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Sufi Dance of Oneness® | Workshop at Menla Center, NY

November 3, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - November 5, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Weekend workshop

Listen… and allow this listening to lead you into a sacred dance that opens your whole being and rouses your creative fire. If you long to meditate with movement and feel drawn to truly ground your spirituality in your body and gain practical tools for living a more energized, peaceful and lucidly creative life, this workshop is for you.

Through the gentle guidance of master teacher of conscious embodiment, Banafsheh, delve into grounding and centering techniques that awaken your body, re-connect you with the Earth and your core, so you can open your heart and central channel, and align with Spirit.

Guided by the teachings of Rumi, journey into ancient and contemporary ceremonies from high energy movement to stillness and silence: shaking, zikr (chanting), reverential bowing, waves, and stretching in preparation for Sama – deep listening with the heart.

This workshop demystifies turning, offering access to Sufi whirling meditation in a few simple steps. This method allows people of all experience levels to turn for a sustained period with ease. One enters the Sama, pure listening, and ‘is danced’. An age-old practice of the legendary Sufi masters Rumi and Shams, the Sama is a journey into our receptive aspect and a direct path to creativity. It dissolves mental chatter into the vast ocean of presence, and we begin to simply be…unchained, free, present, and wildly inspired.

We will also explore the love poems that poured forth from Rumi as he whirled, and the symbolism and philosophy of the Sama as a complete spiritual path, one of the clearest ways to “embody the transcendent:, which H.H. the Dalai Lama calls, ‘the true meaning of life’.

Like the ground turning green in a spring wind,
Like birdsong beginning inside the egg,
Like the universe coming into existence,
The lover wakes and whirls
In a dancing joy that kneels down in praise.
— Rumi

You will learn:

  • The movement meditation of Sama or whirling
  • The philosophy, history and symbolism of the Sama as a complete spiritual path
  • Zikr or chanting
  • The philosophy of the zikr

Mixed levels. Suitable for people with a background in dance and movement. The pre-requisite is a desire to connect your mind, body, feelings and soul through sacred movement.

Please dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat, socks or soft-soled shoes.

This workshop is on the beautiful grounds of Menla Mountain Retreat Center with full accommodations. You can choose to sleep at the Center or commute.

Our days are a balance between movement, chanting, wisdom teachings, ceremony, exploring the gorgeous sacred land where Menla is located and nurturing our bodies with delicious organic meals and healing body work.

Fee including tuition, accommodations and meals begin at $610

Register now
More info: call (845) 688-6897 or email

“In this workshop I feel the deep connection to the divine within and without. In everyday life no matter how hard we try we often lose that connection. In working with Banafsheh you feel the deep immersion, like you dipped into the most beautiful healing waters…and you feel you have arrived.”

Helen Betgivargis, Sufi Dance of Oneness Workshop, Menla 2016

“Banafsheh’s dance of Oneness series is a powerful immersion into the center of our spiritual being. She draws on her spiritual cultural forms, bringing together levels of earth and heaven within herself as a pure and fluid vehicle, expanding possibilities through Presence and embodied Awareness. From the form of her personal inheritance of Persian dance as well as other traditional dances like Flamenco, she opens inner space, becoming a Container of Love in a new and evolving expansion of boundaries and awareness, evident in her powerful movements and her soft surrendered curves. In these days when our spiritual traditions are hitting up against globalism, everything is in question and change. Banafsheh’s dance embodies this new awareness and supports its growth. Audience and students alike receive her vibrations, passing on a new torch of fire and light through resonances deeply felt in our hearts through her pure aesthetics.  Her total mind-body Awareness, the opening of energy fields, is an absolute prerequisite to sustain the “turn” of the Whirling Dance.  What she brings supports our connection the the Divine Oneness as well as our Humanity, allowing us to serve as a bridge between divine energies and the world in a most natural and beautiful way.”

Amy Barker-Wilson, visual artist, spiritual dance practitioner, Mevlevi Samazen www.amberblue.org


November 3, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
November 5, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
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Menla Center for Health and Happiness
(845) 688-6897


375 Pantherkill Rd
Phoenicia, NY 12464 United States
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(845) 688-6897