The hardest part about writing this is finding the words to explain my profound experience, because the power of this work lies in its ability to bypass the trappings of the intellect and the ego and reach deep into the power and wisdom of the unconscious mind. I felt my consciousness not only expanding but also exploding, and my intuition leading, flowing with the music, and available to me in ways that I can only describe as conscious dreaming.
Dan has a great ability to create a safe and nurturing environment, and he serves as a perceptive and loving guide, mirror and facilitator in this very powerful work.
This workshop took my personal work to the next level. Upon arriving home, I called my friends and told them about this amazing work and that they should do it the very next time it was available.
The mask work was very powerful for me, and the response from those who witnessed my work was wonderful and beautiful.
The trance dancing was both exhausting and invigorating at the same time. So many powerful visions emerged from within me.
Dan's caring and nurturing nature was always at hand, very soothing and sensitive.
The workshop, "Imagination: The Healer Within," proved to be just what I was looking for- a highly effective way to distance myself from the overly rational …and to develop, more fully, the expressiveness inherent in my body-nature. What I found exceeded my expectations marvelously. The workshop encouraged both inward journeying and liberating outward self-expression. This work is a powerful way to dialogue with one's intuitive nature, melding heart, mind and body. The mask work facilitated self-revelation in which I could explore aspects of my nature long starved for attention. I found ritual trance dance to be one of the most pleasurable and powerful journeys of inquiry I have ever experienced. I would jump at the opportunity to participate in this work again, my tail wagging at the thought … especially under the welcoming and masterful guidance of Dan Merchant.
I chose "Imagination: The Healer Within" workshop on a whim. The Outcome was a wonderful, meaningful experience. With great care, Dan provided a sacred space in which he guided us to journey deep within ourselves. Through the ritual trance dance and mask work, I came face to face with parts of myself previously unknown to me. My feelings ranged from the primordial to the ecstatic. From a whim to a gem of a memory.
(Mental Health Worker)
The workshop," Imagination: The Healer Within," was definitely a growth and learning experience for me. I am a fairly cerebral type most of the time, though I do connect with feelings when I am open to them. The ritual trance dance experience took me way out of my head and allowed me to flow and float through many different emotion and feeling trips. Some were very surprising, like becoming a powerful, angry warrior. Others took me to the depths about my sexuality and sexual history, actually resolving some very deep pain. And then I was carried through love and beauty at other times within the dance.
Dan's ability to direct the flow and format was just enough to allow me to let go. He is a careful and talented workshop crafter, and made me feel completely safe to explore my path in depth.
This workshop was excellent. The mask work was particularly joyful for me. Dan is a loving, compassionate teacher.
Imagine seeing in the dark, and visiting a world inside yourself that you never new existed…dancing to exotic rhythms and breathing in a different space…this is what I found in Ritual Trance Dance.
The other magical experience unfolded for me in the Mask Work. Watching those who went before me, I was amazed at the variety of masks – only to discover that they were all the same, each one having been transformed by the person wearing it. Another means to access the world within!
For more information or to make an appointment for one of these services, call (212) 988-5034
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