The lived experience and transformational potential of 5 Rhythms dancing meditation
An intuitive inquiry
Keywords:5 Rhythms, transformation, embodiment, spirituality, movement meditation, intuitive inquiry
Forms of dancing meditation have been popular choices for self-development in the Western world, yet they continue to be under-represented in the academic literature on mindfulness and transformative practices. The present study explored the lived experience and transformative potential of 5 Rhythms, a dancing meditation practice developed by Gabrielle Roth (1998). Anderson’s (1998) qualitative research method, intuitive inquiry, was applied in order to engage both intellect and intuition, enabling the researcher to tap her own embodied knowing of 5 Rhythms practice. The research progressed through 5 hermeneutical cycles, allowing a process of reappraisal, transforming the researcher’s original understanding of 5 Rhythms through in-depth engagement with nine participants, all of whom were 5 Rhythms dancers. Following semi-structured interviews and transcription, a Thematic Content Analysis yielded eight core themes. Overall, the findings suggested a number of processes and conditions that facilitated and accompanied psycho-spiritual transformation in 5 Rhythms dancing, including embodiment, interconnection with others, self and the world, mindful presence, self-compassion, freedom, spirituality, creativity, and the interplay of opposing forces such as surrender and control. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed at the end.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Zsofia Maurer
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