Spiritual Practices for Mind, Body, Spirit Wholeness: Body Prayer

Welcome to the sixth installment in our Spiritual Practices series!

Each month, I’m introducing you to one of my favorites and this month, I’m airing one I discovered several years ago when I was researching for my YouTube video series, “Connecting with your Inner Goddess Team”  — the practice of “Body Prayer”, conceived by the 14th century English mystic and writer, Julian of Norwich.

We’re not even sure of her name, only that she lived in Norwich and attended the Church of St. Julian. She called her practice “body prayer” which incorporated movement into prayer, with the intention of connecting the practitioner to the divine energy source within. That alone was revolutionary since the church at that time viewed the body as an impediment and believed that we must transcend the body to reach the divine.

Instead of renouncing her body, Julian felt we could only reach God through movement – what she called “oneing” with the divine source. Her God had a distinctly feminine aspect… in her seminal work, Revelations of Divine Love, (believed to be the first book written by an English woman), she says, “…just as truly as God is our father, so too God is our mother.” At a time in history filled with calamity that had produced a very dark image of a punishing God, Julian of Norwich found a compassionate deity who embraced all with love.

These are the four stages of prayer through movement devised by Julian: 

Await = is a posture of receiving. She held cupped hands extended at her waist to receive the presence of God.

Allow = a stance of opening to what god has to say, allowing a sense of God’s presence to come. She reached up with her hands open.

Accept = hands cupped at her heart, in acceptance of whatever gift comes or does not come.

Attend = hands extended and palms open. This is the willingness to act on the gift given. Her movements allow the mind to relax, and through them achieve the same meditative state induced by the movements of yoga.

You can watch the video below to learn the 4-part meditations with the accompanying movements, and if you watch it on YouTube, you’ll get even more information about Julian of Norwich in the description there.

Enjoy… I’d love to hear your experience with it!

And please join me next month when I’ll introduce you to a powerful practice called the Infinity Wave, channeled through my good friend and powerful healer, Hope Fitzgerald.

Connect with Deborah on The Wellness Universe.

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