Come, come, whoever you are,
An unbeliever, a fire-worshipper, come.
Our door is not the door of despair.
Even if you have broken your vows a hundred times,
Come, come again.
These words from the poetic inspiration of Hazreti Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi epitomise the spirit of the mystical brotherhood, which arose out of this great saint's teaching. The Mevlevi Order of Sufi mystics, often known in the west as the Whirling Dervishes, welcomes all who seek to share with them the experience of Love on the path to God and spiritual Reality.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi lived from 1207 to 1273 CE. He was revered and loved in his lifetime and his death was mourned by those of all faiths - Muslim, Christian, Jew and Zoroastrian alike.
Mevlana bequeathed to the world both his beautiful and profound poetry and a spiritual influence, which became the Mevlevi line of mystical teachers. Mevlana himself said, 'When I am gone, do not look for me in the grave, rather seek for me in the hearts of men and women.'
From the direct experience of Mevlana (which means Master) comes the ceremony of Sema. It began after Mevlana had lost from his life his close spiritual companion, Hazreti Shamsuddin of Tabriz, the powerful and solitary Sufi Master. He came so briefly into Mevlana's life and yet he lit the fire of mystical love in Mevlana's heart.