January News from DUPNA: Celebrating Murshid SAM
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Murshid SAM leading a dance at an outdoor festival
This month we celebrate the life of Murshid Samuel Lewis,
whose Urs is January 15th.
Sing a Song of Glory
by Jane Sky, DUPNA board member
It was the Summer of Love in San Francisco and 100,000 young people streamed into the city in search of truth, connection, ecstasy and peace. Murshid SAM* was already there and had all these qualities in his consciousness. The synchronicity was perfect and the Walks and Dances came into being very naturally.
Here in San Francisco, his teachings of the unity of religious ideals took deep root in the hearts of his first students. But even then, few could foresee the times we are living in today, when the need for understanding and tolerance for people of different faiths is greater than ever in the world’s history.  Perhaps Murshid SAM foresaw this, for he taught through music and dance songs of praise of many traditions, and notably, Sufi sacred phrases in Arabic.
I remember how curious that seemed to me when I first heard the Sufi Choir in 1974. At that time many of us were doing yoga, participating in Native American sweat lodges, singing Goddess chants, learning Buddhism. No one was talking about Mohammed! Even now I feel somewhat unique in my mid-western city of one half million people that I can say I have read some of the Koran, and respect and honor that faith. It seems to me that the Dances have an important role in bringing forth the awareness of the underlying unity of Christian and Islamic values.

Two poems of Murshid SAM’s are my favorites. One is "Crescent and Heart," from which the title of this article comes, and the other is "The Karuna Yoga Gita," which means "Song of Compassion." Sing a song of glory and you will be the glory….Naught are ye but songs, and as ye sing, ye are….Tell them the end of music is the world’s end. And the cessation from glorification is the victory of night.…So long as is music is the world.”

And more from the Karuna: “ Love, love, love beyond love,  heart beating, heart moving, pulsating love; Light, light, light beyond light, outstretching, outpouring infinite light; Life, life, eternal life, creating, preserving, assimilating life.”
Certainly Murshid SAM planted seeds. He prepared the way for us to rise up together in song and dance. The dawn of the New Age saw the genesis of the peace dances and this fertile period has been a springboard for those of us continuing on in the sprightly, energetic and certain footsteps of the sagacious mystic Samuel Lewis.

* The name Murshid SAM, written in capital letters, is not only an affectionate form of reference but also an abbreviation for the other name by which Samuel Lewis was known: Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti.

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“So the first thing I ask you to do is don’t believe me. Believe your own being when you get up and walk and chant and dance.”

- Murshid SAM
Murshid SAM Dargah Opening Blessing Ceremony
Murshid SAM's Dargah Project

Beloved Murshid Samuel Lewis, mystic, teacher, innovator, and the being who brought us the Dances of Universal Peace, was buried at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico following his death in 1971. Murshid SAM foresaw that his resting place would be a place of pilgrimage. For many years, people visiting his grave would have to endure the effects of intense sun, as his grave is located at 8700 feet above sea level without covering from the elements.

In 2007, Pir Shabda Kahn, lineage holder for the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the order founded by Murshid SAM, was deeply moved to design and build a beautiful and functional shrine (Dargah) at Murshid SAM’s gravesite. The project is well under way, and promises to be a beautiful, sacred place to meditate and to spend time with this Teacher. A brochure that was created to publicize this project states, “The outline for the Dargah of Murshid Samuel Lewis is an open pavilion with no walls, with eight stone carved pillars at 24 feet across, wooden corbels, a wood-framed dome and an overhang for shade covered by copper. Murshid SAM’s white quartz stone covered burial mound will remain untouched, surrounded by a stone floor, cut in a geometric pattern.”

For further information, please go to 

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Murshid SAM Dargah Progress Report
Click here to watch the Progress Report for Murshid SAM's dargah from November 2015 presented by Pir Shabda, Murshid Wali Ali, and Murshid Saadi

Murshid SAM Recordings

Hearing the voice of a teacher is a wonderful way to attune to their energy and spiritual atmosphere, even if you do not have the opportunity to be with them in person. We are lucky to have 74 of Murshid SAM's lectures recorded and digitally archived. This collection is housed on the website and can be streamed online or downloaded for later listening.

Click here to explore these talks:
Some of Murshid SAM’s
Original Dances:
  Nembutsu Dance
Om Namah Shivaya Square Dance
  Ram Nam Partner Dance
Ram Nam Snake Dance
As Salaam Aleikum Greeting Dance
Kalama Dance
Ya Hayy Ya Haqq Dance
Ya Muhammad Abdullah
Dervish Cycle of Dances
Murshid SAM and palmist

DUPNA Holiday Card Thanks!

Deep gratitude to Tajalima Eileen Pappalardo
and Lucinda Abbe for their design work on our exquisite holiday card.

It is such a treat to receive a uniquely crafted card each year.  Thank you to the many hands at the Live! At Lava retreat who counted and boxed cards.

