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Movement Monastery

Movement Monastery Story

“Let love lead your soul. 
Make it a place to retire to,
a kind of monastery cave,
a retreat for the deepest core of your being.”
— Attar of Nashipur


Movement Monastery is inextricably entwined with the beginnings of Dancemeditation. In the mid-1990s, Dunya settled in Austin, TX after an extended residence in the remote Sufi community in New Mexico. In Austin, Dunya taught classes and weekends locally. It wasn’t called Dancemeditation yet. Dunya drew on her expertise in three bodies of work—Shattari Sufism, Art (Dance), and Somatics—to weave a teaching characterized by Beauty and Mystery. At length, it found its name—Dancemeditation. As her student group grew, one serious practitioner, Karuna Haber, approached Dunya wanting a more extended commitment. She suggested a training program. This excited the swelling Austin student group as well and the Certification Training Program was born. Over the past 25 years, the project has blossomed as waves of intent practitioners find their way to weekends, classes, and the extended retreats known as Movement Monastery.

By in 2010 after years in different retreat centers, Dunya knew it was time to push toward a pinnacle vision for the Movement Monastery experience––a retreat in wilderness where practitioners could practice deeply ensconced in nature. Land was purchased in northeast New Mexico and, with community support, simple, beautiful facilities built. Ravenrock is a retreat home for Dancemeditation. More about Ravenrock Movement Monastery at Ravenrock now offers adept practitioners time-out from ordinary life with fellow Dancemeditators practicing deeply, eating cleansing diet, resetting their system, and exploring new levels of consciousness. As well, Independent Study apprentices More About Apprenticeships and those seeking a strong retreat period are welcome.  

Our Alumni
The intention of the Training Program has always been the nourishment of time away from ordinary life to immerse in embodied inner delving. The program scope is substantive and our alumni have all completed this work. Take a look at the syllabus.  They bring their depth back out into the world, their time in the program having influenced who and what they know themselves to be, and pursue worldly work infused with deeper embodiment, awareness, and perception. Being a teacher is not the ultimate objective, though anyone who has completed the study is well-prepared to teach. All leave enriched and opened by their time in the program. Our alumni!  

Our Community
Thousands of wonderful people have brought their presence and depth to workshops and retreats, contributing to the evolution of the practice and infusing the gatherings with their human beauty. All of you are the Light. All of you carry the Light. 


The 2019 Movement Monastery takes place at RAVENROCK, 160 acres of high desert terrain at 7000 feet. Seekers leave frenetic modern life and delve into rich spiritual practice supported by a remote quiet of magnificent Ponderosa forest, 100-mile vista of uninhabited canyon, and ancient rock rim. Inquiry encompasses the experiential and reflective, silent and verbal, moving and stillness, mindless and mindful. Practices include: Dancemeditation Core Materials, Dervish Whirling, Shattari Lineage Movement Meditations, chanting, writing, transformational dance, time in nature, spiritual conversation.

INFORMATION   2019  Movement Monastery

“In Dunya’s retreats, I remember how to be myself.  My essence unfolds, and my soul stretches like a newly-born baby as I approach my inner point of perfect stillness. All through motion and breathing. Beyond verbalizing. Beyond rationalizing. Beyond Understanding. I heal….” –Dr. Monica Grace, psychotherapist Austin, TX



Attendance is by invitation to advanced practitioners and those in the Intensive Training Program, and by application from all others.

Desire, intuition, and availability are high on the list of criteria for attending. Because the Movement Monastery training by design is remote (no electricity or running water and down a long bumpy dirt road) it takes a certain type of participant. Take a look at the application to see if this might be an exciting and transformational opportunity for you. We’d love to hear from you!

More about Intensive Training Program


Movement Monastery at Ravenrock ~ Gallery





Dancemeditation_LOGO_B&WDancemeditation™ is a program of the Dervish Society of America (DSA), a nonprofit 501-C3 organization helping people realize their potential by honoring their body and its movement ways using evolutionary Sufi Dancemeditation practices.




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