Board of Trustees

To serve the living stream that flows from the life and teachings of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, the Sufi Ruhaniat International established the Board of Trustees.  The Board is responsible for the development and accomplishment of the Ruhaniat’s programs and fiscal health, with guidance from the Murshids' Circle.

Members of the Board of Trustees as of November 2017are Pir Shabda Kahn (President), Abraham Sussman, Alima Alma Quinones-Prone, Bryn Morgan, Jenny Batina Estes, Kabir Stuart McKinnon, Leilah Be, Munira Elizabeth Reed, Pablo Iturralde, Qadir Ali Denis Prone, Rashid Andreas Beurskens, Sabura Perry, Waduda Welsh, and Yaqin Lance Sandleben. Staff supporting the Board includes Basira Beardsworth (Secretariat & Treasurer), Karim Joseph McIntyre (BOT Meeting Facilitator), and Farrunnissa Rosa (BOT Recording Secretary).

 

Ruhaniat Board of Trustees and Staff, November 2017: (from left)  Batina Jenny Estes, Yaqin Sandleben, Waduda Welsh, Kabir McKinnon, Rashid Beurskens, Sabura Perry, Pir Shabda Kahn, Leilah Be, Abraham Sussman, Karim Joseph McIntyre, Bryn Morgan, Basira Beardsworth, Farrunnissa Rosa. Not pictured: Alima Alma Quinones-Prone, Qadir Ali Denis Prone, Pablo Iturralde & Munira Reed

 

 

 

Khankah Sam, San Francisco

Khankah SAM GardenKhankah SAM/Mentorgarden (web site) is the first residential community of the Sufi Ruhaniat International and is located in the hills of the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.  It began in Murshid Samuel Lewis’ home at 410 Precita Avenue, across from Precita Park.  It was here, in the garage below his dwelling, that Murshid Sam brought forth the Dances of Universal Peace.

The magnetism of joy that Murshid Sam generated drew young spiritual seekers in the fertile years of the late 1960’s.  Classes were offered, focusing on Sufi teachings, the Dharmic traditions, walking and breath practices, and of course the Dances.  This center became known as the Mentorgarden, a name offered by Murshid SAM’s Zen teacher, Nyogen Sensaki.

The current spiritual director, Murshid Wali Ali Meyer, was one of the seekers who found his way to this remarkable teacher.  He lived with Murshid Sam in the residential quarters upstairs from the meeting hall and served as esoteric secretary from 1969 until Murshid’s passing in January, 1971.  He worked closely with Murshid Sam, receiving both sacred teachings and a direct transmission which empowered him to continue to serve the Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty. Tuesday Night Dinner

After Murshid Sam’s passing in 1971, under Wali Ali’s guidance, the Khankah continued to grow as a residential community, and other properties were obtained nearby, including the houses of 63 and 65 Norwich Street.  Over the years, residents and friends have renovated the dwellings.  A large community kitchen and dining room serve as the heart of this community, who follow Murshid Sam’s formula for World Peace: to “Eat, Dance and Pray Together.”

 Murshid Wali Ali has traveled widely teaching Sufi esotericism and imparting the transmissions of the Spiritual Walks and Dances.  He has worked on the publications of Murshid Samuel Lewis’ writings.  After a number of years residing in Virginia, Murshid Wali Ali returned to the Bay Area.  In 2002 he became the Director of the Esoteric School of the Sufi Ruhaniat International at the request of Pir Shabda Kahn.  Since 2007 he has resided at the Mentorgarden with his wife and young son, bringing the story full circle, as the student has become the Murshid.  His teachings continue to offer a profound insight into the nature of the soul and an extensive spiritual study of practice and teachings.

In honoring all the religions, the Khankah is a place of blessing, inspiration and personal growth for its residents, visitors, and guests.

Today the Khankah houses 7 full time residents.  Some have lived there nearly since its inception.  Residents abide by shared agreements designed to support harmonious and conscious coopeMentorgardenrative living in the context of shared spiritual commitment and belief.  The houses are set in flourishing and flowering gardens which provide a tranquil oasis in this urban setting.  Tuesday evening potluck dinners are an institution shared weekly by the residents and guests who come from around the world.  The dinner is often followed by classes offered by Wali Ali.  The renovated garage at 410 Precita has become a meeting room where the Dances continue to be shared.  Zikrs are held twice monthly in the Khankah kitchen, and the healing service is performed every Sunday.  Work days are part of community life, and tending “Sam’s garden” is a means of walking in his footsteps, a dedicated horticulturist.

