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Invitation to Dance: Hospitality – What will you welcome in?

button-danceWe continue our theme this month of “Hospitality” which arose from our Community Visio Divina practice with the image of a threshold and continued with this month’s Photo Party and Poetry Party where we asked what we wanted to welcome into our lives in this new year, perhaps inspired by your word for the year.

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 your word and this image of “Hospitality” as the gentlest of intentions, planting a seed as you prepare to step into the dance.
  • Play the piece of music below (“Nearer My God to Thee” by The Piano Guyslet 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 groupand 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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8 Responses

  1. I have had my say. It has been heard. I rest content. Thank you Christine. Blessings to you too! J.

  2. James, thank you so much for sharing your honest response. I value your thoughts as an active member of this community! Personally, I like what they are doing to make classical music accessible to folks who might not otherwise approach it. But I completely appreciate that there is room for diversity of opinion here, and respect our ability to disagree! Wouldn’t be a “disorder” without room for this. ;-) I am also grateful to know that this one “slip” doesn’t completely discount the Abbey in your eyes and I certainly take your comments to heart. With love and blessings, Christine

  3. Further My God from Thee
    Dear monks, my friends, I have to say that my response to this short film is at odds with others, so far. I have watched and listened to it a number of times, and I feel saddened that it ever appeared on the Abbey site. For me, it is an example of what John was arguing against over Christmas – kitsch, and I would add – ham. Moreover, it is blatantly commercial with its multi-media tricks, and trailers! Where is the prayerfulness? …… or stimulus to any meaningful dance? And why choose it, when truly inspirational examples abound from centuries of music around the globe?
    What a contrast when one recalls the genuine natural artistry of Betsey’s delightful little band during the Advent retreat – serving as a prompt and an enrichment to both prayer and dance – such integrity! So, alas, for once, I feel the Abbey has sold us (me) short.
    I write as a fairly regular participant in the Abbey’s spiritually creative opportunities, and, despite this unfortunate lapse, intend to remain so!

  4. This was a profound spiritual practice, as I connected with parts which have been dormant or hidden for some time. I experienced joy and sadness, and I realised just how far I have moved from being in touch with this sensuous, creative space that is part of who I am. I thought of my granddaughter – now 7 years old – who, 3 years ago, used to don her aunt’s 35 years old tu-tu and tights and dance around the house. All the time. She used to wear it shopping, to the park, the library… Now this freedom is being subsumed by new loves: the magical worlds of books, friends, scootering, drawing. Do we really grow up, or do we just bury our childhood beneath layers of other experiences?

  5. The first time through I did movement which became more and more joyful as the music progressed. The second time I listened and watched the video. I wasn’t disappointed…the Piano Guys film in interesting locales and this place is beautiful! I immediately thought of our hike into the Burren to visit the holy well of St.Colman and could picture the cello playing right there. Then I watched the ‘behind the scenes’ video of the shoot. They actually did hike to that waterfall to film! So, Christine, I think you need to persuade them to come along on our next pilgrimage in Ireland. Cellos by a holy well, pianos at Cong Abbey….sublime!!