In This Issue
The Dances are traveling Beyond...

Thank you, Martha!

Feb 13 teleconference about the Beyond initiative

Walks added to the Resources library

Dances with young families

Zakira Sensiba ya Salaamo

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Dances of Universal
Peace International
PO Box 55994,
Seattle, WA 98155 USA
(206) 367-0389

January 2019

Leaders Guild News and Update

beyondThe Dances are traveling Beyond... 

Darvesha writes:

Please take a minute to watch this video describing the Beyond Initiative , a new project sponsored by Dances of Universal Peace International.   Young Dance leaders are reaching out to youth in Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Iran and in remote areas of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa to youth in ecovillages and sustainable communities.

Here are the links that Arjun mentions in the video:

You may also like to follow in Rosina's footsteps and consider a legacy to DUP International. You can find details here .

marthaThank you, Martha!

Munir writes:

Dear Martha,
On your serving 25 years with DUP IN, I am moved and filled with gratitude to you as I write this. You have been such a central force through thick and thin for this organization, and really I should say, for the Dances of Universal Peace. I do feel that the movement of the Dances worldwide has advanced because of your dedication and love for them. There's no question that your support, what you have done has furthered the work in incredibly important ways.

There were many difficult times for the organization over the years. I remember a number of occasions talking with you about difficult situations in the office and on the board. But your clear sense of purpose and love of the Dances carried DUP IN through every situation. I have often admired and appreciated your character and tenacious spirit to hang in there and look for the better way forward.

When I became ED, I truly got to see your strengths up close. I truly appreciated your common sense and realistic approach to things, and ability to get many things done in a consistent and precise way.  We know and love the experience of the Dances as a practice and their successful promulgation around the world over 50 years. But, as Hazrat Inayat Khan said, in order to have a spiritual movement you have to have an organization, which some people look down on. 

He wrote, "For them to say 'We do not care for an organization'' is like saying, 'I like to eat, but I do not think about the kitchen.'  Fortunately for the Dances and all of us, you were willing to think about the kitchen!  

I am so glad that these later years of DUP IN have been ones of particular stability, purpose and achievement. Your hard work over the years has contributed immensely to the success of the present organization, so we thank you for that.  Thanks Martha, so much!

All best, 

telconFeb 13 teleconference about the Beyond initiative

Last year we held a global teleconference led by Murshid Wali Ali, in preparation for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the dances.
Now we have arranged a further conference to provide a briefing on the Beyond initiative just mentioned above.  On this call, you will find out how you can book for the next dance 'Caravan' in the fall/autumn, and how to engage with the project in your local dance community as well as how to support this exciting initiative.
The call is scheduled for 
February 13
 at 18.00 (6pm) UTC (same as GMT, London).

Please register in advance for the call, as numbers are limited, and we expect demand for places to be high. You can register here on zoom .
to confirm when this call will take place in your local time eg New York 1pm, Seattle 10.00 am. Please contact Aziz well before the call if you have any questions about the timing of the call or how to access zoom .

In 2018, thanks to Murshid Wali Ali and Ali Charles we have been able to add 12 introductions to the Spins and Walks of Murshid S.A.M. from the Dharma Night and other classes at the Mentorgarden. These are included in the   dance resource library.

Please note that you need to search for these 
using the precise terms [walk] or [spin], not [walks].

It is hoped that the basic astrological walks (now uploaded to the library) will be followed by walks of wazifas or walks of the masters.

youngDances with young families

Greetings from the Tallgrass Sufi Community of Lawrence, Kansas, in the middle of the United States! I have been strongly encouraged to write this article because we have something unusual going on here in Lawrence - a growing Dances of Peace community that includes many younger people and families with children. Alhamdulillah!

About five years ago, a Divine synchronicity drew four young and inspired Dance leaders together here. One was my daughter, raised in this tradition, who drew in my husband and me. Our aging community came out in support as the Dances were revived, and we have continued from there, joined by new participants who come one-by-one as we meet them in other circles. This is the overview in a nutshell, but I hope that the details that follow may be more enlightening.

