Our Practices

“For more than seven centuries, the Mevlevi Order has represented Spiritual Civilization on this vast and bountiful earth. Its aesthetic and intellectual achievements have been of enduring importance; it has produced magnificent works of music, poetry, and art.

Wherever Mevlevis have established themselves they have made profound contributions and have nurtured and developed the most human sentiments. As much as the Mevlevi Order has cultivated the mystical appreciation of life, it has also added to the fully human pleasure of living. Mevlevihood is like a crucible: the raw material thrown into it is transformed according to its potential.” — Abdülbåki Gölpınarlı (1900-1982) Mevlevi scholar


Maturing physically is automatic. Maturing emotionally, intellectually and spiritually requires commitment, guidance, culture, a spiritual community and Grace. The Mevlevi path is a journey toward maturity.


Study is the first, primary and lasting practice. We study:

• Rumi’s writings, his poetry and discourses – ultimately his magnum opus and most mature teaching – the Mathnawi
• Sacred and instructive texts
• Those with more experience – their manners, attitudes, behavior and what they attend to
• Nature, the world around us and the miracles in the creation
• Ourselves – our attitudes, reactions, behavior, states, our real needs and our deeper nature


Everything we do aims toward service. There is always a way to serve, from making a small gesture of consideration to traveling across the globe helping those in need. The commitment to serve teaches us freedom through humility and honors the connection between us all.


The whirling ceremony is a formal ritual. Every part has meaning. It is a teaching linking to the infinite and transmitting a blessing to the world. A semazen is one who whirls.


Zikr is Remembrance through repetition. It raises one to a deeper contact with our True Nature. A zikr can be a beautiful ceremony with music and gestures, or an invisible prayer of the heart.


In sohbet we open our hearts to each other in discussion and deep listening. The oral tradition is passed through stories and teachings. We share our experiences and explore questions.


Subtlety and discrimination are cultivated through music, calligraphy, poetry, cooking and all the arts and civilized forms. We appreciate and contribute to the richness of both the spiritual and the cultural.


The Mevlevi path embodies respect for the whole of creation and for every individual, including ourselves.

Grace and consideration polish the heart and clear a space in us where something extraordinary can enter.