Haft Sema (Seven Sema) A Journey Into the Heart
4 day intensive retreat with Farima Berenji in Cumberland B.C.
July 20-23, 2017
*register by May 31st (see details at bottom)
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).
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.
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 including:
1. Ancient Indo-Iranian Sema (Sun/ Mithraism) and Sema of Planets
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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 optional morning healing therapy sessions with Farima and sacred dance workshop with guest teacher Cathy Stoyko:
· Whirling Techniques (Iranian, Turkish, and Central Asian Styles)
· Stone Therapy
· Element Therapy and Breath work
· 7 Makham – 7 Modes Music Therapy
· Meditation and Visualization
* Indian Temple dance worshop with Cathy Stoyko
Nightly activities and healing ceremonies:
· Drum Circles, Zar, Gwati, and Zikr (Sufi Prayer and Indo-Iranian Shamanic Rituals and Medicine Dance)
· Sema Gathering
· Sohbat – Farima’s Sufi talk based on the 7 Pathways of Love.
* Light lunches and healthy snacks
* Guided walking tour of Cumberland
* "Huma, Wings of Light" evening Sacred dance performance
* Nature outings to Cumberland forest, lakes and beaches
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. Farima teaches her own original findings, methods, techniques, and exercises to uncover the connection between the soul and dance movement and what make an ARTIST instead of just a dancer.
She will introduce you to ritual movements celebrating the grace and joy of life and to a society where and when women were honored and people lived in harmony with each other and with nature. She will show you how dance depicts the creation of the Universe through a spinning series of fantastic formations, metamorphoses, and rhythms. Farima will introduce you to ancient and contemporary Persian knowledge in a way that will make you proud to be yourself. Farima's vision is to bring back the light and the power of the divine feminine, the Goddesses and Lionesses, through dance, education, and a sense of wonder and reverence.
Farima infuses spirituality into her dance and teachings to impassion, empower, and inspire her students to deeply understand the meaning of culture and dance, to explore dance as a powerful means of expressing emotion and spiritual healing, and to use dance as a dialogue among cultures. Farima is one of the very few Iranian women who has been granted by the Magi and Gwati Tribes of Iran to perform ancient healing and sacred rituals. Her Shamanic healing therapies are now being in use in hospitals in Iran and US.
Farima is the founder and artistic director of the Simorgh Dance Collective (founded in 2007). She is the first Iranian dance artist to found a worldwide collaborative devoted to preservation, performance, and promotion of ancient, classical, and folkloric dance of Persia and the Silk Road. Farima is the founder of the Lioness project, Poetry in Motion project, and the Awakening project. She has appeared in scholarly documentaries hosted by National Geographic and the U.N., and has been highlighted in various international media Farima is the recipient of the prestigious UN award and has been recognized by Congressman Mike Honda, by the Iranian Women's Rights Committee “30 Voices,” Music and Cultural Organization of Turkey, and is the first Iranian woman to be awarded the National Folk Dance Award. Farima and her Simorgh Dance Collective was the first Persian dance company, directed by an Iranian to perform during a reception for US President Obama.
FMI about Farima Berenji visit~
***Where, When, How to Register***
The retreat will take place at the Abbey Studio in Cumberland B.C. (at ist & Penrith Ave.) with outings into Cumberland Forest, nearby lakes and beaches for evening events and shared food. The Abbey Studio is a beautifuly restored 120 year old former Catholic Church in the heart of the historic Village of Cumberland. The studio is located within walking distance to resturaunts, cafes, parks, Cumberland Forest, Allan Lake, a natural food store and several guest house and B&B accomodation options.
Travellers should plan to arrive Wed. July 19th if possible.
Thursday and Friday July 20/21~
10AM-11AM Morning healing therapy sessions (optional)
11AM-5PM Seven traditions of Sema
*1-3PM Lunch and free time
8-10PM Zikr/prayers and healing ceremonies
Saturday July 22~
10-12AM Sacred dance workshop based on Odissi Indian classical dance tradition with Cathy Stoyko (more details soon)
12-1:30PM Lunch break
1:30 PM-4PM Seven Sema whirling and sacred movement
4-7PM Guided walking tour of Cumberland and free time to explore...
7-9PM 'Huma, Wings of Light' sacred dance performance featuring Farima Berenji and her Comox Valley Simorgh Dance Collective at the United Church in Cumberland (across the street from the studio).
Sunday July 23rd~
10AM-11AM Healing session and music therapy with Farima
11AM-4PM Seven Sema and sacred movement
*1:30-2:30PM Lunch break
5-7PM closing evening Zikr and healing ritual
7-8:30PM Pot luck dinner, Q&A (optional)
*Registration fee for the retreat includes:
All workshops and evening events, Light lunches and healthy snacks, guided walking tour of Cumberland, "Huma, Wings of Light" evening Sacred dance performance and nature outings to Cumberland forest, lakes and beaches.
*Retreat fee $385 CND ($350 for Simorgh Collective members).
A deposit of $150 sent by May 31st, 2017 will secure your registration. Balance to paid upon arrive at the latest.
*Cheque made payable to Cathy Stoyko and posted to Box 1196, Cumberland B.C. V0R 1S0
*Cheque or cash dropped off in person at the Abbey Studio, 1st & Penrith Ave. Cumberland B.C.
*email money transfer
Contact Cathy Stoyko directly for more information and to register with your deposit. I am happy to advise and help with accomodations for visitors.
1 (250) 218-0704
Evening events are open to everyone not just those registered for the retreat on a sliding scale, pay at the door basis $5-$15
Sat. July 22nd 'Huma, Wings of Light' show tickets will be available in advance, more details about that evening event coming soon.