A worldwide celebration honoring the poet Rumi will be held at Unity Temple on the Plaza in Kansas City on Friday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. The evening will include poetry and music. Jelaluddin Rumi, the Shakespeare of the Middle Eastern tradition, is one of the best selling poets in America today. Each year in mid-December, people gather worldwide to celebrate his unique passionate, love poems that embrace all aspects of the human condition, from the most mundane aspects of existence to profound states of ecstasy and union with divine source, which Rumi often refers to as the Beloved.
Like his father, Rumi became a preacher and teacher, attracting many, including the members of the royal court. While Rumi was teaching at a religious university in 1244, a unique incident changed his life and opened the door to his ecstatic poetry. A wandering dervish named Shams of Tabriz entered the school. After meeting Shams, Rumi was totally transformed. His son said, “My father was a respected and renowned shaykh, now he has become a poet dancing in the streets.” The meeting between Shams and Rumi set their souls on fire. The two friends spent days and nights conversing about God and the mysteries of life, inebriated by a love few could understand. The intense excitement of these adventures transformed Jelaluddin from the sober scholar that he had been, into an ecstatic being who spontaneously composed love poems to God, resulting in the Mathnawi, a six volume masterpiece containing over 4,000 poems, all composed by Rumi after the age of 54. This great poet is also seen as the founding father of the whirling dervishes, as he spontaneously began whirling in response to his profound ecstatic union with source. This mystical whirling dance is practiced throughout the world, often accompanied by music, particularly at the anniversary of Rumi’s death in mid-December. Join David Basse, Gerald Trimble, Allaudin Ottinger with the Everywhere and Always Ensemble, Belisima A Cappella Girl’s Choir, Mariam Baker, Khabir Kitz, Nuria Stephanie Sabato, and other very special guests celebrating an evening of music, dance, and Rumi’s powerful words. It happens Friday, December 14th, 2012, at 7:30pm in the Fillmore Chapel of Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 West 47th Street, Kansas City, MO 64112. www.shiningheartcommunity.org (816) 333-5663 $10.00 suggested donation

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