Dance Life


Sink your fingers into the earth
taste the delicacy of the herbs

Feel the suffering of the world
and send out love in return

Until the pulse of life…throbs within…
and you ARE
the creation and destruction of the universe

With each solider going into war
each refugee wondering where home is

Each child
dancing in the rain
or starving, no energy to move

Or playing, running with a pack of kids in a park
or falling and crying for Ma
or staring in wonder at a birthday cake aflame
with candles and presents beyond…

with the elder, sitting wisely in state
or the one sitting cold, hungry, lonely and in pain

With the businessman barking into his cell phone
as he strides forth with his briefcase

With the mother, wailing, holding the bullet-ridden body
of her son amidst the street’s rubble

with the lava, flowing in the dark
moving, congealing, spreading its fiery river

With each star spiraling out in expanding galaxies
and the drop of rain falling into the Pacific Ocean

With the rabbit, bounding across the plain,
suddenly snatched up and torn apart by the eagle’s talons

with the lovers, tangled, sweaty, heaving
lost in each other’s eyes, united with the universe

With the father, lovingly standing strong against his young son,
who he will see grows into a man

With the board member, feeling into each personality and figure
with her heart, mind and body even as she runs a meeting

With each texture, sound and taste of a moment
letting it engulf you, feel you, inspire you, breathe you

Dance Life, my love, dance

May it take a moment

Or a lifetime

To truly feel the texture of a child’s hair against your cheek
to fully embrace the pain of your breaking heart until it cracks open

Until you laugh so hard your stomach is one big clench
and tears run free down your face


– Sandie Hum

Dance Life as an Exploration

To dance life can be a way of staying connected in heart and body to yourself and the world and also be able to offer love in return. Letting the energy of life move through you and move as you, however that may express itself in the moment, you may even find you’re no longer simply an individual dancer but are life’s dance.

David Deida describes a beautiful practice of dancing your body open as love: “Moment by moment, with or without music, breathe all pain and pleasure through your heart in and out, allowing love to open through your closures–through everyone’s closures–offering your body open, full as the moment.”

Explore this possibility for yourself in “Dance Life…for Yourself and Others.”

Heart Meditation

There is a beautiful Heart Meditation in the Nonduality Salon worth exploring. It’s a step-by-step practice of openness and compassion that is worth the time it takes to experience.

It can also be extremely helpful to a dance practice that embraces whatever arises, because it is grounded in an openness that is the vital complement to the vitality and sensory vibrancy of the poem “Dance Life.” It is what allows you to “Feel the suffering of the world / and send out love in return.”

The Heart Meditation is a variation on the traditional Buddhist practice of Tonglen. Also referred to as Sending and Taking, it is a compassionate awareness practice that is very powerful. Pema Chodron offers one entryway into Tonglen, and others can be found here. It’s an approach to try for yourself, and see what you discover.

For the Children

And of course, in addition to heart-based and spacious spiritual practices, there is also action in the world. One of the organizations acting on behalf of children is UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund. It’s dedicated to nurturing and caring for children and their rights in 191 countries around the world.

Recognizing that children are our future, UNICEF works on many levels of life’s dance. Acting at the grassroots level up through collaboration with decision makers, they improve children’s access to better health, education, nourishment and more.

Providing Medical Aid…Wherever Needed

Medecins Sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders, is an independent humanitarian agency that provides medical aid wherever needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or sex. This includes war zones, refugee camps, areas of epidemics and more. They provide emergency medical aid to populations in danger in more than 70 countries.

Supporting Humans and Nature

The World Wildlife Fund, or WWF, is a multinational conservation organization. They are dedicated to preserving the diversity and abundance of life on Earth and the health of ecological systems.

Working in 100 countries to take action at local through global levels, the WWF seeks to conserve nature through scientific knowledge. They dance with and honor life by crafting solutions that meet the needs of both humans and nature. You can find out what’s going on in your country here.

Heart-Based Peace Building

The Compassionate Listening Project offers heart-based skills for peace building and reconciliation in our families, communities, on the job, and in the world. It teaches “speaking and listening from the heart, even in the heat of conflict.” They began with reconciliation work in Israel and Palestine and have expanded their work worldwide.

You can explore their work here. See if you discover any inspiration for living peace more fully in your own slice of the world, so it can blossom more fully in the world we all share.


For everyday ways to support your dance of life, check out “5 Vital Ways to Live From Your Heart and Soul”

From “Dance Life” return to Soul Poems
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“Dance Life” © copyright 2002-2007 Sandie Hum – All Rights Reserved. “Wild Woman #20” metalwork by Kristin DeSantis, collection of Sabine Grandke-Taft. David Deida quote from “Shine as Love’s Light” in Blue Truth: A Spiritual Guide to Life & Death and Love & Sex.