April 2022
Leaders Guild newsletter
In this issue
Peace - you have to be it!
Small Grants Program 2022
Beyond Initiative in 2022
Dance write-ups
How we use our Dances
Leader recognitions

'Actually, though we seem to be in a world of song and dance, we are most concerned with
peace on earth.'
Murshid Samuel Lewis

War graves, Tuzla, Bosnia

Dear Friends,
My mother died a few months ago, and I have been clearing her house. She was always grateful to Miss Molly Sharp, her headmistress, whose support changed the course of her life.

I would like to share with you this brief extract from a speech which I found, which Miss Sharp made to Enfield County School [Middlesex, England], on 10 May 1945, for ‘Victory in Europe’ Day.

The last word is Peace. Now there is no such thing in the world as abiding peace. You must think of peace as creative work, as the production of food and goods, as development in the arts and sciences, as the gaining of more real liberty and equality and justice. These things which are the essence of peace are obtained by education, study, law-making and by making a progressive society which is working always to improve government, social services, houses and conditions of living.

In a book I was reading the other day the author pointed out that Jesus did not say ‘’Blessed are the peaceful’’ or ‘’Blessed are the peaceable,’’ but ‘’Blessed are the peace-makers.’’ Peace must be made creatively, it must be worked for energetically, it must be constructed and built out of the materials of life. See that in the great days that lie ahead you are all peace-makers.’’

Coming closer to today, I am grateful to ZubinNur for sharing a memory of Murshida Kamae Amrapali Miller, (and this photo) on the occasion of Kamae’s recent Urs.

Zubin Nur writes, ‘I had a t-shirt from a charity, on it were the words ‘’I dream of peace’’ and a globe with the flags of all the countries around it. Kamae took one look and said, ‘’Dreaming’s not enough, you have to be it.’’

In peace,
Aziz Dixon
Executive Director
DUP International

Small Grants Program - open for applications now

As we continue to share a generous gift from the Oneness Project, Dances of Universal Peace International is offering a second cycle of the Small Grants Program during 2022. This will provide financial support to DUP projects and events around the world.

Criteria for grants
Applications for grants of up to $500 USD can be accepted for online projects as well as in-person events. Our goals include: supporting trainings, camps and retreats that increase participation in the Dances; keeping the Dances alive online during the pandemic; contributing to projects that aim to be self-sustaining beyond an initial event or meeting; and encouraging the involvement of young people and “next generation” leaders and dancers.

Our grants are made available to events organizers, not to support individual attendance at dance events.

Please keep in mind that grant funds will not be disbursed until recipients provide verification that in-person gatherings are being allowed in the locale/region where their project/event is taking place. Verification may be a notice from the local/regional health department or an online link to the government agency that oversees pandemic restrictions and regulations.

Here is where you can apply for grants (in any of 6 languages):

Beyond Initiative in 2022

Following a dance leader training event in Colombia in April, plans are developing for a Turkish dance training and caravan in September to support the dances in the Middle East.

Full details are available here. The program runs from September 12th to 24th, and travels from Istanbul to Cappadocia including Konya. The journey will combine practices based in sufism with DUP and training for dance leaders in the region. Registration is open now.

Dance write-ups
Dance write-ups continue to be added to the resource library: they can be found here https://dancesofuniversalpeace.org/leaders/Dances_list.php, and you can search for them by the date they were added to the library, by the language in which they are written, by title, or by the dance leader through whom they came.

Here are guidelines on submitting dance write-ups to the resource library.

How we use the Dances

by ZubinNur,
The Netherlands

How amazing and precious that we found these Dancing Spiritual Practices that Murshid S.A.M. channelled into the world! Though by now there are many of us and we are Dancing all over the world, and though it seems so natural to be here. Still, there so many paths we could have taken and not arrived here, and never have found the Blessing of these Dances.

As I prepare to offer a meeting, I am deeply touched by how this Spiritual Practice in movement is so deeply inviting us and preparing us to embody them in everyday life. Often a mantra or prayer flows into this beingness, bringing balm, calm, courage, strength or inspiration… and I am touched with deep Gratitude, listening and bowing.

