When you come to Turkey you’re in for a cultural treat ! Islam, Mohammad, Allah and lots of beautiful mosques are the Spiritual order of the day here, together with a strong flavour of Rumi thrown in. with Julia Smith
Moderate Turkey – Here it is a moderate state in terms of adopting the Islamic way – in Istanbul the majority of people are dressed western style; and they love dressing well. The women are very stylish – the leather goods are gorgeous and so soft !
Headscarves – The headscarf is quite common, and full burkahs are not that common. It is the same in many of the regional areas, but more conservative.Rumi’s presence is also everywhere. In the Grand Bazaar the cafe there was dedicated to Rumi, with these old paintings still up on the wall.
Rumi’s Whirling Dervishes and Sufism
I’ve been really excited to learn more about Rumi, Sufi’s and the Whirling Dervishes since I knew I was coming to Turkey – twirling around for an hour or so seems a strange way to connect with Spirit and Spirituality.
Four times I have been able to have a live connection with the Whirling Dervishes, giving me the opportunity to explore what they are about, what Rumi was about, looking for just how did he transform himself, and how does Whirling connect you to our Creator when it looks like it would make you sick (if not crazy!) with all that spinning ! And as it turns out they really helped me during my last Earth process at the Oracle of Apollo, Didyma.
For me What Happened with the Whirling Dervishes really impacts What Happens at the Oracle of Apollo in Didyma, showing you can never assume where guidance, assistance and support may come from. Being open and in non-judgement really helps alot.
Sufism was birthed by Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, the famous mystic and Poet, who lived during the 1200’s, living predominantly in Anatolia, Southern Turkey, though born in Afganistan. A respected teacher, Rumi was transformed through his meeting and long association with his friend Shems, where a tremendous spiritual awakening happened for Rumi – through unbroken eye gazing, connects you directly with your soul, which inspired his poetry.
There’s a lot of easy to read information about the Sufi tradition of Whirling at: http://www.whirlingdervishes.org/whirlingdervishes.htm, but essentially the Whirling is an act of honouring our Creator, raising your energy’s vibration speed through opening your heart fully to receive the Divine Creator energy and channelling this energy through to the Earth and those living on it. The energy is transferred through their hands – the raised hand receiving it, the energy passes through their heart and whole body, giving an inspirational and uplifting experience to the Whirler, and the energy passing out to the Earth via the downward facing lowered hand. Whirling Dervish ceremonies are offered in only three cities in Turkey – Istanbul, Cappadocia and Konya (where Rumi lived).
I was at a dinner including Whirling Dervishes – they are just as a feature of interest – a few here and there Whirling every now and then. I love they were lit up in violet light – a unconscious act of putting a spotlight of a high vibration speed colour !
However, here there was not much education or connection offered in who they are or what they are about.
It’s just a token, a visual taste, reminding me that Rumi is this country’s most recently living spiritual role model, inviting me to look into what his life experience was, how he made the dramatic spiritual connection and realisations he did.
I had a deeper experience (again in Istanbul) – in a round room in an ancient building which was a great setting for the ceremony. This is interesting as I am with people from the Conference who are not consciously connected to these types of events and had no understanding that it was a spiritual experience but rather thought it was a performance. The whole ceremony creates a trance-like atmosphere, and everything in it has a spiritual significance. The music is quite hypnotic and similar to kirtan chanting music. Each instrument is selected because of a particular meaning as it the timing of when it is played and the solo singing is like a chanting conversation with Spirit. I noticed the lady from the Conference I sat next to was fixated by the Whirling, going into a deep meditation and trance. At the end said that she had this really deep experience she couldn’t explain! Yeah, that’s why people go to chanting and these type of events ! For those that are ready to receive the energy in their own way, they can have a unique and thought provoking experience.
Sarahan, in Cappadocia, is an amazing place to see Sufi’s. This ancient building 15 minutes out of Cappadocia town, the perfect setting for a Ceremony !
The Light here was beautiful, bathing the building in this violet late afternoon sun colour rays. A number of my photos had that brilliant white either along the edge or along the bottom of my photos which is interesting.
