Title of contribution:

Slow Turning’- Introduction To Whirling Dervish Practice

Where & when:


Saturday, 26th May

Project: ‘Slow Turning’- Introduction To Whirling Dervish Practice

This is a slow movement practice. The body is in a held position and the head is positioned in a certain way that ensures the dancer/meditator does not get dizzy or have any motion sickness at all- marvelously. When held well and instructed and in good knowledge, the dancer can get the essence of becoming more still and fully in the body. The mind can not think too much besides being somatically present. Thus a certain depth and stillness can come to the foreground of the experiencer. Even if not fully ‘grasped’, a heightened awareness and radiance is usually felt long after the practice finishes.
Although this is a very subtle form of movement (i.e not extremely fast, not changing) yet it can be very profound. The reason being that it is a very loving position of holding one’s self and staying there and moving repetitively gently and slowly to the practice music.
Many dervishes where I learned including myself had to do this for a while before embarking on the full-on training. It is a very good taster. Besides it being loving and gentle it also strengthens and demands to have a ‘pilar’ around the ‘H/heart’ and that pilar goes through one leg on which the dancer turns. Somatically this evokes and emphasizes a certain dependence and certain aloneness yet with a strong somatic sense of being held in the upper body, as hands remain crossed holding the heart. A heightened sense of where one is in space and in relation to others is needed as the brain and senses remain engaged.

About Laylac Shahed:

Whirling dervish dancer and Integral enthusiast. Ever since I started my course becoming a ‘turner’/samazen I could not help but see the various aspects of the practice with Integral glasses. I discussed those thoughts with Philip Jacobs the lineage holder who turned out to know and value Wilber and the Integral framework. And I had to bring it to anyone curious about its beauty.
I am also body-literate having done many embodiment trainings and also enjoy Indian Temple Dancing on free days.

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