info - Shalem Center

The Sufi
Come Cultivate Peace
Through Music and
Toward the One,
The Perfection of Love, Harmony, and
The only being, united with all the
illuminated souls,
Who form the embodiment of the
The Spirit of Guidance.
The Dances of Universal Peace are simple,
meditative, and joyous circle dances that
celebrate the variety of spiritual paths on
The Closing
If you like folk dancing, you’ll be right at
home here. No previous experience is
needed – just an open and willing attitude.
We invite you to wear comfortable clothing
and shoes. There is no fee to participate;
donations gladly accepted.
May all beings be well,
May all beings be happy,
Peace, Peace, Peace
Columbus Dances of Universal
Peace: for more information contact
Thallia at [email protected]
or 614-486-9530 (at least two days
before the next event).
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Columbus Mennonite Church
35 Oakland Park Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(Just east of High St. in Clintonville, one block
north of North Broadway)
Upcoming Dates for 2013-2014
Sept. 14: Come, Come Whoever You Are
Oct. 12: Dancing the Story of the Universe
Nov. 9: Abundance
Dec. 14: Light Shines
Dec. 31; New Years Eve
Feb. 9: Love, Harmony & Beauty
March 8: Opening to Life
April 12: Dancing the Fool
May 10: Divine Feminine
A Brief History of
The Dances of Universal Peace*
Participating in the
Dances of Universal Peace*
In the late 1960's, Samuel L. Lewis, a Sufi Murshid
(teacher), created the Dances of Universal Peace as
a dynamic method to promote spiritual communion
and peace through the performing arts. His own
path included studies of the mystical traditions of
Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity and
the influence two spiritual pioneers of the early 20th
century in the United States and Europe: Hazrat
Inayat Khan, a gifted musician, mystic and teacher
of the Sufi message; and Ruth St. Denis, an
innovator and teacher in the modern dance
From Murshid Sam’s original teaching of about
fifty dances, the Dances of Universal Peace
anthology has grown to more than 500 dances that
celebrate the sacred messages of many religious
paths including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism,
Christianity, Islam, Aramaic, Native American, and
Goddess tradition. They continue to evolve and
expand in a practical application to meet the deeply
felt need today for rediscovering reverence,
creativity, and a body-focused connection to Nature.
The Dances have spread throughout the world in the
form of community-fostered circles, touching more
than a half million people in North and South
America, Europe, Russia, Japan, India, Pakistan,
Australia, and New Zealand.
* From
** From
From the beginning of human existence on planet
Earth, sacred movement, song and story have
brought people together - at times of seasonal
ceremony and celebration, as part of everyday life
and life passages, in daily renewal and meditation.
As part of this timeless practice, The Dances of
Universal Peace use simple music, lyrics, and
movements to touch the spiritual essence within
ourselves and others. The movements and songs
include themes of peace (both inner and outer),
healing (the Earth, individuals, and the global
family), and the celebration of life's great mystery.
Dancers focus on peace and harmony creating a
sense of communion while celebrating the
underlying unity of all the spiritual traditions of the
Earth. By experiencing these many traditions, a
greater understanding and appreciation of other
cultures, as well as one's own heritage, is
No musical or dance experience of any kind is
required and everyone is welcomed to join in.
Participation, not presentation, is the focus. No
special attire is required, although comfortable,
loose-fitting clothing is best. Participants join hands
forming a circle. The Dance leader and the
musicians may take a place in the center.
Throughout the evening, the leader teaches the
group the words, melody, and movements for each
Dance. When the lyrics include sacred phrases in a
foreign language, special attention is given to insure
that all participants have the opportunity to become
comfortable pronouncing these words. The Leader
will have the group first speak and then sing the
unfamiliar words. Most Dances are only four lines
long and repeated many times, so learning is usually
quick and easy - within ten minutes people are
moving, singing, and sharing together.
The mood of the Dances is infinitely variable,
evoking feelings of love, joy, and gratitude.
Whether invoking the compassion of the Buddhist
Qwan Yin, the reverence of Mary, celebrating the
playful energy of Krishna, or experiencing the
related emotion of any other spiritual figure,
dancers take part in a dynamic relationship between
the group, individuals, and the self.
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