3 days sema in the UK
August 15 - August 18£150
In the trajectory of having smaller seams all over the world, we will host a three day/three night sema in the UK. The first event of its type in the United Kingdom. Participants are welcome from within the UK and anywhere in the world. Musicians of sacred music traditions and those who would like to whirl are especially encouraged to join.
The event will be at Little Walstead Farm in the West Sussex countryside of England. A converted barn will hold the sema. There will be a field kitchen and plenty of space for camping. Nearby there are many miles of walking trails, a river and a town with local supermarkets and amenities.
For those who wish to stay in a bed and breakfast there are several nearby. You may speak to Hannah for details of bed and breakfast accommodations. email@example.com
The event begins at sunset on the 15th and ends at sunset on the 18th. Those wishing to help set up may arrive the 14th and those who will stay to clean up may depart on the 19th.
The nearest airport is London Gatwick. From Gatwick you may take a 20 minute train ride to Haywards Heath Station, which is 2 miles from Walstead Farm. There is a taxi rank outside the station and the address to give the taxi driver is Little Walstead Farm, East Mascalls Lane, Lindfield. *If you fly into London Heathrow you will need to take the National Express Bus service from Heathrow to Gatwick, and from there the train to Haywards Heath.*
We are really looking forward to this first ever sema in the UK and sincerely extend the warmest invitation to all who would like to join.
Fee £150 for the full event / £60 for a single day which includes one night stay
The ticket price covers the expense of the sema, including the arrangement of the space, facilities, camping space and shared meals. Meals will be served three times a day and are cooked by those attending the sema.
What is whirling?
Whirling is one of many Sufi practices for self development and to spiritually mature. When we whirl we turn round the axis of our heart. There is no specific way that you must whirl, rather you may do what comes naturally. Different Sufi orders have specific methods of whirling, and those who know these methods are welcome to join us and to share in the sema with their unique embodiments. All are welcome to discover whirling for themselves however, as it is the natural rhythm and design of nature, the cosmos and our own selves.
Other Sufi practices may be encountered at the sema as well. These include dhikr or wazifa, which is the chanting of the names of God. Some may pray. At times sacred texts and poetry may be read. And of course music will be going throughout the time.
Why do we do it?
The first three day and three night sema was held under the direction of Dr. Rhami Oruc Guvenc and the music group Tumata in Turkey. It is based on the story of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi who whirled for forty days and nights continuously on his own. Rather than a single person attempting to repeat this feat, we as a collective may together embody the sema for the three days and the three nights.
During the time each heart will open in its own pace, each one will see what is in the deepest chambers of the heart, and we as a community will witness each other in quiet respect and love. It is a time for growth, for surrender, to develop trust, to encounter the ecstatic dimensions of Sufism.
Do you have to be religious to join?
No. All are welcome as long as you respect the guidelines of the sema. This is an inclusive space where the religion is that of Love, universal Love as it flows through the sema, our hearts and our community.
Is it ok to bring children?
Children are welcome as long as they are looked after by their parents or guardians. Many children enjoy the sema space as it is a safe, open place where they are free to observe, help out, play and join in as and when they feel to.
What is the accommodation?
It is camping accommodation. There are compost toilets on site and taps for water. There are not many showers so you will want to bring towels and toiletries to wash up as you would at a festival. In many ways this is a festival, but not one of consumption, it is one of shared presence and Love.