Ecstatic Dance

In order to fully participate in the sacred dance, our hearts, minds, and bodies must all be present and open. Too often in the Western world, the body is neglected or even denied. As a contemplative practice and way of learning how to embody Trinity’s flow, you’re invited to actually dance—in the privacy of your home or with a group. (Tip: You might search for African dance or Five Rhythms gatherings near you.)

Here’s a simple practice you can do alone or with others. Choose a favorite or new piece of music—classical, folk, contemporary; anything that calls you to move!—and find a place in which you can listen and move uninhibitedly, barefooted if possible.

Allow your body to lead, following the invitation of the music. Let mind take a back seat and tune in to the sensations of each part of your body. There are no right or wrong moves. Just listen to the music, and your body will respond.

Feel your feet connect with the ground. Limbs and joints turn and bend as they will. Swing and sway head, shoulders, hips. Sink deep into your body—every part of it. Be your animal self.

Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale, in and out, receiving and letting go. Fill and empty your lungs again and again.

Dance until you are pleasantly tired and gradually slow your movements. Continue moving in smaller, gentler ways. Keep breathing deeply. Stretch each part of your body: legs, arms, back, toes, neck.

Finally, come to a seated position and rest in stillness for several minutes of silence.