The Sema Ceremony (Whirling Dervish)

I have pulled out some excerpts from Sema: Human Being in the Universal Movement (Text by Dr. Celaleddin Celebi, illustrations by Ingrid Schaar) which will help to explain the Sema Ceremony of whirling. At the end it explains briefly how to twirl like a dervish and tap into the energy of nature, please read the full article with an in depth explanation here.

Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Jalaluddin-i Rumi (1207- 1273) as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture.

The fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object, no being which does not revolve and the shared similarity among beings is the revolution of the electrons, protons and neutrons in the atoms, which constitute the structure of each of them. As a consequence of this similarity, everything revolves and man carries on his live, his very existence by means of the revolution in the atoms, structural stones of his body, by the revolution of his blood, by his coming from the earth and return to it, by his revolving with earth itself.

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The Basics of Spirituality

One should not pass over these things, simply saying they are food. They are in reality a complete civilization. –Abdulhak Sinasi, Camlicadaki Enistemiz (1944)

I really like the philosophy and spirituality of the Mevlevi (a Sufi brotherhood which originated in the Seljuq period, under Mevlana Jalaluddin-i Rumi) because the kitchen is central to their philosophy and daily life. Their rituals value the importance of taking time to cook, something we are missing in the modern age. Many of our ancestral rituals, whatever culture we come from, focused around food and cooking. The alchemical mystery of fire, water, air and earth coming together to create something new that nourishes and pleasures our bodies and senses has inspired mystics and poets, around the world, for thousands of years. Food is an aspect of spirituality that we all easily resonate with.

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Movement – Tai Chi, Walking, Dance, Yoga…

Any kind of movement will help to detox your tissues, especially if you work up a sweat! The breathing and moving help get your lymphatic fluid and circulation flowing.

I have always loved walking just to get somewhere, or see a city, as well as a therapeutic method of letting events work themselves through. It is one of the easiest and most affordable things to do if you need to get things moving again.

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