Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2051-7068
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7076


Dogen Zenji’s thirteenth-century foundational text ‘Fukan zazengi/Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen’, provides the departure point for this article and its moving centre. In it, Dogen enjoins us to ‘[…] learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward’. Through an exploration of the function of practice in zazen (seated meditation), dancing and writing, I ask how is it that practice (sitting, stepping, scribbling) can focus, clarify and release such joy? The dance vocabulary is ballroom and the process of writing seeks to partner the reader as witness to the exchange between movement and stillness. Over the course of two back-to-back dance lessons, drawing on dream images and the lives of my Berlin grandparents, three alternating voices: the Zen student, the dancer and the narrator, follow the relationship between zazen, dance and writing and examine the interweaving of intention, intensity and intimacy.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): dance; intention; intimacy; practice; writing; Zazen
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error