We have Thanksgiving and Christmas community celebrations; overnight guest stays by reservation; and the opportunity for long term residence and Khankah membership. 

 

Visit our web site at www.khankahsam.org to see current calendar listings, and feel free to contact us to learn more.

 

 

Financial Support

"We, as a group of spiritual friends, abide in unity because we are organized into what we call the Sufi Ruhaniat International. Whenever I hear this name my heart warms and the very sound reminds me of our connection. The word ‘organization’ has an impersonal feel, but when I realize that I am supporting my Sangha, then extending a hand is no different than feeding myself". Read this new letter from Murshida Darvesha on the subject of financial generosity to the Ruhaniat.

We welcome your contributions at any time, for any amount, and deeply appreciate your support!

Some of the ways your financial contributions support this work are:

  • Archiving the written work of Murshid Samuel Lewis
  • Archiving the work of our current teachers
  • Publications of books, and Heartbeat and Toward the One magazines
  • Translation of precious texts
  • Sending out new mureed packets
  • Mureeds Emergency Fund
  • Support of The Hope Project
  • Support of Murshid Sam's Dargah
  • Support of SRI activities & concentrations such as the Esoteric School, Ziraat, Wisdom of the Feminine, and more
  • Administrative support to membership.

We invite you to become one of our monthly contributors!  Monthly contributions provide for us a dependable income stream through which we can better fulfill our mission.

Consider this: Our community is formed of approximately 2,000 mureeds plus a large circle of friends who participate in Ruhaniat activities.  We are looking for mureeds and friends who are willing to contribute $12 per month to the Ruhaniat.  Perhaps you are in a position to offer more - for example, $33 per month amounts to about a dollar a day.  We have set a goal of having an annual income stream of $200,000.   How can we accomplish this?

1001 people give $12 month totaling $144,144 year
101 people give $33 month totaling $39,996 year
11 people giving $101 month totaling $13,332 year
And this totals $197,472

If you choose to express your generosity in this way, please contact the SRI Treasurer to enroll as a monthly contributor of $12 or for whatever amount you can comfortably afford.  Other ways to donate include:

 

♥ Credit or Debit Card Monthly Donation
For details, please email or call Basira Beardsworth, Secretariat & Treasurer
808-280-2710 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

♥ Donate by Check
Make your check payable to Sufi Ruhaniat International and mail to:
Sufi Ruhaniat International
PO Box 22
Makawao, HI  96768

♥ Donate with PayPal using your Credit Card or PayPal account

Other Gift Giving to the Ruhaniat

Include the Ruhaniat in Your Will or Trust

Consult with your legal counsel about including the Ruhaniat in your will or trust.  Sufi Ruhaniat International is a tax-exempt religious non-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of California, EIN #94-1742095.  The address is:  Sufi Ruhaniat International, PO Box 22, Makawao, HI  96768 USA.

Securities

Outright gifts of appreciated securities (stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares) are tax deductible at full fair-market value if the donor has owned the asset for at least twelve months. To avoid capital gains taxes, you must provide the securities themselves, not the proceeds from their sale.

Gifts of closely held stock (usually stock in a family-owned business) also carry benefits for the donor. The stock must have been held for at least twelve months for you to claim a charitable deduction at full fair market value. If the deduction exceeds $5,000 a qualified appraisal is required for tax purposes.

For detailed guidelines on gifts of securities, please contact Basira Beardsworth, Ruhaniat Secretariat & Treasurer, at 808-280-2710 Hawaii Time or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Real Estate

Gifts of residences, including vacation homes and farms, allow the donor to take a tax deduction, avoid capital gains taxes, retain lifetime occupancy for herself or himself and/or another person, and provide support for the Ruhaniat. To qualify for tax benefits, you must have owned the property for at least twelve months before giving it to the Ruhaniat. The gift may be an entire piece of property or an undivided fractional interest in it. Each proposed gift of real estate is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If the Ruhaniat cannot use the property, it will be sold and the proceeds added to the general fund. The owner must obtain a qualified appraisal for tax purposes.

