In-person Book Reading
6/3 ~ Falmouth Public Library
June 3rd at 3pm
Falmouth Public Library
300 Main Street, Falmouth, Ma 02540
~ Free ~
Dunya will read from her beautiful new guidebook Sojourn the Inner Heaven: Movement Meditations for Awakening. Dunya will also guide guests through a delicious little taste of easy movement meditation.
Sojourn the Inner Heaven
Part instruction, part contemplation, part practice companion, Dunya Dianne McPherson has written a beautiful new guidebook Sojourn the Inner Heaven: Movement Meditations for Awakening. In it Dunya invites us into a rich, beneficial world of meditation and movement and helps us embrace our body as an intimate, safe home and a realm of wonderment. The Dancemeditations, which readers will find deceptively simple, become potent allies that unwind the tensions and treacheries we all carry in our flesh, and offer a way of moving to wake inside our being.
Please join us for a reading and participatory Slow Movement Meditation by the author on June 3rd at 3pm at the Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street
Falmouth, Ma 02540.
- Patience as the field of wonderment.
- Discovering the love of one’s body.
- A poetic reverie of taking one long, full, delicious breath.
- A participatory Slow Movement Meditation focusing on ones hands.
Listen and enjoy readings that offer a way of moving to wake inside our being.
Dance is a wind blowing through the cells, a river carving the body into curves and cadence. We swim unaware in an ocean of space until one day, dancing, we wake up drenched.
From There to Here
Dunya’s intense passion for dance took her away from the small seaside New England town of Woods Hole in which she grew up—her father was scientist emeritus at WHOI. She received her early dance training with Falmouth dance legend Klara Koenig, and moved to New York City in 1972 to attend the Juilliard School in the heart of the city’s vibrant, edgy art scene. After graduation, she became a critically acclaimed dancer and choreographer. The New York Times described her as “…a vibrant performer…an unusual and talented choreographer…original…setting a standard of excellence.” The Village Voice said, “…killer creative choreographer…,” and Dance Magazine, “…pure, solid dancing…evoking something essential.” The National Endowment for the Arts named her a Choreography Fellow, and she received numerous grants and commissions while holding academic positions at Barnard, Swarthmore, Hunter, Oberlin, and Princeton.
A decade later healing from a serious injury, she turned away from her time as a dance educator with a successful performing career and retreated to a monastic mountaintop community directed by a charismatic Iraqi Sufi Master where she trained in movement meditation and Whirling. This two decades-long journey opened a mysterious, beautiful inner world, and an understanding of dance as moving prayer. Her path became Dancemeditation.
“Rather than working out, we work in.”
A Dancemeditation Class with Dunya
Somatics expert, Jae Greunke, described her experience of a Dancemeditation class with Dunya for NYSpirit Magazine.
We begin the class nearly reclining, timing our inhalations and exhalations to the quiet, rhythmic music. We follow Dunya’s lead, repeating a sequence of gentle stretches that alters and deepens bit by bit. My body begins to lengthen, awaken, and relax. Dunya hardly speaks, and the atmosphere in the classroom becomes thick with the attention we pay to our languorous movements.
Dunya’s guided warm-up transitions comfortably into an individual one with the instruction to close our eyes and move any way we like. I continue the luxurious stretching on the floor, following my impulses as I become fascinated in the differences between my right and left sides.
I sneak a peek at the rest of the room and see that, truly, everyone has found a unique way of dancing. Some have risen to their feet. Many play with their natural posture and gestures I recognize from before the class began. Looking at them, I want nothing other than to go back to what is as uniquely mine as their movements are theirs. So I close my eyes again…
I feel myself move more delicately than I am wont, with all the qualities of a string of pearls: light, luminous, rounded, and refined. Eventually I wear myself out and settle against a wall to watch the other students. Curiously, their movements seem to shed my gaze as a tent sheds water. Though they’re bared for me to see by the way they move, the significance of those movements is theirs alone, and I can’t divine it.
At last Dunya invites us all to rest on our back for a final long repose. The music plays softly in the background, and the memory of my dancing plays through my body just below the level of my conscious mind.
In demand as a Master Meditation Teacher, Dunya presented Dancemeditation workshops at major healing arts centers, including Kripalu as well as universities and institutes across the US. Teaching abroad brought her to Central and South America, and Europe.
Writing the Body
Needing better communication with students and readers, Dunya explored writing from the perspective of the body at Leslie University from which she received a Masters in Writing. Her first book, Skin of Glass: Finding Spirit in the Flesh, relates her journey from performative dance to dance as spiritual path. Readers admire the memoir for its poetic, embodied language.
Her new volume, Sojourn the Inner Heaven offers simple, lucid instruction to bring Dancemeditation home. Written with common sense and a grounded warmth, McPherson’s accessible tone keeps novices and seasoned practitioners company.
Recently, she enjoys teaching extensively on global online forums. Working online allows Dunya to reside in her beloved Woods Hole where she delights in ocean swimming year round.
Praise for Sojourn the Inner Heaven
“What a wonderful book! Poetic, personal, tender, imaginative, insightful, and mindful. It describes a process, explores it, and then, masterfully, explains how it can be accessed.”
—Elisa de la Roche, Ph.D., actor, writer, artist, educator
“Dunya’s poetic descriptions, effortless practices, and generous invitations expand the definition of meditation, serving to free the mind of doing so that one’s breathing, moving body awakens in the great mystery of being alive.…Read, breathe, sense, feel, dance, attend, rest…guidance from a true master, one who reveres in every cell of her body the precious dance of all living beings.”
—Mary Abrams, MA, RSME, Founder of Moving Body Resources (NYC) & International Teacher