Gurdjieff Dominican Group
Santo Domingo/ Dominican Republic
Two brothers coming together under one common Aim
by Jose Reyes
I met Jelaluddin Loras back in 1979 at Claymont, West Virginia. I was then member of the Board of directors of the Claymont society.  He was aiding the 5th basic course with the teaching of Zikrs and other spiritual practices from the Mevlevi traditions. I felt a connection with him even before our first encounter.
At that moment the groups in the Dominican Republic were very small and most of the members were participating in the 5th basic course at Claymont. Several years went by without seeing each other. Then someone told me Jelaluddin was working with a group in Seattle. I tried to get in touch with him to invite him to come to the DR, but nothing came out or materialized, may be we were not ready for each other yet.
Many years went by again until last year 2002; I felt an irresistible urge to find him wherever he was. I knew he was alive but since there was no previous contact among us, I was not certain where he was or what he was doing at the moment. I was sure of one thing, that he was still involved with spiritual practices. Finally we managed to locate him through a friend of a friend, she was kind enough to provide me with his telephone number in Konya. I called him in Turkey with a little apprehension about how he would take my call. But as soon as he could identify me and called me brother it seemed that it was only yesterday that we saw each other for the last time.
He invited me to go to Konya and stay at his house for as long as I wanted, but I had only one week free since I was due in Germany to teach a Movements seminar in Nietherqumbt. It was a very good time for me. We fasted and talked much. He helped me greatly in understanding the way of Mevlana and I saw clearly that their practices are as alive today as they were when Mevlana was teaching. I invited him to come down to the DR and work with the groups here. He agreed.
Next time we met was in Santo Domingo and the group here was also eager to meet him. Our next event was the Dominican Sufi Seminar from the 10th to the 17th  of April 2003.
The seminar was indescribable from the standpoint of definitions. It was just 'feelings' and to put feelings into words is to reduce them to ordinary levels. One overwhelming feeling we all experienced in the group (we were 42) was how much we belong to each other. Little by little the morning Zikrs managed to remove us from that central place we seem to occupy most of the time. The energy was no doubt building up and sometimes it seemed that the heart was ready to explode with so much Love. After the nightly Zikrs a strong silence seemed to impose upon must of us, and covered our hearts and minds with recognition of the Divine. I remember asking myself as if it was coming from another entity inside of me, where have you been all these years, only to answer with, please forgive me.
A renewed sense of being increased as days progressed, and new and unexpected experiences came to the surface. The feeling often came, of being a small child again, without malice and profoundly respectful of God. His greatness, his mercy and his love were inseparable parts of our experience. Reality became real not in theory or words but in fact.
I feel the Zikr should be an integral part of our weekly practices; I plan to practice it with my students at least once a week. All my seminars will sure include Zikr practices. Zikr and movements are essential for a well balanced development of being; they should compliment each other instead of substitute one another. I firmly believe Mr. Bennett and Pierre saw the Zikr as a very powerful instrument, and they made it part of all basic courses.
Jelaluddin has a very big heart, he is full of love and truly reflects the spirit of Mevlana, he is an ambassador of God bringing the good news to all that are willing to hear. I wish this reunion is the beginning of a long lasting relationship and that I can also be an instrument that will help bring goodness to mankind.