From November 2-5, Malaysia hosted its very first series of Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) events. Participants were led through a transformative two-evening practice session and a two-day retreat by Arjun Calero, a DUP facilitator. We heard a lot of positive feedback from the participants sharing how they went home with a deep sense of gratitude for being a part of such remarkable journey. The following is a conversation with AnnJil, one of the event organizers:
GENOA: What was the experience of organizing the event?
Collaborating with Winnie has been a truly memorable experience. Her leadership was pivotal in ensuring the success of this event.
While organizing our first retreat, we encountered numerous challenges along the way. These challenges included juggling a full-time job while coordinating the event, conducting extensive venue searches in different states such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, and Pahang, securing enough participants, and financing the expenses in advance, to name just a few.
Our communication, both internally and externally, was excellent. We approached any challenges with patience and empathy, resulting in effective solutions. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Winnie.
GENOA: What was your most memorable moment during the DUP sessions?
During the DUP sessions, the atmosphere was truly captivating. It can be best described as filled with a strong sense of unity and harmony, creating an enchanting experience for all participants involved.
The most memorable moment for me was when the last dance was performed to the beautiful song, “May All Beings.” For the very last time, we gathered in a circle on a floating platform, creating an intimate experience of connection. With hands held and eyes locked, we gracefully moved to the rhythm and melody of the music, embodying the profound essence of the poem. Singing with heartfelt passion, we showered each other with love and peace. Thus, our Sangha was born.
GENOA: What was your biggest takeaway from this event?
The event left a strong impression on me, particularly in terms of its continuation. Last year, Winnie and I were fortunate enough to experience the beauty of DUP. Our hope is to introduce DUP practices to Malaysia as well. Since then, this little seed has been planted in our hearts, and we have nurtured it. Also, we have been well taken care of by our farmers, Arjun and Jessie. With the right conditions, the small seed has evolved into a lovely flower. The flower definitely has the potential to grow into bushes or even a forest when the time comes.
We’d like to congratulate the team in Malaysia: Winnie and AnnJil along with Arjun and Jessie for organizing and holding space for a beautiful and transformative retreat. May this community of peace, unity, and wisdom continue to grow in Malaysia.
AnnJil Chong. Malaysia
Combining the power of words with a deep reverence for nature, AnnJil is an environmental journalist and activist on a mission to raise awareness and inspire positive change. She embarks on a journey exploring the intersection of spirituality and sustainability, igniting a collective awakening for a greener future.