I spent a few happy hours with Tete and Silvia in Buenos Aires last winter, struggling to get through things I ought to have learned earlier, and laughing a lot with them. I took away material I'm only just beginning to lead confidently in milongas, as well as a few phrases Tete likes to repeat. Silvia was translating, so I wasn't paying attention to the original, but I'm pretty sure he said 'sin pensamiento' – 'without thinking!', she'd translate. 'You are thinking' he'd observe: 'Don't think!' 'Piensas! No piensa!' – I guess that's what he said. It was a small room and it was hard not to worry about whether there was room for that new line of steps, but he was always right. I was thinking, rather than... rather than dancing, I guess.
There's a wonderful basic Buddhist meditation. After reminding yourself that you aren't doing this to develop superpowers for your own selfish ends, you sit comfortably and stare at a blue flower. (Why blue, or even a flower, I'm not sure.) The first experience is 'the waterfall': you try to stare at the flower but suddenly you find your mind is overflowing with thoughts. They were always there: you just never noticed. If you persist with the flower you find your thoughts are like ocean waves, one after another then, much later, like occasional ripples on a lake. Finally you are 'sin pensamiento', calm water.
I remember the waterfall when I first started trying to dance tango: is the floor slippery, what's my partner thinking, it's warm, what do the people watching think, shall I do the class tomorrow... it was endless. These days it's a lot quieter. I wouldn't want to suggest that Tete might be a Buddhist sage, or that tango is really a spiritual path, but 'sin pensamiento' might actually be a great accomplishment, in dancing as in meditation. Following the music through time and space, without thinking. The mind can give up words for a while, and it's a relief!
PS I'd be grateful to anyone who can correct my castellano...