This morning started early – with a wonderful interview with a lady who is a direct descendent of Rumi.
Her name is Esin Celebi Bayru, and she’s the 22nd granddaughter of Mevlana (Rumi) – and vice President of the Mevlana Foundation. She is recognised internationally as a key representative of Rumi’s works and teachings.
Here is a link to their website:
Rumi was a 13th century poet and mystic. Sufism is the mystic tradition of Islam – also regarded as the feminine heart of Islam – and Rumi is at the heart of that heart.
His works have permeated contemporary western culture. Rumi’s quotes on love often appear on Facebook for instance. HIs poetry books on love are best sellers. He’s very popular on St. Valentine’s Day!
Here’s a wiki link on Rumi:
Konya, which is where we are now, is his home – and where he’s now entombed. It’s a pilgrimage site for Sufis from around the world.
Here’s a wiki link on Konya:
Whereas some Muslims have taken Islamic teachings to sometimes harsh and violent extremes, the Sufis advocate a philosophy of love, compassion, tenderness, and brotherhood. To that extend the philosophies sit in accord with the Hindu Master Yogananda, (author of Autobiography of a Yogi), and also those of St. Francis of Assisi.
In fact there are many similarities between Rumi and St. Francis.
Our trip in Turkey is being selflessly coordinated by a wonderful young lady named Zeyno, who was introduced to us by Joni Patry, the Vedic Astrologer in Dallas. Zeyno operates a spiritual centre in Istanbul, and on previous occasions has invited Joni to her centre to conduct astrology workshops.
Zeyno is a fascinating lady. Married to a former US diplomat and high level Government advisor, she lived and worked in Washington for many years. She too worked as a high level advisor, and became the go-to person for TV talk shows and the news cycles when they required someone articulate, knowledgeable and intelligent to discuss Islamic extremism.
Zeyno was raised in Turkey and gained a deep knowledge and understanding of Sufi principles, and so she takes a very compassionate and moderate line on Islamic matters.
She and her partner Fatih, who has a wicked sense of humour, have come to Konya with us to coordinate our filming here.
Their centre, in Istanbul, is called the Karmic Healing and Development Centre. I’ll do a separate post on it later, but one of the things they do is they work through your past lives to find an incident or recurring issue that is now impacting detrimentally on your current life. They work to clear that in the previous life so that you become unencumbered in the life you’re leading now.
They work one on one, in person – but they also work with clients via Skype. Here is a link to their website, with contact details. Or if you wish, contact me and I can put you in touch with her – (email@example.com). They also conduct tours to some really cool parts of the world…
Accompanying us on this trip to Konya is a gorgeous young Indian lass, Priyanka, who at the tender age of 26 is an internationally acclaimed jewellery designer who runs a highly successful business with high end buyers all over Europe and the UK.
So Jennifer and I are in good hands!
After arriving in Koyna we first got permission to film, then we went to Rumi’s tomb and did some location surveys for filming tomorrow morning.
For Jennifer, being in such a sacred place was a profound experience –
In the late afternoon we drove out of town to a church that was originally built in 320 AD -one of the earliest known Christian churches.
The surrounding hills are scoured with caves where the Christians hid during a period of intense persecution.
Later I did an interview with a high level Sufi who gave a wonderful Islamic perspective on intuition. It nicely balances the Christian view, and sits alongside the view of Hindus and Buddhists.
Konya is a deeply spiritual place. You can feel it. It’s dry and dusty, and the hills outside of town look like they must have looked more than two thousand years ago. You look at those hills and you’re immediately swept back in time, when the philosophies that many now live by were being hewn.
The film is like a stew – it’s getting tastier as I add more ingredients. The Islamic and Sufi perspectives we’re getting in Turkey are giving the film a complexity that is both fresh, yet wonderfully compatible with views gathered elsewhere.
Tomorrow is a big day – filming starts at 8am back at Rumi’s tomb – and we have a large scale demonstration of Whirling Dervishes tomorrow night.
More on the training and philosophy behind that tomorrow…