There is no ‘limit’ on where these ‘sparks’ of inspiration and connection will re-emerge, awakened in the Dance… it can re-appear, as simply as, being at the check-out in the supermarket… I can suddenly be in a ‘Tara space’ with the cashier! Does she see? Did she feel something special too? Mmm… maybe sounds like the script from a cheap film! And yet somewhere in this beingness I know the moment touched her too.

How do we manifest our Dances in Daily Life? How and how often and when can we surrender in a Bismillah to what life is offering us? Turning, remembering…”We begin in the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate”. Right there in that moment? Mmmm… I’m getting better… and still have a way to go too. And still the invitation is present… to Dance the Dance, in the Dance and during the Dance to manifest the same feeling as we go about our lives, it is a blessing I am so grateful to receive and remember.

“Om mane peme hung”, the celebration of the Jewel in the Lotus, the gift in an open heart, the grace of being able to ‘let things through’, or even to close like the water lily when the light grows dim. The remembering that if this jewel is in me… it is in you too… in whoever we meet and dance with… as we pass-by on the street, as we join a business meeting, as we drive and are cut-up by another driver in a hurry… who (Hu) knows why. Feeling our lotus, choosing to polish the jewel not veil it, choosing to take a breath and choosing compassion and empathy.

“Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, God have Mercy, Christ have Mercy…” somewhere along this Dancing Path I seem to have picked up a saying that I attribute to Murshid S.A.M. (I’d love to know whether that is correct), that God is pouring Mercy down on us all the time… and we have our umbrellas up! … and we stand under them asking to receive more! Aaahh… this humanness… offering this Mercy to ourselves, to our wounds and scars, cherishing our inner child with Love, Mercy and Joy… Making it a practise to be present and aware of what we are saying, or writing, or expressing? And have our words passed through our heart? Before we share or even explode in our disappointment and grievance? Mmm… good practice… breathing first, taking a moment to feel where the ‘other’ is coming from… and whether we can take another minute… remembering … there is NO OTHER! We are One! Can we call first on that feeling of Mercy that we felt as we Danced? Aaahhh… and Mmm…. and the flow of the breath.

The Dance “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva Shabmo…” which invites us to remember in our moments of darkness and unknowing, the Divine Fire of Transformation… that even then, without seeing where we are going… we may still be moving forwards, and/or that there is often a deeper purpose in the moments of darkness and stillness and can we be there, stay there a while to heal and transform?

Maybe you, like me, enjoy sharing the Dances that are inspired by the Beauty Way, that we respectfully inherit from the Original Peoples of the Americas… and as you Dance, maybe you too, wonder “Where can I manifest this Wisdom more deeply?” This may be in our inner conversations, how do we speak to ourselves? Do we ‘walk the Beauty Way’ in how we treat and respect ourselves? We can’t offer others what we don’t have for ourself… well we can try … and it often has an emptiness to it.

Recalling often each day, (each hour? as often as possible on the breath) the first line of the Invocation: “Towards the One”… and with a smile watching ourselves as we Dance this Dance of Duality… and aspire to Unity without Uniformity… Aaahh… Smiling and being Grateful for all the opportunities, all the choices, all the learning and unlearning. Being present to heal all the wounds from the School of Hard Knocks.

The Invitation inherent in each Dance, to do Dance in a circle, hand in hand with A.N.Other… WOW!!! … with Beloveds and with new “Strangers”!!! Soon we feel (Insh’Allah) there is no stranger! What a gift this is!!! My Shakurs are sent out regularly to Murshid S.A.M. for being there and being open to receive this ‘download’ and to share it so strongly and clearly with his students and with all who came to his meetings that this Stream of Blessing found us and brought us together in the Circle of Love. Alhamdulillah Ya Shakur, Ya Shakur, Ya Shakur. Such gifts are ours to Dance, to share and to manifest in how we Dance our life, Dancing the Dances in our lives just as passionately as we do in the Circle.

In unison with the will of God, we will to have peace.

Leader recognitions
The Guidance Council would like to congratulate and acknowledge all the Walks and Dance leaders
who have been certified or recognized as Mentors in Training since our last newsletter:
Allaudin Sandy Hill: Canada
Mentor in Training
Fabrice George: Belgium
Mubdi Matin Ted Ryle: WA, USA
Certified Leader
Stefan Posch: Germany