Whirling Dervishes

Whirling Dervishes

.

Whirling your way to perfection, sounds too good to be true.  But for the Mevlevi Order of Sufism, it is at the core of their belief system.  I was skeptical about this form of spinning to reach an enlightened state until I witnessed it myself.  I was mesmerized by the whirling dervishes performing the sema (worship ceremony) in Istanbul.  As the white skirts twirled in front of me I felt a sense of peace, maybe there is something to this spinning thing.

This beautiful, customary dance is performed by followers of the Mevlevi Order, which was founded by Rumi, the 13th century poet. The Sema, or worship ceremony, is the means through which dervishes (also called semazens) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. This is sought through abandoning one’s nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning in repetitive circles.  This is seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the universe orbiting the sun.  Below is a photo explanation of the ceremony along with descriptions by a practicing Sufi:

In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen’s camel’s hair hat (sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt represents the ego’s shroud. By removing his black cloak, he is spiritually reborn to the truth.

At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God’s unity.

While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God’s beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth.

The semazen conveys God’s spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love.

The magic of the Sema ceremony is in the deliberate movements of the dervishes and the captivating twirling.  It’s hard not to get caught up in the incredible tradition and the peace that the entire ceremony brings.  A true meditation in movement and a powerful tradition with love at the center, it’s hard not to believe in losing yourself by whirling.

WHEN YOU GO:

Buy your tickets in advance as they do sell out.  We saw the whirling dervishes at the
Galata Mevlevihanes off of Istikal Caddessi in Istanbul (see map)

Bring a camera. You can take pictures throughout the Sema, but they do not allow tripods from our experience.

Rumi says, “All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , ,

2 Trackback(s)

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
WHERE WE'VE BEEN

PHOTO GALLERIES

Tel AvivFlorianopolisFitz Roy-El ChalténMilford TrackAyutthayaMumbaiLake TiticacaAmritsarAtacama

IMPORTANT THINGS WE USE…

ADS SUPPORTING OUR TRIP

Close

START LIVING YOUR IF!

Get traveling today with lessons from our travels to 50+ countries on all 7 continents. Bump along in buses, hike the hills, and swim the seas with us to discover the world's best destinations.

Like LivingIF to start living your IF today!


Press ¨Esc¨ key to close this window.