Events

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. The 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

November 2019

10th East Woodlands, Frome. Healing Balm for the Heart. The Power of Spiritual Dancing

Many people have an inner longing to feel whole and complete, to live life with a sense of purpose and relaxed awareness in a calm and confident manner. As social beings we have an innate need to feel connected to others in community. While there are many spiritual methods available to bring peace to body, heart and mind, simply singing and dancing together in a circle is the easiest and most joyful method I have ever come across which is why I have devoted my life to it.
 
For many centuries mystics have understood the significance of the power of sound especially when expressed through the human voice. The melodic sacred chants we sing honour various spiritual traditions. The combinations of sacred syllables form a nucleus of spiritual energy that serve as either a magnet to attract or a lens to focus spiritual vibrations. Use of the voice in this way produces a whole series of psychological, physical and energetic effects which can bring a deep sense of inner peace and joy.
Additionally, Sufis have used dancing in combination with singing as a spiritual practice adding a further dimension to the whole experience. Yet because of the simplicity of this practice the deeper and profound effects may not be fully appreciated initially. The electricity of touch and the rhythmical movements combined with the vibrational resonance of the human voice are subtle yet influential forms of energetic communication operating below our conscious level of awareness. They can have an uplifting effect on how we feel in body, heart and mind. We relax and we feel connected to each other in the dance circle in a safe way and at a deep level.
 
If you are new and considering coming along it is not necessary to have had previous experience of this form of spiritual chant and dance – known by some as Dances of Universal Peace. These dances and chants are simple and accessible as well as joyful, spacious and expansive. They are for those who have a sense of inner adventure towards engaging with body, heart and mind in a new way. They are clearly taught and easily learned. Additionally during our workshop there will be short periods sitting together in the silence to help us to integrate and embody the effects of the practices.
Bring food to share for lunch.
The Venue: East Woodlands Village Hall. Church Lane, Frome, BA11 5LQ, Somerset.
Date and Times: Sunday 10th November. Prompt start at 10.30am. Arrivals from 10am for refreshments. Finish at 4.30pm.
Further details: Contact: Philip

23rd/24th Thriplow, Near Cambridge. Nourishment for the Soul. Non-residential weekend.

Join us for an opportunity to 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. As we dance and sing together our dance circle becomes the physician of our souls. Our circle creates a joyful, heartfelt connection which is revivifying and healing.

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 nourishment 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 Thriplow Village Hall which is 8 miles south of Cambridge. Address: Middle Street, Thriplow, Cambridgeshire, SG8 7RD

For Lunches each day bring along something delicious eat to share for our “pot luck” meals.

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 23rd arrivals for refreshments from 10am. Start promptly at 10.30am. Finish at 5pm.
Sunday 24th arrivals for refreshments from 10.00am. Start promptly at 10.30am. Finish at 4pm.

Further details. Contact: Yasemin

December 2019

21st Yealand, near Lancaster. Dancing into Spacious Awareness. The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer. Day event.

As winter approaches we may begin feel the natural impetus to focus more inwardly on how our life has unfolded this past year. Nature presents us with another change of season. December signifies the end of a yearly cycle. If we are in tune with such natural cycles our rhythm of life also changes as a consequence. During the past 12 months perhaps we have been presented with some challenges as well as celebrated many joyful occasions. As we begin to move from dark time of the year and start to turn once again into the growing light this is an optimum time to clear what is ready to be released. Making space inside and listening to inner guidance, insights can be received into how best to focus our life energy in 2020.

The Aramaic Prayer seems most appropriate at this time of year to put us in touch with our hearts and to help us clarify our intentions. The Aramaic words and movements of this cycle continue to resonate deeply in my heart. Experiencing it for the first time many years ago was a significant turning point in my life. Through this I reconnected with Jesus in a completely different way; to Jesus as a Middle Eastern mystic. Many of those with whom I have worked over the years have had profound effects and similar realisations.

No previous experience is necessary. All the words and movements are clearly taught and now most people can assimilate them with ease.

The Danced Prayer Cycle presents a spiritual journey into the timeless wisdom of Jesus. It uses words attributed to Jesus in the Aramaic language and can allow one to experience this Prayer in an entirely new way. Through heart centred body prayer and devotional singing the Prayer offers us the opportunity to tune ourselves to the Infinite Source of All Life, and helps us to remember how to live fully and intentionally in this awareness. It’s a celebration of the Unity of Life and an affirmation of our own unique place in this Unity.

The movements and melodies of the Aramaic Prayer Cycle are the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz whose translations and meditations on the Aramaic words of Jesus appear in his highly acclaimed book Prayers of the Cosmos.

Bring food to share for lunch.

The Venue: Yealand Village Hall, Footeran Ln, Carnforth LA5 9SU.

Time: 10.30am to 4pm. Arrivals for refreshments from 10am.

Further details and bookings: Contact Rabia: madowson@gmail.com

 

January 2020

11th/12th, Brigsteer near Kendal. Sufi Song and Dance. Non-residential weekend.

Join us for an opportunity to 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. As we dance and sing together our dance circle becomes the physician of our souls. Our circle creates a joyful, heartfelt connection which is revivifying and healing.

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 is also 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.

If you travelling from further afield there is accommodation in the village as well as lots more in Kendal itself. Brigsteer is less than four miles and only a ten-minute drive from Kendal.

Times: Saturday 14th arrivals for refreshments from 10 am. Start promptly at 10.30am. Finish at 8.45 pm.
Sunday 15th arrivals for refreshments from 9.30 am. Start promptly at 10 am. Finish at 4 pm.

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.

How to find the hall: Brigsteer Village Hall, Brigsteer, Near Kendal, Cumbria. LA8 8AL. The Hall is opposite the car park at LA8 8AL on the Underbarrow Road which runs North from the Pub.
For map click on here.

Further details: Contact Rabia: madowson@gmail.com

May 2020

9th/10th, Brigsteer near Kendal. Sufi Sing and Dance. Non-residential weekend.

Join us for an opportunity to 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. As we dance and sing together our dance circle becomes the physician of our souls. Our circle creates a joyful, heartfelt connection which is revivifying and healing.

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 is also 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.

If you travelling from further afield there is accommodation in the village as well as lots more in Kendal itself. Brigsteer is less than four miles and only a ten-minute drive from Kendal.

Times: Saturday 14th arrivals for refreshments from 10 am. Start promptly at 10.30am. Finish at 8.45 pm.
Sunday 15th arrivals for refreshments from 9.30 am. Start promptly at 10 am. Finish at 4 pm.

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.

How to find the hall: Brigsteer Village Hall, Brigsteer, Near Kendal, Cumbria. LA8 8AL. The Hall is opposite the car park at LA8 8AL on the Underbarrow Road which runs North from the Pub.
For map click on here.

Further details. Contact Rabia: madowson@gmail.com