May 2009

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Cultivating Joyous Gratitude Retreat

October 1-4, 2009

by Corinne Rovetti

Lila and Allaudin

Magic, I was told: Allaudin and Lila work magic together...a must, not to be missed.

These were the teases and taunts I received, coaxing me to travel from Tennessee to Ocala, Florida for a DUP retreat that promised and delivered on every imaginable count!

So off I went, meeting up with Tarana in North Carolina, we set out on an early trip to ensure arrival for opening dance Thursday evening.

Greeted by warm and welcoming faces after driving nearly nine hours, we soon recognized familiar friends from other DUP gatherings...and made many new ones before the weekend ended!

Allaudin and Lila 2010 at Dancing Peacock Paradise

Toward the One ~~~ I flowed right into the opening and invocation; ready, receptive, eager to immerse with others and embody the sweet sacred sounds. Unveiled, I gazed into each dancer's eyes, greeting the beloved in each. Ishq Allah Mahbud Lillah.

The rhythm of Allaudin's doumbec, the chords of Lila's guitar, in tune with the beating and strumming of my heart strings. And to turn...to learn to turn and turn again until we come right back to where we began...in the name of the beloved!

Allaudin on the doumbec

Habiba's gifts. As well, her sharing morning Qi Gong, what a way to greet the day and attune ourselves for morning sessions...and for life!

The full moon lit our paths around the conference center and on my midnight journey through the labyrinth...my gift to self for bringing in a new year, my birthday recognition (highlighted the next day with my request line dance...the lively Ozark Bismillah!!).

What joyous gratitude...received and offered! What greater gift could I bestow upon myself but to dance with those in step and tune with the sacred One.

And how the worlds responded! Emanating from around the moon's fullness, a halo encircled the heavenly skies above the dance hall Saturday eve. A most powerful zikr, we had called in those that came before us, holding the sacred space in which we spun and sang, laughed and cherished, cultivating great joyous gratitude for all beings!!

The Florida Dance family did a beautiful job of organizing and making this retreat happen! With reverence I bow to all of those involved, especially to DiAnahita.

As my new bumper sticker says:
Give Peace a Dance
Did we ever!
Until we meet up again...
Saalam Sholom Om Shanti