Teachings for the Modern World: Ibn 'Arabi & Rumi- A Conference

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A conference and evening concert presented at Columbia University. It will include international scholars, from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, who have devoted their careers to translating and interpreting the works of Muhyiddin Ibn ’Arabi (1165–1240, Murcia, Spain) and Jalaluddin Rumi (1207–1273). Evening performances will include renowned musicians such as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Salman Ahmad, and Sufi poet, Coleman Barks. Participants who attend are from both the U.S. and the international community.

This conference is comprised of teachings that are inclusive and universal with the goal in mind that the better we come to know ourselves, the better we can understand others and the world around us."-Conference Director

A conference and evening concert at Columbia University co-sponsored with the Middle East Institute, the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University and the New York Open Center. The conferece will include international scholars, from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, who have devoted their careers to translating and interpreting the works of Muhyiddin Ibn ’Arabi (1165–1240, Murcia, Spain) and Jalaluddin Rumi (1207–1273). Evening performances will include renowned musicians such as Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Salman Ahmad, and Sufi poet, Coleman Barks. Participants who attend are from both the U.S. and the international community.

This is the second, in a biennial series of conferences on Ibn ’Arabi started in 2009. The 2011 conference taking place on Friday & Saturday, November 4 & 5th, 2011, $175, and will focus on the teachings of both Ibn ’Arabi and Rumi, offering an in-depth view of Middle Eastern philosophy and spiritual thought rarely heard about in the West today.

Ibn ’Arabi and Rumi are the two great pillars of Islamic mysticism, known as Sufism. They appeared in the same century, one from the Muslim West, the other from the East, both bringing a new vision of human potential and realization meant to inspire us and teach us to understand ourselves more deeply and expand our view of the world.

The program will include lectures, workshops, a panel discussion, and poetry readings in the original languages of Arabic and Persian and their English translation. Here are a just a few of the presentations being given: Moses, Ibn ’Arabi, and the Voice of Fire; Ibn ’Arabi: Mysticism, Lyric, and the Persian-Arabic Love Affair; and On the Seriousness of Rigorous Hilarity in the Masnavi: The Sense of Humor in Rumi’s Teachings.    

The evening concert, Celebrating Sufism through Poetry, Music & Dance, will take place on Saturday, November 5, 7:30pm ($28 for the public $18 for conference attendees) This evening one of South Asia's leading musical figures, Salman Ahmad, of the legendary “Sufi rock group,” Junoon, will perform modern qawwali (Sufi devotional singing) ballads of three of South Asia's most influential mystical poets. Aaron Cass, actor/musician will perform a piece dedicated to the works of Ibn ‘Arabi. Then enter the ecstatic world of the great 13th century Persian/Tajik poet and mystic Jalaluddin Rumi, with the poetry and commentary of Coleman Barks, accompanied by Grammy Award-winning cellist, David Darling, and whirling dervish, Sakina.

Organizers:
The New York Open Center (http://www.opencenter.org) is a nonprofit organization of holistic learning and world culture, founded in 1984. It is the largest urban holistic center in the U.S., presenting accomplished speakers such as Karen Armstrong, Thich Nhat Hanh, Cornel West, Julia Cameron and numerous others.

The Muhyiddin Ibn ’Arabi Society (http://www.ibnarabisociety.org) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1977, headquartered in Oxford, England, with an American branch in Berkeley, CA. It is the leading organization promoting the remarkable spiritual legacy and teachings of Ibn ’Arabi.

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Aracely Brown
New York Open Center
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