Workshop participant Guy Crittenden shares beautiful insight into Sufi Dance of Oneness® at Menla Retreat Center last month. Original post can be found here.
Over the weekend of November 4 to 5, 2017 I was privileged to attend a workshop in Sufi whirling dance with renowned international teacher Banafsheh Sayyad. It’s not an overstatement to say the experience was life changing.
My heart is so full from our 5 days of Dance Your Passion at Hollyhock September 22-27. Love and gratitude to all the dancers who came and danced into being a circle of oneness that brought all of us to wholeness in grace. We were as old as 6 and as young as 76…we cried together, we laughed together and we made magic…May our harmony, love and respect for each other and for all of LIFE reverberate into the world…
Read on to find some reflections from our time together:
One of my dear students asked me some questions about Sufi Dance and the Sama as a follow up to our time in an immersive workshop at The Rowe Center. Here are my answers… (more…)
After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the only thing that helped me out of the sadness and grief I was feeling was music….Here is an excerpt from my book, Dance of Oneness in dialogue with Andrew Harvey. (more…)
Excerpts from reflections on my travels and snapshots from our pilgrimage through Chartres, France and Andalusia, Spain.
Serving the Divine Intelligence
As a Goddess loving, pagan, tantric, zoroastrian, taoist sufi I don’t feel intimidated by established Christianity that claims to own Jesus and lovingly announce that he is one of my greatest heroes and inspirations.
The Fascinating History of Menla Retreat Center
And why it is the perfect place for our healing sacred dance!
375 million years ago, a half-mile-wide meteor crashed here, creating the oldest known meteor impact crater on Earth, equivalent of several hundred million tons of TNT and pulverized the bedrock, leaving a 6-mile-wide crater.
Unfolding the Mysteries of Ancient Chartres
In my return to Chartres for Sacred Number this year, the discoveries unearthed from my time here last year are fresh in my mind…
Quieting our sound in order to receive guidance from the Spirit
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.
Alchemy of the Dance
Many of us are terrified of embodiment. We can’t face our broken hearts, the chaos in our minds or the pain in our bodies. We yearn instead for transcendental bliss. Every chance we get, we go off into the beautiful light instead of choosing to face the continually unnerving yet miraculous experience of living that light in our bodies. In this way we continue to separate the realm of the soul from the body.
Even today when I listen to the old recordings of Jacqueline du Pre playing her beloved cello, sitting there like a lioness with it held rapturously between her legs and arms and all her body, I focus ever so deeply and quietly because it is ‘as if’ I am actually listening to Divine Mother herself. But ‘as if’ isn’t how I’d say it. She’d disappear out of my listening if I thought about it that way. It’s much more real, like a true horse trainer talking to his unbelievably beautiful horse: love-talk. For me, when Jacqueline du Pre plays, it’s as if Divine Mother says: “move over, my love, just for a few minutes.” Suddenly, I have such a longing to sing my heart out through that beautiful cello. “It’s even possible”, Ma thinks as an afterthought, “that some people listening deeply enough, might hear and get a breath of the nuanced breadth of the Divine Feminine range of Power”. (more…)
Sacred Dance as a return to the root of our Self
Have you ever considered dance as a practice that can support your living at your highest potential and a tool for coming to know yourself, remembering who you truly are?
Dance today is experienced anywhere from fun, sexy and a way to keep fit to entertainment, forcing oneself into a certain popular image, and high art. It’s deeper spiritual dimensions call out to us and can be tapped regardless of the means if we choose to listen, if we believe, if we long for it. (more…)
Clip from the DVD of: In the Fire of Grace
This clip is from the dance, Lover Embodied
Choreography and Dance: Banafsheh
Music: Babak Sharifimajd and Pejman Hadadi from their album Release
Recitation: Andrew Harvey
Working on this piece was both challenging and rewarding. I subjected myself to the essence of what I was trying to portray. Love is like a knife that carves out the impurities and the aspects of us that don’t serve the cultivation of our true selves and certainly don’t serve the world! Love is fierce and everything that is not love surfaces in the presence of love, so we can learn to love them. I resonate deeply with the original Persian of the opening lines of this poem. (more…)
Music composition: Pejman Hadadi
In the photo:
Dancers: (from front to back) Banafsheh, Tiana Alvarez and Nehara Kalev
Musicians: Pejman Hadadi on Daf and Brad Dutz on various percussion
This piece was premiered in my full-evening dance and live music work, Amvaaj – Waves from the Unseen at UCLA and toured in North America and Europe. (more…)