Here are some keys which will help the dancing be more meaningful to you. To do even one or two of these will have
a profound effect:
1. Listen. 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 begin to harmonize. Find the center of the sound.
2. Feel. 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 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.
4. Don’t be afraid to stop the dance. This is for the 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.
Concepts To Reality
The Dances Of Universal Peace, while holding that there is only
one Reality, honor the various ways humans have conceptualized the Divine. Many dance leaders come from or are especially
attuned to one particular spiritual path. While speaking of the one divine Being, it is natural for a Hindu to use a name
like Brahma, for a Native American to say Wakan-Tanka, for a Jew to refer to God as Elohim and for a Sufi to speak of
Allah. In the Dances Of Universal Peace, we do not take this to mean that the speaker is trying to convert us to one specific
religion or that the speaker is implying that the name by which they refer to God is different from or superior to any other
name attributed to the One. On the contrary, we take any specific name for God to be a reference to the One Being who is the
reality behind all spiritual paths and to which they all lead.
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 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 that 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 the breath breathe. Return to
awareness of the breath in silence between dances. Notice the subtle changes in breath brought about by each dance.
8. Ecstasy. 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 planes at the same time. If your feet
are grounded on the earth then your head can be in the heavens.
9. Devotion. This is grace. To willingly submit ourselves to Allah/God in Whom we live and move and have our
being. Hypocrisy may be the only sin. 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 Presence of Allah; and knowing that even if you don’t see Allah, verily Allah sees you.
10. Amin. This means, “so be it.” We say this at the conclusion of many dances. (Other phrases
such as Sanskrit “Svaha” are also used). The important thing is not to say it, but to mean it, to affirm with
one’s whole being.
11. Silence. 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 through 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.
words are in hope of your falling awake and finding the truth in your own self. You know your own experience better than anyone
else. Be true to that. Don’t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes; neither be swayed from what you know by the opinions
of others. Always be willing to learn. When asked what was the secret of his success, Murshid Samuel Lewis said, “Big
-adapted from "How To Dance - 11 Keys" by Wali Ali Meyer in the book
Spiritual Dance And Walk: An Introduction
To The Dances Of Universal Peace And Walking Meditations Of Samuel L. Lewis