Events

April 2019

27th/28th, Brigsteer near Kendal. Food for the Soul. Non-residential weekend.

Nurture your inner self through dance, chant and other meditative practices. In some traditions music is regarded as food for the soul and musicians are considered physicians of the soul. Our dance circle becomes the physician of our souls as we dance and sing together. It is healing, it is revivifying, it is a joyful heartfelt connection.

The electricity of touch and the vibrational resonance of sound are subtle yet influential forms of energetic communication that operate below our conscious level of awareness yet they can have a profound and uplifting effect on the way we feel in body, heart and mind. They are indeed food for the soul. As well as dancing and singing there will also be times sitting in the silence and enjoying other meditative practices.

For those who may be new and considering coming along. It is not necessary to have had experience of this form of spiritual chant and dance – sometimes called Dances of Universal Peace. The dances are simple and accessible as well as profound and deep. Mostly we dance and sing as we move together in a circle. The chants are based on sacred phrases from various spiritual traditions.

The weekend is non-residential and will take place at Brigsteer Village Hall in a delightful room with a beautiful wooden floor. It is a spacious and clear, ecological venue in a tranquil setting with plenty of space for parking and is only a short drive from Kendal. When the weather is fine as it most often is for these weekends there also is space to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Bring along mats and blankets for relaxing in the breaks and also cushions for the sitting meditations if you prefer. The hall has plenty of chairs.

Times: Saturday 27th arrivals for refreshments from 10 am. Start promptly at 10.30am. Finish at 8.45 pm.
Sunday 28th arrivals for refreshments from 9.30am. Start promptly at 10 am. Finish at 4 pm.

For catering purposes please book by Friday 19th April.

Further details. Contact: madowson@gmail.com

May 2019

10th – 12th May, Nympsfield, Glos. Dancing into Wholeness 1 – Ease in Body, Heart and Mind.

In the state of wholeness we are fully aligned with our essential nature, with who we really are at the deepest level of being. Wholeness is oneness. There is a sense of completeness, of coherence, of being fully at ease in body, heart and mind. The Anglo-Saxon word haelen means to make whole and it is from this that our word healing originates. We can look at wholeness as the complete restoration of ease in body, mind and heart. We are already naturally whole and complete even though we may not be aware of this. Until of course we find ways to successfully remove the barriers to our awareness of inner wholeness.

Spiritual Dancing, a form of embodied spirituality and somatic awareness, is one such way. Through dancing and singing we learn how to inhabit our bodies more fully and with a greater sense of awareness and presence. It’s clear for me that realm of direct experience is located firmly in the body, from the physical body to all of the more subtle and interpenetrating layers of our being. When we dance there is always a sense of something larger, an expanded sense of oneness that touches us in the sacred space we create together. Our healthy sense of self is also enhanced by such nourishing contacts with others of like heart and mind.

Mantras from various traditions are the essential component of this form of spiritual practice. Through the repetition of the mantra along with the devotional quality of the movements, the inner atmosphere is transformed which leads to many beneficial changes in the vibrational field of the dancers. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated allowing us to feel safe and creative in each other’s presence; muscles begin to relax and soften; our voices become more resonant and mellifluous; our hearts open spiritually; our minds begin to quieten; our breath becomes easier and more enlivening; we become more aware of the energy of life within us and around us. Yet surprisingly all this happens through simple, natural rhythms of heart, voice, body and breath as we move together in a circle.

One of my favourite quotes of Jesus is:

Understand by dancing what I do…
All whose nature is to Dance, do Dance
Who Dances not, knows not what is being done.
Hymn of Jesus

From the mystical perspective, our body and the body of the universe are inseparable dimensions of one and the same reality. Through Spiritual Dancing we can learn to experience for ourselves such great mysteries of life.Spiritual Dancing will be the main focus of our weekends together. Interspersed between the dances we will draw upon on complementary practices from Yogic, Tantric, Buddhist, Aramaic Christian, Sufi and western systems. We will also incorporate some of the recent developments in neuroscience which among other things are transforming how we are able to understand and appreciate the many benefits of spiritual practices.

