Dancing with the Future

By Anahata Iradah

Our work in Brazil began in 1999. We received many invitations to share the Dances of Universal Peace and Tara.

In Bahia we encountered an amazing international community called Terra Mirim, under the directorship of a Brasilian shaman by the name of Alba Maria. Set in a poor rural area outside of Salvador, they opened a free school called the Ecological School and offered classes in African dance, Capoeira and music. The community’s caring for the poor people around them won their hearts and their trust.

The five students with their teacher Rhavina (in Green)

One of my students, Rhavina Schertenleib, introduced the Dances of Universal Peace to the teenagers. Five of the young people stepped forward and requested to be trained as leaders. This was quite extraordinary given the poverty anddeprivation that these young people were born into. Rhavina asked if Prema and I would go to Terra Mirim to assist her in this mission. This began a journey that has been unforgettable. Early in her training, Eliandra Moreno dos Santos, 18 years old, said “The Dances of Universal Peace help me and the world. Doing them here in my community is going to help us with the violence. I believe that these dances bring peace.”

Since the beginning of this work, seven years ago, we hoped that the Dances would be used as a tool for peace making and reconciliation and to help break the cycles of violence and drug abuse. It has proven to be true. From the start I was captivated by the teenagers sincere motivation and optimism. My faith in humanity increased as I got to know these young people more closely. They are moving very well through their training and their communities are dancing with them. They are dancing for peace. They are dancing for equality. They are dancing to increase dignity and to dissolve despair. They are meditating to increase their stamina so that the long road ahead will be supported by inner fortitude.

Camila, Eliandra, Silvia and Ana Paula are leading seven different Dances of Universal Peace meetings each month, and their outreach goes into the heart of their own communities. When I met them last they presented me with a neatly drawn up schedule of their events, showing me the various places they would be and when. They have been given some wonderful opportunities and in their gratitude they try to share what they learn with many others. Fundação Terra Mirim (the community they are connected to) is leading the ecological movement in their area of Bahia and so these young people are activists for the earth, teaching in the Ecological School and integrating spirit and nature.

Camila, Eliandra, Silvia and Ana Paula have two more years of training in the Dances of Universal Peace before they complete their five year course of study and are certified. Each year we need to raise the money to cover their training expenses. Please make a tax deductible donation through Tara Dhatu to help with this project. You may sponsor any individual or make a general donation.

ashé ashé

After year two of our annual seven day training Camila Angela Santana dos Santos wrote a report about her experiences.

RELATÓRIO DE VIVÊNCIAS SÃO PAULO

Camila-Terra Mirim
Salvador mqio 2009 – após Retiro DUP 2009

Camila

Dança, essa é a minha verdadeira identificação. Sábado, 23/05/09, participei pela segunda vez de um retiro, um treinamento de Danças da Paz Universal em São Paulo. Círculos que trilham por todas as tradições do mundo, buscando cultivar a Paz.

This is my true identification. On may 23rd of 2009, Saturday, I participated for the second time in a retreat of Dances of Universal Peace training in São Paulo. Circles that go through all the world traditions cultivating peace.

Diferente do encontro anterior, esse mexeu muito comigo, tinha um base dos meus propósitos de vida e consegui enxergá-los melhor, coisas se esclareceram na minha mente, resultados para algumas de minhas perguntas iam surgindo sem esforço, sentia um alívio no coração e uma voz mim dizendo para ter calma, para relaxar e priorizar cada momento ali vivido.

Different from the last training this one touched me a lot, it had a base about my life purposes and I was able to see them better, things clarified in my mind, answers to some questions came without effort, I felt relieved in my heart and a voice saying to be calm, to relax and valorize each moment I was living there.

Era a Paz, sei que era a Paz, mais uma vez entrando no meu coração, obedeci a certa voz relaxei, aproveitei cada minuto, cada oportunidade, cada fala, cada movimento foi realmente um encontro inesquecível, diferente, transparente e acolhedor.

It was peace I am sure, once more entering my heart, and I followed the voice and relaxed, enjoyed every moment, every opportunity, every speech, every movement. It was really an unforgettable gathering, different, transparent and friendly.

Estava precisando desse encontro, de ver pessoas novas, de mim encontrar comigo mesma e lembrar que a paz existe, só devemos cultivá-la dentro de nós, é esse o nosso propósito é essa a intenção do retiro e é essa a minha intenção como jovem, que venho crescendo a cada dia e aprendendo com a vida que muitas vezes parece ser um pouco ingrata conosco, sabemos também que ás vezes fazemos parte desta ingratidão, mas não queremos compreender e se dispor a lutar por uma vida melhor, a dançar o ritmo que a vida toca, a enxergar as coisas como elas podem ser, e não apenas como elas são.

