Experiment. Explore. Awaken your potential for wellness through meditative movement.
"This ... is an invitation and a portal into the practice of dance and movement as meditation. All bodies are welcome and all abilities. Anyone can dance, although many of us hold back because we don't look like dancers or because we have physical limitations. But I am willing to bet that most of you holding this book have touched a moment of transcendence or freedom in an experience of dance that leads you to explore deeper. You have a worthy guide in your hands."
—from the Foreword
Using theory and step-by-step exercises, dancer and clinical counselor Dr. Jamie Marich expertly guides you through seven primary elements of mindfulness in motion: breath, sound, body, story, mind, spirit and fusion. By dancing through these seven elements, either in personal practice or in a group, you will be better able to:
Access your body’s own healing resources through informal dance
Realize the transformative power of your personal creativity
Strengthen your abilities to exercise non-judgment, patience, a sense of play, trust, acceptance and letting go
Practice mindfulness even if you have struggled with traditional sitting meditation
Share healing dances with others to build on your own strengths, resources and experiences
About the Authors:
Jamie Marich, PhD, LPCC-S, a life-long dancer and the founder of the Dancing Mindfulness community and facilitator-training program, is a clinical counselor who leads trainings and retreats on trauma, addiction and mindfulness worldwide. An author of several books on topics related to trauma and recovery, Marich actively trains facilitators in the Dancing Mindfulness practice, and maintains a private clinical practice in her home base of Youngstown-Warren, Ohio.
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, a Benedictine Oblate, is author of Lectio Divina—The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images into Heart-Centered Prayer, Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings—Annotated & Explained (both SkyLight Paths) and The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, among other books. She frequently leads retreats and teaches on the wisdom of Benedictine, Celtic and desert ways of praying. A writer, artist, spiritual director, retreat facilitator and teacher, she is the online Abbess of www.abbeyofthearts.com, a global online monastery dedicated to the integration of contemplative practice and creative expression.
Synopsis: Jamie Marich is the founder of the Dancing Mindfulness community and facilitator-training program. She is also a clinical counselor who leads training sessions and retreats on trauma, addiction and mindfulness worldwide. Jamie Marich actively trains facilitators in dancing mindfulness practice, and maintains a private clinical practice in her home base of Youngstown, Ohio. In Dancing Mindfulness [Marich] uses theory and step-by-step exercises laid out to expertly guides readers through seven primary elements of mindfulness in motion: breath, sound, body, story, mind, spirit and fusion, either for personal practice or in a group.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and designed, Dancing Mindfulness is as informed and informative as it is 'user friendly' in both tone and presentation. Dancing Mindfulness is an especially recommended 'how to' instruction guide for personal, community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
— Midwest Book Review
"[R]estore[s] us to the mindfulness that offers calming perspective and renewed, non-judgmental excitement about our relationships with ourselves, our multi-layered communities and our environment. This book offers a chance to make lives better, and that is a real contribution."
—Congressman Tim Ryan, OH-13; author, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit
“An indispensable tool for anyone who would like to move, breathe and live with more consciousness.... Has the power to revolutionize the way we move our bodies and minds [and] is foundational for the theory and practice of conscious dance.”
—Sarah Hentges, PhD, assistant professor of American studies, University of Maine at Augusta; author, Women and Fitness in American Culture
“Heartfelt, embodied and spirited.... Abundant with accessible resources for not only personal practice and conscious dance communities but also for educational settings and ministry contexts. Both emerging leaders and seasoned professionals in ministry will [find] wisdom and inspiration that will support healing and wholeness in our communities.”
—Rev. Elizabeth D. Barnum, Fountain Street Church (United Church of Christ), Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Applies mindfulness in a sophisticated way to help the reader bridge theory and practice. [A] personal and engaging style will help you learn to dance through more of the moments of your daily life, with all its ups and downs.”
—Richard Sears, PsyD, PhD, psychologist; author, Mindfulness: Living through Challenges and Enriching Your Life in This Moment
“Skillfully integrat[es] mindfulness, psychological insights and creative play to show you how to move to music in ways that are good for your soul. Personable and gentle, it illuminates the importance of honoring your body as a vessel of meaning, healing and love.... An original contribution in the mindfulness field.”
