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Skin of Glass: Amazon Reader Reviews

Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh by Dunya Dianne McPherson
Amazon Customer Reviews: 10

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star 100% 4 star 0% 3 star 0% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%


Life changing.
By Laura  Verified Purchase
This book is just beautiful. It changed the way I see my life, the way I dance and the way I meditate, it deserves 6 stars. And Dunya is an amazing human being and the kind of person that makes a difference to other people.

By Jennifer L  Verified Purchase
I bought this book 2 years after beginning a regular 5Rhythms practice and seeking more books about conscious movement and somatics. I devoured this in days, mesmerized by McPherson’s way of turning movement into prose. As both a writer and a dancer, I am envious of her talent in describing even the most subtle movements with such commanding language. The way she writes about the human body is utterly fascinating and captivating, and it is hard not to roll my spine and rock my pelvis along to her words. They are the words of someone so at home with her body, so familiar with every tendon, vein, and cell within; some chapters have such a deep and sensual feel that they read more like erotic literature, a kind of “kinesthetic pornography,” perhaps.

Comment: 2 people found this helpful.


The ecstacy of nothing
By Joyce   Verified Purchase
Dunya is disarmingly honest and so intimate with her own body that she wakes you to your own, raising the question: how can we live as such strangers to our bodies? A professional dancer who became a Sufi, Dunya found a dearth of writings on dance as a spiritual path. Deciding to fill that void, she expected to write a collection of essays on that topic, but her body, she says, wanted to tell a story — things that hadn’t been spoken of, things that had been forgotten. This story begins with a little girl in New England who was a natural dancer. She began dance training at ten, was admitted to an art conservatory at fifteen, and to Juillard School in New York City at eighteen. For the next ten years she danced, taught, and choreographed in New York and Australia. The world of professional dance, although it pays attention to training the body, often bypasses its basic needs by stringently avoiding weight gain and ignoring pain and injury. Dunya finally had an injury serious enough to require a break from her successful performance career. During that period she encountered a charismatic Iraqi Sufi Master who became her mentor for seventeen years, gave her the name Dunya, and introduced her to a different kind of dancing, dancing with the Divine, dance as prayer. This experience gave Dunya her vocation. She has since created DanceMeditation and has taught its methods to many others. The gift, however, was buried in a complicated system of male dominance and sexual manipulation which Dunya had to sort out to create a female version of the Sufi tradition. She has now been a Sufi teacher for twenty years. She describes her teaching thus: “I close my eyes, always looking at emptiness, and students follow me as I move and breathe, drawing us into the simplicity of moving and breathing. . . I respect them by trying not to believe what they imagine me to be, a difficult task since I was once mostly a reflection of others. . . Perhaps my students, wanting something for their money, aren’t so sure why they pay me for providing an expensive Nothing. I haven’t much to say in defense of this exchange except that Nothing is hard to come by.” Having attended some of Dunya’s retreats I can personally attest to her genius at leading one into the ecstasy of Nothing.

1 comment: I found this commentary most “on the mark” of what I know of Dianne; Dunya. I was fortunate to be invited to an event with Dunya and teacher, Master, Adnan Sarhan. This was numerous years ago – but remembered as no longer than yesterday. I was fortunate to train with Dianne in college as one of her students. Dunya is and has always been inside of me…. I look forward to working with her again after returning from sabbatical – Dunya is a wonderous (re)treat and movement forward.


By William E. Elder III
An amazing true story of a woman becoming a star ballet dancer and then changing to trans-dancing as part of her health and spiritual (Sufi) journey.

Comment: 2 people found this helpful.


Gripping, beautifully written stories
By Ramona   Verified Purchase
Skin of Glass is a collection of gripping autobiographical stories. This book is well-written, with lots of vivid details that help the reader feel as though she’s sharing Dunya’s experiences. There were times when her writing made me laugh, and times when it was serious. Those from a ballet background can relate to her vivid descriptions of dance classes. Dunya is candid, and has shared so much of herself in this book–what a lovely gift. She shares details about her career and her intimate personal experiences. Parts of this book serve as a jarring reminder that we can be victimized by authority figures. Much of this book is about meditation’s relationship with healing, and the relationship of love and healing. Readers with a strong interest in meditation and archetypes will find this book thought-provoking. Also, those who are open to experiencing Dunya’s unique writing style, which includes lots of kinesthetic descriptions, will enjoy this book. Dunya’s students will find Skin of Glass helpful in their practice. For college-age and mature readers.

Comment: 2 people found this helpful.

Great read!
By Tod
An intriguing look at a spiritual path based on movement and dance. Dunya’s prose when describing her meditations is both beautiful and inspiring. A book full of truth, mystery, motion, and love.


Deep within the Skin of Glass
By C. Jorgensen
Dunya Dianne McPherson’s book, Skin of Glass, is an eloquent and perceptive tribute to the life and body that “partnered one another…teaching me how to control less and accept more.” Dunya’s journey reads and feels like a very sensual and visceral dance initiation spiraling down to the cellular level of a life in memory within the body. An inspiring and osmotic ride with a fabulous dancer.


A Woman’s Search for a Unified Self
By Kathleen A. Graham
Dunya’s Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh, is an edgy and exquisite, evanescent and eternal, account of a woman’s search for a unified self where body and mind, spirit and soul coalesce in Divine Communion. I wanted to stretch it out and savor every morsel but couldn’t resist devouring the whole delicious book in just a few days.
–Le’ema Kathleen Graham, Snake Priestess, Visionary Sacred Dancer, Yogini, Teacher and Author

Comment: 2 people found this helpful.


Spiritual Study Companion
By Ann Galkowski
As a student of dancemeditation and embodying spirit for many years, I have been at a loss as to how expression of my journey and experiences can take shape. Dunya is able to effectively and beautifully capture hers in this book. In so doing she encourages my process of spiritual embodiment, which is my path. As a student I find it supportive as it describes and transmits to me aspects of both individual and group process. As a bodyworker and having practiced various forms of meditation, I am delighted as to how her desriptions cross over into describing my experiences of spirit in other forms. Deep and mystical, it will be a study companion for me for some time to come.

Comment: 4 people found this helpful.


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