April 2014 (Vol. XXVII, No. 4)

Greetings, dear friends! As creatures emerge from dens and frozen ponds and seedlings poke up toward the light from deep layers of earth so we, too, emerge from winter grateful for life and breath and the gift of movement. Is it joy that makes us dance or dancing that brings us in touch with joy? Sufi whirlers recognize that all life is turnings and revolutions—electrons spinning around nuclei, blood cycling round from heart to limb and back again, planets orbiting, wind and wave whirling. They dance the narrative of spiritual journey, reaching beyond ego toward divine love and channeling that love out into the world. Children naturally live out their feelings and thoughts and explorations of the world through their bodies. Many spiritual traditions connect meditation with movement, posture with prayer, and body with mind and heart. However you express gratitude for being alive, embrace it with your whole being.

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Meditation in movement

Dance is meditation in movement, a walking into silence where every movement becomes prayer.

~ Bernhard Wosien

Letting our hearts dance and rejoice

Joy, love and compassion are essential ingredients in spiritual growth. We are enriched by their nurturing, and our world is enriched by their actualization. Profound joy is a celebration of our vision of connectedness, a vision that dissolves division and the myth of separation. We must let our hearts dance and rejoice with love and compassion and yearn wholeheartedly for oneness and wholeness.

~ Christina Feldman

Dance is communication between body and soul

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul to express what is too deep to find words.

~ Ruth St. Denis

Our life is shorter than flowers

Our life is shorter than flowers.
Then shall we mourn?
No, we shall dance
Plant gardens
Dress in colors
And teach our children
To make the world more beautiful.
Because our life
Is shorter than flowers.

~ from the Toltec Culture

Touching into the harmonies of the soul

One sound seldom heard on a prison yard is the sound of someone singing. Yet, unmistakably, I heard the joyful voice of my inmate friend, Ed, singing in the dormitory shower. It was positively liberating to hear him sing, totally immersed in the music.

Having no material goods, no family, and serious health problems, Ed confided that he has no reason whatsoever to be happy and sing like that. He said, "I have a happy spirit and it's just natural to sing and dance."

Nothing is more commendable than to live lyrically, to make our lives a continuous song of experience...To let go into the music, to dance, to spin and sway as the sounds resound in your bones, to feel your feet grow lighthearted as they sweep you along to the rhythm of the music, is to touch into the harmonies of the soul.

~ Charles "Tom" Brown

I dance because I dance

The first thing that must change is that in me which insists upon the smaller view of myself and tries to make that permanent... I watch my personality from the reality behind it. In that moment I am no longer identified with ego. Spirit begins to emerge and know itself. The dance changes! I no longer dance to become worthy or prove my value. I do not dance to measure up or earn that which has belonged to me all along. I dance because I dance.

~ from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paula D'Arcy

Learning to dance in the rain

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

~ Vivian Greene

Now dance

We laugh together like we never have before. Her face radiates pure joy. She's a good little dancer, music in her blood...maybe a word from God. She's so happy and strong , despite her world crumbling around her, that I can only gaze in awe. She leaps into the air, giving shape to the music that reposes in all matter, just waiting to be released. She liberates the music and, in her innocence, cannot know what she has done and thereby is all the stronger. Is God speaking to this tired old heart? Is God saying, "Look — don't you get it? She's as marvelous as a galaxy. You have nothing to fear. If I can call her into being, there's nothing I can't do. Now dance. Dance!"

~ from PLAGUE JOURNAL by Michael D. O'Brien

Do you have a body

Do you have a body? Don't sit on the porch! Go out and walk in the rain!

~ Kabir

Our bodies are made to embody our joy

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child. And children know what we adults often forget, that is—our bodies are made to move, to "embody" our joy, to keep us in touch with our own breath and pulse, and to make us feel alive.

~ Marie Curie

To watch us dance

To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.

~ Hopi Indian Saying

I carve cathedrals with the sweep of my arms

I carve cathedrals
with the sweep of my arms
I turn whirlwinds of change
I center and ground
deep bend to the earth
recenter and move
scooping sorrow like birds
each motion rebalancing somehow
earth and sky
self and divine
sacred love and sacred growth
temple dancer's work
spinning the world into balance
exhausted heap I fall

~ Hilary Heartisan

Joy is Everywhere

And Joy is Everywhere;
It is in the Earth's green covering of grass,
In the blue serenity of the sky.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

And the stillness the dancing

I said to my soul, be still, and wait... In the darkness shall be the light And the stillness the dancing.

~ T. S. Eliot