Dancing in the Truth by Tim Torres, Unity of SA Prayer Chaplain, Board of Trustees Treasurer
Last Sunday at Unity of SA, our transition consultant Rev. Ron Fritts introduced the Vision, Mission, and Core Values developed the day before by 30 or so of our beautiful, bright lights. I participated in the first half of the day on Core Values and the Vision, but family commitments drew me away and I missed the second half of the day on the Mission. I waited to hear the Mission statement, along with everyone else in our Sunday celebration, with great anticipation. When I heard it, I was overjoyed! It was an inspiring and transformative moment. I loved it! I am grateful for the beautiful people who let their light (and ours) shine in these statements.
Rev. Ron explained that the Vision is our highest collective wish for the world. The organizational vision is an external vision which focuses on the organization being in service to society and the world. The statement of our vision that was developed: “As Divine Love, we envision a spiritually transformed, peaceful world.” The external Vision is for “a spiritually transformed, peaceful world”; “in Divine Love” captures the focus on our role; and “we envision” simply expresses that this is our Vision.
In the Mission statement, the focus is internal. How is Unity of SA uniquely in service to the Vision. What is it that we do, collectively as Unity of SA, to contribute to a spiritually transformed, peaceful world? Apparently, a sizeable representative portion of us decided on this statement: “Dancing in the Truth of who we are through meditation, study, and service.”
“Dancing in the Truth” … It’s certainly unique, but what does it mean?
I am betting it means something a little different to everyone. But here’s what it means to me, and why I love it:
Dance is an art form. Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in visual form, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Legendary dancer and Choreographer Martha Graham said, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” Dance is a way of manifesting our creative potential. It is unlimited possibility. It’s meant to be appreciated at a primal level. It’s fun! It connects us to gratitude, joy, and passion (zeal). It’s nonverbal, the ultimate body language. It communicates feelings. It reveals the Truth of who we are.
Dance also manifests love, the harmonizing power, connecting to the words in our Vision, “in Divine Love.” Dancing with others involves harmony. Dance is movement in the world. It is a conscious and unconscious process of independent action and adjusting to the movement of others.
In the “I (Eye) of the Storm,” we emphasize stability, inaction, immovability. The eye of the storm is a resting place, but also a starting place for action, and the place we return after acting and reacting. We may find the I (eye) of the storm for its own sake, because it is the Truth of who we are. But we also find it so that we may act rightly in the world. We can engage with the storm, acting independently but also adjusting to the movement of the storm. That’s where the dance comes in.
Christian youth coach Israelmore Ayivor, of Ghana, says, “You can dance in the storm. Don’t wait for the rain to be over because it might take too long. You can do it now. Wherever you are, right now, you can start, right now; this very moment.”
And Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic, says, “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”
This is where the I (eye) and the Storm become One. Garth Brooks captures it in “The Dance.”
Chinese philosophy, particularly Taoism, teaches wei wu wei, acting without acting. In wei wu wei, we act in a way that aligns with the flow of the universe (and with the Tao). We act from our most authentic Truth, not from ego. We minimize force or aggression. In wei wu wei, we act so as to bring about the greatest benefit to ourselves and others without doing further harm. And we do it effortlessly.
I see dancing in the Truth as the perfect metaphor for wei wu wei. In “5/6,” Jason Mraz asks, “Are you dancing with your partner, or are you pushing them around?” Because in dance we don’t force ourselves, impose our will, on each other. In dance we manifest our willingness, harmony, cooperative effort. Metaphorically, we dance in and from the I (eye) of the storm.
The Psalms describe dance as an act of devotion and celebration. Psalm 30:11 – “You turned my wailing into dancing.” Psalm 149:3 – “Let them praise his name with dancing!” And Psalm 150:4 – “Praise him with tambourine and dancing!”
So “dancing in the Truth” incorporates an array of ideas and thoughts about our Divinity, for example, the 12 powers – certainly love, imagination, zeal, will, order, strength, faith, life, release, and power. Can you also see understanding and wisdom in dance?
By the way, the Board looked at the feedback received last Sunday on the Vision and Mission statements and will consider any feedback still to come in. The feedback we have seen so far is overwhelmingly positive – the average of the ratings on both statements was above a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. The specific suggestions for change were ideas that had been thoroughly discussed at the workshop last Saturday in the development process. We welcome any additional constructive feedback.
The Board is working right now to write the “job advertisement” to begin in earnest the search for a new minister. The Vision, Mission, and Core Values will be included in the material we provide to prospective new ministers. I can see that these powerful statements are irresistible magnets for a Minister aligned beautifully with who we are as a spiritual community.
Thank you again, Unity of SA, for this inspirational and transformative moment. You are the light of the world. Let’s dance!
Some more inspirational quotes about dance (in the order they fell into):
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.”
― Oprah Winfrey
“Life is the dancer and you are the dance.”
― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking”
― Agnes De Mille
“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”
― Amit Ray, Mindfulness : Living in the Moment – Living in the Breath
“Dance for yourself. If someone understands, good. If not, no matter. Go right on doing what interests you, and do it until it stops interesting you.”
― Louis Horst
“Our biological rhythms are the symphony of the cosmos, music embedded deep within us to which we dance, even when we can’t name the tune.”
― Deepak Chopra
“Jesus invited us to a dance…and we’ve turned in into a march of soldiers, always checking to see if we’re doing it right and are in step and in line with the other soldiers. We know a dance would be more fun, but we believe we must go through hell to get to heaven, so we keep marching.”
― Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom
“Dance is the timeless interpretation of life.”
― Shah Asad Rizvi
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”