A short course in Whirling Dervish Sema run over three weeks on Sundays at The Shala in Margaret River
The Sufi discipline of whirling is a sacred practice cultivated by renowned eastern philosopher and mystic Rumi. He prized much of his poetic works as being inspired by his whirling dance, using it as a meditative form to find alternative layers of consciousness to meet God.
Join Monty for a three part intensive course and introduction into the world of whirling. The method he teaches focuses less on appearance and more on sanctity of practice. Everyone can participate no matter age or fitness level.
It is not difficult - but it requires intention, the sanctification of a space and permission to participate with an openness and willingness to explore the energy we subsist upon on a daily basis in a different way - teaching the mind to enter a new dimension of oneness.
Week 1 will include - Introductions and intention setting, a question and answer session with basic whirling technique, space sanctification and a free-whirling session at the end with live music by Monty playing traditional instruments to put into practice what we have learned.
Week 2 will include - A Zikr chanting session, exploration of alternative whirling methods with alternative rhythms with a portion of time dedicated to a free-whirling session.
Week 3 will be a rehash on what we have learned to then go on to whirl for a full hour to live traditional music made by Monty in the moment.
Chai will be provided at the end of every session with discussion regarding the practice and the techniques.
The only requirement for this course is a pair of good socks for easy movement on a polished wooden floor. There is no hat, cloak or dress required for practice in this discipline - the focus is on form, sanctity and mindfulness to make whirling accessible for all walks of life and provide anyone with opportunity to experience ecstasy through Sema.
Due to space limitations please book early as places are limited to 12 people.
The course will be run on Sundays from 9.30am to 11am from Sunday the 24th of July to Sunday the 7th of August.
Contact Monty on 0422 563 234 for cash or crypto bookings. We kindly request that you follow these simple guidelines in preparation for practice: https://sematradition.com/participation/rules/
Eating is fine before practice but please eat light in the mornings before each class to ensure mobility of body and of mind.
Monty has traveled the world as a working street musician for over 7 years and in his travels was invited to join a progressive sufi group participating in a 114 day sema of non-stop music and whirling in the discipline of the Mevlevi Order under the direction of the late Rahmi Oruc Guvenc. Monty stayed for three weeks practicing this discipline, sleeping in a tent on the hill and played music in shifts for the whirlers also participating in the whirling.
Within this discipline he discovered something pure - a practice to embody oneness without dogma. The group he practiced with allowed women to practice and to practice without a scarf (this is quite progressive for a Sufi group). A Sema is a process of coming together for spiritual purpose and holding something sacred. The temple where the dancing was held was an octagon with seats around the edges for people to meditate and observe in silence.
There is no clapping to applaud the music - just a single motion - and that motion is the music. The people and the practice are the instrument as much as the musicians are.
Music is the high. Dancing in the whirling fashion - a physical chant. Due to Monty's energetic relationship with music as a street performer - music as spiritual purpose was a natural realisation relating it directly to his life experience.
Monty has since self-taught the Turkish instruments Klasik Kemence and Bendir to create beautiful eastern rhythm balanced and toned improvisations using looping with also guitar and voice to create a captivating live performance mimicking the sounds and tones of Sema.
The purity of the practice with movement and sound is intended to mimic the energy of the spheres liberating dancing into a physical chant - an endless cycle, an eternal waveform, an expression and voice of God (whatever that may be for your journey here).
Further on his travels, while in France Monty also assisted with whirling dervish courses in Paris and near the mountains of Grenoble for renowned teacher and performer Rana Gorgani.
For an accurate description of the purpose and benefit of whirling dervish dance in the spiritual journey of Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prL4-j4HjBY
The original listing for the 114 day Sema Monty attended in 2017 - https://tumata.com/en/event/114-days-sema/
A link to the course website for Rana Gorgani, sufi dance performer and instructor based in Paris, France - https://danse-soufie.com/en/