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Soul of the Sema

July 13, 2018 - July 15, 2018


From Balkh to Khorasan – Summer Sufi Retreat in Armatlu, Turkey

Metaphysical Movements, Rituals, Whirling and Music of the Mystics

Join world renowned Sufi Dance Master and Dance Scholar Farima Berenji for a three day dance immersive retreat for whirling and Sufi traditions of Ancient Iran, Greater Khorasan (Land of the Rising Sun), Samarkand, and the Indus Valley. We will take on the path of the mystics, a journey of discovery, in space and time, reconnecting with our ancient ancestors. We will sing, dance in prayer, and immerse ourselves in the Soul of the Sema.

Using Farima’s unique teachings, techniques, and research, we will come together into deep meditation and rest in the stillness of our authentic hearts. We will study the sacred rituals, prayers, and whirling of our ancient past and that of our great masters such as Attar, Shams, Rudaki, Khayyám, Khwarazmi, and Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Rumi). We will take the path to ancient Khorasan and explore the wisdom within Sufi legends and learn the seven pathways of love.

Participate in

  • Khorasan Sema
  • Qalandar Sema
  • Sogdian Whirling
  • Baluchi Sema
  • Uygur Sema
  • Vahishta Sema
  • Whirling of the Sun (Ancient Iran) and Poetry in Motion

Your days will also include:

  • Farima’s Hu Meditation and Motion in Silence
  • Farima’s 5 Element Breath Therapy
  • Gawati (Medicine Dance and Zikr) and Turkmen Zikr
  • Erfa (An Ancient Iranic Metaphysical Gathering)
  • Singing, Chanting, Drumming, and Blessing Rituals of Ancient Iran
  • Sohbet (Sufi Talk), Lectures, and Discussion

No dance experience is needed just come with an open heart and willingness to learn, explore, share, and have fun.


Alişler Yurdu (Little Ali Village) is in a small town, about 1 hour drive away from Yalova. The village is famous for its traditional arts, healing energy, and beautiful scenery providing a perfect hideaway for those craving privacy and tranquility. It is an ideal place for dance, creativity, healing, nurturing, and relaxation. The village is also famous for its natural hot spring waters, olives, and sea coast. They say it has the cleanest coast in the Marmara Sea. In the village there are horses, cats, dogs, and other friendly local animals. Everyone is welcome to ride the horses if they wish, or play with animals. The farm applies natural horsemanship principals and has natural ponds filled with natural cold spring water, which can be very refreshing during warm days. Our retreat area has an amazing panoramic sea view and the beach is only a 15 minute walk away!


The retreat center is a shared facility with one room with 3 beds, toilet, and shower, 6 small rooms of 2 beds, and one room for a couple or for those who wish more authenticity. There will also be camping ground available for people who wish to experience more nature. Hotels are also available for those who want private accommodation. Please note that the retreat program will NOT cover your private hotel cost. We can help you find a hotel but you are responsible with making the arrangements and payment yourself. Retreat fees only cover accommodation at the shared retreat center.


The retreat includes 3 healthy meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) including vegan and non-vegan traditional tastes. Snacks, water, coffee, and tea is available throughout the day. Please note that attendees are expected to help with washing their own dishes after each meal. We do not want to waste any plastic or paper in this village. Helping with food preparation would also be greatly appreciated but not expected.


Early bird registration ends June 15, 2018
$350 until June 15, $450 thereafter
Includes $13.35 processing fee.

Payment includes: workshop tuition, meals, accommodation in the retreat center (shared facility), and snacks. Payment does NOT include: airfare, sea transportation to or from the pier station, entry visa, which must be obtained before or at the airport in Turkey, or your private taxi fee. Payment can be made by PayPal, check, or cash (a service charge will be added with PayPal payment).

Due to high demand and limited space in the retreat center, no refund will be provided for any cancellations.

Contact us for more details.

Farima Berenji

Founder and Artistic Director, Worldwide Simorgh Dance Collective, 2007
Founder and Director of Dance of the Soul ® and the Awakening and Warrior and Lioness Project ® (Ancient Iranic Warrior Dances and Rituals, 2013)

Farima Berenji is an award winning Dance Ethnologist and internationally acclaimed dance artist, choreographer, instructor, and Sufi dance master. Recognized and certified as one of the 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. She is a Magi (Iranian Shaman Master) and a Sufi. Read more…


July 13, 2018
July 15, 2018
Event Categories:


Farima Dance


Alişler Yurdu
Armutlu, Turkey + Google Map