Personal Property

Gifts of tangible personal property, such as art, jewelry, antiques, rare books, gold or silver, may offer the donor a tax deduction at the fair market value of the property. The amount of the deduction depends on whether or not the gift is related to the Ruhaniat's legal non-profit purpose.

Gifts related to our mission (link to mission page) generate a tax deduction for the full market value of the object as determined by a qualified independent appraiser. The donor must provide the Ruhaniat with an appraised value for all gifts of property.

Gifts of property unrelated to the Ruhaniat's non-profit purpose might not offer the donor the same tax advantage, but do benefit the Ruhaniat through the proceeds from sale.

Matching Gifts

The Ruhaniat accepts contributions from your employer. More than one thousand corporations, foundations and other organizations will match their employees’ charitable contributions either dollar-for-dollar, or at a ratio of 2-to-1, 3-to-1, or even 4-to-1. Check with your employer for more information.

Other Assets

To discuss other means of supporting the Ruhaniat, please contact Basira Beardsworth, Ruhaniat Secretariat & Treasurer, at 808-280-2710 Hawaii Time or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donate to the Ruhaniat now!

Gifts of Securities

 

Gifts of securities (stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares) are tax deductible at full fair-market value if the donor has owned the asset for at least twelve months. To avoid capital gains taxes, you must provide the securities themselves, not the proceeds from their sale.

Transfer guidelines, while generally simple, are specific to each case, and we will work directly with you and your broker.

Sufi Ruhaniat International is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization, tax ID #94-1742095. All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Please contact Basira Beardsworth, Secretariat & Treasurer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Legacy Gifting

Ruhaniat Youth CouncilThe Sufi Message is a living transmission that is anchored in the lineage practices and teachings that have been handed down to us through many centuries. We can see the light of the Message, shining strong and bright, embodied in our international community of Ruhaniat youth and young adults. Ya Fattah!

Please support the next generation by including Sufi Ruhaniat International in your will or trust so that we may pass on a thriving and vital organization through which the works of the Ruhaniat may continue. Leaving a gift in your will doesn't have to be a large amount to make a difference - even just a small percentage of what is left after your loved ones are provided for will help to sustain the Ruhaniat into the future.

Please consult with your legal counsel for assistance in how you can include the Ruhaniat in your will or trust. Sufi Ruhaniat International is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization, tax ID #94-1742095. All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Secretariat & Treasurer

Youth Council

Youth Circle

Read "For When They Come"
by Katie Hamida Weise

Youth & Young Adult Community
The Ruhaniat youth community (web page) is a vibrant, loosely-networked group of open hearted young adults and teenagers invested in the realization of love, harmony and beauty in our lives and in the world family.  Some of us are new on the path, while others were raised in the Sufi Ruhaniat community.  Regardless of entry point, history, or personality, it is safe to say that all involved are seekers and lovers on this path.

Be in touch via the contact information below if you are interested in connecting with other young adults in your region, or if you would like to become involved in youth activities.

 

Diana LyonSufi Ruhaniat International Youth Council
The Youth Council is a group of young adults, community members, and Ruhaniat guides who seek to create and maintain an environment in which the living stream of our lineageLatifa Rosado is available to young adults and in which the joy, passion, experiences and interests of youth are shared with the greater Sufi Ruhaniat family.  We seek to maintain a culture of exchange where the voices and experiences of young people become part of the Ruhaniat community, just as the lineage and community becomes part of the lives of the young people who join the path.

The Youth Council manifests this vision primarily through building a youth network; through staying informed about youth related Sufi activities; through active communication with the greater community; and through supporting and creating both youth oriented events and youth participation in Sufi Ruhaniat community events.

 

SRI Youth Scholarship Fund
One way in which the Youth Council is able to encourage youth participation and exchange is through the SRI Youth Scholarship Fund.  The SRI Youth Scholarship Fund was founded in 2005 by the Sufi Ruhaniat International Board of Trustees to support young adults in deepening their connection to the greater Sufi community.  This fund seeks to provide youth, aged 16 to 29, with scholarships to attend Sufi retreats and camps, and events related to the Dances of Universal Peace.  The fund was created with the understanding that it is important to the life of our organization and spiritual community to make events more accessible to young adults who are often faced with limited financial resources. Young adults can apply for scholarships through completing the SRI Youth Scholarship Application.  Please e-mail us if you would like more information about the Youth Scholarship Fund.