Empowerment of Turkish Women – The Turkish women are looking to empower themselves. Our guide is a lovely girl and very ambitious !
She was explaining she finds the Turkish men not progressive enough and still too possessive of women and that women now want independent lives, living their dream.
Here it all was so synchronistic !
This time there was a Master Sufi, dressed in the Master’s black robe, who oversees the others and gives them instruction.
There are actually four levels of Sufi’s – white (learner), green, red, and black for the Master Sufi. Usually you see white Whirler’s. I find the kirtan chanting style music takes me into a semi trance and when they start Whirling your eyes are drawn into it and the energy in the room takes me inward and I become incredibly sleepy and almost hallucinatory.
I felt so grateful as our guide arranged for us to meet one on one with the Master Sufi and have a one on one chat with him! His whole aura, his demeanour is so gentle, so loving, so welcoming, it is such an honour to spend time with him.
This is sooo good I decide, yep, I’m coming back for more! knowing this is the last chance to come to these ceremonies as I’m leaving Whirling Dervish town – so I booked to come again the next night.
The next night the Master was at the ceremony again, and the Whirling creates such a tangible movement in the energy that it is such a unique moment. At the end I was amazed as the Master Sufi approached our guide and said he wanted to chat again – it was pretty amazing! the Sufi said no-one had every come two nights in a row !
These are some of the questions asked and his responses, which I’ve condensed both times into one for easier reading:
Q. Can anyone become a Sufi?
A. There is no discrimination – anyone from any culture, religion, nationality can join.
Q. What are the requirements to join the Whirling Dervishes?
There are three significant requirements which you must do with all your heart:
I have to say I agreed with all of these !!
Q. What do you experience while you are Whirling?
A. The Master Sufi then started rapidly talking Turkish to our guide, so he didn’t quite directly answer this question, but rather explained how they Whirl:
They go into a deep meditation trance when Whirling, and do the Whirling as a group with their eyes shut (a talent as you mustn’t bump into each other!). Then they slowly raise their hands with one palm facing up and the other facing down. They fully open their hearts to be completely filled with Love for Allah/God and then ask for His energy to enter their face up palm and they offer themselves to allow that energy to freely flow through their body (they are then a conduit of energy) and it flows out the downward facing palm to be shared with all the physical world we are in. This allows the more powerful etheric Divine God-force energy to transfer from that high speed vibrational level plane to our slower speed vibrational level here on the physical plane and we can experience/remember what that higher energy fells like while on the Earth plane.
I have been contemplating what happens energy wise when they do the Whirling Dervish spinning. Knowing that ‘when two or more gather in my name’, that energy is powerfully magnified so if they are bringing through a very high speed vibrational energy then they, as a group of about six or seven, would be creating a space of significantly compounded high energy; and because they are spinning this could be creating a powerful vortex of energy flowing in. If anyone has any thoughts on this I would love to read your comment (you can ‘leave a reply’ below).
Q. What do you feel as an outcome from doing the Whirling?
A. I feel so completely uplifted and filled with Joy and love for Allah, my heart is like it is bursting. This love is spilling everywhere. It brings me much peace, joy and love, and I can live every day in calm and tranquillity.
He then said ‘I now will give you one word to meditate on ‘Allah Allah’ bringing his hand as a fist down from high straight to his heart calling in that higher energy that brilliant white light; one word to breathe into your Heart ‘Allah Allah’ bringing his hand to his heart; one word that will bring you joy ‘Allah Allah’ again bringini his hand from high to his heart; say it so it completely fills your heart ‘Allah Allah’ again hand to heart; and see what it does.’
I did do this a couple of times, and it did feel make an impact, but after a few days I stopped as Allah and Islam haven’t been my way of connecting with our Creator; however, my partner did and he found it to be quite amazing and transformational.
So that is the story of the Rumi Sufi Whirling Dervishes !! You will need to read my next piece about my visit to the Oracle of Apollo Temple in Didyma (near Didum city) to find out how all this came into my process there !
Date: April 2014
© Copyright 2014 Julia Smith