If you’re looking for a joyful and reflective way to welcome the New Year, consider joining the Corvallis Dances of Universal Peace on New Year’s Eve for a Global Peace Dance at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship!
This special nonalcohol drug-free event is held in hundreds of cities around the world to pray for and embody peace. Guest teachers and musicians will be coming from all over Oregon to lead us in a wide variety of dances, including Ahura Grace Henke, certified dance leader and Sufi teacher from Portland, along with her musician husband, Jemaluddin Chris Henke. Stephen Pierce, a certified leader from the Corvallis circle, is coordinating the evening program. The Corvallis Dance circle meets on the second Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Dances of Universal Peace are easy circle dances honoring spiritual, religious and mystic traditions from around the world. They were started in San Francisco in the 1960s by Murshid Samuel Lewis who was looking for a way to teach young people about the sacred and help them experience peace, love and unity. He was inspired by the Sufi teacher Hazrat Anayat Kahn, who brought Sufism to the West and also by the early modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis. Sam created 30 dances using sacred phrases from Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Since then others have developed thousands of Dances throughout the world, using texts and music from many more traditions. Sam taught the hope that if people from around the world could learn to dance, eat and pray together, we could move toward peace.
The Dances are fully and gently taught by experienced leaders; no prior experience is necessary. Generally the pattern is that first we learn the words, then the music which we sing together, and finally the movements. Musicians in the center of the circle provide live music. The easy-to-follow movements unify body, mind and spirit and help bring peace within ourselves, our community and the world.
All are welcome to these Dances on New Year’s Eve beginning at 8:30 p.m., followed by a shared potluck at 10 p.m., with more Dances until midnight!
We are so pleased to be sharing the evening and the space at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship with another spiritual practice, that of singing kirtan. Come early at 7 p.m. to experience the New World Kirtan Band, with caller-and-response style devotional chanting. Kirtan originated in India and uses mantras or sacred phrases from Sanskrit and other languages to help us meditate and to bring peace. Each mantra condenses a spiritual truth and carries meaning in every single syllable. Millions of human beings have sung these mantras over the course of more than 5,000 years and they carry a lot of spiritual weight.
Kitzie Stern of Corvallis leads the Friday night Kirtan/Meditation Circle at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Corvallis with the New World Kirtan Band on second Fridays.
Come for all or any part of this collaborative evening and welcome 2019 with hearts full of peace!
Bonnie Parr Philipson is a certified leader of the Corvallis Circle of the Dances of Universal Peace, which meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 2945 NW Circle Blvd., Corvallis. All are welcome! You can contact Bonnie by email: email@example.com.