International Peace Day is a favorite holiday to celebrate at Ethical
Once the fall season took off, we began to prepare for an anticipated guest: our new ethical friend Uliks, the Whirling Dervish of NYC. He had been spotted by our families, spinning and building rock towers near the Hudson. Dad-Gunther made a friendly invitation to him to come and share his Whirling Dervish philosophy and practice with us.
To prepare, we memorized and contemplated a poem by Rumi, the ancient Persian Poet.
"Out beyond the idea of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field, I'll meet you there."
For our group, this "field" has become a metaphor for exploring peace, exploring ethics.
When Uliks the Whirling Dervish of NYC came to visit Ethical, he shared with us his inspirations and methodologies. Rumi is indeed his inspiration, so reciting Rumi was indeed a beautiful welcoming gesture from the children of Ethical. With Uliks, we balanced rocks as he does -- albeit, we balanced rocks from a rock collection in the Ethical closet from long ago when some of you may remember, we created an animation of rocks in a season of "Animating Earth"~ watch it here!~
And with Uliks, we made whirling drawings and we listened to his special music. Finally we let our minds enter the spinning stillness of his practice, as we watched him whirl, skirted in traditional whirling wear. Indeed, he whirled on our very own rooftop playground. Interestingly enough, he said that whirling up high away from the earth was quite difficult. He spins with his palms facing upward and downward, to become the conduit of energies from below and above. He wears a hat shaped like a gravestone in honor of letting go of the ego. He whirls almost every day... but interestingly, he only began whirling after moving to NYC as an adult. His roots are in Albania, and his childhood took place in Milan, Italy. To read more about him, you can link to this article about Uliks Gryka
Thank you Uliks!
Another wonderful guest came into our rooftop experience recently. Mari!
It would be more accurate to say we were her guests, perhaps, since she was working in the rooftop greenhouse while we were up there playing. Sure enough, we have some curious children! And Mari, who is a parent volunteer in the Ethical Culture School, was very generous to us. She showed children some of the interesting plants and tools of her space, and answered many questions. Most intriguing was a special technology she had that looked like a open-mouthed bird sitting on the ground, with its belly full of water. She showed us how a porous clay root releases water from the birds belly into the soil slowly over time.
Thank you Mari!