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Dances of Universal Peace (continued)
Often feeding his students from his own kitchen table, Murshid Sam lived his peace program: “Eat, dance and pray together.” He gave his students the essential teachings of Sufism, integrally mixed with insights and teachings from the Buddhist tradition and other streams of awakening. The Dances of Universal Peace embody the universal perspective of SAM's teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan on the unity of religious ideals. Today all around the world, this teaching that each religious tradition is a "ray" of the one Truth finds reality as Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims and others engage in the Dances, often finding therein the mystical core of their own faith as well as a deeper understanding of other traditions.

For a complete biography of the events in Murshid Samuel Lewis' life, visit http://www.ruhaniat.org/lineage/SAMBio.php.

In 1987 Saadi Neil-Douglas-Klotz and Tasnim Fernandez founded the PeaceWorks Center for the Dances of Universal Peace. A mentoring program was established to enable leaders who were not Sufi initiates to lead the Dances in the stream of blessing of Murshid Sam. The Mentor Teachers Guild (MTG) became a body of DUP teachers who help to ensure the integrity and continuity of the original Dance transmission as the Dances have grown. For more information, visit www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org. For other DUP links, be sure to visit Resources. Since Murshid's death in 1971, the Dances of Universal Peace have spread around the world to over 40 countries as a grassroots, nonsectarian movement. Many cities now have regular Dance circles meeting monthly or weekly. 

The Dances of Universal Peace can be difficult to describe in words, for they are about the experience of the dancers, not premises. Why Dance? Murshid Sam said it best: "The spiritual dance has no other purpose, no other aim than to elevate (hu)mankind beyond self-thought to joy, to bliss, to realization and to peace... The sincere dancer is one of the best workers for universal harmony, and so for universal peace."

Still wondering what the Dances of Universal Peace are all about? Why not watch this inspiring 22-minute video documentary filmed at the the 2006 Canyonlands DUP retreat entitled Invitation to the Dance. To purchase a full quality DVD of this video, please contact the PeaceWorks North America office at  760-922-2551 (California).