This whole experience is being offered over the course of two weekends. While naturally many more benefits will be gained from attending both weekends it can be possible to attend either weekend separately if you are unable to make both.

While these sessions will appeal mostly to experienced dancers and dance leaders, those who may have not danced before are really welcome to join the circle. With a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore the inner aspects of being one can settle into the whole experience with ease.

Do get in touch if there is anything I can add to help you decide if these weekends are for you.

Philip is a master of Spiritual Dance. He has been immersed in the spiritual path for many years and is a senior teacher (Murshid) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International. He has studied and practised within a number of spiritual lineages including yoga, Tantra, Buddhism, Christian mysticism and Sufism. Essentially he is as a modern-day mystic who is also simply an ordinary human being.  His way of sharing practices is easy and apparently effortless yet offers depth and insight for participants.

The Venue: The Marist Retreat Centre is tucked away in the Cotswolds in the quiet little village of  Nympsfield set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is six miles from Stroud accessible by rail from London, Bath, Bristol and the Midlands into either Stroud or Cam and Dursley.

Accommodation will be in single, double or twin rooms. Standard diet is omnivorous. Vegetarian food option is available. Some other medical diets can be catered for. Please indicate dietary and room preferences when booking.

Address of centre: Marist Retreat Centre, Front St, Nympsfield. Stonehouse, Glos, GL10 3TZ.
Tel 01453 861511. Website: www.maristretreatcentre.co.uk

The weekend will begin with supper at 6.30pm on Friday and end after lunch on Sunday.

Further details. Contact: Philip
June 2019

1st Glastonbury. Spiritual Dancing. Day event.

Spiritual Dancing, a form of embodied spirituality and somatic awareness, is one such way. Through dancing and singing we learn how to inhabit our bodies more fully and with a greater sense of awareness and presence. It’s clear for me that realm of direct experience is located firmly in the body, from the physical body to all of the more subtle and interpenetrating layers of our being. When we dance there is always a sense of something larger, an expanded sense of oneness that touches us in the sacred space we create together. Our healthy sense of self is also enhanced by such nourishing contacts with others of like heart and mind.

Mantras from various traditions are the essential component of this form of spiritual practice. Through the repetition of the mantra along with the devotional quality of the movements, the inner atmosphere is transformed which leads to many beneficial changes in the vibrational field of the dancers. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated allowing us to feel safe and creative in each other’s presence; muscles begin to relax and soften; our voices become more resonant and mellifluous; our hearts open spiritually; our minds begin to quieten; our breath becomes easier and more enlivening; we become more aware of the energy of life within us and around us. Yet surprisingly all this happens through simple, natural rhythms of heart, voice, body and breath as we move together in a circle.

The Venue. Sweet Track Centre, 44a High Street, Glastonbury, BA6 9DX

Times: From 10.30am to 4.30pm. Prompt start at 10.30am. Arrivals for refreshments from 10am. Bring food to share.

Further details. Contact: Philip

July 2019

14th-17th Dorset. Dancing Dorset Sacred Sites: Energy Healing. Non-residential pilgrimage.

Over the past few years, an important concentration for me has been taking dancing pilgrims to various sacred sites of Dorset and I consider this one of the most important aspects of my work.

Known and cultivated by our ancestors, these ancient sites are energy portals, that link together to form a worldwide web of energetic connection. What happens in one area, positive or negative, has its effects in other areas just like in the human body. The assignment I have seem to have been given relates to sites in Dorset but the effects of the practices we engage in are not limited to Dorset or even this country. The energy pathways connect the whole being of the Earth and as we activate them we can help restore and maintain the health and harmony of the earth.