 

Lorel & JohnnyContact and Links
We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in youth activities.  If you would like to connect with young adults in your area, find young adult related events, or get involved in the work of the SRI Youth Council, please email us:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To learn about the Northern California Sufi Youth Retreat visit:  www.sufiyouth.com

Ethics Agreement & Ethics Committee

Adopted 1995 Jamiat Khas; updated November 11 2012

Background
We are challenged morally and spiritually to make a clear ethical agreement with one another. Rather than a list of rules, this is a simple statement of
     (1) our mutual respect and responsibility in spiritual community and in the initiatic relationship;
     (2) the processes for resolving ethical dilemmas where they arise; and
     (3) ongoing notice of ethical responsibility for new and continuing Sufi Ruhaniat International (SRI) members.

Definitions
Teacher and Functionary:  Anyone authorized by SRI to present classes, seminars, workshops, or in any other way represent the SRI organization.

Initiator:  A teacher authorized to initiate and guide individual students in the SRI Esoteric School.  Only the SRI Spiritual Director can confirm Esoteric School initiators.

Mureed: A student in the SRI Esoteric School.

Student: Any participant in SRI activities.

Dual Relationship: Where the initiatic link is combined with other forms of relationship (business/financial, counseling, personal/romantic, etc.).

Our Ethics Goal
To cherish all, regardless of race, religion, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or marital status.  Environmental safety, freedom from peer harassment, and specifically the safety of children are priorities.  Organizational representatives are responsible for complying with local laws regarding the prevention and reporting of suspected abuse or neglect.

Agreements
1. Teachers agree to hold in their heart the fulfillment of their student’s Path in life:  “Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty...”

2. Both teacher and student agree to keep their relationship clear of sexual, emotional, or financial exploitation and/or abuse.

3. Initiators agree not to engage in sexual activity with their mureeds; if an initiator and their mureed choose to develop a sexual relationship, they agree to first dissolve their initiatic link and to wait until the student has formed an initiatic link with another teacher.

4. Dual relationship exists in community and carries potential for misunderstanding.  Where dual relationship occurs, both teachers and students agree to use caution and discernment; seeking guidance with a third party is encouraged.  Dual relationship cannot be a precondition to initiation or to continuing an initiatic relationship.

5. Initiators are expected to honor the initiatic covenant by holding confidential and sacred the private communications between themselves and their mureeds, except where to do so could result in harm to the mureed or to another.  (added July 5, 2000)

6. The student accepts responsibility for bringing ethical concerns or ambiguities to the teacher, teacher’s guide, the Mureeds’ Advocate, the Ethics Committee, or the SRI Spiritual Director.

Resolution Process
1. Students, teachers, and the community share responsibility for keeping the initiatic relationship free of abuse or exploitation.

2. Wherever possible, issues will be resolved by those involved, with or without a mutually agreed upon mediator from within or outside of the Sufi community.  Immediate local resolution is encouraged.  It is recommended that local communities develop their own resolution/mediation processes.

3. Where resolution is not forthcoming, parties may request mediation assistance from the initiator’s supervising guide or the Mureeds’ Advocate.  Either party may request the assistance of the Ethics Committee.

4. The Ethics Committee, composed of three initiators, is appointed by the SRI Spiritual Director with the approval of the SRI Board of Trustees.  This committee shall (a) hear and make recommendations on all ethical issues referred to it, and (b) coordinate subsequent revisions of this agreement with the SRI Spiritual Director and the SRI Board of Trustees.  Terms shall be for five years, extendable indefinitely.

5. Decisions on ethical matters ultimately reside with the SRI Spiritual Director.

6. A copy of this agreement, along with names and addresses of the current Mureeds’ Advocate and members of the Ethics Committee, shall be published in The Ruhaniat Companion, available to all mureeds.

Ethics Committee
Abraham Sussman
6 Upton Street
Cambridge, MA  02139
617-876-5272
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Zubin Mary Goldman
63 Norwich St
San Francisco, CA 94110
415-826-9104
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saladin Frank Pelfrey
PO Box 1133
Hamilton, MT 59840
406-363-7241
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This agreement reflects ongoing learning from both mistakes and spiritual ideals.  It was initially ratified in 1995 following three years of Jamiat Khas meeting and online group process and dialogue, chaired by Murshida Khadija Goforth. 

