Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Persian Drumming Workshop, coming Sat 28th April 1-3.30pm

I'm delighted finally to be arranging a Persian drumming workshop with Arian Sadr. He's a professional percussionist from Tehran, and he played at one of our Rumi celebrations in Manchester a couple of years ago!

Arian's doing a full 2.5hr workshop in Yesim Patisserie (the Turkish coffee shop on Narborough Road) on Sat 28th April from 1pm-3.30pm. The cost will be £30 per person, and there are 10 places in total.

Arian will be teaching Daf (frame drum) and Tonbak (goblet drum), you can check out his great website:

For people who practice meditation I think it's well worth learning about Persian music and rhythms, they're based on deep listening and receptivity. And for those who love Rumi and Hafez, it links you more deeply into classical Persian culture from which those poets sprang!

Come, come, and lets make it a really good day! Email: for details or booking!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Great Heart Circle, 1st March

This evening we held our Great Heart Circle in Leicester. Eight of us spent a friendly evening of relaxation, discussion, silent meditation and feasting on a wonderful shared meal.

We've now been meeting over two years in Leicester, so we took this evening to return to the essence of the approach we're exploring together, which we inherit from both Japanese Soto Zen and the Turkish Sufi tradition of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. Our approach is to begin from a view that nothing is missing, that at heart "our life is complete", "who we are is perfect", that "God is One"- whatever philosophical wording fits for anyone is fine. We then practice and work through the challenges of our lives with a sense of celebration rather than of lack. Our path can be a joyful one, despite how tough it can get. We read a description of someone's meeting with Suleyman Dede, the late Mevlevi Shaikh of Konya, to illustrate this theme.

We were honoured this evening to have a guest from Turkey, from the Alevi-Bektashi tradition who share the same spirit as the Mevlevi. She spoke to us a little about their practice and about her own patron saint, the mystic poet-singer-rebel Pir Sultan Abdal. We took a line from Pir Sultan Abdal's poetry as our approach to silent meditation this evening - "to Love we shall return".

The next meeting will be the Metta Circle off Narborough Road on the third Thursday of the month, and then the Great Heart Circle on 5th April.