Dervish Constellation Equinox Stories
A few stories from our Teachers and Community on the September 23 worldwide synchronized Equinox Dancemeditation Evening.
Ann Paquin, FL
Since beginning of August, I had been preparing my condo to have more room to move and dance. The Equinox Groove Thang had been a primary motivation to bring Dancemeditation™ energy into my home. I released, sold and recycled heavy furniture and made the room. I felt in the flow as things came together in the last few days and I was ready with lots of space. After dancing Interconnected Equinox, I felt a heightened sense of fullness and aliveness that felt grounded. Felt grateful for the 3 women who joined me, one of whom responded to an ad and drove an hour to attend. One friend wrote a beautiful poem, another expressed her desire to reconnect with dance. We hung out till almost 10 pm chatting and snacking on organic strawberries, figs, chocolate and coconut water. I slept more soundly last night. I am grateful and still receiving.
Carleen Bevans, ME
The idea of this Celebration was very exciting to me. I found a really special space to have to gather with people I hadn’t seen in a very long time–and then the news that not one of them could attend as they all had things they were involved in, Weddings, Common Ground Fair etc. etc. For a little while I played the woe is me game, blaming myself , wondering what I could have done differently, not enough, too much???? Then an idea jumped into my head, call Dawn ( a good friend with a sweet studio) her response was one of delight and of course we can do it together plus she had another woman who would be there 🙂 So off I went to an incredible space, wonderful friend, a new friend and a delicious Dancemeditation Equinox Celebration with the Full Moon shining in on us. I am still basking in the warmth, tenderness and very moving experience. Thank you Dunya!!! Thank you Dawn & Wendy!! I am filled with the wonder of moving in a meditative way with very special people. All of my Dancemeditation friends world wide and the knowledge that we came together to welcome our Constellation Dancemeditation School.
Celeste Flemming Roth, OK
I had booked my regular space, found out it was not available. But my best friend offered her house. She has a living room with no furniture. I emailed people and put a sign on the door. The two of us started off at exactly 6:30, but then the doorbell rang, it was Denisee, a biodanza teacher who had called in to work telling them she needed to dance and mediatate. We danced. Govi’s silk and saffron was the music. Then we rested. I could tell Denisee was in a deep trance. We woke up, hand dance had been coming to me. We followed Denisee. She was obviously having a deep experience and we were so happy to honor her. Normally we don’t have a cat around when we dance, but the cat kept coming into our little triangle and wanting attention. Petting the cat became part of our shared movement. Interesting. Then we followed Louise, then me. Then moved on our own again. My mind felt quiet, as DM promises. I felt very human again. As we chatted afterward Denisee shared amazing visions she had during the event. She saw one tree as very male, one as very female, she saw a wolf dancing with me most of the time. She saw a dark gold and green light, she saw budda energy. She saw that we three were a braid together. She saw heavy energy in some wood statues. It was amazing as she told of her ideas that the elderly in nursing homes die sooner if their houses are sold (she works in this area i believe), that she thinks they begin to map their houses like musicians add their instruments to their brain’s body mapping. We listened to her talk about what she saw, rapt in amazement and ate cheese and grapes. She told us that she felt a disease beginning to form in her body had been healed during the equinox session. She just knew it. It was so intimate, warm and lovely. My student Louise moved her torso in ways that seem new to me, that was really great to see her accessing those movements in her body. As for me, I felt myself pushing, pushing, waving my arms in a figure 8 faster and harder, and at this point I thought: It’s OK celeste, that’s just you, that’s just who you are. I felt self acceptance. So wonderful I have tears now just thinking about it, so often I think/feel that I need to correct myself to be better but in that moment I just accepted myself. I really feel that being a part of the larger context/event made a difference. Thanks to all who participated and supported us. love, celeste
Krys Sta, NOLA
The owner of the space for the NOLA event was a day behind himself and thought it was the next night. No matter, he and I and the dogs cleaned up and the space was really just the perfect size with bare white walls, brick fireplace and unique windows that opened up and let the welcomed first cool breeze in 4 months into our little space. While I was waiting and moving in preparation I watch a young boy through the slats in the hurricane shutters dance with a broken fuschia umbrella across the neutral ground from me. By 630, only one person out of 3 had arrived. we waited 5 minutes and started, of course person #2 arrived a moment later and she quickly followed by #3. I locked the door in between and later Veronica just opened it up and it was a wonderful feeling. We were not in the greatest section of the city but certainly not the worst either. there was this strange fear in keeping the door locked and yet once it was open the energy seemed to move easier. As I started Opening Sequence every bit of me felt exactly as I do when we forward bend into a SMM.
We rested, we felt our breath, we inwardly chanted Shafi, then we paired up and witness danced with veils. My three guests were a yoga instructor, an artist/body worker, an acupunturist with ties to Naropa Institute and friends in the Dance Therapy program there. All of them were open to the practice and lovely beings to be with in motion. Our conversations post session was beautiful and supportive as everyone offered something that the others felt they needed to hear.
