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Trinity: Week 3 Summary

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Trinity: Week 3

Summary: Sunday, September 25-Friday, September 30, 2016

If the Father does not dominate the Son, and the Son does not dominate the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit does not dominate the Father or the Son, then there’s no domination in God. All divine power is shared power. (Sunday)

Trinitarian theology offers us perhaps the best foundation for interfaith dialogue and friendship we’ve ever had. (Monday)

If and when we can live a vulnerable life—the life we see mirrored in a God who is described as three persons perfectly handing themselves over, emptying themselves out, and then fully receiving what has been handed over—there will always be a centrifugal force flowing through, out, and beyond us. (Tuesday)

God has done only one constant thing since the beginning of time: God has always, forever, and without hesitation loved “the Son,” understood in this sense as creation, the material universe, you, and me. (Wednesday)

“[N]o despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.” —Thomas Merton (Thursday)

You can’t diminish God’s love for you. What you can do, however, is learn how to believe it, receive it, trust it, allow it, and celebrate it, accepting Trinity’s whirling invitation to join in the cosmic dance.  (Friday)


Practice: 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, I invite you 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.

Gateway to Silence:
Dance with Us.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation
Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault, The Shape of God: Deepening the Mystery of Trinity (CD, DVD, and MP3 download)
Richard Rohr, What Difference Does Trinity Make? (MP3 download)

Image Credit: Dancers (detail), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), 1899. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio.
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