Mental Well-Being Effects of Spiritual Practices: Examples of Sufi Practices in Britain
Merve Cetinkaya, BA, MA, PhD Student, University College London
The purpose of this presentation is to examine the impact of Sufi practices on individuals’ mental well-being. It is qualitative research involving in-depth interviews. Previously published studies have focused on exploring the effects of spiritual practice on different well-being variables. This research has predominantly concentrated on practice as a key element of spirituality. In this research, an empirical study of spirituality is undertaken in order to identify the relationships that exist between Sufi tradition and mental well-being; it employs interviews with British Sufis in different contemporary Sufi groups. The research explores Sufi spirituality among British Sufis. Previous research into spirituality has been derived from Christian or Buddhist religious norms and beliefs. Sufi groups have not featured in these inquiries into spiritual well-being, and this absence is the focus of the proposed study. In particular, there will be a focus on how Islamic-based spirituality, as expressed by British Sufis, may contribute to well-being. The presentation will examine how has Sufi tradition modified and developed in terms of western aspects. Attendees of the contemporary Sufi groups coming from Islamic, religious or non-religious background interviewed. Data helps to understand the relationship between Sufi practices and mental well-being. Islamic spiritual practices may help to improve and protect the well-being of individuals and be an alternative for Mindfulness or Cognitive behavioural therapy for Muslim or non-Muslims. The presentation highlights the relationship between Spirituality, Secularisation and Sufism in Britain, as well as presents the multiplicity approach of traditional Sufism regarding Human development.