Monday, October 29, 2007
A few years ago, New Age author Andrew Harvey visited the tomb of the 13th-century mystical poet and Sufi teacher Jalaluddin Rumi, in Konya, Turkey.
Though he’s a devout and deeply serious disciple of Rumi’s philosophies, Harvey became giddy as he stood before the tomb and read aloud some of the master’s verses on love and death.
“From the tomb was coming such an overwhelming power, a lava-like flow of almost intolerable, tender passion, that it was impossible not to laugh,” recalls Harvey. “To even imagine that Rumi was dead, when he’s the most living being imaginable, is an illusion.”
That view explains the earthly and rather ambitious title “Rumi Embodied” for a symposium at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Massachusetts—part of the worldwide celebration of Rumi’s 800th birthday in 1207.
The program will feature an impressive lineup of speakers, headlined by Harvey, author Caroline Myss (Anatomy of the Spirit), and Rumi translator Coleman Barks.
Besides inspirational talks, there will be sessions on ecstatic poetry and music, and even a lesson in Sufi whirling. Such a mix is only fitting, since Rumi was more than a poet.
Says Harvey, “he combined the intellect of a Plato, the vision and passion and soul-force of a Christ or Buddha, and the extravagant literary gifts of a Shakespeare.”