“Took a look down a westbound road,
Right away I made my choice.
Headed out to my big two-wheeler,
I was tired of my own voice…”

– Bob Seger
“Roll Me Away”

Yeah, lately I know how that feels.  I’ve been AWOL from Blogland for a while now because, quite frankly, I haven’t had a whole lot to say…Nor have I really wanted to, for that matter.

This year’s Sun Moon Dance was, for me, a lesson in gentleness, and in letting go of my life-long struggle with the Monkey Mind.

I found it odd that Kristen, our Dance Chief, placed me in the West.  This was my 4th dance, and that should have put me in the North.  However, one doesn’t question the direction one’s given in the arbor, and in hindsight, my placement couldn’t have been more appropriate. West is the place of healing, and of sacred work, and I’d come to the Arbor prepared to do plenty of both.

I was dancing this year for the greatest good of the people – whether two legged or four, many legged or no-legged, winged or finned, tree or stone – and for the continued healing of our sacred Mother Earth. While the dances of those around me ranged from sheer rapture to near brutality, my own dance was slow and laborious, and all the while the Monkey Mind chattered feverishly and rattled the bars of its cage.

On the morning of the second day, the howling increased, and I made up my mind to lay down my guns and surrender to it.  I was weary of the battle that had raged my entire life – now it was time for reconcilliation.

As I sank into the presence of Spirit’s divine love, the voices in my head grew silent.  Suddenly the place which had only seconds before been filled with inane screeching was filled instead with a peace beyond imagining.  This respite was short-lived, however, and the hairy thunderer rose once more to bellow another challenge.  Again I sank beneath the waves of love.  Again the voice grew silent for a moment before clawing its way back into my awareness.

For three whole days we walked together, carrying the descending light to the whole of creation, until finally, on Sunday morning I felt myself beginning to separate.  It was as if a jolt of electricity shot forth from the ground and ran through the soles of my feet and out the top of my head.  For an instant I felt as if I might leave my body.  And then my footing grew strong again, and the dances, both internal and external continued.

For the remainder of the dance, I was overcome with gratitude.  My tears flowed freely at the ceremony for the rising of the sun.

Even now, the Monkey Mind still chatters, but because he retreats more quickly now, and poses less of a threat, the doors of the primate’s cage have remained unlocked. What was once a gladiatorial arena, a place of constant mêlée fought with weapons of denial and disapproval, has become for the most part a place of understanding…


4 Responses to “Shhhhhhhhhhhhh…”

  1. Ben, I am thankful to you for this post. It is good to be reminded that the monkey touches everyone, and that we do, often when we least expect it, find relief and compassion. Thank you for dancing for us all.


  2. Thank you, Michael.


  3. Dear Ben, This blog was wonderful to read, to hear of your dance from the inside after witnessing it from the outside. I have no preconceived ideas about placement when we go into the arbor but just go where Spirit leads. A big lesson in itself. So often pain comes from a notion of what or where we think we ought to be. Obviously you were able to let that one go and allot more. I is such a honor to have you dance at Birdsong. Thank you for your dance and the strength, integtity and beauty of your beingness.


  4. And thank YOU, Kristen, for all you do for us, both inside the arbor and out. Your guidance and presence are a blessing to us.


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