Inspirations from Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti invite further consideration concerning ethics:

  • The heart was essentially created for making rounds of the love of God.
  • There are no rituals or ceremonies to be performed in Sufism, nor are there academic dissertations which may easily be acquired by reading, but according to those who are lovers of God and the sheikhs of tariqat, Sufism means scrupulously maintained moral behavior which one must observe toward all of God’s creatures.
  • It is a hardened sinner who commits sin yet simultaneously believes oneself to be one of God’s “chosen few.”
  • For a follower of the path of Truth, it is worse than a sin to disdain or look down on anyone.
  • A sin committed does not harm an individual so much as the looking down with contempt on one’s fellow human beings. The best way of evading the fire of hell lies in feeding the hungry, providing water to the thirsty, removing the wants of the needy, and befriending the miserable.

 

Contact Us

Basira Beardsworth

 

Basira Beardsworth, Secretariat & Treasurer
PO Box 22 Makawao, HI 96768 USA
800-332-4494 phone
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shafee at camp (Karim)

 

Abdul Shafee Howard Ballinger, Webmaster
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Farrunnissa Rosa, Website Content Manager
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Volunteer Service Opportunities

If you have received blessing and benefit from this spiritual community, here's an important way you can say "thank you" -- the Ruhaniat needs your help! A gift of your time, skills, and heart will go a long way toward helping us meet our service goals. 

Right now, we need immediate help with:

Global Community

  • Translators:  We need people fluent in both English and another language to work with an active, energetic team for the ReachFarAndWide.org project.  Material needing to be translated is extensive, including works by Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, and works by other senior teachers in the Inayati lineage.
  • Facebook Helper: Do you love Facebook? Help us maintain a living, up-to-date presence in the social media world, on behalf of the Ruhaniat and various events we sponsor such as Sufi camps.

Technology

  • Web Volunteers:  We need individuals with web programming backgrounds that can help establish and maintain the technical direction for Ruhaniat web properties.  Experience in Joomla, HTML5, and PHP is particularly helpful.
  • Calendar Strategist/Coordinator: We need an individual to look at and evaluate various electronic calendar solutions to support the Ruhaniat and its affiliated Centers, and later to move on to the possible implementation. We have tried several online calendar systems but we'd like to find one that works well for multiple users to make entries and to insert in or link to a web site as a rich, attractive and easy-to-use resource for our community.
  • Video Editors:  We have a Ruhaniat YouTube channel and want to populate it with new videos once a week. We have many, many teaching videos that need simple editing and uploading to YouTube, so we need several volunteers who have these simple skills and the tools and time to do it.

Publicity

  • Physicians of the Heart Publicist:  We need ‘professional’ or skilled help in getting book reviews, and manifesting ways to both publicize and get Physicians of the Heart out to the world.

If you can help in one of these ways, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Secretariat & Treasurer. Questions regarding volunteer service are always welcomed! 

Opportunities updated August 2016

In The Garden with Murshid Sam Has Been Reprinted!

Beloveds,

We are very happy to announce a new printing of the book In the Garden with Murshid Sam, our first offering from the newly formed Ruhaniat Publications.

The book has been completely redesigned with beautiful new graphics by Murshida Fatima Lassar and a new introduction by Murshid Wali Ali Meyer. The text has remained the same and has been rearranged for clarity.

Read more ...

40 Lessons on Breath by Murshid Samuel L. Lewis


TOWARD THE ONE, THE PERFECTION OF LOVE, HARMONY AND BEAUTY, THE ONLY BEING;
UNITED WITH ALL THE ILLUMINATED SOULS, WHO FORM THE EMBODIMENT OF THE MASTER, THE SPIRIT OF GUIDANCE.

1. Breath controls all aspects of life from the seen to the unseen.  When breath is in the body, life is in the body; and when breath is not in the body, life is not in the body.

Ryazat (Esotericism):  Take a thought, inhale, hold the thought.  Exhale and try to hold the thought; there will be a difference.  Thus we can learn there is an association between breath and thought, breath and life.

2. Exhalation does not always remove all noxious gases.  When it does not, some poisons are left in the body.  Therefore, disciples learn to breathe with the whole body and so control inhalation and exhalation.

