This autumn at the Abbey, we are adding two new features to our regular contemplative and creative invitations to the community. First was the lectio divina practice (this month with Isaiah 42:6-10) and this week we introduce an Invitation to Dance (seems appropriate for a Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks!)
Our theme this month (emerging from the scripture text) is “Call to Newness.” Make sure to stop by this month’s Photo Party and Poetry Party on the theme as well, you can continue to post your poems and images there.
Dance is about being willing to awaken and show up fully to life as it comes. Dance can also offer us a powerful source of wisdom as we make time to listen to the voice of our bodies which we barely hear in the rush of our days. As monks in the world, dance is one way we can enter this holy temple with reverence and deep attentiveness.
I invite you into a movement practice. Allow yourself just 5 minutes this day to pause and listen and savor what arises.
- Begin with a full minute of slow and deep breathing. Let your breath bring your awareness down into your body. When thoughts come up, just let them go and return to your breath. Hold this image of “Call to Newness” as the gentlest of intentions, planting a seed as you prepare to step into the dance.
- Play the piece of music below (Dustin O’Halloran‘s “We Go Lightly” from his album Lumiere) let your body move in response, without needing to guide the movements. Listen to how your body wants to move through space. Remember that this is a prayer, an act of deep listening. Pause at any time and rest in stillness again.
- After the music has finished, sit for another minute in silence, connecting again to your breath. Just notice your energy and any images rising up.
- Is there a word or image that could express what you encountered in this time? (You can share about your experience, or even just a single word in the comments section below or join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group and post there.)
- If you have time, spend another five minutes journaling in a free-writing form, just to give some space for what you are discovering.
To extend this practice, sit longer in the silence before and after and feel free to play the song through a second time. Often repetition brings a new depth.
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