence and Society helped test the first pilot models and fine-tune its integration in our mindfulness-based Delta program: Per Brændgaard, Eve Lorenzen and Søren la Cour. The participants in the Delta Lifestyle groups provided essential energy and fresh experiences. Heidi Mack rendered the instructions in beautiful Canadian English, much better than the original Danish. Russell Haack saw the potentials of taking delta dancing beyond the delta groups.