Breath of the Compassionate Movement Meditation
The 'Breath of the Compassionate', or 'al-nafas al-rahman' in Arabic, is an eight-point star design, significant to many cultures and religions. It has medieval roots and can be found in many religious iconographies. This sense of visual inhalation and exhalation is based around the teachings of Ibn al'Arabi, who named this universal principle of creation, joining the elements of fire, air, water, and earth.
~ paraphrased from Michael Schneider
"Through the polar cycle of the divine breath the universe is periodically created, maintained, dissolved, and renewed … More than just an ornamental motif, the Breath of the Compassionate is a cosmological model symbolizing the interplay of polarities that manifest form.” ~Keith Critchlow
“Movement Meditation, sometimes termed Dynamic Meditation, turn movement into a conscious practice. Some people use the practice to express themselves and experience the present moment, while others set an intention to communicate or connect with nature or the divine.” ~ paraphrased from The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies.
The Breath of the Compassionate Movement Meditation premiered in New York City at The Laban Institute in June of 2018 and is meant to be shared to cultivate compassion for others (and for ourselves) in our world that rampantly turns to aggression and defense. The rhetoric and scholarship that inspired the work comes from Karen Armstrong and The Charter for Compassion. The visual and musical compositions were graciously gifted by the composer Bill Alves. The Breath of the Compassionate Movement Meditation is for everyone, no matter your movement background, spiritual practice, or affiliation.
The practice of the meditation is a triptych: self (or group) movement, mantra, and external representations of the sacred geometric eight-pointed star in visual and sound imagery. You are invited to engage in one or all as you are able.
Learn More about Workshops and Performances:
Educate (audience/participant capacity based on venue)
Engage with The Breath of the Compassionate Movement Meditation by observing a performance of the movement, sound and video tessellations. Then interact with its’ creator Mary Chase through reflection and discussion on the history, creation and potential impact the work can have for your community.
Explore Workshop (up to 24 participants)
Explore and enliven compassion through a workshop. Gain knowledge on the process of creation, how it relates to the work of The Charter for Compassion, and Karen Armstrong’s book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. Learn and practice moving this meditation with others. The result of the workshop is merely an entry point into a cycle; a cycle that seeks to cultivate compassion.(open to all: physical/movement accommodations available as needed)
Enliven Day 2 of a workshop weekend
The practice of the meditation with its’ creator Mary Chase within a community of movers is a wonderful way to dive more deeply into the work after a workshop. This second day offers a sense of integration with how the sacred geometry inhales and exhales with many movers in a space and how to take the practice out into the world. This day may incorporate practicing in a variety of locations
like parks, in the forest, on the beach, in chapels/synagogues/sanctuaries/temples, community centers, or just down the street...
Embrace Practice in a Group
Workshop attendees may want to continue to meet on a regular basis. The opportunity to create a Movement Meditation Group is an excellent way to grow in relationship to others and to continue one’s commitment to developing compassion in their life. Each community can continue to work together to meets their needs. A group coordinator should contact Mary Chase/Chasedance in order to discuss and brainstorm how the work can continue to grow and serve the community.
The meditation stands alone and can be utilized as a personal practice for the Mind, Body, and Spirit to enliven the richness and vibrance compassion can play in your life. Contact Chasedance in order to access the resources: Movement Cues, Mantras, and Videos for home practice.