5-day workshop with Tony Khalife with musical guests
Join us in this magical time of the year to celebrate Rumi’s Wedding Night on December 17th—his passing into union with the Beloved, and the birth of the sun on Winter Solstice through sacred dance, Sama/whirling and live music.
“Even if the darkness of hell should swallow the sun and the moon, where is your flame, where is your light?” – Rumi
In ancient Persia, the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the year and the birth of light that 9 months later becomes the full fledged sun on Fall Equinox. It represents a speck of light appearing in the heart of darkness that expands through endurance like the yang growing from the depths of yin.
Journey into the symbolism of light emerging from the depths of darkness and give birth to the light within yourself through the poetry of Rumi and the ritual of whirling that guides us into becoming conduits of light in the dark.
Master teachers of embodiment Banafsheh and Tony will lead a nurturing weave of structured and free-style dance with vocalization, whirling, chanting, live music, meditation, wisdom teachings and lots of laughter. On the Solstice we will create a spiral of light ceremony to return to the flame shining brightly in the center of our beings that guides us into the world with lucid, grounded, loving discernment.
Workshop includes a Solstice spiral of light ceremony, performance and ecstatic dance celebration.
You will learn:
The movement meditation of Sama/whirling
Vocal techniques taught by Tony Khalife
The poetry of Rumi
Zikr or chanting
Grounding, releasing, centering and opening dance and movement techniques in preparation for
The symbolism and ritual connected with the Winter Solstice (Yalda in Persian) and the inner journey it represents
The ceremonial ritual around Rumi’s Wedding Night
Tools to access joy, peace and lucidity in your daily life
Suitable for women and men with little or no background in movement or dance as well as trained dancers, yoga and other movement practitioners. The only pre-requisite is a desire to connect your mind, body and soul through sacred movement. This workshop counts as 26 hours towards the 200/400-hr Dance of Oneness Certification Program.
Please dress comfortably in what makes you feel beautiful and bring a notebook, and soft-soled shoes or socks to dance in. One complete attire in white is recommended but not required.
Esalen Institute in Big Sur is truly a treasure as one of most amazing places on our beloved planet Gaia. The area is considered one of the vortices of the Earth. Great organic meals mostly from the Esalen garden, natural spring hot tubs under the sky overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Esalen massage and great opportunities to hike and commune with this sacred Native American land are among the many attractions.
“A guide and a mystic, Banafsheh is an unexpected gift in my life. I have reconnected to the divine around and in me and feel empowered to share this loving with others.”
Kathi Coyle, workshop participant, Rowe Center, 2016
“This is deep soul healing for me. Dancing with Banafsheh and Tony is my spiritual practice. It has opened me to new truths. I love them both so much, they bring such love, joy and light into the world. I love the tenderness and the ability to flow with what is present in the moment even if it is grief. This is pure magic!”
Kira Preston, workshop participant, Esalen 2016
“I was immensely moved! It was fun, meaningful, spiritual and educational! Helped me integrate and invigorate! I feel more ALIVE and grounded in my spirituality. I feel committed and more clear about my personal path in life.”
Deborah Braun, workshop participant, Esalen 2016
5-day workshop with live music by Raphael Duss and Bahri Egribas
Begin to live your dreams and create positive change in yourself and the world through sacred dance!
Open your being to the realization that you are light and here to bring light by coming in touch with your chakras and energy anatomy through luscious dance, stillness, chanting, wisdom teachings, play, lots of laughter and live music: Daf, Ney, Oud and Kamancheh on 2 days with master teacher of embodiment Banafsheh in one of the most beautiful and pristine sacred sites on our planet, high up in the alps.
Guided by Sufi teachings, explore the foundations of Dance of Oneness® and cultivate radiant presence in your body through a focus on the chakras. Tune into the wisdom of your body and begin to radiate more life force, joy and vitality. Transform the old rigidities, discomfort and disease that come from a mechanical way of being in your body.
