Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Invitation to Dance: Letting Go

We continue our theme this month of “Letting Go” which arose from our Community Lectio Divina practice with the story from the Gospel of Luke and continued with this month’s Photo Party and Poetry Party.

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 “Letting Go” as the gentlest of intentions, planting a seed as you prepare to step into the dance.
  • Play the piece of music below (“Prayer for Peace” by John Steiner – Please visit his site to purchase the album.) 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 might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Sharon Clymer Landis

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Sharon Clymer Landis’s reflection on the wisdom and love of a foster dog. I’m fostering a dog named Ladybug. She was caught

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Will Boesl

I am delighted to share am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series. Read on for Will Boesl’s reflection Nonduality and Nonbinary. For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I am not

Read More »

4 Responses

  1. Last night I awoke in the middle of the night and hit bottom. It was a gentle fall – not one of crashing violence … a floating – as a leaf glides back and forth through air streams to land softly on the earth into edgeless mounds of other leaves. I lay in the stillness and knew my limitations. Felt my finiteness. Gazed at my failures. Leaned into my heart cry towards God who is beyond and yet accessible. This morning, my Advent practice of silence begins. Ah this portends to be a sweet letting go of cluttering, cloying control and waiting for Abba, Father, Immanuel to take me to places of green pastures and quiet waters – a place where I hear the voice of my heart and the voice of my creator converse. Where I am born, perhaps for the first time, into my own, truest soul and being. The invitation now is to follow into the unknown. I am here. I am ready.

  2. I experienced such a beautiful time of peace and comfort watching this video. I thought of all this as Gift !

    then I reflected on these words; “Peace I give to you peace leave with you”

    A lovely video and time of prayer.

  3. am caught up in the spiral that beckons up into the clouds…as last night when the neighbor’s dog sat outside my window gazing up to the top of a cedar tree for over an hour. I had heard a thump and rustle… was it my spirit animal, Strong One, the puma… or a racoon.. a squirrel…. as dusk faded into night and stars emerged … the head uplifted toward heaven with steady gaze…tired into sleep and dreams…and went home

  4. Listening to this and gently moving, sometimes spinning, then opening my hands to let the tensions go, it makes me want to get back to playing the piano. Since I don’t play in church at the present I have not been playing much at all, but it really is an act of worship for me and I need to do it more often.