3. Breath is not to be confused with air.  It is something like the relation between magnetism and iron.  There is magnetism apart from iron, that is to say there is energy apart from matter.  The energy connected with breath is called prana.  The science of breath is called pranavada in Sanskrit and pasi anfas in the language of Sufis.

4. What are called spirit and matter in English correspond in some respects to what are called Shiva and Shakti in Sanskrit.  The body, being the temple of the Holy Spirit, has accommodation for both Shiva and Shakti.

5. What is called the neck center in Indian esoterics corresponds more or less to the glottis.  This organ or gland sends material into the digestive tract, and spirit with air to the lungs.  All bodily functions are therefore of the Shiva or Shakti varieties.

6. Ryazat:  Breathe, identifying yourself with breath. Breathe, holding Darood, i.e., “Toward the One,”with each inhalation and exhalation.  Identify yourself with the breath; identify with the Darood.  This helps free you from identification with the body.

7. Practice meditation by repeating the Darood (“Toward the One”) either a prescribed number of times or at least 5 minutes daily.  Learn to feel the life-force entering the body.  Identify yourself with the breath; identify yourself with the life-force.  Do not identify yourself with the body.  Thus you will learn to actualize: “This is not my body, this is the temple of God.”  This is used as a disciplinary practice for beginners; for more advanced students it is used as a method of identification (fana or yoga).

8. The degree of a person’s spiritual evolution can be measured by the breath—its power, its sweetness, its rhythm, and its tonicity.  Spirit and breath become one, and one’s spiritual evolution is measured by the breath.

9. Christ is born when breath enters the body, and Christ is crucified when one thinks of oneself.

Ryazat:  Practice thinking of the breath; practice thinking of the breath with Darood; practice concentrating on Love; practice thinking of oneself.  One will notice a great change.  This selfthought is called nafs by Sufis and is the greatest obstacle to life and happiness.

10. Breathing in unison helps bring harmony.  Breathing with Darood helps increase that harmony.  Breathing in Darood with a common concentration, e.g., the Sufi symbol, brings a still greater harmony.

Ryazat:  Try each of these alone or with others and experience the results.

11. There is a difference in the breath of each kingdom:  mineral, vegetable, animal and human.

Ryazat:  Try concentrating in turn on a rock or mineral, a precious stone, grass, a tree, an insect and a four-legged animal.  Notice the difference in your breathing.  (This subject is continued in the Commentary on The Inner Life.)

12. Disharmonies arise because of clashes in the rhythm of breath.  These disharmonies can be removed by singing, dancing, devotion and esotericism.  Therefore, Sufis use Wazifas and practice Zikar, not only to bring peace and harmony to each person, but also to each group.

13. Both inhalation and exhalation have an effect upon the atmosphere, and it can be harmonious or inharmonious in relation to the atmosphere of another.  But when the Etheric element is present, it transmutes the nafs (ego-mind) and prevents inharmony.  The Etheric breath is developed through training and Grace.

14. Inhalation and exhalation affect and are affected by every form of thought, speech and action. The details of this are taught to Sufis in the science of Mysticism.

15. Life-force enters with the breath and leaves with the breath.  This life-force is stored in the body. It is not the result of caloric intake through food.  A stout person may obtain many calories from food without being able to utilize this in action.  If the caloric theory alone were true, the stout would always be superior to the thin.  The energy in an electric battery is derived from the chemicals introduced and not from the material of the battery.  In a similar way, the life-force vitalizes the body, and the body utilizes the life-force.  Therefore, the body is an accommodation and not a person.

16. Shiva is breath-energy and Shakti is body material.  In Jewish mysticism they are called Mi (meaning who) and Ma (meaning what).  It is the interaction between Shiva and Shakti, between Mi and Ma, which accounts for all of life.

17. In some Hindu philosophies such as Samkhya, one is disciplined to identify with Purusha (Shiva) and become free from Prakriti (Shakti).  For this, mental instruction does not suffice.  Esotericism (Ryazat) must be practiced.

18. The goddess Kali represents the divinization of material forces apart from spirit.  This can only be relatively true.  There is no Purusha without a trace of Prakriti; there is no Prakriti without a trace of Purusha.  The body is not entirely dead because of the absence of life-breath; it is then only an accommodation for sub-human forces.

