Mevlana Jalal Ad-Din Rumi
Everything in the universe turns - planets around a sun, Earth on its axis, wind in the trees, the protons, electrons and neutrons in our body. The Whirling Dervish performs the Sema (listening, turning) to align with this basic, cosmic movement.

Sema is an active meditation, a prayer during which a dervish’s body can open to channel divine invisible energy. "Dervish" literally means "doorway" and is thought to be an entrance from the material world to the spiritual world. In order to open, the dervish attempts to be empty of ego or sense of self. Whirling in place with one symbolic palm extended upward to receive and one extended downward to give, the dervish does not attempt to hold onto energy but to be a vessel for it to pass into the hearts of others. Sema is an open secret - the Whirling Dervish tries to get out of the way to reveal it but as in any type of meditation, it is a struggle.

The origin of the Turkish Sufi Mevlevi whirling ritual, lies with the Persian mystic philosopher and poet Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273). It is said that he began whirling out of ecstacy after his beloved and teacher Shams disappeared.

Mevlana's son founded the
Mevlevi Dervish Order in 13th century Anatolia. The Mevlevi's ritualized the practice of whirling, but there is strong evidence that the practice of whirling has even more ancient African roots still alive today. Whirling meditation is currently practiced in Turkey, Canada, U.S., Italy, Spain, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and is considered a universal symbol of peace.

Each December, a Rumi festival takes place in the city of Konya, Turkey to celebrate Sheb-i-Arus (Mevlana's "Wedding Night"). It is a rejoicing of Mevlana's passing to spirit and union with the divine. During the festival, there are presentations of Sema and zikr (Sufi rituals of rememberance) are practiced throughout the town. For more information visit mevlana.net

If you are interested in learning to turn and live in the Montreal area, join us for Sema Space | Espace Sema

Whirling yields benefits on many levels
-Access to deep states of meditation
-Sensitivity to others
-States of ecstacy
-Intense workout at advanced levels

 Mother Tongue Media