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Celebrate Yourself!

Celebrate, sing to yourself,

Celebrate your little steps and your little victories each day,

Even if they are not seen by other people ( and it better be that way),

Because things done in silence are the ones that resonate most grandly over time.

Celebrate , sing to yourself,

I mean your BEING, not your personality, career, business,

It does not refer to your identity, possessions, contacts or passing successes,

Celebrate your Being, what you really are,

And that needs to be watered, loved and nurtured,

Everyday, to move on.

Reconnect to create what you want,

And that connection with your being leads you to merge with an infinite source,

Of abundance, beauty, creativity, compassion, generosity and peace.

Celebrate yourself, sing to yourself,

And keep going.

Lucio Carbelli. South American poet and seeker of truth.

Isn't it what Shams of Tabriz and Rumi did? Isn't the whirling dance a true expression of their beings and Oneness with God. They celebrated their true light, breaking mental boundaries, prejudice or a taboo. According to Shams of Tabriz all idols that stand between the man and God have to be demolished, including fame, wealth, rank and even religion.

The legendary love of Shams of Tabriz and Rumi.

Excerpt from The Forty Rules Of Love by Elif Shafak.

Konya, June 1246

By and large the narrow minded say that dancing is sacrilege. They think God gave us music-not only the music we make with our voices and instruments but the music underlying all forms of life, and the He forbade our listening to it. Don’t they see that all nature is singing? Everything in this universe moves with a rhythm-the pumping of the heart, the flaps of a bird’s wings, the wind on a stormy night, a blacksmith working on iron, or the sounds an unborn baby is surrounded with inside the womb…… Everything partakes, passionately and spontaneously, in one magnificent melody.

The dance of the whirling dervishes is a link in that perpetual chain. Just as a drop of seawater carries within it the entire ocean, our dance both reflects and shrouds the secrets of the cosmos.

The first whirling dervish dance

Hours before the performance, Rumi and I retreated into a quiet room to meditate. The six dervishes who were going to whirl in the evening joined us. Together we performed our ablutions and prayed. Then we donned our costumes. Earlier we had talked a great length about what the proper attire should be and had chosen simple fabric and colours of the earth. The honey coloured hat symbolized the tombstone, the long white skirt the shroud, and the black cloak the grave. Our dance projected how Sufis discard the entire Self, like shedding a piece of old skin.

Before leaving the hall for the stage , Rumi recited a poem:

‘‘The gnostic has escaped from the five senses

And the six directions and makes you aware of what is beyond them.’’

Shams firmly resisted to appear as Sheikh in the first dance, Rumi insisted on him performing that part tonight.

The Hafiz chanted a verse from the Quran; ‘‘There are certainly Signs on earth for people with uncertainty; and in yourselves as well. Do you not see'‘?

Then started the kudum accompanying the piercing sound of Ney and Rubab.

‘‘Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,

how it sings of separation;

Ever since they cut me from the reed bed,

my wail has caused men and women to weep.

Giving himself over to the hands of Allah, the first dervish started to whirl, the hems of his skirts gently swishing with a separate life of their own. We all joined in and whirled until there remained around us nothing buy Oneness. Whatever we received from the skies, we passed onto the earth, from God to people. Each and everyone of us became a link connecting the Lover to the Beloved. When the music ceased. We gently bowed to the essential forces of the universe; fire, wind, earth and water and the fifth element The Void.

And with that I suppose I am nearing the end of my time in Konya.

Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough.

With the initiation of poetry, music and dance, a huge part of Rumi’s transformation is complete. Once a rigid scholar who disliked poetry and a preacher who enjoyed the sound of his own voice as he lectured others, Rumi is now turning a poet himself, becoming the voice of pure emptiness, though he might not have realized this fully yet. As for me, I too, have changed and am changing. I am moving from being into nothingness. From one season to another, one stage to the next, from life to death.

Our friendship was a blessing, a gift from God. We thrived, rejoiced, bloomed and basked in each other’s company, savouring absolute fullness and felicity.

I remembered what Baba Zaman once told me. For the silk to prosper, the silkworm had to die. Sitting there all alone in the whirling hall after everyone had left and the hubbub had died away, I knew that my time with Rumi was coming to an end. Through our companionship Rumi and I had experienced an exceptional beauty and learned what it was like to encounter infinity through two mirrors reflecting each other endlessly. But the old maxim still applies; Where there is love, there is bound to be heartache.

May God bless their souls. Say a prayer for Mevlana Rumi and Shams of Tabriz.

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