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SEMA SPACE   ESPACE SEMA
SUFI WHIRLING MEDITATION SESSIONS

Nyata Nyata Dance Studio
4374 St. Laurent, 2nd floor
Montreal QC Canada H2W 1Z5
U P C O M I N G
May 19 2019 2-4pm
June 16 2019 2-4pm
July 14 2019 2-4pm

SUFI WHIRLING MEDITATION SESSIONS
Sema means mystic audition and movement. Join this monthly workshop to practice sufi whirling alongside ancient poetry and music. It is a powerful, challenging and ecstatic meditation based on the teachings of Rumi, the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes and beyond. The future is ancient. The music is live. Come with passion, patience, loose clothing, good socks, a cushion or yoga mat for sitting and a snack to share. Please eat lightly beforehand, this is an active meditation. By donation

Tawhida Tanya Evanson has over 15 years of study under Turkish Rifa'i Marufi Sheikh Sherif Baba Çatalkaya and Canadian sema master/semazenbashi Raqib Brian Burke. She has presented sema publicly in North America, Europe, Turkey, Japan, India and Kazakhstan with the Vancouver Rumi Society, Rumi Canada and music groups Mercan Dede (Turkey) and Niyaz (Iran-US).

Whirling yields benefits on many levels:
  • Access to deep states of meditation
  • Sensitivity to others
  • States of ecstasy
  • Intense workout at advanced levels
  • Stamina
  • Patience
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
Everything in the universe turns - planets around a sun, Earth on its axis, wind in the trees, the protons, electrons and neutrons in our body. The whirling dervish engages in sema (listening, turning) to align with this basic, cosmic movement.

Sema is an active meditation; a prayer during which a dervish's body can open to channel divine invisible energy. "Dervish" literally means "doorway" and is thought to be an entrance from the material world to the spiritual world. In order to open, the dervish attempts to be empty of ego or sense of self. Whirling in place with one symbolic palm extended upward to receive and one extended downward to give, the dervish does not attempt to hold onto energy but to be a vessel for it to pass into the hearts of others. Sema is an open secret - the whirling dervish tries to get out of the way to reveal it but as in any type of meditation, it is a struggle.

The origin of the Turkish Sufi Mevlevi whirling ritual lies with Persian mystic philosopher and poet Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi (1207-1273). It is said that he began whirling out of longing after the disappearance of his beloved teacher Shams.


Mevlana's son founded the Mevlevi Dervish Order in 13th century Anatolia. The Mevlevi's ritualized the practice of whirling, but there is evidence that the practice of whirling has ancient African and animist roots. Sufi whirling meditation is currently practiced in Turkey, Canada, U.S., Italy, Spain, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan. It is considered a universal symbol of peace.

For more information visit mevlana.net



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