Rumi and the Sufi Path of Love

September 21, 2017
6:00pm Pacific Time
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How does Islam embrace the concept of “love?"

How did Rumi, a 13th century sufi mystic from Central Asia, become the most widely read poet in the United States?

Why did UNESCO declare 2007 as “the year of Rumi?”

RUMI AND THE SUFI PATH OF LOVE takes viewers into the poetry and teachings of the renowned 13th century sufi philosopher and poet Jalaluddin Rumi. Almost 800 years ago, after a legendary meeting with a wandering dervish named Shams of Tabriz, Jalaluddin Rumi had a mystical experience which led him to the realization that all life, all existence and all creation are essentially united through the force of “eshgh” or Divine Love. Out of this realization, Rumi wrote some of the most beautiful and spiritually engaging poetry that has ever been written. To give texture, depth and a deeper understanding to the poetry and the philosophical teachings of Rumi, this GLOBAL SPIRIT program brings together two knowledgeable studio guests from different generations, cultures and linguistic traditions: Sheikh Kabir Helminski, a sheikh of the Mevlevi sufi tradition and Parisa Soultani, the Persian co-producer and host of the multi-lingual Rumi website:

This program presents a number of evocative film segments from Turkey, Afghanistan and the USA, featuring well-known Rumi translators Coleman Barks and Andrew Harvey, Turkish sufi teacher Cemalnur Sargut, Persian Rumi scholar Dr. Elahi Ghomshei, Afghan musician Farida Mahwash, along with compelling footage of the “Sema” ceremony of the whirling dervishes and a “Zikr” ceremony led by Kabir Helminski. The program explores a number of engaging questions, including: What does Rumi’s poetry and message have to say about religious tolerance in today’s world? How to understand Rumi in the original Persian vs. modern, popular translations of Rumi? What happened when Rumi met Shams of Tabriz? What does Rumi bring to the concept of Love that is similar or different than what other great teachers, such as Jesus taught?

Video Descriptions


Rumi and the Sufi Path of Love PBS 2017

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2.09 Sacred Ecology

SACRED ECOLOGY explores the natural world as an access point to the sacred, and poses some urgent philosophical and existential questions, including: How do we see “ourselves” amongst the wider family of earth’s inhabitants? Do our most serious environmental problems perhaps stem from our very concept, or understanding of “self”? Our word “ecology” stems from the Greek “oikos,” or home. Yet, given our human responsibility for the number of animal species that are declining at alarming rates we must ask if our human notions of “ecology” or of “the sacred” are actually blind to nature’s fundamental laws and truths?

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69min 29sec


  • Global Spirit

    Global Spirit is a unique television series that investigates the most urgent philosophical and existential issues of the 21st century, tracing the eternal, yet still evolving human quest for meaning, truth, and wisdom. Global Spirit brings together ancient wisdom traditions with the perspectives of world religions and modern science to help viewers define who we are as human beings and explore how this affects our relationships with our families, our communities, the environment and with the world at large.


  • Kabir Helminski

    Kabir Helminski is a sufi sheikh of the Mevlevi tradition. He leads a sufi community in the USA, is an author, a publisher, a musician and co-founder of the Threshold Society and the Baraka Institute. Recently, Kabir was named by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world.

  • Parisa Soultani

    Parisa Soultani is currently co-producing a documentary film on Jalaluddin Rumi. She is also the host and co-producer of the project, a gathering of Rumi “lovers” — scholars, dervishes, and other sufi teachers and practitioners from around the world. Parisa also hosts live global webcasts that explore the world of Rumi in English, Turkish, Persian and Arabic.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.