The Mevlevi Order has for seven centuries offered spiritual training based on the principles of Sufism. It is a rigorous path of initiation and service continually adapting itself to changing circumstances and times. The Mevlevi Order traces back to Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi (d. 1273) one of the greatest mystics and poets the world has ever known. Historically it has been Rumi, more than any other Sufi, who has issued the invitation to people of all backgrounds to the mystical garden that is Sufism:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire,
come even though you have
broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
For more than seven centuries the Mevlevi Order has held the light of the religion of love, offering spiritual refuge and enlightenment for those who wished to develop their human-ness to the highest level. In Ottoman times the Mevlevi Order cultivated not only spiritual attainment but cultural and artistic excellence as well. Mevlevis have always been progressive and liberal in spirit while at the same time conserving the best of tradition. Today, the Mevlevi Order is reviving in the West to offer a spirituality adequate to our times.