The Dances of Universal Peace - since the late 1960s and now in as many as 50 countries around the globe (and 200 regular circles in North America alone) - is multi-faith prayer in motion. And, most importantly, it is about awakening awareness of the presence of peace in our own hearts, as we know that "peace begins at home."
For many, it constitutes a spiritual practice that cleans the rust from the heart, revealing Peace as the nature of who and what we really are.
Singing and dancing in the cause of Peace allows us to take some action - not simply to listen to speeches or even to raise our own voices - but to embody our intention by moving - and by moving together in unity, in a circle, as a group.
This surely magnifies the power of our intentions for Peace.
The Dances of Universal Peace promote cross-cultural understanding by exploring mantras, divine names and movements from the world's great wisdom traditions. We know that tension between cultures and religious views can be eased when we touch into the spirit of these traditions and find the commonalities they share.
And at the deepest level, with the aid of sincere repetition of "tried and true" prayers and sacred phrases, we can uncover the Peace that is the essential nature of our own being, and so we come to understand that we share that same Peace with all beings.
May all beings be well, may all beings be happy! Peace, peace, peace.
[~ Excerpts from a talk given at a 2013 World Day of Peace march.]