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The Dances


Our Beginnings

Bequests Documents

Grants & Programs



Current News

UNDER CONSTRUCTION (Aren't we all?!)

See more below, and on other pages.





Our Beginnings

Oneness Project (OP) emerged as a creative force and resource for the Dances of Universal Peace from this growing worldwide family who have found depth in community and transformative spirituality through the Dances of Universal Peace. OP began in 1991 as an informal network of dancers organizing Dances of Universal Peace events and assisting new Dance circles in the western United States. As interest and inspiration grew, OP began to present regional DUP Camps and Retreats. OP Founder, Narayan Eric Waldman, established the first week-long Wilderness Dance Camp in 1993 at
Mimanagish, and following Wilderness Camps were organized with the assistance of Nuria Ginger Lee and Darvesha MacDonald. OP also began semi-annual retreats first at locations just outside Bozeman, Montana, then in the small resort town of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho that attracted up to 110 dancers on the first weekend in December and Easter weekend. For more information about Oneness Project's events today, see Events above.

Oneness Project became a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation in 1996 with the original purpose being to establish a retreat center for the Dances somewhere in the western U.S. In 1996 a Board Of Directors was formed to guide the development of Oneness and steward its resources. A land search committee explored a variety of possible retreat center properties throughout the west. Meanwhile, during the mid and late 1990's through the generosity of numerous donors, Oneness Project began accumulating cash reserves toward the  purchase of land. Investors in Dancing $ LLC, an investment partnership created by Narayan Eric Waldman, each year donate a portion of their investment earnings to Oneness Project.

By 2000, numerous attempts to locate suitable land for a retreat center had not born fruit. In a planning retreat, the Oneness trustees began exploring other ways to support the Dances. Oneness Project's sights went higher and deeper and led to the creation of new programs.





Oneness Project Spreads Its Wings
Between 2000 and 2009 Oneness Project awarded nearly $1 million in grants and donations to further the work of the Dances of Universal Peace around the world. (See details above in Grant and Tithe History.) Our Project Grants program provided funds for projects which furthered our goals to continue, deepen and spread the Dances worldwide. Our Dance Leader Training (DLT) program offered grants to qualified individuals to support tuition, travel and lodging to attend trainings in Dance leadership. In addition, Oneness tithed 10% of its annual endowment revenues to support the emerging Dance network through grants to PeaceWorks International Network for the Dances of Universal Peace, the Sufi Ruhaniat International, and related organizations. This support amounted to over $100,000 since 2000.

Oneness offered support to smaller DUP projects through MicroGrantsDance Libraries with donations of a library of Dance Instruction Booklets to new Dance communities, and the Braveheart Fund to support people with medical disabilities and their caregivers to participate in the Dances.

Oneness also records and produces compact disks of Dances of Universal Peace music recorded live at OP retreats. You can view these CDs for sale at Music above.

Oneness Project increasingly became a partner with the International Network for the Dances of Universal Peace and and the Mentor Teachers Guild Guidance Council by providing funds and leadership to explore ways to integrate the work of the various formal bodies which support the Dances.


Narayan with Tom in New Zeeland

Braveheart Grants

Oneness Project established the Braveheart Scholarship Fund in memory of Tom Boyington, a devoted peace dancer who participated widely in Oneness Project camps and activities in the 1990’s. The fund has now expanded to honor other dancers that have passed on.

The Fund’s mission is to offer grant money as heart gifts to persons with medical disabilities, to their caregivers and to the recently bereaved to attend Dances of Universal Peace events. Grant awards are based on the need of the applicant, the applicant’s depth of association with the Dances of Universal Peace, and the likelihood of the project to fulfill the purpose of the Braveheart Fund. We will have Braveheart funds available again in the future.





We occasionally receive inquiries about how to leave a bequest to Oneness Project. It's easy, if you include the proper language in your will, to ensure that your estate will become part of our endowment to support the Dances of Universal Peace. For more information, click here.





The Dances of Universal Peace

Murshid Samuel Lewis Leading Dances in Central Park, 1970, Photographer unknownThe Dances of Universal Peace could be called "spiritual practice in motion." These group Dances, simple and profound, are set to sacred texts and mantras of the world’s spiritual traditions. A Dance leader teaches participants a song and movements, often with live guitar and drum accompaniment. Movements are inspired from the sacred texts and embody the essence of the spiritual message and our relationship to Life. Soon the circle is singing and moving together, deepening into the sacred phrase with each repetition. For many, the Dances become a joyous way to share heartfelt connection with others. Deepening in the sacred phrase and the flow of the movements, dancers often experience an essential unity and encounter with Life that is difficult to describe in words. In this atmosphere of openness, acceptance and trust the Dances can become a doorway to discover our true home in Wholeness and the eternal present.

The Dances of Universal Peace are the crowning life achievement of Sufi visionary, mystic and teacher Samuel L. Lewis. "Murshid Sam" a disciple of the great Indian Sufi teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan, was also a recognized Zen roshi and a student of Jewish and Christian mysticism. In the San Francisco Bay area at the height of the Haight-Ashbury era, Murshid Sam became the spiritual mentor of many young people. Continued