It is highly likely that the ancients danced and sang together in their ceremonial practices, as we do, and we are in a real sense dancing in the footsteps of our ancestors – though who knows what if any sacred phrases they may have used. My feeling has always been that we can only offer our own heartfelt dancing and singing using the sacred phrases we have attuned to over the years.

Many of these ancient sites have been severely mistreated over the years and others have become dormant but they do seem to respond well to our presence and our practices.

This year I am offering another non-residential pilgrimage. We will be visiting sites primarily in central and western parts of Dorset with possible excursions to North and East Dorset.

To reach all the sites involves at least some walking – sometimes up hills. I have yet to revisit several sites to see if they are appropriate to visit again this year and I will be looking at new sites also. We will be going back to St Catherine’s Chapel in Abbotsbury this year and the nearby Chapel in the Woods. As well as Portland, sites near Dorchester and perhaps Cerne Abbas.

We will be a relatively small group of experienced dancers and places are limited. In this way, our dances and meditations can be more focussed and deeper.

Further details. Contact: Philip

September 2019

14th/15th, Brigsteer near Kendal. Sufi Dancing and Meditation. Non-residential weekend.

Learn how to let your light shine more fully and to experience joy, real joy, in all its fullness. In joy we live and move and have our being we could say. Taking time to replenish your inner being on a regular basis is a necessary form of healing and maintenance. Step aside from your busy life to taste some real spiritual nourishment. This kind of food for the soul is healing on all levels of being.

Our Sufi Dance gatherings happen in Brigsteer three times a year. It’s always so wonderful to join in the circle together. Each time we gather we have the sense of reconnecting with Unity, of Re-Union with the Beloved. It is our Yoga, our Union with the Divine. As we say in our Zikr, our Remembrance of Unity, la illaha illa ‘llah. There is only One Reality which is Unity.

In our circle everyone stands equal to everyone else. The dances, or more accurately we could call them body prayers, are easy and accessible. The movements are simple and the sacred phrases of the chants are all explained fully. It’s an easy process and we all come as we are. As Rumi would say, “Whatever coin you may bring along is acceptable currency.”

There are many layers of being to be explored and mastered on the spiritual path. Sufi practices are the most joyful way to share this journey with other people that I have ever come across.

The weekend is non-residential and will take place at Brigsteer Village Hall, a spacious and clear, ecological venue in a tranquil setting with plenty of parking. For those travelling from further afield there is accommodation in the village. Brigsteer is less than four miles and only a ten minute drive from Kendal.

Bring along mats and blankets for relaxing in the breaks and also cushions for the sitting meditations if you prefer. The hall has plenty of chairs.

Further details. Contact: madowson@gmail.com

30th Glastonbury. Spiritual Dancing. Day event.

Spiritual Dancing, a form of embodied spirituality and somatic awareness, is one such way. Through dancing and singing we learn how to inhabit our bodies more fully and with a greater sense of awareness and presence. It’s clear for me that realm of direct experience is located firmly in the body, from the physical body to all of the more subtle and interpenetrating layers of our being. When we dance there is always a sense of something larger, an expanded sense of oneness that touches us in the sacred space we create together. Our healthy sense of self is also enhanced by such nourishing contacts with others of like heart and mind.

Mantras from various traditions are the essential component of this form of spiritual practice. Through the repetition of the mantra along with the devotional quality of the movements, the inner atmosphere is transformed which leads to many beneficial changes in the vibrational field of the dancers. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated allowing us to feel safe and creative in each other’s presence; muscles begin to relax and soften; our voices become more resonant and mellifluous; our hearts open spiritually; our minds begin to quieten; our breath becomes easier and more enlivening; we become more aware of the energy of life within us and around us. Yet surprisingly all this happens through simple, natural rhythms of heart, voice, body and breath as we move together in a circle.

The Venue. Sweet Track Centre, 44a High Street, Glastonbury, BA6 9DX

Times: From 10.30am to 4.30pm. Prompt start at 10.30am. Arrivals for refreshments from 10am. Bring food to share.