—Mary NurrieStearns, RYT, LCSW, author, Yoga Mind, Peaceful Mind
“Rare ... simultaneously cutting edge and accessible as well as practical and enlightening.... A must-read for any person who practices, teaches or researches mindfulness or embodiment.... I am so impressed with Dancing Mindfulness that I have developed an undergraduate psychology course centered around this book!”
—Shannon Len Deets, PhD, licensed professional counselor; assistant professor psychology, Thiel College
“A wonderful invitation into one's body, into one’s creative spirit.... A comprehensive book [and] a wonderful tool for both the private dancer and for one who would like, with training, to offer space to explore this integrating modality to others.”
—Kyczy Hawk, author, Yoga and The Twelve Step Path and Life in Bite—Sized Morsels; founder, S.O.A.R.: Success Over Addiction and Relapse
“Jamie’s work ... strike[s] a chord. She has unique appeal among the very people who need her work most.... A welcome force among the members of Dance First, supporting the mission of 'movement before medication.’”
—Mark Metz, founder, Dance First Association; publisher, Conscious Dancer Magazine
“Makes a special contribution to the world of mindfulness by inviting all of us to get off the cushion and explore moving our miraculous bodies.... I encourage anyone interested in mindfulness to let go of old inhibitions and follow Jamie’s wonderful guidance to experience the full body/mind joy of mindful dancing.”
—Terry Fralich, cofounder, Mindfulness Retreat Center of Maine; author, The Five Core Skills of Mindfulness: A Direct Path to More Confidence, Joy and Love
“Offers a pathway to spirit through the body. Each chapter offers a doorway to dancing mindfulness as a personal practice and as an opportunity to facilitate others.... A must-read for anyone interested in developing a mindfulness practice through dance.”
—Theresa Benson, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist; expressive arts facilitator, University of Illinois
“Meditation is more than sitting on your butt. Mindfulness is more than obsessively chewing a raisin. Both are about being so physically present to the environment that you can no longer maintain the delusion that you are other than the environment. [This book and practice] will take you to that place of acute presentness, and awaken you to the dance of life within and without.”
—Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent: Sacred Teachings—Annotated & Explained
“Will help you dance your story in your space with mindfulness—a journey home to the present moment and ultimately to your authentic self ... greatly aided by the richness of intentional movement.”
—Durga Leela, RYT-500, founder, Yoga of Recovery
“Helps us step away from the idea that in order to practice living mindfully or to ‘figure things out’ we should sit cross-legged, empty our minds and wait for answers. Our true ability to be mindful can come through dance and movement whenever we let it ... the possibilities are endless and so is your capacity for love, strength and acceptance. To quote Jamie, ‘get up and dance!’”
—Rev. Donald McCasland, LMSW-CCTP, clinical trauma professional; blogger, “The Functional Veteran”
“An exciting new way to becoming fully present [and] a powerful introduction to a sense of total wellness.... I recommend this book most highly. This is mindfulness in spades—five stars.”
—Rev. Paschal Baute, EdD, author, Resilience of a Dream Catcher, Secrets of Intimacy and Lottie Mae, The Turkey Who Could Not Stop Dreaming
“The modern gateway to the mind/body consciousness.... Reminds us to get up and feel our lives as they were meant to be alive in mind, body and spirit. Of course, the real gem ... is that it’s even deeper than being alive—it’s being down right joyful about it.”
—Leisa T. Mills, Buddhist teacher and mind/body activist
“Most interesting ... for those looking for a more physical and creative way to practice mindfulness.... Includes discussion of the historical significance of dance as a healing arts form that involves attention to the physical and emotional self and, when practiced in a group, to growth in community and community building. The book also provides guidance in workshop development and leadership in this method, and has a DVD to illustrate the method.”
—Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, psychologist, Washington, DC; author, It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You; Healing the Incest Wound and Treating Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-based Approach (with Julian Ford, PhD)