Thanks to the following Dance circles and groups who addressed cards:

Boise, ID
Portland, OR
Indianapolis, IN
Whidbey Island, WA
Madison Sufis/Madison, WI
Nelson, British Columbia
Phoenix, AZ
Hamilton, MT
Helena, MT
Asheville, NC
Seattle, WA

Thanks to all who sent in a donation!
Together, we sustain this healing work that the world so deeply needs.

If you would like to volunteer for next year's holiday card project, click here to get on the list.
 New DUP logo banner for sale
New Logo Banners!

Many thanks to Lucinda Abbe for designing our new color scheme. These banners are hand batiked in Bali. If you would like to purchase one, please send a check for $40.00 to our office, DUPNA, PO Box 6372, Longmont, CO 80501

Please write "logo banner" in the Notes section on your check.

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Samuel Lewis in Pakistan 1961
“When the heart acts, it touches everything in the universe.”

- Murshid SAM
Thank you Murshid SAM for inspiring us to act courageously and generously from the heart and for helping us to embody so joyfully our place in the universe.

The Board and Staff
Dances of Universal Peace North America

In This Issue:

Sing a Song of Glory: Reflections on the legacy of Murshid SAM

Memories of Murshid SAM
Update on SAM's Dargah

A Selection of SAM Dances
Gratitude for Donations
Song of the Month: Kalama
 of the Month: Sunseed

Haiku of the Month
Holiday Card Project Thanks
Newly Certified Dance Leaders

New DUP Logo Banners for sale
Upcoming Dance Camps in our Region

“Although we seem to be in a world of song and dance, we are most concerned with peace on earth.”

Murshid SAM

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Mushid SAM cooking for mureeds
Memories of Murshid SAM

Click here
to see our website resource "Memories of Murshid SAM" featuring a collection of stories, photos, and a great recording of Murshid Wali Ali Meyer, Pir Shabda Kahn, Murshida Taj Inayat and Murshida Fatima Lassar sharing their memories of SAM and the origin of the Dances

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Gratitude for Donations
DUPNA would like to thank the following circles and events for their dana from their events and gatherings to help further the work of DUPNA and outreach of the Dances. May you be blessed in return!

Nelson, British Columbia
Dance circle

Santa Cruz, CA Dance circle

Albany, NY Dance circle and chapter

Asheville, NC Dance circle

Des Moines, IA Dance circle

Eugene, OR Dance circle chapter

Sedona, AZ Dance circle

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Song of the Month:


Perhaps the most widely known of all the SAM dances, the Kalama is frequently used to seal the end of an event.

It is led here by Connie Zareen Delaney at Wilderness Dance Camp.
Sufi Ruhaniat International presents: Murshid SAM in Sunseed Movie

Video of the Month:


A clip of Murshid SAM leading a Dance in this 1973 film

“I believe that we can learn through exaltation, through ecstasy, through joy, and through love.”


Next Teleconference Call:

Parliament of the World's Religions

The Dances of Universal Peace were shared by many people in unity and oneness at the Parliament. Four dance leaders, who assisted and participated in the events there, will be sharing their stories, reflections and inspirations in a telecom scheduled for mid-February. Sky and Shivadam (both from Arizona), Rahmana (Idaho) and Elizabeth (Bainbridge Island) are our presenters. Please watch for an email with date and time. We will also post it on the NA Facebook page.  

Please join us for this time of listening, reflection and discussion. The exact date and time will be forthcoming in an email.

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Haiku of the month

Oh Awakened Heart
Polished One your Love shines through
Igniting All Hearts
   ~*~Jemila Felisko*~


Next Month' s theme is Ruth St. Denis.
Send your haiku to
The Phoenix Dance Circle takes a "selfie" during a break working on the DUPNA holiday cards.
Newly Certified Dance Leaders

We send blessings to the newly certified leaders within our region. We bow in gratitude to their service and devotion, and in joy at their stepping forward to do this work! 

This month we bless...

Jemila Janice Felisko (Daytona Beach, FL)

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Upcoming Events in Our Region

Valentine's/President's Day Retreat
with Amina and Arif Leininger
Feb. 12-15, 2016
Hogansville, GA

Arif Leininger


Dying to Live: Opening to Breath, Light, and the Awakened Heart with Abraham and Halima Sussman
March 11-13, 2016
Durham, NC

Nur Rahmana Julie Purcell


Joyful Journey Dance Retreat
with Bernie Heideman and Sky Majida

March 11-13
Moffat, CO

Sky Majida


Active Hope, Love in Action. For the Healing of Ourselves and Our Planet
March 11-13
Deerfield, MA

Arif Leininger


Retreat with Murshid Wali Ali
March 26-31
Prescott, AZ



Wind Spirit Dance Camp
April 21-24, 2016
Winkelman, AZ



Live at Lava! Spring Camp
April 22-24, 2016
Lava Hot Springs, ID

Connie Zareen


Click Here to view and bookmark a complete listing of events at our One-Time Events calendar at the DUPNA website

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