Last weekend, my husband and I attended a sacred dance gathering with a small group of people and a celebrated Celtic teacher of sacred dance. I have had the opportunity through my spiritual direction training to practice sacred dance in different sized groups. For my husband, this was a first experience. If I am honest, it was challenging for me to surrender to the movement of the dance when I first tried it. Now, I am able to freely give myself to the rhythm of the dance and connect with the kinship present in moving in this sacred way with others.
For my husband, this first experience was most positive and his reluctance melted away with each new dance. I am greatly admiring of his willingness to risk as a participant in the gathering. There were, of course, a handful of other men participating too. Nonetheless, my husband opened himself in a new way and it was lovely to behold.
As we reflected on our mutual experience, we recognized an almost primordial sense of kinship present in the dance that was at once healing and energizing. It was a real gift to engage in what felt like a celebration of belonging. And now, we are not just husband and wife – we are two dancers – and as we dance we become the beauty of the sacred dance
What follows is a wonderful reflection on the ever present invitation to enter life as a sacred dancer – to join the sacred dance.
Prelude to The Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
What if it truly doesn’t matter what you do but how you do whatever you do? How would this change what you choose to do with your life? What if you could be more present and openhearted with each person you met if you were working as a cashier in a corner store, or as a parking lot attendant, than you could if you were doing a job you think is more important? How would this change how you spend your precious time on this earth? What if your contribution to the world and the fulfillment of your own happiness is not dependent upon discovering a better method of prayer or technique of meditation, not dependent upon reading the right book or attending the right seminar, but upon really seeing and deeply appreciating yourself and the world as they are right now? How would this affect your search for spiritual development? What if there is no need to change, no need to try to transform yourself into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving or wise? How would this affect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better? What if the task is simply to unfold, to become who you already are in your essential nature — gentle, compassionate, and capable of living fully and passionately present? How would this affect how you feel when you wake up in the morning? What if who you essentially are right now is all that you are ever going to be? How would this affect how you feel about your future? What if the essence of who you are and always have been is enough? How would this affect how you see and feel about your past? What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am? How would this change what you think you have to learn? What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying but by recognizing and receiving the people and places and practices that offer us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold? How would this shape the choices you make about how to spend today? What if you knew that the impulse to move in a way that creates beauty in the world will arise from deep within and guide you every time you simply pay attention and wait? How would this shape your stillness, your movement, your willingness to follow this impulse, to just let go and dance?