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About the Dances of Universal Peace

Dancing & singing towards Oneness - holding hands - touching hearts - nourishing the soul

 Peace Dancers holding hands
@ the Sacred Arts Camp 2006

"O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you."
(Saint Augustine, from 'Praise of the Dance')

Dances of      protected DUP Logo: circle of hearts      Universal Peace

protected Logo circle of hearts
DUP Logo policy

"One of the reasons I am teaching this music and dance is to increase joy, not awe towards another person, but bliss in our own self. This is finding God within, through experience."
(Samuel Lewis, founder of the Dances of Universal Peace)

 Truly spiritual paths
All meet in the middle

What are the Dances of Universal Peace?

"The spiritual dance has no other purpose, no other aim than to elevate [hu]mankind beyond self-thought, to joy, to bliss, to realization and to peace ... the sincere dancer is one of the best workers for universal harmony, and so, for universal peace..."
(Samuel Lewis, founder of the Dances of Universal Peace)

Originally these dances were known as "Sufi Dances"; mainly through the outreach work of Dr. Saadi Neil Douglas Klotz the dances spread out and were shared with people from all faiths and beliefs. In order not to exclude anyone from any religion, they were then referred to as "Dances of Universal Peace". And truely: these dances embrace and honour all religions.

DUP means: chanting while dancing in a circle - a whole body practice.

Experience the magic of the Dances of Universal Peace, their gentle uplifting and transformative effect:
Singing and dancing are elementary creative expressions of our being.
Focusing and using our bodies, hearts and souls brings our whole being into balance and harmony.
Rhythm is life: every step - every heartbeat - breathing in and out.
The human voice is a gateway to the soul.
Forming a circle is a symbol and reminder of us being part of a community. In synchronised movements of the group like one organism, the separated individuality may dissolve into a blissful state of oneness.
Singing in harmony with others can also resonate with all creation: sun, moon and the planets, the elements around us - and the dancing atoms in us.
The soul can rejoice - and worries fade away... (Ralph)
Read the inspiring poem: 'Praise of the Dance' by Saint Augustine

Short video introducing a Dance of Universal Peace and background: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRcraUReRz4
See 100s of peace dances on www.youtube.com
See Ralph & Mo'unisa leadig peace dances: www.youtube.com/RainbowDanceUK/videos

"We sing and dance and move in circles. This is the outer form - yet beyond this there is something subtle and penetrating that can be felt deep inside when we dance. These simple circle dances, which can be wonderfully joyful and yet profoundly moving, are inspired by the wisdom and sacred phrases of the world’s spiritual traditions. Essentially they are a form of meditation through sacred sounds and devotional movements." (Philip O'Donohoe)
"The feeling of chanting simple, sacred phrases with devotion in English, Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit and many other languages gives, especially when combined with movement, an immediate, accessible feeling for another tradition." (Dr. Saadi Neil Douglas Klotz)

Kalyan
Thy music causeth my soul to dance;
In the murmer of the wind I hear Thy flute;
The waves of the sea keep the rhythm
of my dancing steps.

Through the whole of nature
I hear Thy music played, my Beloved;
My soul while dancing speaketh
of it's joy in song.

Hazrat Inayat Khan - Gayan / Ragas

The peace dances are very much multi-faith. They are not religious in any narrow sense, but rather a spiritual (or even mystical) experience in a joyful and worshipful atmosphere, honouring various religious and spiritual traditions.

Unlike most spiritual traditions, the dances include contact with others, thus helping to melt down the walls, surrounding and separating us from others (and ourselves). The Dances of Universal Peace have an uplifting, opening and healing effect. They are taught in 28 countries throughout the world.
The circle of connected hearts is a protected logo - see copyright logo at www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org/uses.htm.

         Murshid Samuel Lewis, 
founder of the Dances of Universal Peace
Samuel Lewis,
founder of the Dances of Universal Peace
Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, also known as 'Sufi Sam', 1896-1971) from California, was probably the world’s first Guru-Roshi-Murshid (in one person), see portrait below. He studied the main world religions in debth, created these dances (or they came to him 'from above').

