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Invitation to Dance: Return to Me with Your Whole Heart

button-danceWe continue our theme this month of “Return to me with your whole heart” through the practice of dance (please visit our Community Lectio Divina practice, Invitation to Photography, and Invitation to Poetry which all explored this theme for March).

I invite you into a movement practice.  Allow yourself just 5-10 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 the theme of returning to God with your whole heart gently in your awareness, planting a seed as you prepare to step into the dance. You don’t need to think this through or figure it out, just notice what arises. The song asks, “have you forgotten who you are?” Let dance guide you on the return journey.
  • Play the piece of music below (“Forgotten” by Deirdre Ni Chinnéide, a musician who lives on the island of Inishmore here in Ireland) and 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. Sit with waiting for the impulse to move and see what arises.
  • 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, phrase, or image that could express what you encountered in this time? (You can share about your experience, or even just a single word or image 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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10 Responses

  1. I am struggling this season with lifelong walls that are both protection and cage. this dance meditation led me to seeing that perhaps flowing over and around is possible, a first dancing step.

  2. Blessings to you all. I too loved this Dance Invitation. It reminded of a lovely and inspirational visit to the West of Ireland, last September. One day, we visited the Aran Islands and I stood by a grave covered with marigolds, and a Gaelic inscription,
    dedicated to a much loved son. For a few minutes, I felt completely overcome by the
    poignancy and sheer mystery of life. This lovely Dance Invitation has the same effect on me.

  3. the heart weeps…holds close…surrenders…wonders…reaches beyond and within
    the ancient ruins…why?…where are they who lived?
    an earthquake comes… I wait…is the house damaged…like these ancient sites
    are you speaking…from the Beyond…in this action?
    O Dazzling Brightness…I prayed…lead us Home to you…
    Is the earthquake as the Risen One? crucified and stone rolled away…a Presence?
    I throw the ashes again and rose petals and lei and prayer ties…and kisses
    There in the vastness of blues – high and low
    the boat of farewell…submission…surrender…grief
    rocks gently like a lullaby as we send you to sleep with dolphins dancing around
    the sunbeams sparkle and reflect the Splendor to which we entrust you
    My heart finds you in that fathomless space of the deeps
    Holds you fast forever with gratitude and lets you go
    In the song of sunrise and sunset and blackness of night
    Stars twinkle everywhere and the moon smiles our love
    No, not Forgotten…cherished always in the stones that fall and live
    In the Ocean Mother so beautiful and caring who whispers in the wind
    Love Never Dies… God is Love Forever…Deep waters cannot quench Love

  4. And I just want to cry fully with my whole heart … but how does a heart cry fully when it is broken? May you rest. My I weep. Knowing we are worth the time.

  5. a wonderful gift of love as I sit in my hospital bed, an overwhelmed, over worked, spent and expended clergy woman. I must slow down for this life of violent demands squeezes all that is poetry and art in my soul leaving me fallow and broken seeing my visual field dance with stars with a BP of 204/114. I’ve sought to slow the pace, and now by body has determined, enough. How can I leave here as a monk in the world with so many already waiting at my door to be fed? How do I escape the routine deadlines and demands when all my heart wants to do is paint images of stillness?
    I am not made for this economy of demands on ministry, a fish out of water, yet still a fish I am made and perhaps I’ve been in the wrong stream where dodging rapids and fly lines has left me exhausted. I don’t want to be a fish anymore. I just want to sleep

    1. Saying a prayer for rest and healing for you Shar–for the shalom of the Beloved to encircle and hold you tight.

    2. Shar,
      I hear and share your exhaustion. This sentiment spoke to me directly and so I share with you to let you know I am anchored next to you in the harbor.

      “Stay a little longer in the harbor of your heart, with the sea to wash you and the earth to ground you. Anchor there forever.”

      Allow yourself to be fed.
      Peace and Ease,