The Medicine of Lyrical


After Chaos we arrive in Lyrical and become willing to pay attention to what’s new and different. We notice new openings, doors to walk through – things, people and situations that have heart and meaning. Since we are progressing towards Stillness we begin to look for doors opening into communion with the divine. We begin to lift our eyes towards spirit listening deeply within.

Sometimes, I have trouble practicing this rhythm. I too get afraid and want to take control. I get up in my head and just don’t get the hand bit as gateway to Lyrical. So, I just KISS. (keep it simple Scotty) The 4th Rhythm of the 5Rhythms® meditation practice Lyrical is the most intricate and in my experience of it, is about lightening up and ease.

Gabrielle Roth talks about this in her book Sweat your Prayers as a lightening up after we let go and empty-out everything that holds us back or “weighs us down”. That it is a journey towards “delightenment.” The more I teach this practice the more I begin to believe that emptying out is a primary goal in our practice. Pema Chodron talks about emptiness in her book Start Where You Are, “great bliss arises from the experience of emptiness.”

Gabrielle further talks about Lyrical as the deeper teaching of self-realization as the product of detachment and fluidity. So this make perfect sense and is where we add the mindfulness activity to our dance as we intend flow around things left over from Chaos, things that we are attached to that did not get released in chaos. We add fluidity to assist in our detachment from them being a certain way. As we do this we build character as we begin to realize things about ourselves, and our purpose on the planet.

My experience of entering into Lyrical after Chaos is that of beginning to wake up. I imagine slowly opening my eyes to greet the day as I transition from dream world to an awakened state. Contrary to some beliefs, we don’t need to have a big release (or orgasm or cold water splashed on our face) to wake up after Chaos. It can be a gradual sharpening of our focus as we slowly come to our senses. Pema Chodron says, “everything is fuel to wake up” – The possibility of things shifting and moving around within us.

The goal is to Stay Awake – being curious and paying attention to the empty space that has been created. Gabrielle calls that “Cruising emptiness.” I believe that we can find our ecstatic place when we inhabit our emptiness. If we don’t fill it up with “stuff” we can return to our happy place, our place of bliss time and time again.


I’ll end with a short quote from Rumi.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

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