Tribute to Rumi: An Evening of Sufi Whirling & Meditation

Tribute to Rumi: An Evening of Sufi Whirling & Meditation

Thursday April 19, 2012, 7:30pm

Saint Thomas More Center, 268 Park Street, New Haven

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The evening will feature a performance of the 'Whirling' meditation by Sh. Bapak Waleed, in honor of the mystical poet Rumi, who lived 800 years ago in Central Asia, in pursuit of universal connections, peace and love. The program will include poetry readings, a video presentation, and a selection of spiritual, meditative songs and chants accompanied by traditional music of Central Asia.

All are welcome. Refreshments will be served after the event.

Contact for more information or to RSVP.

Cosponsors: Institute of Sacred Music, Office for Diversity & Equal Opportunity, MSA

The dance of the Whirling Dervishes is performed in tribute to honor Rumi, founder of the Mevlevis based in Konya, Turkey. Dervishes perform their movements with small, controlled movements of hands, head and arms as they whirl. They are often accompanied by the haunting sound of the ney (reed pipe), drums and chanting.

Dervish means doorway, thought to be an entrance from this material world to the spiritual. For the dervish, spiritual energy enters into the upward extended right palm and passes through the body and leaves the lower, turned-down left palm to then enter into the Earth. The dervish does not retain the power nor is he to direct it; the secret lies in allowing continuous flow of energy and movement.

From the fourteenth to the twentieth century, the Whirling Dervishes played a vital role in Ottoman high culture. While their impact on classical poetry, calligraphy and the visual arts was profound, perhaps their greatest achievement was in the area of music. In his poetry, Rumi emphasized that music uplifts our spirit to realms above, and we hear the tunes of the Gates of Paradise. The meeting places of the dervishes, consequently, became academies of art, music and dance.

Our guest Sh. Bapak Waleed has been a seeker on the path for decades. His journeys have taken him to far corners of the world, including Korea, Japan, South Africa, Central & South America, Canada, the United States, 'The Islands of Fire' of Southeast Asia, and throughout Europe from Spain and England to Germany and Turkey, especially Konya, where he studied and learned the turning of the Whirling Dervishes.

A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning.