Dances of Universal Peace
These are sometimes referred to as "Sufi Dancing" and are in essence a form of “meditation in movement.” They often take the form of circle dances and are intentionally taught before each dance begins. Holy phrases from many of the world's spiritual traditions are set to simple patterns of movement which allow people of all ages (and most flexibilities) to enjoy the beauty of their attunement.
The Dances were developed through the inspiration of the Sufi master Murshid Samuel Lewis (1896–1971) in San Francisco during the 1960s with great contributions from his spiritual mentor Hazrat Inayat Khan and from his friend and an outstanding dancer of her time, Ruth St. Denis. By the time Murshid Sam passed he had manifested about 50 original dances. Since then the collection has grown to include more than 500 dances which celebrate the sacred essences of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, among others. The Aramaic, Native American, Native Middle Eastern, Celtic, Native African, and Goddess traditions are also well represented.
In the past few decades, the Dances have spread throughout the world, touching more than a half million people in North, South, and Central America, eastern and western Europe, the former Soviet Union, India, the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand. The Dances are spreading in South Africa and Bosnia. New grassroots Dance circles are continually springing up around the globe, with over two hundred dance circles meeting weekly or monthly in the United States alone.
The Dance Circle of the Garden of the Heart is amongst the oldest of these, having met since the early 1970s in Humboldt County.
Those drawn to the healing process, be it physical, mental/emotional or spiritual healing, gather weekly to enhance this attunement and to share in an absent healing service given by Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Zikr is a Sufi practice of remembrance of the Divine. It is often chanted or sung in groups such as ours.
For details, and to find out about these and other community activities, please visit our Quarterly Flyer page, which lists the times, places, and people to call for more information about all our ongoing and special events.