I was needing this meeting, to see new people, to meet myself and to remember that peace exist. We just need to cultivate it inside of us and this is the purpose of this retreat. It is also my intention as a young being, that has been growing, learning every day with life that many times seems to be lacking in gratitude. We know that some times we are part of this lack of gratitude. but many times we do not want to be open to understand this and to do something for a better life, to dance the rhythm that life plays, to see things as they can be and not just as they are.

Contudo isso mim sinto acordada para vida, vivo melhor comigo mesmo e faço algumas pessoas feliz com a  minha transformação. Descobrir que posso acomodar a Paz em mim sem deixar de ser eu mesma, percebo que é muito melhor andar em Paz, compreender e ser compreendida pelas pessoas ter responsabilidade e inteligência do que cultivar intrigas e mágoas no coração, viver solitária e sem reconhecer a si próprio, essa era eu.

With all this I feel awake to life, I live better with myself and I am able to make some people happy with my transformation. I realized that I can accommodate peace inside me without not being who I am. I realized that it is much better to walk in peace, to understand and be understood by the others and to have responsibility and intelligence than cultivate intrigue and harm in my heart, than to live alone and without knowing myself. This WAS me.

Tem algo que falo com toda minha certeza e toda minha força é que, para aquele mundo eu não volto mais, tive certeza absoluta desta frase após participar do treinamento, foi tudo muito emocionante, tudo muito verdadeiro eu ainda sinto toda aquela energia na minha pele, nos meus olhos, na minha fala, foi realmente um encontro marcante, lembro- me dos sorrisos, dos olhares das pessoas felizes por verem jovens cultivando a Paz e a espiritualidade sem escolhas ou rejeições de tradições.

There is something that I can say for sure and with strength that is “to that world I do not return”, I am sure of this affirmative after participating in the training, everything was so moving, so true that I still feel all that energy on my skin, in my eyes, in my speech, it was really a remarkable meeting. I remember the smiles, people gazes happy to see young people cultivating peace and spirituality without choosing or rejecting any tradition.

Agradeço todos os dias pelo meu despertar, peço pela transformação de outras crianças e jovens que são o futuro do nosso país, do nosso mundo, quero contribuir para o fortalecimento do movimento de Paz e despertar dos jovens de minha comunidade, beber cada vez mais desta água que mim faz tão bem, que quanto mais bebo, mais quero beber.

I am grateful every day for my awakening, I ask for transformation of other children and young people that are the future of our country, our world. I want to contribute to strengthen the peace movement and the awakening of the young people in my community, drink more and more of “this water” that does so good to me, the more I drink the more I want to.

Essas são as palavras de um jovem que pensava em trilhar um caminho pensando ser o certo, iludida pelas coisas erradas da vida, achando que estava sempre certa. Que sabia e podia fazer tudo, mas no meio do caminho achou pessoas que lhe deram a mão e lhe convidaram para caminhar juntas e no momento como esse você têm que ser ágil e  esperta para decidir se quer ou não caminhar com a tal  pessoa, você tem o livre arbítrio, fique mim perguntando porque seguirei essa pessoa? Acabei mim dando uma chance mesmo sem saber o que ia acontecer dali pra frente, agarrei a oportunidade que mim surgia no momento, foi o melhor dia da minha vida e jamais irei esquecer.

These are the words of a young woman that thought about going through a path she thought was the right one, deluded by the wrong things of life, believing that she was always correct. This young woman also knew that she could do everything, but, in the middle of the way she found people that held her hand and invited her to walk together and in a moment like this you need to be fast and smart to decide if you want to go or not with this person. You have free will. I asked myself: why should I follow this person? And I ended up giving a chance to myself without knowing what could happen from that moment, I just got that opportunity that was presented to me and it was the best day of my life and I will never forget it.

Hoje, num lugar chamado Fundação Terra Mirim junto às pessoas que mim deram a mão vivo aprendendo a cada dia e tentando mostrar a outros jovens que existem caminhos melhores de serem trilhados, fico grata pela força de todas essas pessoas e finalmente posso dizer obrigado a mim mesmo por ter escolhido esse caminho, dizer que amo a mim mesma, que amo o que faço, dizer que amo a vida.

Today, in a place called Terra Mirim Foundation, together with these people that offered me their hand, I live every day and I try to show to other young people that I meet that there are better paths to follow. I am grateful for the strength of all these people and finally I can say thank to myself for having chosen this path, to be able to say that I love myself, I love what I do and I love life.