Murshid Samuel Lewis was Jewish by birth. He had studied and practiced the Kabballah (Jewish mysticism) and Christian mysticism and was a respected teacher of the message of the Bible.
He was recognised as a sufi murshid by sufis of eight orders in Pakistan, India, and the Middle East. He was also a zen roshi, recognised by both the Soto and Rinzai zen lineages in Japan and Korea. He spent a long time in an Indian ashram to study Hinduism, until his Hindu guru of the the bhakti yoga tradition, Swami Papa Ramdas, confirmed Samuel L. Lewis' ability to enter Samadhi.
When I feel low and close to the earth
Make me then a dance floor.
Let your divine dervishes
Spin above me
In drunken ecstasy.
Let them spill their sacred Wine
Across me in a river of singing light.
Let their sandals
Wear away my hard veneer
And sand me down
And leave holy scars
As sweet blessed mementos
Of love that is endless and wild,
Love that is mad and shining
With reckless abandon!
Love that dances through the stars
Of a secret sky
And laughter that echoes
All the way across
Your shoreless Sea.

Jelaluddin Rumi

With the peace dances he managed to bring drug-addicted people off their drugs, because they felt "high" after dancing with him. He was a spiritual master with a good sense of humour. The Dances were inspired by Ruth St. Denis (1878-1968, famous feminist contemporary avant-garde dancer - see below!), who amazed spectators by embodying goddesses, and Hazrat Pir-0-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1882-1927 (see Sufi Order) who brought Sufism to the west.
Among many others the following teachers were significantly influential on Samuel Lewis:
Nyogen Zenzaki (Roshi & Zen-Buddhism teacher) - and Swami Papa Ramdas with Mother Krishnabai, Kerala (South-India, both Bhakti Yogis).

Website about Samuel Lewis: www.murshidsam.org
"Murshid Samuel L Lewis, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, 1896-1971" - detailed article by Murshid Wali Ali Meyer: www.ruhaniat.org
See also website of the spiritual secretary of Samuel Lewis, Mansur Johnson http://www.mansurjohnson.com/, who wrote the book: "Murshid - A Personal Memoir of Life with American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis" (Paperback, signed, U.S. $25, ISBN 0-915424-16-9).

Ruth St. Denis
Ruth St. Denis

Ruth St. Denis wrote of her vision of a future dance for life and peace:
"The dance of the future will no longer be concerned with meaningless dexterities of the body.... Remembering that man is indeed the microcosm, the universe in miniature, the Divine Dance of the future should be able to convey with its slightest gestures some significance of the universe.... As we rise higher in the understanding of ourselves, the national and racial dissonances will be forgotten in the universal rhythms of Truth and Love. We shall sense our unity with all peoples who are moving to that exalted rhythm."
Read more about Ruth St. Denis on www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org/aboutancestors.shtm and watch videos at www.ruthstdenis.org

Read more about the DUP at http://www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org/about.htm.
A detailed article about the Peace Dances: "We circle around", by Dr. Saadi Neil Douglas Klotz can be found at: www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org.uk/article2.html

"I believe that singing is the key to long life, a good figure, a stable temperament, increased intelligence,
new friends, super self-confidence, heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor.
A recent long-term study conducted in Scandinavia sought to discover which activities related to a healthy and happy later life.
Three stood out: camping, dancing and singing."
(Brian Eno)

"Never trust a God who doesn't dance" (Neitzsche)

Interested? Check our dance programme and join us!
We are happy to travel, if you organise and invite us for a peace dance event.

Watch Ralph & Mo'unisa (Vitalija) leading peacce dances: www.youtube.com/RainbowDanceUK/videos

Dances of      protected DUP Logo: circle of hearts      Universal Peace

Ralph's Peace Dances VISION (from 1998)

I see circles of people: Children, men and women, old people, black and white, people from Africa, America and Asia, Buddhists and Christians, people of Islamic religion, Hindus, pagans... I see circles in churches, in maket places, pubs and parks, in community centres, old peoples homes, kindergarten and at ancient holy sites.... All gathered together, singing and dancing in harmony, celebrating life, enjoying the diversity and sharing the gifts we each have.

Why not join the Dances of Universal Peace & Chanting to bring healing and harmony back into life? You are welcome!

 

 Peace Dancers, bowing
Sacred Arts Camp 2006
Peace Dancers @ the 'Sacred Arts Camp' 2006, dancing the Aramaic Lord's Prayer

Dances of      protected DUP Logo: circle of hearts      Universal Peace

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