Friday, April 20, 2012

Sufi Turning

The following excerpt and poems were read at the Community Memorial Service for Rahima on April 1, 2012. The Sufi Turning followed the recitation of the Prayer for the Dead and Blessing Prayer.
"Introduction: The Mevlevi Turn originated with Rumi and is a practise of both surrender with great centered discipline. Rumi arrived at a place where ego dissolves and a resonance with the universal soul comes in. When the gravitational pull gets even stronger the two become one—a turning that is molecular and galactic and a spiritual remembering of the Presence at the center of the universe. Turning is an image of how the dervish becomes an empty place where human and Divine can meet."
The photograph was taken by me when Rahima and I traveled to the Quaker meeting house in Putney, VT last December to attend a sema, in observance of the anniversary of the death of Rumi, the Sufi mystic (d. December 17, 1273). Rupa, the person in the foreground of the picture, was the dancer at Rahima's memorial service.

You have said what you are.
I am what I am.
I have no name for what circles so perfectly.

Walk to the well.
Turn as the earth and the moon turn,
Circling what they love.
Whatever circles comes
From the center.

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

Source: The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks, 1995

What is dancing to you?

1 comment:

  1. This entry prompted a friend to share a poem by Wendell Berry...

    Circles of Our Lives

    Within the circles of our lives
    we dance the circles of the years,
    the circles of the seasons
    within the circles of the years,
    the cycles of the moon
    within the circles of the seasons,
    the circles of our reasons
    within the cycles of the moon.

    Again, again we come and go,
    changed, changing. Hands
    join, unjoin in love and fear,
    grief and joy. The circles turn,
    each giving into each, into all.

    Only music keeps us here,
    each by all the others held.
    In the hold of hands and eyes
    we turn in pairs, that joining
    joining each to all again.

    And then we turn aside, alone,
    out of the sunlight gone

    into the darker circles of return.

    -Wendell Berry