I'm finally posting again after quite a long while. Inshallah, everyone had a nice Ramadan and Eid (Bayram). Selma and I have had some very nice travels lately, elhamdulillah. We were up at Shaykh Ahmed abdur Rasheed's zawiya in Virginia for the last days of Ramadan, then off to a dhikr with Abdel Haqq and Abdel Hadi in Athens, GA and most recently to West Virginia for a Mevlevi retreat and sema workshops with Jelaleddin Loras.
It was our first time meeting Jelaleddin Effendi, though I've known about him for a good 15 years or so. Mashallah! We loved him and the whole community who gathered for the event. And we were very happy to meet lots of people who know Sherif Baba, too. Many very happy memories of the past were shared and many new ones were created. Eyvallah.
I had a very nice conversation with Jelaleddin Effendi about Baba. I knew that they were friends, but I hadn't realized that he knew Burhan Effendi well. When I asked if they had met, he said "I knew him before Sherif knew him!" with a big smile. He said that he had gone to his house many times, even as a child, because his father (Suleyman Dede)and Burhan Effendi had been good friends and would visit each other a couple of times a year.
Shaykh Ahmed's Naqshbandi-Mujeddidi community was also wonderful as always. Very warm and open-hearted, mashallah. And Abdel-Haqq's dhikr was really refreshing too... I hadn't seen him in about 10 years since I lived in Athens. And finally I seem to have found some decent contacts with the Jerrahi community in Atlanta, elhamdullillah. Inshallah, we may be able to go their dhikrs from time to time.
It's felt like roaming around in a desert for a while, but elhamdullillah, we've had a nice rest in a very pleasant oasis. Inshallah, we will continue to find such places.
I'll try to upload some new pictures in the next day or two, inshallah, so stay tuned. But for now, check out this link to a short film on Soul TV about the Ramadan retreat at Shaykh Rasheed's in Virgina. Selma and I both pop up in it a few times. See if you can figure out which ones we are ;)
It's not letting me post a link, but paste into the browser:
Lots of good things on that site. Click the "Spirituality" tab and then "Ramadan Retreat" under the screen.