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Invitation to Dance: Sacred Ordinary

We continue our theme this month of “Sacred Ordinary” through the practice of dance (please visit our Community Visio Divina practice with our newest dancing monk icon of St Francis, Invitation to Photography, and Invitation to Poetry which all explored this theme for May).

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 image of the sacred ordinary, of the holiness of this moment whatever it brings, and step into the dance. You don’t need to think this through or figure it out, just notice what arises. Let dance guide you on the journey, listen for how your body wants to move.
  • Play the piece of music below (“Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace” inspired by a prayer attributed to St. Francis and sung by Sarah McLachlan) 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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3 Responses

  1. I truly love this prayer and what more in asong ! this prayer is on my wall and has been for 20 years. I still get the holy ghost goose bumps when I sit before my Lord and wait in silence for Him to speak to my inner man. Feel the air as it gently crosses my soul and I genuflect and cross myself in honor of the great and mighty God!!!

  2. Unlocking the freedom of resurrection, God birth’s new unexpected possibility. Each time there is darkness- light dawns, quickly bursting forth with energy. Dancing with this prayer opens my heart and reminds me that the difficult days, the unjust moments are fleeting and that the real life, the real love and possibility only births hope through the contractions of labor pains as the mid-wife reveals the third way of Divine life.

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