The Dances of Universal Peace are a powerful way to connect with others, to experience the true heart of many spiritual traditions and draw on them for inspiration. In many parts of the world, there are circles sharing this unique form of meditative yet celebratory body prayer. Through moving, chanting and singing together we create a sense of peace and unity – a sense of joyful oneness.
From the beginning of time, sacred movement, song and story have brought people together at times of seasonal ceremony and celebration, as part of everyday life and during life passages, in daily renewal and meditation. The Dances of Universal Peace are part of this timeless tradition of sacred dance. The Dances are simple, direct, accessible and profound, being inspired by the wisdom and sacred phrases of the spiritual traditions of humankind. They are most often danced in a circle using natural and devotional movements. Essentially they are a form of celebration and meditation in song and movement, the sacred phrase being an important element of each Dance. The Dances can be joyful, contemplative and liberating, in fact the mood of the dances is infinitely variable. Through remembrance of our divine unity we can experience peace, harmony and healing - opening the pathways to inner peace and sensations of positive energy.
The Dances of Universal Peace were originally created in the late 1960's by Samuel Lewis, who studied many of the world's spiritual traditions. He was a lifelong practitioner of Zen Buddhism and Zen Roshi. His Hindu guru was Papa Ram Dass. He taught Christian mysticism and, being Jewish by birth, was well versed in the Kabballah. The Dances were inspired by his Sufi teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan, who first brought Sufism to the West, and Ruth St Denis an American feminist pioneer of sacred dance. Following Hazrat Inayat Khan and the ‘Unity of Religious Ideals' - that the truth at the heart of all religions is the same truth - Samuel Lewis envisaged a dance form which would embody this ideal, one which would allow people to directly experience for themselves such states as joy, peace, harmony and unity. He saw the Dances as a form of ‘peace through the arts', a way of sharing the blessings of peace throughout the world and within each individual. He was also greatly concerned with the environment and global understanding. Celebrate the diversity of the earth's spiritual traditions in harmony together as we explore and experience a compassionate connection to others and to nature. No previous experience is necessary, all are welcome
“Words are not peace. Thoughts are not peace. Peace is fundamental to all faiths, all religions, all spirituality"