Hospitality is Europe's name. Friendliness, warmth are natural to Europe. There are wonderfully gracious people in U.S. and everywhere, yet Europe specializes in making everyone feel truly welcome.
Now, at the Sufi House in Istanbul, this is even more so.
Effendi owns an apartment house, and it seems that in every apartment in this apartment house live dedicated lovers of Sufism. Every apartment belongs to everyone. Magically, meals appear in one apartment or another, and gorgeous food and love are heaped on plates.
Wait until you have a Turkish breakfast. Wait until you taste the olives that grow here, the honey, the tomatoes. Wait until you have a full-course Turkish meal, not with one salad, but with several kinds of salad. I must warn you that Turkey isn't a place for people on diets. The food is too good and plentiful and sweet and made with love overwhelming. I can hardly bear the generosity that is poured on everyone here. To be here is to be melting in bliss. Oh, help, I am in Heaven.
Everyone conveys that they feel privileged to have Santhan and me -- and everyone -- here. They express such gratitude for us that we can only deeply know that the privilege is ours.
How is it possible that the God of Heavenletters has changed my life so much.
Heavenreaders, from the beginning, you have made me feel worthwhile, and now Effendi and the beautiful people here make feeling worthwhile indelible. As from The Sound of Music, the song in my heart is that somehow, somewhere, I must have done something wonderful. How else could I be in this blessed place I am in now and surrounded with all the blessings of the Creator.
I am living in a reality show in a Sufi House in Istanbul where everyone treats you as the Guest. The Guest, of course, as we know from Sufi poetry, is God. Here in Istanbul, God is known as Allah, and Allah certainly heaps blessings, one after the other.
Heaven Admin has taken many photos, and when life will allow, he will get them up where you can see them. Wait until you see what the Bazaar is like. It is like being in a story from thousands of years ago, only now there are credit cards. Wait until you see the piles of saffron and other herbs and all the varieties of Turkish Delight. It is like everyone here is a poet or an artist or a musician. Every display is art. Everyone speaks poetry.
I said to the owner of an amazing display at the Bazaar, "Beautiful!" And he responded: "You are beautiful."
Even common speech here makes you feel so good. To the man at another booth, in amazement, I also said: "Beautiful."
And the man replied: "Thank you, Mama."
Don't you love it? Don't you want to be overwhelmed in this country of beauty too?