• evansph2

My friend, mentor, teacher and reader of this blog, Cynthia Winton-Henry has shared here her thoughts on movement/dance as a spiritual practice. You can learn more from and about her at her website, The Hidden Monastery; Centering the Divine Dance of body and Soul . Cynthia writes;


"The Great Dance stirs below the surface of life, always ready to lift us into wonder and magic. The dancing soul, say mystics, has nothing to do with steps or technique. The dance of life as our biological birthright and wisdom way is how we align to Cosmic Grace and Guidance. Dance is prayer at the cellular level.

The problem for many of us is that dance requires other bodies. It is not a solo practice. Even dedicated dancers find it challenging to dance alone. If you hunger to move, you may need to synch up to the Great Dance alongside others. Like those who drum, wherever two or more play, power and energy ignite.

As I say in my book, Dance: The Sacred Art, ; the Joy of movement as a spiritual practice.“Dancing quenches the restless heart. It’s a way of acknowledging, integrating, even celebrating that we live in a world in constant motion. It’s a way of unblocking self-expression. It’s a way of breaking down barriers.” When we are allowed to dance our prayers with others freely, we artfully co-operate with the sacred in all things."


I thank Cynthia for this advice and also for the many, many things I have learned from her about consulting the wisdom of my BODY rather than my head. She often asks us to shake our bodies and get rid of the centrality of THINKING before we start moving. The movement is allowed to inform our thinking rather than the other way around. I have found profound truths in my dancing with the organization Cynthia founded; Interplay. Check to see if there are Interplay leaders and gatherings near you. InterPlay is an active, creative way to unlock the wisdom of the body.


Though Cynthia rightly says that dance needs people to partner with. I have also experienced joy and insight by just putting on a piece of music that I love and letting my body move as it wants to move -- all by myself! Happy movement to you!


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  • evansph2

In church this morning, our intern minister, Miranda Lennox, told us about one of their spiritual practices. They stand in front of their bookshelves and with a soft focus, allow their eyes to glance over all the books. They have in mind that they are looking for something inspiring, important, relevant. Their eyes land on one book which they take from the shelf and hold in their hand. They open the book and finger lightly through the pages until they are moved to stop on a certain page. They read the first paragraph on that page. Then they sit down and reflect on it.


So, I decided to try this technique. I went to my bookshelf and found myself drawn to an old book that I bet might be on your shelf too! Chop Wood, Carry Water, published in 1984. I let the book fall open (and some of the pages are coming loose!). It landed on page 111 with a quote from Henry David Thoreau;


"Many ... go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."


I will let you ponder the meaning... what is it that YOU are after?


It occurs to me that you might do this with your own old journals as well.




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  • evansph2

Updated: Jan 25


I watch the hummingbird that comes to my feeder several times a day. Its ruby and emerald colors flashing. It’s long beak – designed for getting at the heart of things. It’s nearly invisible wings and its iridescence, with camouflage that makes it look like a flower. All day it sips sweetness -- without guilt or regret. Oh, the joy of seeking what you most want relentlessly, lightly.


What is it you most want? For me, one thing is solitude. And yet, I feel vaguely guilty about wanting solitude. Even though I know how it nourishes me. Maybe we could all be more like the hummingbird – going after what we really want – repeatedly. Taking joy in being beautiful, hungry, persistent.


What I like abut solitude is that it is waiting for you to find it. It lets you eat crackers and not worry about the crumbs. It doesn’t care how many pages you’ve read or whether you understand process theology. It only wants to give you space. It gives gifts that you may not quite recognize or even know how to unwrap. It doesn’t expect thanks or a reciprocal invitation. It is extravagant and wants you to be also. It is good with whenever, however, wherever. It notices your selfishness and gives you an award for it. It wants you to shed your own too-tight skin and slither out of what binds you. It wants you to be a hummingbird.


Here is a portion of a blessing John O’Donohue has written for solitude.


May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul.

May you realize that you are never alone,

that your soul in its brightness and belonging connect you intimately with the

rhythm of the universe.

May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.

May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that

you have a special destiny here,

that behind the façade of your life there is something

beautiful, good, and eternal happening.




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