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The Gurdjieff Movements and Sacred Dances

The specific design of each Movement is meant to harmonize the mind with time and space.

This has two properties to it:


 - The intellectual, emotional, and moving centers are simultaneously engaged and become One Unified

Force with a higher frequency all together. 


 - The design itself has an essence - you can also call it a spirit or an archetype. The essence is intimately linked with the music; they are vibrations that inform us on all three levels (intellectual, emotional, physical), each individually, and as One.

Gurdjieff Movements preparatory exercise at Karakaya Valley

In other words...


The design has a main purpose of uniting us and bringing forth something higher than the sum of its parts, but there is also a spirit which is perceived silently and individually.

Video courtesy of Amiyo Devienne. 

"Why do we come to work together? We feel that if we do not participate in certain conditions, we will be taken by habits and life circumstances in which we will be lost. Perhaps here, together, it will be possible to experience conditions in which a higher energy can appear in us and around us. We will then become responsible together to serve it." 
Jeanne de Salzmann,
The Reality of Being: The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff


Working in a group 

The conditions that Madame de Salzmann mentions above are created by a group coming together with a common purpose. The conditions are further refined by the Movements and Sacred Dances and other specific structures of self-inquiry. Our purpose: self-observation and self-remembrance. 

Each and every person in the group is necessary to act not just as a mirror for others but to add their sincere efforts to a magnifying pool that is being created moment to moment. These efforts keep on building within the container in such a way that the collective benefits from them - each individual is no longer supported only by their own individual efforts, but by the group effort. 

Gurdjieff Movements archive video

Photo courtesy of Amiyo Devienne.

Neural Regeneration

A  remarkable aspect of these conscious movements is that we can interpret them as being both artistic and scientific. The new synapses created between the left and right brain hemispheres literally produce a shift in perspective, and thus, a new understanding of ourselves and the world. There is a very important implication in the creation of new synapses, because it also means we are letting go of automatic reactions and behaviors. If you want to learn more about the science behind movement and creating new neural synapses and how these relate to our emotions and mind read this blog post. The intensity of presence creates a force in us which is beyond our normal will, it is the awareness out of which our minds exist, and with which we can witness our mind, emotions, and physical body with distance, verifying everything and working from empirical experience, hence making this a scientific technique towards self- observation. 


This scientific and artistic approach towards self knowledge helps us get in to a state of meditation and centeredness, which, in today's world, and with our modern minds is getting more and more difficult to do by just sitting in meditation or mindfulness. Even though it might sound like a short cut to meditation, in fact it is an arduous process, but with great benefit. The counter-intuitive movements, body coordination, and some very slow movements considered Prayers stretch our attention span and ask us to be utterly present as continuously as possible, otherwise it becomes impossible to do the Movement as it is meant. This is how the Movements become our actual teachers while the leader is a transmitter. The Movements have the capacity to gauge our attention span, presence, attitude, physical, mental, and emotional automatic reactions and postures. 


Gurdjieff Movements
Buddha from the Guimet Museum in Paris
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