Invitation to Dance: Softening and Yielding

button-danceWe continue our theme this month of “Softening and Yielding” which arose from our Community Lectio Divina practice with Yehuda Amichai’s poem “The Place Where We Are Right” and continued with this month’s Photo Party and Poetry Party.

Dance invites us to soften the armoring of our bodies and yield to the impulse of life moving through us moment by moment.  We spend so much energy trying to control events, dance is an opportunity to practice the deep surrender we are called to as monks in the world

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 “Softening and Yielding” as the gentlest of intentions, planting a seed as you prepare to step into the dance.
  • Play the piece of music below (Vivaldi’s Spring 2 Recomposed by Max Richter) let your body move in response, without needing to guide the movements. Listen to how your body wants to move through space in response to your breath. 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.


You can see the fall calendar of invitations here>>

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12 Responses

  1. I felt a pulsing, an opening. I moved and expanded, opening myself up to give back to the world all of the love and abundance that God has blessed me with. I twirled in ever-expanding circles, offering and giving.

  2. I was surprised to find a well of empathy surface about 3/4 of the way through the piece, for suffering in general, of people, of the web of life, of Planet Earth. It was an expression of compassion in movement. There almost weren’t words, which tells me this way of prayer just doesn’t need them, and I’m touched to find this avenue of expression.

  3. I was suddenly sobbing. The beauty of the music, the spheres of light and movement…all became a call from All That Is to Join………….. I wept because I “Miss” that inclusion…………. I know it is where I belong. It reminded me that I am far from home, slowly returning.

  4. At first there was a heaviness, but then that moved into a progression of opening up and then lightness – vision of flowing, dancing with the Spirit.

  5. Felt so much in the presence of the Holy. First, my heart seemed to expand, rising and enveloping the whole universe, then coming back to rest within. Next my face lifted to the holy and my arms rose high then embraced and flowed to and fro, eventually resting low and my whole body bent low in adoration and reverence. I will do this again over the next several days as it was a very prayerful and intimate experience.

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