Sufi Mysticism and the Dervish Dance:
The Sema Ritual as an Archetypical Journey to One’s Self

Week 3B  August 6th–11th 2018
Seminar with Fatimabi Monika Grieger

“Do you know what whirling is? It is the opening of the eyes of the heart and seeing the holy lights.”

Mewlana Jelaludin Rumi

The ritual of Sema archetypically expresses our spiritual journey. It leads through the stations of gratitude, falling in love, burning in love (Fana fi Allah), to being in God (Baqa fi Allah), serving in the world. Like the retreat process taught by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, it elevates us to the highest heights, then returns us to Earth, where we pass on everything we have gained and let it flow through us.

The Sema Ritual of the whirling dervishes begins with listening. The name Semagoes back to Al Sami: the one who hears everything; and so our search begins with listening to the music of our soul, turning inwards. Our spiritual journey begins in motionless stillness and continues into inner and outer movement. We listen to the yearning of our heart and follow it with devotion.

“It is not our will that leads to awakening but devotion.”

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

In the morning, following the steps of the Sema Ritual, we will go through the retreat process. We share deep meditation, silence, invocations of the beautiful names of God (wazaif), songs, mystical relaxation. We will also involve the body in meditation and experience the different positions of the whirling dance; experience them as mudras and let us lead them into other sacred movements. We will tune ourselves like an instrument and create our body of light, our sacred temple.

In the afternoon we will learn the technique of whirling and whirl together for longer periods. In addition, we will share songs, recitations, invocations of the Sufis and tune into the Zikr– the memory of our sacred origin.

We will also have the opportunity to turn on Mehmet and Ali Ungan’s music.

Because whirling requires a lot of space, there will be  a limited  number of participants for this seminar.

Fatimabi Monika Grieger

Fatimabi Monika Griegeris the leader and founder of the Sufi Centre Omega, based on the Inayati Sufi tradition. She is Murshida (teacher) in the Inayati Sufi tradition and Semazen (spinning dervish) in the Mewlewi tradition. She combines the experience and knowledge of these two Sufi paths in a unique way.

The path she teaches is rooted in tradition and open to the future. It leads to a feminine spirituality that involves the body, heart and soul and deeply affirms life. Joy, happiness, ecstasy, as well as silence, devotion, contemplation and the highest meditation, belong to this path of spiritual freedom. She has guided people on their spiritual paths for over 30 years.

Fatimabi combines meditation with movement and singing. This includes the whirling dance of the dervishes, which she has been teaching for many years in different places. /