Participation

Who can participate?

This event is open to everyone who has an genuine interest in Mevlana’s Sufism and is ready to appreciate it.

What are the requirements?

This gathering has its roots in Islamic traditions and is inspired by His Holiness Mevlâna Jalâleddîn Rumî. We ask the participants to acknowledge this and conduct themselves accordingly.

In order to keep the event in balance and harmony, we put together some guidelines or rules, if you will. Please read them and affirm that you approve of them before you decide to participate.

You are not required to participate in the whole event. We all participate as much as we want/can.

What exactly will we be doing?

Sema is the main purpose of the event and we expect the participants to understand and accept this before deciding to participate. Also there is a lot to be done to keep the sema going and this requires volunteer work.

Of course in such long events,  there needs to be daily activities other than whirling or working. The dergah is located in a place with beautiful nature. You can take stroll to the village or the forest, bathe in the thermal waters, or take a ride to the seaside.

What is a day in the event like?

The kitchen volunteers, the musicians and perhaps the ones who take the late night sema turns usually use time tables and  work in shifts. Other than that, the sema is not very structured in terms of a daily plan.

We could say that breakfast at 08:00 is the ‘official’ beginning of the day although this is the time when some of us go to sleep after a night of sema.

During the day there might be a sohbet (informative speech by the masters) or music therapy sessions.

Usually after dinner, there is a sohbet, with Masnavi reading.

And in between, the sema goes on.

Donations and volunteer work

Donations and volunteer work are subjects that receive many comments and emails. Perhaps, giving them a place on this page will make things easier.

Fees or donations

We have no sponsors and we are not rich. Our total expenditure for food, water, electricity etc. is covered by donations from participants.

It is our belief that money (or the lack of it) should not be an obstacle for people who want to attend the sema. That is why we collect donations, instead of charging a fee.

There is no fixed fee nor any minimum donation required for participation.

Volunteer work

All the work required to keep the sema going is done by volunteers. We hope and expect every participant to support the event by volunteering.

I don’t have money for contributions. but I can participate as volunteer

Donation and volunteer work are not alternatives to each other. Both are required for the event to continue. We have no sponsors, no paid personnel. To have food, someone must pay for it, someone must buy it, someone must cook it and someone must serve it. If any one of these tasks fails, than there is no food. The same goes for all expenses and services.

Unless you are living a hunter gatherer life, you are already spending money everyday for food or other necessities. You can at least contribute with whatever your minimum daily expenses would be.

Bottom line; you can participate without making any donations or doing any volunteer work. Until now, we haven’t had to keep track of this.

Accommodation

To learn about where you can stay during the event, please check our section on accommodation.

14 thoughts on “Participation”

  1. Hello,

    I am Deepa from India.

    I would like to attend all 114 days of these but dont have the money to do do.

    Is there a way i can volunteer for you guys or something may be done for me to come there?

    Thanks
    Deepa

    1. Dear Deepa,

      It is possible to participate without making a donation. That is why it is called a donation, not a fee.

      Volunteering is separate from donation. Whether they make a donation or not, everybody in some way volunteers for the work he/she can do.

      However, you can take more responsibility if you like. There are lots of things done regularly in the dergah. You can choose one of them and be responsible person for it.

      Finally, we expect everyone who can contribute economically to do so. Every single expense of the event is covered by donations. After all, even if I stay home, I still spend some money for the food and stuff, right? Why not contribute it to the event?

      Hope to see you in the sema

  2. I am Hala from Tunisia
    I hope to be my first participate with you in the sema for 2 weeks in May.
    Just asking where i can stay some hotel or in the house
    there is my first visit and i don’t know how i do
    thanks
    happy inshAllah will be there

  3. Hello,
    I am extremely interested in participating and am grateful to all the organizers n sponsors.
    Would like to know few things-
    – do you serve vegetarian food during this event?
    – do we have to be present for the entire 114 days?
    – do people have time to do anything else beyond the whirling meditation and rest?
    – is there some rhythm or structure to the 114 days?
    – can we rent or buy flowing clothing for the purpose of whirling?

    Thanking you in advance.

    1. Hi Reva, thank you for the good questions. Here are your answers

      • vegetarian food? We try to serve at least one vegetarian (and vegan whenever possible) dish for every meal. Please keep in mind that this is not always possible. There is more detail on the accommodation page.

      I updated this page with answers to your following questions. I also replied them briefly here.

      • be present for the entire event? No, you do not need to. We all participate as long as we want/can.
      • private time? Yes, we do have private time.
      • is there a daily rhythm? Not necessarily. The most significant timed events could be the meals.
      • rent or buy sema clothes? You can buy the shoes but until today tennure (the white sema dress) was not sold in the dergah. Some people wear white clothes. And I think you can purchase one from Konya. To my knowledge it is best when you have a ‘permission’ to put it on.

      Greetings

  4. Love and Peace
    I would love to contribute to your beautiful gatheing.
    I am a Semazen, Singer, lover of Rumi, I recite and sing His poetry in Persian, turkish and English.
    i can take part in cooking, cleaning, organising, pr whatever is necessary.
    Love and blessings
    Mitra

  5. Hi,
    I’m Perla from Mexico and I’m very interesting attend to this Mevlana’s Sufism event.
    I don’t have money for contributions but I can participate in skills as volunteer, I want to know if it is possible to attend and participate.
    Also if there is possible to stay on hammock.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Perla. I think you can organise a place to stay on hammock.

      And about the donation: Your question is already answered in a previous comment, but here it is again:

      Donation and volunteer work

      First, we believe that money (or the lack of it) should not be an obstacle to people who want to do the sema. That is why we collect donations, not fees.

      Second, donation and volunteer work are not alternatives to each other. Both are required for the event to go on. There are no sponsors, no payed personnel. If we want food, someone must pay for it, someone must buy it, someone must cook it, someone must serve it. If no one takes responsibility in any one of the steps, than there is no food for any of us. The same goes for all expanses and services.

      Third, unless you are living a hunter gatherer life, you are already spending money everyday for food or other stuff. You can at least contribute with your minimum daily expenses. Does this make sense to you?

      Hope to see you in the sema.

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