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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Heavenly Bodies

Mevlevi bannerMevlevi banner

Imagine one evening you've wandered off a side-street and you find yourself at the mystical Galata Tekke or lodge in Istanbul.

You peek through the open doors of this hidden, small religious house to get a closer look inside. Trying to find a space through the motionless heads of the select audience gathered around the octagonal room, to one side of the polished wooden interior you notice a group of mystics chanting rhythmically.

Suddenly you hear the sound of a flute fill the air, and you get goosebumps on your skin.

You're about to witness something amazing.

  1. The Dance: The Sema (Dance of the Heavens)
  2. The Dancers: The Mevlevi (Whirling Dervishes)
  3. The Teacher: Rumi (Origins)
  4. The Followers: The Sufis

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Sources:
Mevlana.net (The only site dedicated to Rumi which is owned by his family. The Çelebi family is one of the oldest families in existence with a history in excess of 800 years.)
The Whirling Dervishes (by Ira Friedlander, MacMillan Publishing Co, Inc., New York; 1975)
The New York Times (Marvine Howe & Fergus M. Bordewich)
Coleman Barks (Renowned translator of Rumi poetry)
The Mevlevi Order (Wikipedia - reference purposes only)

Also see:
Music and Dance Tour to Istanbul (World Voyages)
Turkey Travel Planner (by Tom Brosnahan)
The Association of Galata Mevlevi Temple (A Biography)
Whirling Dervishes: A Search for Spirituality (The Mevlevi Order of America)
Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue (The Whirling Dervishes in the USA, 2005)
Women & Sufism (by Camille Adams Helminski)

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