Moving Meditation for Día de los Muertos

As we begin to settle to a deeper more inward place;
to be fully present right now in this place made for head and heart together;
we might begin to feel how our own bodies are not only flesh and blood —
but skeleton bones as well.
No matter how old we are,
no matter how we move from place to place,
we humans are skeletal beings.

I welcome you all to this embodied meditation.
First, as we make ourselves consciously comfortable
let us feel the various parts of our bodies
beginning from the top of our heads—the skull inside:
feeling our cheekbones
the teeth within our mouth
the opening and closing of our jaw… Moving to our shoulders—our clavicle
scapula… now feeling how our breathing expands and contracts our ribs….
As we can, arms go wide and big all the way down to our phalanges….
out and back down. Now legs—consider your femur, your thigh bone.
Those folks sitting move their femur if you can:
one at a time,
up and down…
Those of you standing—Lift your skeleton leg up and down, up and down.
Toes—imagine bones inside our toes. Wiggle them if you can. Feel the movement and stillness of bones of the pieces of our bodies.
The calacas—Calaveras—skeleton bodies of those living and dead—not so different,
remind us that we, too, are mortal
and are connected by the love that shines through our lives.
Let our breath connect us with the loved ones gone before us.

Listen. [Silence for a time.] AMEN

* Calaca (pronounced kah-LA-kah) is a colloquial Mexican Spanish name for skeleton; especially human skeleton figures that are used for decoration during Día de los muertos.

** Calavera (pronounced kah-lah-VAIR-rah) is Spanish for "skull." During Día de los muertos, decorative human skulls are made from either sugar or clay.

Upper skeleton from line engraving of walking skeleton from Andrew Bell's Anatomia Britannica (1770s-1780s)
An altar filled with candles, photos, and flowers