What is it about?

Buddhist ethics can be seen as the foundation for all the other practices and the five ethical precepts express the principles that build this foundation. Each of the precepts is explained and it's possible connection to contact improvisation practice. There is also a discussion of ethics as part of a spiral path towards freedom/awakening, using the traditional structure of the threefold way of Buddhism as ethics, meditation and wisdom. The five precepts express the values of kindness, generosity, contentment, truthfulness and mindfulness. In this article I reflect on how these qualities can also set a foundation for the practice of contact improvisation. I consider the parallels between Buddhism and contact improvisation as paths of inquiry, as paths for human development and as methods for going beyond ego/self-clinging.

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Why is it important?

I felt that there was a perspective that Buddhist ethics could contribute to contact improvisation and somatic practices. There are a lot of implicit values in contact improvisation that are being articulated and I wanted to contribute to this space


I felt that I was in a unique position as a dance artist and educator and ordained member of the Triratna Buddhist Order who also holds an academic position to say something about Buddhist ethical practice and contact improvisation at a time when contact improvisation jam 'guidelines' were being discussed and debated in order to promote safety and a consent culture.

lalitaraja Chandler
University of Roehampton

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Buddhist ethics and the contact improvisation practitioner, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, September 2017, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/jdsp.9.2.281_1.
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