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Contents Page: October, 2010, vol 6 no 3

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Bruce Ross

The Still Center

We were somehow just off to view the Whirling Dervishes in a quest to find some essential center of mystical Islam. Their dance was part of a religious ceremony but the building it was held in was being remodeled. So it was the friendliness of the Istanbul people, the ornate architecture, our host’s cat, the bridge spanning Europe and Asia, an icon on a street drain lid, and the like, including the haunting call to prayer that drew us into that center. I knew the Whirling Dervishes found that still point in their dance symbolized by their tall hat, a representation of their own tombstone. A visit to the imperial mosque built in the sixteenth century by the most important and wealthiest sultan unexpectedly opened up the essence we were looking for.

                                            Suleymaniye
                                            so many headstones topped
                                            by a turban

 

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