Teresa Hawkes. OR
Dancemeditation Equinox Experience from Urvashi Dunyati-Long
Out of the whirl of activity that is my chosen Path, I emerged into the quiet space that is Moondragon Farm. The drive there prepares me for the splendor of the moments we later share…we is Aijun, her family, and those who came to dance with us to honor the birth of Dervish Constellation – A School for Dancemeditation. The farm is soothing. The full moon was hidden by thick, cool mist falling from the sky, rising from the still warm earth of summer. I was embraced by the scent of the farm as I emerged from my old car. The 45 minute drive out from west Eugene, through the reservoir lands, then the up and down, twisty-soft hills of the coast range had prepared me well. That is part of the transition for me these days….that long, sweet aloneness wending my way toward the Dance.
Aijun was waiting. She hugged me, welcomed me in. ZZ and Atticus were there. We all hugged. Many hugs ensued, many raucous child games too as we set up the sound. Aijun had smudged the yurt after preparing it beautifully. That space feels like a space ship to some unknown but beneficent land.
What can I say? We danced from the moment I got there until we concluded the segments specified: opening sequence, own dance, rest, shafi chant….quiet. …then we shared food and cold water. We laughed. Hugged many times. Stared deeply into each other’s eyes. Parted, entered the mists and returned to our homes…..there is more of course, each in our own souls, what we experienced. That yet unfolds inside me.
Dunya McPherson, NYC
~ About 20 people showed up at Integral Yoga, NYC (thanks to Anita for arranging this). We fit just perfectly into the space. Outside, the usual passing traffic, sirens, and radios blasting hip hop. We moved. (I lead because so many people there came through the Sufi group or from my entourage.) Then everyone did their own stuff. I fell into a profound interior space, almost forgetting that anyone was there, including me. That far out…
~ Then a large sitting circle to chant Ya Hadi.
~ After the long quiet, I spoke about the purpose of this event, and how it was in part to connect a practicing family–all the aunts and uncles and cousins, all the companions, and the blessing of not being alone.
~ Music was playing, everyone swaying and smiling and just being in the energy. Then Anita stood and moved in the center of the sitting circle. So authentic, so beautiful, natural. She moved the energy, waking the space, swirling it. Then Kate T-W joined her, equally exquisite and unique, finding the moment, being real.
I felt such joy and relaxation.
~ At the end we danced. Kate scattered a few rose petals in the center of the floor. We trotted through and around these. It brought back the recent SMM. It was amusing, sweet, and energizing.
~ These things are better than they appear in words.
Ric Miccio. NYC
Equinox in New York!
Everything was as it should be! There we were spread out in a nice cozy room beginning the process of Dance Meditating, but something was different? It was different because this wasn’t just a meeting with a bunch of people in one room it was something much bigger! It was the start of a community, a wonderful community! I went there wanting to feel the larger community of dance meditators all participating from around the world and I felt you all! I was taken up by the thought that this was the start of an amazing community that could do great things in the world we live in. I am anxious to see the group expand and become what it can be! With the core of great enthusiastic teachers that Dunya has assembled I see the future of what is to come! It won’t be easy for all you teachers out there, however if you persevere great things will come out of it!
Anastacia Kaser, Bay Area, CA
For the Equinox event, I rented a small studio in the Rudramandir complex (a huge space with four studios and offices for alternative health care practitioners in Berkeley, CA). This one, the smallest of their studios, was carpeted with two large oriental rugs, west-facing sliding glass doors looking out onto a small courtyard, and high ceilings.
I arrived early and set up the space with a small altar with red grapes, rosewater-flavored Turkish Delight sweets, and pink and red spray roses, arranged on a silver-colored thali platter.
Including myself, we had seven people – about five more than I was expecting! Half of the participants had Dancemeditation experience, and half were new to it. Cynthia Merchant came, a woman whom I had “met” at Dunya’s May workshop in Santa Fe, but in conversation we realized that we must have crossed paths at the Sufi Retreat Center back in the late 80’s.
I started with a brief intro on why we were meeting at this unusual time (4:30 pm PST), talked about all the other DM teachers starting a class at this same moment all across the country, and then we dove into opening sequence. Breathing together, opening channels – inner and outer, moving together. Dropping into the reality of the body together, feeling the rich sensations of a raised arm, of a leg stretching out along the floor. Eventually we were standing and gathered into the circle, that ancient template for community, for ritual. We danced, we each led and followed, we smiled at each other’s uniqueness and beauty, we did our own dance, we danced with veils. Sunlight slanted in the west doors and lit up each veil with a brilliant intensity of color. We filled the room. The time went too quickly and before we were ready, I had to lower the volume so that each brightly colored veil and its dancer, landed, softly, and in waves, with jellyfish-like movement. We gathered around the thali plate and ate grapes and rose-flavored sweets and debriefed.
Nanette said how every time she comes to a Dancemeditation class she starts off feeling stuck and slow and ends up feeling flowing and light. I think that’s what most of us feel, yes?