Haft Sema~Journey To The Heart with Farima Berenji

Join Farima Berenji for a journey deep into the heart through sacred circles and sufi whirling practices based on the sacred number 7 in Iranian mystical traditions and Sema rituals, Zikr (sufi prayers), and Shamanic healing, music, and sohbet (Sufi spiritual talk). The retreat and training will be focused on Farima’s intensive breath work technique, Farima’s unique whirling technique and styles based on the 7 Pathways of Love.

photo by Varol Ozkaner

The number seven has been a sacred and symbolic expression among the ancient Persian mystic culture. For Indo-Iranians, Mesopotamians, and Zoroastrians, the number 7 means “Seven Creations” or “Yazatas.” For that reason, it is believed that a mystical seeker must manifest the 7 Creation of Life to be one with the Divine. These sacred movements and healing rituals later became the traditions of Iranian Sufi path in Greater Khorasan (Land of the Iranian Mystics) and are the origins of Sacred Dance and Sema (Sufi Whirling) movements.

The retreat and workshop will focus on 7 Styles of Sema:
1. Ancient Indo-Iranian Sema (Sun/ Mithraism) and Sema of Planets
2. Khorasan and Uyghur Sema
3. 7 Sacred Birds Sema
4. Sacred Flower and Sacred Geometry Sema
5. Whirling in Silence and Whirling with Poetry
6. 4 Element Sema
7. Turkish (Mevlavi) and Baktashi Sema
*If time, Farima will also teach her new research 7 Senses Sema, whirling based on the 7 Senses.

The retreat/festival will also include Farima’s healing therapy sessions; Whirling Techniques (Iranian, Turkish, and Central Asian Styles), stone therapy, element therapy and breath work, 7 Makham (7 modes music therapy), meditation and visualization. Nightly activities and healing ceremonies include; drum circles, Zar, Gwati, and Zikr (Sufi Prayer and Indo-Iranian Shamanic Rituals and Medicine Dance), Sema Gatherings and Sohbat (Farima’s Sufi talk based on the 7 Pathways of Love).

About Farima~
Farima Berenji is an award winning Dance Ethnologist and internationally acclaimed dance artist, choreographer, instructor, and an archaeologist specializing in ancient, sacred, classical, and folkloric dances of Persia, Ionia, and the Silk Road. Recognized as one of a few world scholarly experts of ancient and mystical Iranian dance ethnology by UNESCO, she travels worldwide to record, research, lecture, perform, educate, and to inspire dynamic creativity and rejuvenation through dance and movement.
As a Magi (Iranian Shaman), Sufi and Semazen (from St. Fatemeh Bloodline), Farima is an exceptionally inspiring instructor strongly connected to spirituality and healing. She seeks to lead people to the historic beauty and richness of Persia and the Silk Road culture and to aid them find inner bliss through dance, music, and spirituality. FMI about Farima Berenji and the upcoming retreat in Cumberland visit http://farimadance.com/event/haft-sema-retreat/

The retreat will take place at the Abbey Studio in Cumberland B.C. (2687 Penrith Ave. entrance on 1st Street) with outings into Cumberland Forest, nearby lakes and beaches for rituals and shared food. The studio is located within walking distance to cafes, parks, Cumberland Forest, Allan Lake, a natural food store and several guest house and B&B options. Contact Cathy Stoyko if you require help making travel arrangements and/or finding accommodations. Retreat fee is $385, deposit of $150 will secure your registration. Balance to paid upon arrive. Contact Cathy Stoyko to register and for more information and details. cdstoyko@uniserve.com