Yenikapi377Shebi Arus 2010

Konya! Mevlana! Ashk! For the past thirty years or more a current has run through my life, our lives, sometimes as a subtle guidance, sometimes as a sense of meaningful coherence, and sometimes as an upwelling force that makes the eyes glisten, if not overflow with tears.

The spiritual path of the Mevlevis, meant here to describe an inclusive reality that pulls diverse people and groups into its field of energy, not an exclusive reality that separates or claims ownership, this Way of Mevlana is much more than any of the visible forms that try to express it, or any of the ideas and practices associated with it, as rich and beautiful as all these are. Rather it is a powerful current of love and meaning that is so much bigger and more beautiful than all of these and all of us. To the best of my ability I offered prayers for all of you at Mevlana’s dergah.

After almost a week in Konya, with members of the Chelebi family (Rumi’s descendants), with my brother shaikhs from different parts of the world, with countless lovers of Mevlana and God, I experience my heart differently. This heart feels like a child I want to shelter and protect, and, at the same time, it feels like a fierce force that I never want to allow to weaken or retreat. Significantly, this year the Urs of Mevlana coincided with Muharram, the time of commemorating the tragic martyrdom of Imam Hussein. It is something like having Christmas and Good Friday happen on the same day!

Yesterday, December 18th , having just returned from Konya, I attended a concert of illahis, directed by our dear brother Hakan Talu, at the great, newly restored Yenikapi Mevlevi Tekkye. I was delighted to be approached by various members of the Chelebi family, such as Gevher Chelebi (sister of Faruk and Esin) who I had not seen in many years. The first piece was an illahi I had never heard, one that tenderly sings of Fatima and the family of the Prophet. The exquisite beauty of it all was almost too much to bear and I cried for the next ten minutes. How can I not feel grateful to be destroyed like this, to be the helpless prey of love, to feel that nothing I could ever do or offer would allow me to deserve the beauty and grace that has been given.

Inshallah, and by the relentless love of our Pir, our stony hearts will be transformed into rubies, our own capacities will be refined and developed, and we will learn to serve this Highest Truth and Beauty as it deserves.