By Banafsheh Sayyad, who will be presenting Dance of Oneness: Dance Your Passion at Hollyhock on Sept 23-28, 2016
Photos by Mehri Sahihi
Many of us are terrified of embodiment. We can’t face our broken hearts, the chaos in our minds or the pain in our bodies. We yearn instead for transcendental bliss. Every chance we get, we go off into the beautiful light instead of choosing to face the continually unnerving yet miraculous experience of living that light in our bodies. In this way we continue to separate the realm of the soul from the body.
As far back as I remember, I had two great passions—one for the Divine and one for dance. My whole life has been a search in how to bring these two into direct sacred marriage. The road to this marriage has been long, fierce and difficult yet very rewarding – a road in which I immersed myself in different styles of dance and mystical teachings in my search for this unity of soul and body, spirit and matter, through which I have come to create the style that I perform and teach today, called Dance of Oneness.
Continue reading Alchemy of the Dance
“She writes about the three Abrahamic religions as a woman in love, not as a tenure-hungry prof.”
Maybe if Starr (Dark Night of the Soul) were less of a storyteller, her style would be less invitational, but she writes about the three Abrahamic religions as a woman in love, not as a tenure-hungry prof. The result, bearing the brilliance of her surname, plaits a strong braid from the essences of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: God is love. Starr’s inter-spiritual quest (a birthright, she asserts) follows the same formula in each chapter, covering topics such as suffering, silence, and the feminine.
Each begins with quotations from the three religions’ holy books and seekers; then come scenarios that define the theme in a warm second-person voice; for example, in the chapter “Welcoming the Stranger,” Starr, who teaches world religions, describes doors you open–or do not. After knowledgeable and humbling descriptions, she lays out the religions’ teachings and profiles practitioners, for example, Christianity’s Dorothy Day, Judaism’s Baal Shem Tov, and the Sufi ecstatic Rabia Al-Adawiyya. In the non-fluffy afterword, Starr nudges travelers on the three paths to follow her sure-footed approach.
Full interview with Mirabai Starr regarding her new book, “God of Love.” Shot and produced at the UNM-Taos CLD.
Join Mirabai Starr for Contemplative Interspirituality June 20-25, 2014 at Hollyhock on Cortes Island.