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Monday night 25 March, 2002, 40 members of The Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana traveled by bus to Pamukkale in mid-Anatolia. We arrived early Tuesday morning, and after freshening up and a light breakfast, met with "NEIJİNG", a group working in alternative medicine, specifically in traditional Chinese healing methods. These healers were traveling with their spiritual guide and healing master , to experience different cultures and different views of healing. Hasan Çıkar welcomed them and began the day with a short Mevlevi prayer service (zikir). Then Hasan Çıkar offered a seminar on the beauties of a spiritual path, particularly the Mevlevi path; on the Unity of God; on brotherhood and friendship; on love, both worldly and Divine love. After a break we came together again and this time Hasan Çıkar answered questions from the healers, many of whom were from Spanish speaking cultures, and also many European countries.       To give a more personal aspect of our path, members of the Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana sat with groups of the healers and answered their questions about our patron saint Mevlana, about our Mevlevi path, about the Sema, about our way of life. The healers were very receptive to our ideas and found some similarity to those of their way.       To close the day we offered a concert of hymns, followed by the Sema Ceremony. The joyful, uplifting hymns set the tone for the ceremony, which is a spiritual journey, both for those physically turning and for those participating in the spirit of the Sema. At the end many eyes were moist from new feelings, from a new experience, from a new view of the Greatness of God. We left the healers with many hugs and exchanges of names and addresses. Certainly something beautiful and nourishing took place that day in a simple hotel conference area, something the world needs—gentleness and friendship with no ulterior motives. The unified voices of all of us were thanking God for His Bounty and Mercy.




The Mevlevi Way which is the most perfect example to the world of love, tolerance, and Divine Love, is being revitalized currently through the philosophy of peace and brotherhood of the Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana.     At the beginning of the 16. century Jews and Turks played various classical music forms together in both synagogues and Melvin Temples. The person who brought this tradition into m usical notation for our age was the close friend of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Head Rabbi Mr. Becerona. But after 50 years the forgotten music " Maftirim "has only now been revived.     These works which were played and sung in Synagogues and Melvin Temples for hundreds of years have again been brought together. The story of Maftirim begins in 1492 with the migration of Jews from Spain to Asia Minor, especially in their most important settlement, Edirne. In time the Jewish congregations of Edirne, Istanbul , Bursa and Izmir, developed an affinity for Turkish and Sufi music. From the 16. century onward theanguage: AR-SA">The Ra bbi Mandil was the teacher of the sheikh of the Galata Melvin Temple, Atahullah, and Tanburi Izak was the tanbur (a stringed instrument resembling a banjo) teacher of Sultan Selim III; the friendship, tolerance, love and respect between them were united in the beauty and exoticism of Ottoman music.     The Edirne Synagogue and Galata Melvin Temple were two important places of the Maftirim tradition. And again in January 2002, under the leadership of Hasan Çıkar, the Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana d id the Sema in the presence of the Jewish Rabbis accompanied by their musicians. Thus the Exalted Mevlana\rquote s call of tolerance and peace envelopes the world and once more comes to life.




Through the combined efforts of many voluntee rs, and the donation of facilities and transportation by the Yedi Tepe University of Istanbul, and assistance with advertising, printing and other details from various businesses and organizations, an audience of close to a thousand people experienced a b it of the joy and love offered by the Exalted Mevlana.     In connection with \ldblquote Mevlana Week and Seb-i Arus celebration, The Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana Association presented a program with proceeds going to the Six Dot Foundation for the Blind. The prog ram consisted of a concert of original hymns and the Sema Ceremony and took place in the Yeditepe University concert hall.    The greatness of the Exalted Mevlana and the love of mankind he brought to the world were the subjects of some speeches before the p rogram. The president of Istek Foundation, Mr. Bedrettin Dalan referred to the spiritual closeness of the Prophet Mohammed, the Exalted Mevlana, and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The Six Dot Foundation presented a plaque and sincere thanks to our spiritual le ader Hasan Cikar for our participation in this very meaningful event. Then some founding members spoke of the light of the Exalted Mevlana illuminating all people and his being like a spiritual sun, spreading light to even the visually impaired. The concert and Sema Ceremony were followed by the media, and reports on television and in newspapers mentioned the admiration necessary for such valuable service.


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The world is thirsting for love, and for understanding and tolerance between religions. In answer to this, with lovers of the Exalted Mevlana from many places in the world in attendance, a program in memory of the 728 anniversary of Mevlana's reunion with his Lord was held 16 and 17 December at the Galata Mevlevi Temple in Istanbul.     Mevlana, who called the time of his worldly death the ' nuptial night' and the moment of reunion with the Beloved, compared that reunion to a wedding feast.     The Exalted Mevlana, who rescued people from the imaginary and invites them to the true, the real, offered these words to us with his last breath before that reunion with the Divine:    On the day of my death, when my coffin is in procession, Don' t think that I am grieved by the sorrows of this world. Don't cry for me. Don' t say, ' Oh, what a pity!    When you give me to the earth, don' t cry, " Farewell! Farwell!"    You see the birth of a new day;    Well, see the setting of the day, too.     What seed, when sown in the ground doesn' t sprout?     Why do you fall into doubt about the seed of man?    See what Mevlana had to say:     When the earth of my grave drinks my body like a sip of wine, my soul will rise above the heavens. I am not some padishah, that I would descend from a throne and get onto a coffin. My destiny is eternity.     Mevlana, the essence of all the prophets and saints of the past, continues today to have a place in hearts as an ever-growing monument to love and tolerance.     In the memorial progr am presented by The Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana first of all there was a concert of hymns in the Mystical music style. After that the Sema Ceremony written for Shems of Tebriz, with words by Hasan Çıkar and music by a member of our choir, was offered.



The Young Businessmen' s Association of Strasbourg is composed mainly of second generation Turkish-Frenchmen whose families immigrated from eastern Anatolia. They value their Turkish traditions within their lives as French Europeans. Since The Contemporary Lovers of Mevlana Association is the only group which presents the thoughts and ways of the Exalted Mevlana by including men and women together in the choir and Sema Ceremony, these modern businesspeople invited 20 members of our association, choir and Semazens, to Strasbourg. We left Istanbul Sunday morning, December 2 and returned Wednesday morning, December 5,2001.    To an audience of close to 1500 people, we presented a concert and Sema Ceremony. The concert was of joyful exuberant hymns composed mostly by Hasan Çıkar with music by various members of the choir. The hymns are in praise of God, the Prophet Mohammed, and our patron saint, Mevlana. The ceremony wa s in the Ussak makam, in honor of Mohammed with words by Hasan Çıkar and music by Mete Edman. The audience was greatly moved by the music, and watched the ceremony in respectful admiration.    There was limited opportunity for close contact with the people of Strasbourg but Hasan Çıkar did engage some who were interested in a lively discussion concerning the Mevlevi Way, the Sema Ceremony, and the philosophy of Mevlana. A priest said that he felt there was something mysterious secreted in the Sema. Hasan Çıkar replied that it is the human being who is the secret of the Sema. The human being is the ultimate creation. After creating the whole world and everything in it God created man, then created Himself within man. And it is through the eyes of man that God surveys all His creation.     The businessmen' s association was generous in its welcome, and also provided the opportunity for us to take a tour of the city by canal. We hope to continue our close contact with them in future endeavors.

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