Catching the fire
The beginning of this renaissance came at a time when my daughter Maya Weil attended a retreat for youth leaders led by Sára Rain and Maitreya Stevens in Colorado. The young people there were encouraged to give themselves permission to lead the Dances and to start dance circles. She came back on fire to start the dances again, and met up with Chanda Clare Gorres, a friend who had gone to divinity school in California, connected with the Dances out there, and taken Tui Wilchinsky as her dance mentor. She was also on fire to start up the Dances again. Clare sought out her friend Satya Teri Grunthaner, who she knew had done the dances before (when she was living in Arcada, California.) These women were all in their early 20s. (They all have children and partners now.) Somehow, they connected with Farhad Forrest Pierce, who had moved to Lawrence from Oregon, where he had a Sufi guide, and who has Maitreya as his dance mentor. 

Clare says, "Without a local teacher at the time, I imagined that our passion and ability to communicate in an honest and loving way would enable us to bring joy to the dancers in our community. I had attended a workshop at NW Sufi camp led by Hayra Fattah about reflecting from the 'inner committee of voices' when sharing personal experiences of co-leadership, and from past experiences and community organizing, knew it would be really important for us to meet weekly for encouragement but also honest feedback on areas in which we each struggled to collaborate."

At this point, my daughter said, "Mom, there are these people you have to meet! They are young and they are starting up the Dances again in Lawrence!" I was surprised and intrigued! I had supported Dances in the past, playing mandolin and sometimes leading a dance or two. My husband Clark Jamison is one of the best hand percussionists in the area, and has long played for the Dances in Kansas City and at Ozark Sufi Camp, as well as for local kirtan bands and Indian musicians (he plays tabla). Farhad is a gifted musician and composer, who plays guitar for our Dances, and the young women are musicians as well.  

So...we had youthful enthusiasm, older experience, and wonderful musicians, but we didn't have a strong central leader to hold the post and direct everything. This is why, as Clare mentioned, we have always operated on the basis of co-leadership. As a circle of leaders, we met weekly for the first few years, to plan Dances, reflect on the experience and how the Dance had gone, to do spiritual practices together, and to support each other. We practiced the skill of non-violent communication, which was new to me, but I learned. We grew to love and appreciate each other, so that we could work together with any bumps that arose - as they do in any group.  

This has enabled us be flexible and change with different circumstances. For example, another experienced dance leader asked to join our leaders' circle, and all together we reached agreement about this. She led dances with us for a while, but has moved on for now.  If someone is out-of-town, or has a new baby, or whatever can happen in life, there are leaders available to carry on. We had a young guitar-player join the musicians' circle for a time, but now he comes as a dancer with his wife and new baby. My daughter has now rejoined the musicians' circle with her violin. So we continue on.


Growing the Circle
When the Dances started up again, our older dancers came out of the woodwork. Clare says, "I also think it was crucially important that when we began hosting the public dances, the elders of our community who had danced in previous Lawrence circles for years or decades showed up for us. And they showed up without critical comments or certain expectations, but with celebration and gratitude and encouragement." 

We have gradually gained new dancers through personal contacts and friendships made in other circles. As a personal example, we have a Five Rhythms dance circle here in Lawrence that has been going for about 15 years. The woman who leads it studied directly with Gabrielle Roth, and Clark and I have known her for about 36 years! We go to this "Sweat Your Prayers" dance nearly every Sunday morning, and we meet a lot of young people there. It's a real spiritual community, and now there is a quite a bit of overlap with our Dances of Peace circle! 

Another example: every Monday morning during the school year, we go to our friend Geeta Tiwari's house for traditional Dhrupad singing practice. We sing long, low tones (Kharaj) and learn Sanskrit chants. We have met many younger people there, and some of them have become members of our Dances of Peace community. My daughter teaches at our local Prairie Moon Waldorf School, and has brought people from that community.

Salima, a woman of our generation, brought to our Dances several members of a group of young Catholics who live in community in an older part of Kansas City. Their home is called Jerusalem Farm and they have become an important part of our circle. They attend the Kansas City Sufi events now also, but Salima brought them to Lawrence first because of our young leaders. Also, young people in Lawrence who grew up with Sufi Dances and Sufi Camp are coming back to the dances and sometimes they bring a friend. And of course, our young leaders with children meet other young families. So we are continuing to grow. Now, there are often more young people at our dance meetings than older people!

Spiritual practice
It's also important to mention here that we have always approached the Dances we organize as spiritual practice - not just a pleasant night out. We all maintain our own spiritual practices, and are very sensitive to intuition and inspiration in choosing what Dances to lead for our monthly dance meetings. We tell Farhad what Dances are arising for us because he can easily print up a list. Then we meet at one of our homes (it varies) to play through the list, choose which Dances to include and decide on the order. This may sound cumbersome, but it's actually quite a smooth process usually, and allows us time to deepen with the dances before we lead them. 

