Learning the Sama` and Sama` Beginners

[Excerpt from "Mevlâna'dan sonra Mevlevilik" [The Mevlevis After Mevlâna], by the Mevlevi shaykh and scholar, Abdülbaki Gölpinarli (died, 1982), Istanbul, 1963; translated from Turkish into Persian as "Môlaviya ba`d az Môlânâ," by Tawfîq Sobhânî, Irân, 1987. Translated by Ibrahim Gamard from Persian from Sobhânî's Persian translation (2/01)]

Among the Mevlevi's, samâ` is a way of producing love and ecstasy. Every Mevlevi undoubtedly knows how to do the samâ`. Being trained and learning samâ` is called "samâ` introduction." And the Mevlevi who has learned samâ` is called a "samâ`-zan."

In the kitchens of the Mevlevi khânaqâh's, a thick and polished board with a spacious boundary is kept placed, so that a person is able to be comfortable (standing) upon it. In some of the khânaqâh's, this board has been arranged to be on the ground in the kitchen hallway.

In the middle of the board, right in the center of the boundary, there was a raised place so that one was able to enter between the big toe and (the rest of) the foot. And the sides of it had a depressed (slope). A nail would have been pounded right in the middle of this boundary. Someone who was training for samâ` would be barefooted. The big toe and (the area) between the (rest of the) left foot was placed upon the board, in a manner that reached to this cavity (between the toes). The nail was kept fixed perfectly in the middle of the two toes. And the foot went (around it) in a fixed manner so that it did not slip from left to right. For the one who was foot-bound was easily able to whirl. To this cavity and sides a small amount of very fine and soft salt would sprinkled.