The Mevlevi Path means service to all humanity. As part of this service, Hasan Çıkar and The Contemporary Lovers of Mevtana are always ready to offer music, the Sema Ceremony , and spiritual talks on the way of our patron saint Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. From February 12 to 17, 2003, twenty-six of our members were in Decatur-Atlanta, Georgia, USA. First of all we were invited by Agnes Scott College to present a Sufi Music Concert and the Sema Ceremony in their 900 seat auditorium (which was full to overflowing) on Thursday, 13, Feb. On Friday Hasan Çıkar and some members also attended a few classes and answered student questions about the Sema, and this path of love. The students were very receptive and their questions showed their desire and need for more contact with the way and words of love of Mevlana.
Professor Cal Johnson, who teaches History of Sacred Music at Agnes Scott, had visited our Istanbul location last year and made the initial suggestion of our visiting and speaking there. Professor Johnson also provided information to the other associations who hosted us and for whom we presented music and spiritual talks. The one who coordinated these additional appearances was Grady Cousins of One Voice People. On Saturday morning six of us attended the weekly breakfast of the Fellowship Association of the First Christian Church of Decatur. There was a short demonstration of the Sema and explanation of the symbolism; then the kanun (oriental zither) and ney (reed flute) players offered a variety of spiritual and classical Turkish music while the others answered questions from the Fellowship members. Pastor James and the others were all pleased and wished there had been time for more. Saturday evening we presented the concert and Sema Ceremony at Central Congregational Church, and afterwards Hasan Çıkar responded to questions from the audience. They were deeply touched by the ceremony and music and wanted to learn more about Rumi and this way of life. Reverend Budd Friend-Jones was also gratified that the Sanctuary was full and people were even seated in the aisles. As Hasan Çıkar so often reminds us, Mevlana said that the only difference between religions was the way of worship; but all worship goes to the same place, to the One God. Sunday morning we participated in the annual celebration breakfast of Sisters United: Eid Al Adha. Our chanter offered a reading from the Sacred Koran preceeded and followed by an improvisational piece on the ney. It?s obvious that the words of the Exalted Mohammed have affected many people in different parts of the world. Sunday evening we again presented our program at the Georgia Avenue Church, made available by Pastor Chad Hale. During the question and answer session many of those attending were very moved by the clarity and beauty of Hasan Çıkar? s explanations. Only a person who has taken on the characteristics of the sainted ones is able to guide others on this path of love.