19. Thus the breath makes the mortal out of the animal.  Thus the breath makes the immortal out of the mortal.

20. The Sufi does not force any type of development or unduly activate any gland or center.  It is mastery and control of the breath which spiritualizes the whole personality.  When the breath and bloodstream and mind are purified by yoga exercises and meditation, the flower of the heart and soul open through the combined efforts of the sun, rain and earth within.

21. Purification may come through the repetition of sacred phrases.  In Sufism Wazifas are so used.

22. Given a problem:  Meditate on the problem.  Given a problem: Meditate on “Toward the One.”

Ryazat:  Fikar-concentrate on “La ilaha” with each exhalation, and on “El il Allah” with each inhalation.  Do this 20, 33 or 101 times, according to the intensity of the problem.  There should be an influx of Kashf or insight that will help throw light on the problem, perhaps solve the problem.  This is generally true of headaches, small pains and personal disturbances with loved ones.

23. Practice of Darood (“Toward the One”) will generally give one more strength than another.  Practice of Fikar will counterbalance any strength from another.  It is therefore not necessary to hold inimical thoughts.  By these methods of practicing the presence of God, one assures oneself of self-firmness and helps build a proper atmosphere in relation to others.  We all breathe the same atmosphere, and therefore are in communion whether we are aware of it or not.

24. Self-consciousness and self-thinking (manas) are the obstacles to knowledge.  No doubt we must and should use our minds.  But mental utilization apart from universal harmony is beneficial neither to oneself nor to the generality.

25. The Hindu repeats, “Neti, neti” (Not this, not this).  The Sufi has the positive practices of Darood, Zikar and Fikar.

26. The small self is not overcome by any attention to the self.  The small self becomes of even less importance when one practices the praise of God or repeats the Divine Attributes (Wazifas).

27. Praise of God is the RIGHT PATH.  Then there is no room for ego.  The ego is not effaced, but is transmuted by joining in the praise.

28. Light and sound have a direct action upon consciousness and so affect breath.  Inhalation and exhalation both have their sounds and also their colors.  Each of these has its significance.

29. In a purified body, the Etheric element helps to clarify the tone and beautify the expression. Mild breathing brings about that condition of which Jesus spoke: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  Thus, mild breathing may increase the scope for magnetism and bliss.

30. The breath sciences enable one to understand Sufi mysticism in all its aspects.

31. The prayer Nayaz proposes that there are three ways toward health:  Through the rays of the sun, through the waves of the air, and through the all-pervading life in space.  By space is meant the akasha, which is the accommodation for the life-power.  Solar radiance, the magnetisms contained in the Air element, and the life-power in space (prana) all enter the body through the channels of breath.

32. If oxygen were the sole supporter of life, one could breathe contentedly in an atmosphere of pure oxygen.  But pure oxygen could also consume.  Shiva is not only the divinity in life, he is the destroyer and transformer.

33. The Earth itself breathes.  The Mother requires prana for her life.  Only deserts remain practically without it.  After a rain the air is purified.  No doubt this increases the level of ozone in the atmosphere.  Ozone is not only physically activated oxygen, it is also a carrier for the all-pervading life in space.  Yogis and ascetics often live in high mountain areas where there is less denseness and oxygen, but where the ozone is comparatively higher.

34. Adepts who are able to control the breath and draw the blessings of Nayaz can adapt themselves to any environment.

35. Breath is light.  It carries light; it carries color.  It invigorates the whole body or any portion of it to which it is directed.  Breath carries health.  It also carries immortality.

36. Concentrating on the heart, one can purify the breath.  Concentrating on the breath and blowing “Hu” one can purify the heart.

37. The breath is the channel for many kinds of magnetism, including what is called Baraka - which means blessing.  The Murshid blowing on the disciple can help and bless the disciple.  The Shafayat (healer) blowing on the patient can help the patient.  The adept blowing on food and drink can help anybody.

38. Practice of Fikar with consciousness of breath develops what may be called the ark - which carries the soul symbolically in the next world.  More important, the ark of breath carries the soul actually in all worlds.

39. Identifying oneself with breath is a form of self-effacement which takes one from mortality to immortality.  Material things are left behind; spiritual “things” are carried to the next world—carry one to and through the next world.

40. All the denseness of the Earth is left behind when one has this breath realization.

Web Links: SRI Affiliated Centers & Groups Online

Links for SRI Affiliated Centers in the US

NOTE:  For a complete list of SRI events and contacts in specific cities and regions, see the "SRI World-Wide" menu, above.

