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.
Sufi Whirling is not just a dance but a spiritual journey. Because the only way to not get dizzy is to hold our awareness within us. During practice, we learn to align our attention to a centre—a still point within ourselves. This becomes a fulcrum of stillness around which movement happens.
Like the hurricane has an eye that is calm, despite the strong spinning forces all around, in whirling, we learn to access the still point within us, from where movement is generated. As long as the whirler is centred with this stillness, he or she can continue for as long as the music plays.
Through whirling, we find a centre within us that is still and silent. This stillness in the body becomes a bridge to the higher consciousness, realizing that all that is outside and within is the expression of the divine.
The whirling movement outside carries our presence deeper to the very centre of our being, where we can find a moment of rest and stillness—a meeting with the divine.
How to practice Sufi Whirling Meditation
“On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.” – Rumi
Before you start practising Sufi Whirling meditation techniques, you should know that this practice requires you to listen to traditional Sufi music for whirling while you perform. You can find a great collection of Persian and Arabic music online, specifically composed for this particular practice.
Here are the steps to practicing Sufi Whirling as a meditation form and attaining peace and divine bliss:
Step 1: Stand calmly
If you wish to practice this meditation technique, then start by standing still and crossing your arms around your chest to touch your shoulders. Slowly spin around and gently spread your arms. You should be very graceful in your movements. However, before you completely spread your arms, touch your face softly as if you’re receiving a divine caress.
Step 2: Start whirling
When you are practising this dance meditation, you should keep in mind to perform it for around 45 minutes. As you spin around elegantly, make sure to keep your eyes open at all times. While spinning around, try to feel the center of your body, mind and soul in that moment. Now lift your hands up to the shoulder level with your right hand pointed up and left hand pointed down. The right palm should be facing towards the sky while the left palm should face the ground.
Let your body loose and release all tension, physical and mental, while you turn in a counterclockwise manner. Once you have spun slowly for around 15 minutes, you can eventually increase your speed while whirling. As you keep moving faster, ensure your centre remains still, calm and silent. The longer you perform this routine, the more you will feel a stir of energy. Soon everything around you while appear blurry but you will feel more centered and still.
Step 3: Relax
After whirling for 45 minutes, gently lie on the ground and simply relax for the next 15 minutes. Lie flat on your belly to make it touch the ground and establish a connection with the earth immediately. However, if this feels uncomfortable, you can also choose to lie straight on your back. Now close your eyes and feel your body uniting with Mother Earth. Try to remain still and just take in the experience for the next 15 minutes.