11 Keys to Dancing
These keys are a combination of excerpts from "Spiritual
Dance and Walk"
published by Peaceworks and "In the Garden" by Sufi Ruhaniat International.
Here are some keys which will help the dancing be more
meaningful for you. Doing even one or two of these will have a profound effect:
Do not simply recite the sacred phrase. Listen to the other voices.
Listen to the person directing the dance. When you begin to listen, your
voice will automatically harmonize. Find the center of the sound.
The dances are designed to take us more and more into the universe of feeling.
Stay with your feeling. If you go off into the world of thoughts, don't judge
yourself; simply bring your concentration back to feeling. The heart
center, found in the middle of the chest, is the natural place to begin.
3. CONCENTRATE ON THE SACRED PHRASE
The sacred phrase, sometimes referred to as Wazifa or Mantra, centers the dance.
We all say this together. The Grace of Allah (God) can operate through the
sacred phrase if we are willing to receive it, to let it be. With each
repetition, feel the phrase touching your being in a deeper and deeper way.
The Dances of Universal Peace and the Walks of Divine Attributes use the
Names of God and sacred phrases from the major religions of the world. We
recommend that you enter the circle with open heart and mind, suspending
judgments and prepare yourself for a direct experience.
These are sacred dances, but nothing is sacred simply by calling it so.
A sense of sacredness comes from within. It is an attitude with which one
may approach any activity.
4. DON'T BE AFRAID TO STOP THE DANCE
This is for dance leaders, if the dance gets out of control, or just isn't
making it, it is much better to stop and begin anew. Learning is much more
important than just doing.
5. SIMPLE RHYTHMIC MUSIC
This can be a great aid. Guitar and drum are especially helpful. Musicians
should emphatically resist going off on their own. The sacred phrase must be
uppermost in their concentration. The music should accentuate the natural rhythm
of the sacred phrase. Drummers especially should bear this in mind. The simpler
the better. Don't dominate the space. The sacred phrase should by far be the
loudest sound. If you play your instrument correctly, no one will even notice
you. Isn't that wonderful?
6. MOVE TOGETHER
Restrain the exuberant impulse to make an individual expression. You will
be amazed how much higher/deeper the dances are when you use the same energy to
harmonize with the others in the circle. Feel your body fully. Then
gradually or suddenly become the whole circle.
7. WATCH YOUR BREATH
Breath is life. Breath is movement. Voice is breath. Let breath
breathe. Return to awareness of breath in silence between dances. Notice
the subtle changes in breath brought about by each dance.
These dances can lead to states of ecstasy. Joyously invigorating!
In dances where you are brought to the center of the circle, especially soar.
But soar with your whole being. Taste all the planes at the same time.
If your feet are grounded on the earth, then your head can be in the
This is a grace. To willingly submit ourselves to The One in whom we live and
move and have our being. How wonderful it is when we actually feel like bowing
in humility before the Eternal Truth. These dances can be worship: the
celebration of the Divine Presence. The Sufis call this Akhlak Allah -- acting
as if in the divine Presence of Allah (God), and knowing that even if you don't
see Allah, verily Allah sees you.
10. AMIN (ah-meen)
This means "so be it." We say this at the conclusion of many dances.
(Other phrases such as the Sanskrit "Svaha" are also used.) The important thing
is not to say it, but to mean it, to affirm with one's whole being.
There may be a silent meditation before the dance starts, but if the
participants are not experienced in this, they may learn the meditation through
dancing and also learn the dancing though meditation.
As the sound and music of the dance stop, enter the
silence. This is your opportunity to hear what has been created. In this
silence one can absorb the qualities evoked during the dance. This is the
most important part of the dance. It becomes all-encompassing.