- Watch clips of this episode at www.GlobalSpirit.tv.
In this episode of Global Spirit, Phil Cousineau focuses our attention on the ecstatic state which has been a part of all religions and wisdom traditions. There seems to be a universal yearning to escape from the fetters of this world into a transcendent realm outside of ourselves. The host explores this phenomenon with Sobonfu Some, author and teacher of African Spirituality, and Andrew Harvey, the prolific author of many books on spirituality and mysticism. He has also a lively and articulate student of the works and teachings of Jelaluddin Rumi. This expertise comes in handy as Global Spirit presents video footage of a Sufi Zikr ceremony in Turkey where the practice of remembrance animates participants into an ecstatic experience of union with God.
Also featured on the program are scenes of traditional and modern day trance rituals which demonstrate the transformation people seek in dance, trance, and spirit possession. We see Orisha priestesses from Nigeria and Brazil, shaman healers from the Kalahari and Korea, and youth at an all-night techno-rave event in an Australian forest. Some and Harvey share their responses to these diverse examples of ecstatic experience.
To Continue This Journey:
- See our profile of Sobunfu Some that includes reviews of her books, quotations from her writings, listings of videos, interviews, and other resources at S&P's Living Spiritual Teachers Project.
- See our profile of Andrew Harvey that includes reviews of his books, quotations from his writings, listings of videos, interviews, and other resources at S&P's Living Spiritual Teachers Project.
- See a video clip of whirling dervishes in which Sheikh Kabir Helminski of the Mevlevi Order (founded by Rumi) explains the meaning of the Sema ceremony
- An ecstatic experience does not always have to happen in a crowd or in a community where dance and movement are in evidence. We can experience a high just be being totally immersed in our activity or surroundings. Think about such a moment in your life: What did you feel and how did it affect you? Letting yourself go or forgetting yourself is part of ecstasy. Come up with a practice that helps you to do that this week.