Sunday December 17th is the urs (anniversary of the death) of the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi. In honor of Rumi's urs, we’ll be featuring an all-Rumi program. All of the evening's dances will be based on Rumi poems, and between dances, Craig Lozzi (who lives here in Fallbrook) will be reciting Rumi poems. For the occasion, I will offer up a new dance whose text comes from Rumi's poem Grief-Seeds. ("How will you know the difficulty of being human if you're always flying off to blue perfection? Where will you plant your grief-seeds? Workers need ground to scrape and hoe, not the sky of unspecified desire.") I am not attached to the movements f have developed for the dance, so we will have a little participatory workshop to improve them.. To my pleasant surprise, there turn out to be more Rumi dances than we could possibly fit into a single evening. Two of them (from Khabir Kitz and Timothy Dobson) draw on Rumi’s poem "Come, come, whoever you are, our caravan knows no despair." We will dance the version that comes from Timothy and his Colorado circles. Another Coloradan, Grace Marie, has composed a compelling setting of The Time Has Come ("I crash the door and enter the chamber of love"). Lila Flood has shared her haunting dance Be Like Melting Snow. And how could we neglect Susan Sheely's evocative Pieces of Cloud: ”This is how I would die, into the love I have for You, like pieces of cloud dissolving in sunlight"? There were several others to choose from. Carl Karasti (who operates the DancingPeace listserv) has kindly shared his I See Ten Lamps Shining. Anahata Iridah forwarded to me her setting of "Let the beauty you are be what you do." (This poem also contains the lovely line, "There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.") There is also a Rumi Zikr of unknown origin. I have great admiration for all of those who have woven Rumi's words into compelling Dances of Universal Peace. Please join our Encinitas circle next weekend in celebrating the life and works of Rumi (and his stellar translator, Coleman Barks).

Sunday December 17th, 2017 is the urs (anniversary of the death) of the 13th century Sufi poet Rumi. In honor of Rumi's urs, we’ll be featuring an all-Rumi program. All of the evening's dances will be based on Rumi poems, and between dances, Craig Lozzi (who lives here in Fallbrook) will be reciting Rumi poems.

For the occasion, I will offer up a new dance whose text comes from Rumi's poem Grief-Seeds. ("How will you know the difficulty of being human if you're always flying off to blue perfection? Where will you plant your grief-seeds? Workers need ground to scrape and hoe, not the sky of unspecified desire.") I am not attached to the movements f have developed for the dance, so we will have a little participatory workshop to improve them..

To my pleasant surprise, there turn out to be more Rumi dances than we could possibly fit into a single evening. Two of them (from Khabir Kitz and Timothy Dobson) draw on Rumi’s poem "Come, come, whoever you are, our caravan knows no despair." We will dance the version that comes from Timothy and his Colorado circles. Another Coloradan, Grace Marie, has composed a compelling setting of The Time Has Come ("I crash the door and enter the chamber of love"). Lila Flood has shared her haunting dance Be Like Melting Snow. And how could we neglect Susan Sheely's evocative Pieces of Cloud: ”This is how I would die, into the love I have for You, like pieces of cloud dissolving in sunlight"?

There were several others to choose from. Carl Karasti (who operates the DancingPeace listserv) has kindly shared his I See Ten Lamps Shining. Anahata Iridah forwarded to me her setting of "Let the beauty you are be what you do." (This poem also contains the lovely line, "There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.") There is also a Rumi Zikr of unknown origin. I have great admiration for all of those who have woven Rumi's words into compelling Dances of Universal Peace.

Please join our Encinitas circle next weekend in celebrating the life and works of Rumi (and his stellar translator, Coleman Barks).

Entry from December 31, 2017. As the Winter Solstice recedes behind us and the wolf moon looms before us, it is a time to reflect on our accomplishments and lay out our hopes.  During 2017 the San Diego circle resumed monthly meetings and underwent several leadership transitions, from which it has emerged with strength and good spirits.  We express our gratitude to Jamil and Robert for their continued musical support and welcome Marsha, who provides musical accompaniment on both the guitar and the Celtic harp.  Azim also pitches in on the guitar from time to time, as do various guests.  Thank you for providing a foundation for our singing and dancing.

Our departing leaders have found ways to continuing serving and to return.  We are grateful to Louise for her years of service in organizing the San Diego circle, and now that she has turned over leadership of the organizational aspects of the circle, we are blessed to have her continue in her role as a Dance leader.  Last spring, Louise turned the circle's leadership over to Lisa Leela, who turned it over to me (Mansur) when she left to go back to Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley toward summer's end.  But the Santa Cruz area could not hold Leela, and we are fortunate to note her return in time to participate in the year's first circle on Saturday (January 6th, at 7 PM).  We are grateful to the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of San Diego for providing us with a home, and to Azim for blessing the circle from time to time with his zikrs.  We also benefit from the circle members like Julie and Karuna who help to set up the space and provide refreshments month after month.  It truly does take a village, and we are fortunate to have so many active members in ours.

The summer of 2017 saw us participate in an interfaith conference at Balboa Park (see sidebar) by closing out their program with a lively rendition of "Fill Your Cup."  On the order of 100 people joined our community's leaders, musicians, and dancers in this spirited occasion.  In the summer of THIS year, 2018, we will have an opportunity to participate in worldwide events celebrating 50 years of the Dances of Universal Peace.  Please make a note of the date-Sunday, June 24th. Details on when and where we'll celebrate are to follow.

Without YOU we are nothing, so we thank you for your continuing participation in the Dances.  Bring some friends to celebrate the unity and diversity of our spiritual paths.