Most of the times, we human beings find ourselves dealing with the ups and downs of our lives. We may like it or not, but the complexities of life are bringing such situations all the time. We get pulled into whirlpools and lose our centring. And if we are not deeply rooted in our being or our soul when such situations happen, it is very certain that we will go mad.
What then is the way to get out of the whirlpools? The way is inward — to find the centre of our being within us.
Mevlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi gave a wonderful method of meditation for such a centering to happen. It is a Sufi whirling meditation — learning the art of whirling consciously and settling into consciousness. He himself experimented and found himself — in the centre of his being.
Osho tells us that, “Sufi whirling is one of the most ancient techniques, one of the most forceful. It is so deep that even a single experience can make you totally different. Whirl with open eyes, just like small children go on twirling, as if your inner being has become a centre and your whole body has become a wheel, moving, a potter’s wheel, moving. You are in the centre, but the whole body is moving.”
This meditation technique is done in three stages —
First Stage: 45 minutes — Whirling. Keep your eyes open and feel the centre point of your body. Lift your arms to shoulder height, with the right hand palm up and the left-hand low, palm down. Start turning around at one point — at your own axis. Let your body be soft. Start slowly and after 15 minutes gradually go faster and faster. You become a whirlpool of energy — the periphery a storm of movement but the witness at the centre silent and still. Gradually your eyes de-focus and the surroundings will become a whirl. As you move faster, you become more still inside.
Second Stage: 15 minutes. Let your body fall to the ground. Roll onto your stomach immediately so that your navel is in contact with the earth. Feel your body blending into the earth. Keep your eyes closed and remain passive and silent.
Third Stage: Celebration. Gradually, get up and join the celebration dance if you feel or sit still if you want.
Osho gives the example of children doing this naturally in their childhood. He says: “When a small child goes on whirling he loses the sense of being a body, he starts hovering above his body, he can see his own body turning — and that is the miracle of the method. But we are stopped by our parents very early.”
Mevlana Rumi himself became enlightened by 36 hours of continuous whirling; day in, day out he went on and on. He was riding on a cloud, he could not stop till he fell down. But when he opened his eyes and got up he was a totally new man, the old was gone.
Swami Chaitanya Keerti, editor of Osho World, is the author of Mindfulness:
The Master Key