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Elements of Mastery
"Dances of Innocence" by Neil Douglas-Klotz
Website & More
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Dances of Universal
Peace International
PO Box 55994,
Seattle, WA 98155 USA
(206) 367-0389

Seattle Office

Director's Office

Community Coordinator
October 2015

news Leaders Guild News and Update

Website Redesign
Take a look now at our newly redesigned website and banner in full color format  and with a Dutch language version and log-in added. Our new banner appears at the top of this newsletter. This is the first major redesign of our site since 2011.  

The language menu is now located at the right side of the drop down menu at the top of each page. 

Our website is on line in English, Spanish, German, Russian and Dutch, and this newsletter goes out in all of these languages twice annually. Special thanks to Malika Cieremans for her wonderful translation work on the Dutch version of the website. The Dutch version is nearly complete.

A new History of the Dances of Universal Peace organization page is now posted on the English web site.

Let's spice it up with Facebook postings!  We invite you to join the DUP International Facebook group to post your photos, videos, articles, events info and more of interest to other leaders. The icon appears at the far right side of the drop down menu for handy access. Facebook is the easiest way to share all sorts of information about your work with the Dances. Please keep all postings for and about the Dances of Universal Peace. Multiple languages are welcome!

Fund Drive Successful
In June 2015 we reached our goal of raising $20,000 in the Campaign for 2015. These funds put DUP International on a solid financial footing for years to come! We extend our deepest thanks to the Friends of Dances of Universal Peace International who contributed so generously to this campaign. You can still make a donation by going to this page. How are we spending the funds? You can see our multi-year plan here.

Leaders Guild Fees Increase  
Beginning January 1, 2016 Leaders Guild fees will increase from $30 to $36. This fees increase is accompanied by a 22% reduction in our budget, which began in 2015. These two measures together will bring DUP IN's annual budget very nearly into balance, in accordance with our multi-year plan circulated to you in June 2014.  We hope that you find the services and information we provide helpful to you in your work to lead the dances. As always we invite your comments and questions. You can write to Munir Peter Reynolds, Exec Director at

Leader Advances
The Guidance Council would like to congratulate and
acknowledge all the Walks and Dance leaders who thus
far in recent months were certified and recognized as
Mentors-in-Training, and as Mentors over the last several
months through October 9, 2015. Click here to view the
list of these Leaders on the InTheGarden Yahoo
Group. You will need to log in to Yahoo to view the list.
 elements Elements of Mastery 

The Elements of Mastery column explores the art, craft and spiritual practice of Dance leading and mentoring through the reflections and perspectives of individual mentors. Past articles in this series can be downloaded here. Comments and discussion are welcome by writing directly to us or posting on our Facebook group. Send ideas for future topics to the Executive Director.

Dances of Innocence, Dances of Experience

by Neil Douglas-Klotz

When we talk about mastering the Dances of Universal Peace, we might assume that our beautiful practice is like a door we wish to enter and that we simply need to find which keys fit. Perhaps that's true when we begin to learn the original Dances of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, which hold a great deal of his direct transmission and baraka. But Murshid really left us an "unfinished symphony." The Dances have changed and evolved over the past 45 years. As they change, they prompt further change in us. Looking back as well as ahead might help us see more clearly the challenges and opportunities we face today.

"What must remain is the sacred phrase...." Given Murshid's expression of the centerpoint, the number of phrases exploded rapidly in the first ten years. The original Dances mainly represented the Sufi and Hindu traditions, although Murshid clearly planned for more but did not complete them (for instance, a sketch for the "Moon Dance of Goddess Isis," which appears in his writings). In the first decade, we saw new Dances birthed representing the Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Sikh, Hebrew, and Christian (Aramaic and Greek) traditions with some tentative attempts to honor native traditions.

These new outer doorways, however, opened new inner worlds. Concentrating on an unknown sacred phrase requires one to confront the depths of oneself in a new way. Each "tradition" carries a bundle of impressions, full of both light and shadow. When a person has the courage to ask, "use us for the purpose that Thy wisdom chooses," this necessarily includes the willingness to face what might arise within oneself from the reflection of that part of humanity in the soul's mirror. Chants that go deep require more than words, music and movements. They evoke a feeling-attunement, a type of channeling that can be the equivalent of the shamanic journeying of pre-religious cultures. This why we always experience long-lasting mantric Dances more strongly when led by the originator, or someone who has danced frequently with her/him. The inner pathway that the Dance creates is like a vapor trail in the unseen; the words, music and movements are like the Zen "finger pointing to the moon." (more)

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