The rigorous yet accessible technique of this 7-step process is based in Sufi ritual, Persian, Middle Eastern Tribal and contemporary dances, flamenco, Tai Chi and free-style dance—all of which awaken and nourish a different facet of being human. We will also explore the Sama or whirling as central to the embodiment of light. These modalities — all aspects of Dance of Oneness® – are designed to release blockages, ground, center, open your heart, promote flexibility, strength, exuberance and profound peace while serving as tools for being present, conscious, creative and in compassionate service. The Center has wonderful accommodations including organic food that they grow on their own sustainable grounds. You will have ample time between our sessions that are 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon on most days to soak in the beauty and inspiration of this magical site, go for hikes, a swim and participate in the Center’s regular pujas including fire ceremonies.
Dance of Oneness® is dance as a spiritual path and a science of embodiment. A fusion of the art of dance: rigorous technique and self-expression; wisdom teachings; and healing, Dance of Oneness® draws from Sufi ritual and whirling, Persian dance, flamenco, tai chi, mystical teachings and the poetry of Rumi, divine feminine wisdom, Gurdjieff Work and Chinese Medicine.
You will learn:
Ways to find ease and comfort in your body
How to access your radiance and express it in your daily life
Dance and movement techniques that bring you in touch with the 7 chakras
Tools that make you strong yet gentle and graceful
Tools you can apply in your daily life to access peace, joy and lucidity regardless of the circumstance
How to be present
Express your creativity in dance and movement
Fundamentals of grounding, centering and moving with grace
Elements of Persian dance
Elements of flamenco
Elements of Middle Eastern Tribal dances
Elements of Tai Chi
The experience of Light upon Light, central in Sufism
Mixed Levels. Open to all, men and women
Suitable for people with little or no background in movement or dance as well as trained dancers, yoga and other movement practitioners. The only pre-requisite is a desire to connect your mind, body and soul through sacred movement. This workshop counts as 26 hours towards the 400-hr Dance of Oneness® Certification Program.
Register below | Tuition: $600
Deposit: $200, $400 due by July 1, 2017 Registration Form Please download the form, complete it and save in order to email it as an attachment
Book accommodations directly with the center; pricing ranges from 83-145 CHF, includes 3 vegetarian meals/day and internet access
For more information call + 1 310 499 7100 in the US or + 41 77 412 82 93 in Switzerland
“I have never felt so held, so encouraged to explore my inner-most being. The gifts that I leave here with are impossible to enumerate. Banafsheh is a gift, a rare jewel who inspires and empowers all who come into contact with her. I am eternally grateful.”
Angel Caban, past workshop participant
“Banafsheh’s program is extraordinary – a complete arrangement of dance, music, meditation, focus, discipline and life experience. I’m not someone who connects with the holy that easily, but I felt holiness in Banafsheh’s art and that is what I truly revere and bow down before. After eight days, I felt an amazing level of energy, without pain anywhere and completely relaxed. Thank you for this gift, I will always guard it carefully in my heart.”
Farzaneh Aryaee, past workshop participant
Daylong Mindfulness Retreat at UCLA: The Dance of Stillness in the Midst of the Great Unraveling
We live in unprecedented times. Often overwhelmed by the pressures, chaos, stimulus and the distractions of the world, it is good to come together in order to experience ourselves more fully. We might, then, from the wisdom of the deep currents, see what stories (both culturally and personally) are wanting to fall away, and to learn what stories are waiting to be born. To do this within the stillness and silence of a retreat setting, threaded through by music, dance and rhythm, is to experience ourselves as embodiments of life itself.
During times of great change, sudden movement, and destabilization it is imperative for our well-being (which includes the well-being of our families, communities, friends, etc.) that we set aside time to restore. We can do this by accessing stillness amidst the storm through nurturing practices that increase resiliency and simultaneously expand our capacity for equanimity, kindness, deep listening, and, now, more than ever, for right action.
In this retreat we will come together to meditate, practice mindfulness and compassion practices, and DANCE!
