The sheikh arrives at his post, bows, sits, and kisses the floor. The semazens sit and put on their cloaks. The sheikh recites the Fatiha, the first sura of the Qur'an, then the dervishes kiss the floor and rise. The sheikh then sounds an invocation to Mevlana and Shams-i Tabriz and begins the sound "Hu." [...]
The following is a story told on several occasions in Dede's house when visitors were present and there was much sohbet and discussion about the Way. The first part I recall as being complete [Dede] in itself as a response to some question or comment put by a European guest, and which I translated, and was referred to several times over the years. Part II I recall being told by Dede when there were Turkish dervishes or mixed company visiting, and I several years later retold the story of Part I when we were having a good time; Dede then related the story in Part II
Reprint of a 1976 article. From The Eye of the Heart, the newsletter of The Mevlevi Order and The Threshold Society
It is scientifically recognized that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no being or object which does not revolve, because all beings are comprised of revolving electrons, protons, and neutrons in atoms. Everything revolves, and the human being lives by means of the revolution of these particles, by the revolution of the blood in his body, and by the revolution of the stages of his life, by his coming from the earth and his returning to it.
The practice of whirling may have its origins in the timeless shadows of Central Asian spirituality where shamans used it to induce altered states of consciousness. We know that in the time of Mevlâna it was already an ancient practice in use among Sufis. Shams of Tabriz, beloved friend and initiator of Mevlâna, tells us:
Come, come O Darling, You who are the Soul of the soul of the soul of Sema. Come, O Darling! A swaying cypress, You stroll in the garden of Sema. Come, O Darling! The fountain of the sun is under Your shadow. Thousands of Venuses You possess in the sky of Sema.
Threshold Society is sponsoring a North American tour of Turkish Mevlevi semazens and musicians performing the ancient ritual of sema.