Ashland Sufi Heart Circle: Dedicated to the awakening of the Heart, the pursuit of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the Unity of Religious Ideals, sacred agriculture, and the sharing and practice of the glorious Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty of Hazrat Inayat Khan, serving Southern Oregon and Northern California

Doorway Into Light: Supporting whole-hearted and sacred living and dying, recognizing death as a sacred passage and initiation; active in the Maui and global community since 2006

Golden Gate Sufi Circle: In service to the Message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, sponsoring and supporting camps, retreats, and other gatherings in the California regional area

One Sun San Diego Sufi Circle: Exploring the teachings of Universal Sufism as taught by Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis, with Dances of Universal Peace and Sufi gatherings in the San Diego CA area

Rose Heart Sufi Community: Dedicated to the Embodiment of Universal Spiritual Liberty, and Sacred Sound and Movement, serving North Carolina and the surrounding areas with Sufi gatherings, Dances of Universal Peace, retreats, camps, and special events

Sufis Hawai'i: Focusing Island Sufi camps, Dances of Universal Peace gatherings, community zikrs, and other events

Other Online Friends

Dances of Universal Peace - Southern States, Dance events and gatherings in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the Southern region

Dances, Zikrs and Retreats with Darvesha Victoria MacDonald, Ruhaniat events and Dances of Universal Peace gatherings in New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Canada, California and (in Spanish) in South America

Heartsong Retreat Center, Sufi gatherings and events in Arkansas; founded by Murshid Khabir Don Kitz

Khankah SAM / Mentorgarden, the first residential community of the Sufi Ruhaniat International located in the hills of the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, formerly the home of Murshid Samuel L Lewis, now offering numerous events with Murshid Wali Ali and other leaders

Marin Sufis, the online home of Pir Shabda Kahn featuring music, photos, recorded talks, teaching schedule and more

Northeast Sufi Circle, Sufi events and Dances of Universal Peace gatherings in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont; site sponsored by SAMA, a center for spiritual inquiry and personal growth located in Cambridge MA, rooted in the heart stream of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Sufi Murshid Samuel Lewis

Prescott Peace Dances & Sufi Circle, promoting the principles of Universalist Sufism through the Dances of Universal Peace, meetings, classes, and retreats in north-central Arizona

Ruhaniat Europe, presenting the annual Sufi Summer School which celebrates the living tradition of Sufism, the path of the heart, through Dances of Universal Peace, Walking Meditation, Healing, Spiritual Music, Zikr (Remembrance), Art, Soulwork and Spiritual Psychology, and more

Self & Soul Center, a retreat center in Southern Oregon offering classes and retreats on spiritual psychology, SoulWork and Universal Sufism, under the direction of Sheikha Yahya Ail Nadler and Sheikh Raphael Rod Birney

Shining Heart Community, an active, vibrant Sufi community serving Kansas City MO and the surrounding region with Dances of Universal Peace, Sufi gatherings, and special events; sponsor of the Ozark Sufi Camp

Southwest Sufi Community, a gathering place located near Silver City NM for people committed to inclusive spiritual practice within the sacred manuscript of nature. It's a retreat center: Voice of the Turtle, offering space and atmosphere for individual and group retreats and events. It's a residential community, Khankah Noor Inayat. It's a nature preserve, land protected and cared for; our greatest teacher. It is also the shrine and final resting place of Pir Moineddin, whose vision it was to establish the SSC.

Subcategories

Murshids' Circle
 

The Mur­shids’ Circle is an advisory body to the Esoteric School of the Ruhaniat, working with and supporting the Pir in overseeing the substantive inner work of our lineage.  Specifically, this includes developing programs for the transmission of the teachings, reviewing all higher initiations, and making decisions that affect the spiritual mission and future of the Ruhaniat. The yearly in-person meeting of the Murshidas and Murshids provides the opportunity to deepen collaborations, share and develop practices, implement policies, and further cultivate love, harmony, and beauty in service to the spiritual awakening of humanity.

MURSHIDS' CIRCLE ANNUAL MEETING * PETALUMA, CA, NOV 2017 - Top left: Allaudin Ottinger, Saadi Douglas-Klotz, Tansen O'Donohoe, Khadija Goforth, Pir Shabda Kahn, Saul Barodofsky, Khabir Kitz, