There is a way between voice and presence where information flows.
In disciplined silence it opens, with wandering talk it closes. Rumi
It was a late Friday night, December 15th 2006, when we reached Konya (Central Turkey) after a long bus drive from Bursa. The air was fresh and thin, the roads empty and silent, the atmosphere mystical. Entering Konya was like stepping into a bubble of eternity. Our intricate thoughts and confusion melted. We crossed a maze of small intertwined streets until the shrine of the great Sufi Master Rumi, also known as the Green Mausoleum. We felt touched with grace and joy, grateful to be there on the week of his anniversary.
Rumi died on December 17th 1273 and every year, dervishes from around the world head to Konya to celebrate the Master’s “wedding day” with God, also called the Sheb Arus (litterally the night of the bride). They come to Konya to bow their heads to the great Master and whirl in grace, humility and determination. This is what whirling dervishes do, they dance.
The Sema is the dance of the whirling dervishes. It means listening and acceptance. I remember the lightness of the whirling dancers; their long white robes floating all around and opening like a flower around their feet as the shroud of their Ego; their long brown hats steadily tucked on their heads symbolizing the tombstone of their Ego. They entered the Sema with a salutation to each other and to the Master, started their turns with their arms crossed on their chests to show their unity with God and slowly moved into a steady whirling trance. Their right hand headed up to the skies to receive God’s grace and the left one to the earth to give back to the world the blessings they had received.
It was a graceful dance filled with powerful symbolism and a deep though light devotion. It was a trance but a grounded one. It was a ritual and a surrender.
How do you whirl in this Life?
There is a path to wisdom for each of us. Whirling may not be yours; it is not mine. But no matter the path we chose, our approach to it matters. I believe humility and strength, devotion and trust as well as patience are key ingredients.
Then comes practice, practice and practice. As well as a touch of poetry.
This week is a powerful week to contemplate on Life, bow to the teacher within us, disarm our inner blocking thougts and nurture a space to let Grace flow within.
In your light I learn how to love
In your beauty how to make poems.
You dance within my chest where no one sees you,
But sometimes I do and that sight becomes this art. Rûmi