Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Recorded music (see Preparation)
- Music player with speakers
- Optional: Microphone
Preparation for Activity
- Select music for use in this activity. Choose something up to five minutes in length that is accessible to adults of all ages. The music need not be "dance music"-something New Age or a slow classical piece like Pachelbel's Canon would be ideal. Much of the music produced in the 1980s and '90s on the Windham Hill record label would likely work well.
Description of Activity
Ask participants to find a space in the room where they can move without bumping into anyone else. Explain that in a moment you're going to put on some music. Ask participants to listen to the music, with eyes closed, and allow their bodies to respond. Eyes are closed so that all participants can express themselves in a less inhibited way-this isn't dance class, and no one will be judged or even seen! This is a time for participants to simply let their bodies move in response to the music they're hearing.
Start the music. Invite participants to close their eyes and begin moving. When the piece has concluded, or after five minutes, turn down the music and sound the bell.
Ask participants to reflect on their experiences. Ask:
- What was it like to move like that? Did anyone feel inhibited? Physically stiff? Ecstatic? Joyful? Embarrassed?
- Did the experience change over time?
- What, if anything, can you take from this experience that will help your spiritual practices?
Including All Participants
The "Moving Meditation" exercise can be adapted for people with limited mobility. Encourage participants to put their whole bodies and souls into the movement even if they cannot move with their whole bodies.
Using a microphone for this activity helps more people hear your instructions. Check to make sure the music is amplified adequately so that all hearing participants can hear it. Deaf participants may enjoy moving to the rhythm of the music's vibration or simply moving.