A secret turning in us makes the universe turn. Head unaware of feet, and feet head. Neither cares. They keep turning. ~Rumi
In the West, we view the dancing of whirling dervishes as an entertaining performance. In the East, it is a sacred and spiritual ritual of Sufism. By spinning seamlessly for many minutes, the dervish achieves divine knowledge and love through a personal relationship with God. After the ritual we did not clap, but instead sat in reverence for the blissful energy that was created.
My time in Istanbul was culturally enriching, to say the least. Throughout the day the towering minarets would ring the call to prayer—a mystical echo you could hear for miles. My curiosity led me to the grand bazaar, where I wove in and out of shops tasting unique spices and teas. The Hagia Sophia revealed her strength, and Blue Mosque offered her beauty. Later in the evening I went to a Turkish bath, where I lay on a hot stone slab to sweat, then was washed from head to toe by a local Turkish woman. After that unique spa experience, I slept peacefully overlooking the city's most revered mosques.
If you're looking to escape and go on a magic carpet ride, then Turkey is definitely the place for you!