Did you ever spin around when you were a kid? Haven’t we all? Back when we were full of innocence and joy, we would just spin around for no reason and feel a tranquil bliss which we long for now. Spinning or whirling is a basic and natural body movement and Sufi Whirling is one of the most unique meditation techniques.
“Dance until you shatter yourself.” – Rumi
Sufi Whirling is a form of dance meditation where we move our body to spin with our arms stretched out and our mind is still and centered. When we used to spontaneously spin around as children, we were actually practicing Sufi Whirling meditation. It centered our mind and soul while our body moved like a spinning wheel. However, as we grew up, we lost our innocence, joy and spontaneity which refrained us from experience the peaceful bliss that came from such spinning. Sufi Whirling allows us to experience that same feeling of being still and centered and heal the inner child.
What is Sufi Whirling?
“Sufi whirling is one of the most ancient techniques, one of the most forceful. It is so deep that even a single experience can make you totally different. Whirl with open eyes, just like small children go on twirling, as if your inner being has become a center and your whole body has become a wheel, moving, a potter’s wheel, moving. You are in the center, but the whole body is moving.” – Osho
Sufi whirling is a type of dance worship practiced in Sufism, an Islamic mystic tradition which is focused on seeking the divine within ourselves. This ancient Sufi practice, is one of the most effective meditation techniques. This powerful & active meditation form focuses on whirling, experiencing and witnessing.
As your entire body starts moving, your centre becomes increasingly still and calm. This kind of meditation requires you to spin your body with outstretched arms, one arm pointed upwards while the other is pointed to the ground, while keeping your mind and soul centred.
When practicing this dance meditation, imagine your body like a cyclone and your mind as the eye of the storm. Regardless of how powerful or chaotic the storm is, the eye of the storm always remains still amidst all the chaos.
Sufi whirling is an ancient practice that can be traced back to the 12th-13th century and was widely practiced by the disciples of mystic and Muslim poet Jalal ad-din Rumi. Sufis who practice this dance meditation technique are known as whirling dervishes. They wear long, skirt-like white clothes while performing the whirling which enhances the motion visually. As you spin with your hands stretched out, you raise your right hand in a way that your palm faces the sky to receive blessings from the Universe and your left hand is pointed downwards with your palm facing the ground to communicate the universe’s messages with the earth. It transforms your consciousness into a meditative state.
As it is one of the best meditation techniques, Sufi whirling can be very intense and profound. You can have a life-changing experience even by practicing it just once. The technique is a combination of trance, meditation, prayer and dance which liberates and connects your mind and body, heals your heart chakra, improves breathing and allows you to express your inner self.
What Sufi Whirling symbolizes
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” – Rumi
We are destined to spin to experience harmony and oneness with the universe as the earth is destined to spin around the sun. Like the celestial bodies whirl in space, Sufi whirling is performed from the side of your heart, that is your left side. The traditional long white attire that the dervishes wear while whirling represents purity while the length helps you to move gracefully and naturally, increasing the momentum. It is believed that during the elegant dance meditation performance, you become a conduit and receive divine blessings.
Spinning meditatively generates invisible, transparent and pure energy and the endless waves created by the movement of the skirt help your aura engulf your body like the earth is enveloped by the warm rays of the sun. The faster you spin, the quicker your personal identity and ego are abandoned and you accomplish spiritual perfection.