Invitation to Dance: Thomas Merton on Silence

We continue our theme this month of “Silence” which arose from our Community Lectio Divina practice with the quote from Thomas Merton 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 “Silence” as the gentlest of intentions, planting a seed as you prepare to step into the dance.
  • Play the piece of music below (“Silence” by Lizz Wright — Please visit this 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.

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3 Responses

  1. I had a wonderful memory that was very applicable to the first day of a new year as well as where my life is right now. The singer mentions “red roses blooming.” Long ago, I was watching a spirit-led preacher on television who had a “word of knowledge” for someone regarding red roses. I took that “word” as my sign that the man I was to marry would give me a red rose. Well, believe it or not, when I met my husband, on the 4th day we knew each other, he gave me a corsage with a red rose in it. I married him 6 weeks later and we are still married, although illness has come between us over the past 5 years or so and things are not easy between us.

    Still…..here’s the cool part. I threw caution to the wind and moved a couple of months ago–partly so I could be closer to him. This house, which seemed to be the one chosen by God for me, well, guess what? I just realized that it has red roses outside. Several major red rose bushes. Of course they aren’t blooming now because it is winter, but they were blooming. And they will again.

    I don’t know, but this memory coming during the song means a lot to me. I don’t know if I would even go for a tv preacher giving a “word of knowledge” these days, my understanding of God has changed so much….Yet, the same God I love now is the one who was interacting with me back then. And that is a comfort to me.

    Lovely song!

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