I will be accompanied by Tony Khalife, master musician, singer and songwriter.
To participate you do not have to be a dancer or adept at movement. We will adapt everything for disabilities. Everyone is welcome including beginning meditators. Bring a lunch and a blanket. Tea and snacks will be offered.
Discounts: $50 student & seniors, $50 UCLA Staff, $55 UCLA 50 Plus. Note: In support of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative, UCLA students may sign up for this workshop for free by using the “UCLA Student” discount and using your UCLA email address when you register.
Your body is a wellspring of profound spiritual teachings…come dance the miracle you are! In the chaotic, stressful times we live in, sacred dance is your way to a dynamic, joyous and energetic way of being that is grounded in peace and open to loving kindness!
Join master teacher of embodiment, Banafsheh for five days of finding ways to live passionately at your full potential, accessing peace, joy, and lucidity so that you can be a dancing messenger of beauty, kindness, and wisdom in the world.
Learn about the Tao and the system of yin/yang as the foundation of all life processes. Practice movements based on pathways of meridians in the body, activating a balanced flow of chi energy. Acquire self-healing tools and find key acupressure points to bring your body into balance and optimum health.
Immerse yourself in the teachings and poetry of Rumi. Experience the profound movement meditation of Sama/whirling as a way to bring body and soul into balance. Journey into grounding, releasing, centering, and opening dance and movement techniques that connect you to the core of your being and allow you to soften, so you can flower radiantly from the wisdom of your heart. Discover why dance is love made manifest.
You will learn:
About various key processes in your body that contain profound spiritual teachings
An introduction to experiential anatomy and physiology
An introduction to the Chinese Meridian system
About the Tao and the system of yin/yang as the foundation of all life processes
Key acupressure points you can use to bring your body into balance and optimum health
Movements based in the pathway of Meridians in the body that activate a balanced flow of Chi
The movement meditation of Sama/whirling as a way to bring body and soul into balance
The poetry of Rumi
Grounding, releasing, centering and opening dance and movement techniques
Tools to access joy, peace and lucidity in your daily life
How to find balance when balance is nowhere to be found within or around you!
Mixed Levels, open to all women and men who feel called, regardless of age or experience. Suitable for people with little or no background in movement or dance as well as trained dancers, yoga and other movement practitioners. The only pre-requisite is a desire to connect your mind, body and soul through sacred movement. This course counts as 26 hours towards the 200/400-hr Dance of Oneness® Certification Program.
Please dress comfortably in what makes you feel beautiful and bring a yoga mat, soft-soled shoes or socks to dance in and a notebook. The Rowe Center, nestled in beautiful upper Massachusetts on sacred Mohawk land, offers good lodging and great food and opportunities for long walks in the forest amidst wild flowers.
“Banafsheh’s workshop was a coming home for my body and spirit.” Kathleen Becker, Rowe Center workshop participant, 2016
“Arrival at the hardest but sweetest surrender of all – releasing my mortal attachments and desires, including love itself, yet still desiring knowledge, that the Beloved receives me with loving arms when I make my final exit from Earth.” Vivianne Chu, Rowe workshop participant, 2016
Back from my trip to Kaua’i, I find it more urgent than ever that we stand up to what is needed for us to be better stewards of the planet. It is more than obvious that as a whole, humanity is not contributing constructively, neither to the homeostasis of the Earth nor to the universe.
We don’t create music. To create music we need to become quiet enough to hear the sounds around us, natural sounds, the music of the Earth…of the universe. But we are always busy making noise, so much so that we aren’t able to listen or even hear anymore. It is only through listening that we can come in tune with the greater orchestra and be one of the instruments who participates in harmony.
"This dance was a piece of my life's puzzle. It helped me to remember that I want to actively Be Here. I don't want to be here to carry pain, fear, anxiety and to be confused! I want to be here for Love! I will dance this sacred, spiral dance and pray for the whole world to join in. I have experienced an internal Revolution and I can dance freely once again."