At the same time, we are flexible enough that we sometimes find it best to lead a different Dance on the spur of the moment, and we have done that too. We generally begin with walking and attunement, say the Invocation together, then do six dances, with a break in the middle. We take turns opening, closing, and "middling". Before starting the second half, we have "community announcements", where we announce other events, including our Sufi events, as  well as events organized by our community members - such as yoga classes, kirtans, meditations, or community dinners. We close with the Khatoum prayer, the "May All Beings Be Well" song, and "hugging practice". Then we socialize!

Several strands uniting
Along these lines, I have to say that, although we function as a group when organizing the dances, each of our dance leaders also has the freedom to organize their own classes or events. The understanding is that we will all be informed about such plans, so that we don't plan conflicting events, and so that we can be generally supportive. For example: I have led Sufi classes, Farhad has led zikrs, Clare has a regular group for parents and small children, and so on. We have a new, very juicy event starting up this month called "Date Night With the Beloved", organized by Farhad. We have held yearly Sufi Sesshins, and have hosted each of our Sufi teachers here at different times, for retreats and public events. 

Our circle participated in the 50th Anniversary dance and video project, and you can see some of us full-screen during the Invocation. We have led dances for local weddings, blessingways, and other events, as requested. Farhad and I are able to initiate mureeds, and Clare and I are recently ordained cherags. Thus, we have held a lot of community-building events, and we are able to offer a lot of options for spiritual growth and support in addition to the Dances. Finally, I want to stress that we all feel the One, the Beloved, Divine Mother working through all of us.

Love Bison
I know this article has become long, but I wanted to give as true and complete an account as possible, in hope that others will find it useful. We do put up posters, we pass out "Love Bison" cards with dance and contact information to people we know who seem truly interested, we create Facebook events, and we send out a monthly email newsletter. Primarily though, personal connections, community, young leaders, and Divine Providence are what keep our circle growing.

Love and light to all,
Malika Lyon
Lawrence, Kansas

zakiraZakira Sensiba ya Salaamo

Zakira Beverly Sensiba, long-time dance leader in Seattle, turned 80 in September a few weeks before her passing. Sheikh Mansur Kreps, her sufi guide for more than 20 years, held a big party for her in which she shared poignant insights on living each day fully, being prepared for death and what is really important. Mansur described her as 'always amazing, compassionate and filled with light.

A remembrance page for her can be found at .

recognitionsLeader 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 or Mentors or Senior Mentors over the last  several months, since our last newsletter:

Vanessa Ragan CA, USA
Qahira Beejee Peco Barton OR, USA
Hans-Peter Baum Germany
Juan Nuraddin Bayon Jimenez Spain
Ernesto Cortés Turkey/Colombia
Matthew Heyse-Moore England
Gitanjali Lora Rivera CA, US
Certified Leader
Petuka Arcimovicova Czech Republic
Neferti Babbs AR, US
Hans Diers Germany
Eduardo Feijó Brazil
Norbert Gahbler Germany
Angelika Shakura Galli Germany
Solène Garrin  France
Alexandra Golderer Germany
Kriya Judy Goodman CO, US
Hamida Wendy Heald AZ, US
Alan Ahmed Heeks England  
Charlotte Sabura Henson (since 2012) MT, US  
Amira Judy Jones GA, US  
   correction to previous listing    
Regina Keespe Germany  
Ute Kimpel Germany  
Wendy Lindahl AZ, US  
Farishta Mary Mead MI, US  
Yasmin Meera Brazil  
Zahir Keith Moree (Aug 2016) OR, US  
   correction to previous listing    
Renate Neumann Germany  
Robert Orange England  
Ted Mubdi Ryle WA, US
Beth Casdin-Silver NY, USA
Liliete Canes [de] Souza [Cordeiro] Brazil
Sonia Stairs BC, Canada
Paul Yusuf Taylor  CA, USA
Maria Fernanda Tortosa Perez Ojeda Spain
Mentored musician
Terry Anson WA, US


Dances of Universal Peace International | (206) 367-0389 | |
P.O. 55994
Seattle, WA 98155-0994