Further details. Contact: Philip

October 2019

18th-20th Nympsfield, Glos. Dancing into Wholeness 2 – Ease in Body, Heart and Mind. Residential weekend.

In the state of wholeness we are fully aligned with our essential nature, with who we really are at the deepest level of being. Wholeness is oneness. There is a sense of completeness, of coherence, of being fully at ease in body, heart and mind. The Anglo-Saxon word haelen means to make whole and it is from this that our word healing originates. We can look at wholeness as the complete restoration of ease in body, mind and heart. We are already naturally whole and complete even though we may not be aware of this. Until of course we find ways to successfully remove the barriers to our awareness of inner wholeness.

Spiritual Dancing, a form of embodied spirituality and somatic awareness, is one such way. Through dancing and singing we learn how to inhabit our bodies more fully and with a greater sense of awareness and presence. It’s clear for me that realm of direct experience is located firmly in the body, from the physical body to all of the more subtle and interpenetrating layers of our being. When we dance there is always a sense of something larger, an expanded sense of oneness that touches us in the sacred space we create together. Our healthy sense of self is also enhanced by such nourishing contacts with others of like heart and mind.

Mantras from various traditions are the essential component of this form of spiritual practice. Through the repetition of the mantra along with the devotional quality of the movements, the inner atmosphere is transformed which leads to many beneficial changes in the vibrational field of the dancers. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated allowing us to feel safe and creative in each other’s presence; muscles begin to relax and soften; our voices become more resonant and mellifluous; our hearts open spiritually; our minds begin to quieten; our breath becomes easier and more enlivening; we become more aware of the energy of life within us and around us. Yet surprisingly all this happens through simple, natural rhythms of heart, voice, body and breath as we move together in a circle.

One of my favourite quotes of Jesus is:

Understand by dancing what I do…
All whose nature is to Dance, do Dance
Who Dances not, knows not what is being done.
Hymn of Jesus

From the mystical perspective, our body and the body of the universe are inseparable dimensions of one and the same reality. Through Spiritual Dancing we can learn to experience for ourselves such great mysteries of life.Spiritual Dancing will be the main focus of our weekends together. Interspersed between the dances we will draw upon on complementary practices from Yogic, Tantric, Buddhist, Aramaic Christian, Sufi and western systems. We will also incorporate some of the recent developments in neuroscience which among other things are transforming how we are able to understand and appreciate the many benefits of spiritual practices.

This whole experience is being offered over the course of two weekends. While naturally many more benefits will be gained from attending both weekends it can be possible to attend either weekend separately if you are unable to make both.

While these sessions will appeal mostly to experienced dancers and dance leaders, those who may have not danced before are really welcome to join the circle. With a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore the inner aspects of being one can settle into the whole experience with ease.

Do get in touch if there is anything I can add to help you decide if these weekends are for you.

Philip is a master of Spiritual Dance. He has been immersed in the spiritual path for many years and is a senior teacher (Murshid) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International. He has studied and practised within a number of spiritual lineages including yoga, Tantra, Buddhism, Christian mysticism and Sufism. Essentially he is as a modern-day mystic who is also simply an ordinary human being.  His way of sharing practices is easy and apparently effortless yet offers depth and insight for participants.

The Venue: The Marist Retreat Centre is tucked away in the Cotswolds in the quiet little village of  Nympsfield set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is six miles from Stroud accessible by rail from London, Bath, Bristol and the Midlands into either Stroud or Cam and Dursley.

Accommodation will be in single, double or twin rooms. Standard diet is omnivorous. Vegetarian food option is available. Some other medical diets can be catered for. Please indicate dietary and room preferences when booking.

Address of centre: Marist Retreat Centre, Front St, Nympsfield. Stonehouse, Glos, GL10 3TZ.
Tel 01453 861511. Website: www.maristretreatcentre.co.uk

The weekend will begin with supper at 6.30pm on Friday and end after lunch on Sunday.

Further details. Contact: Philip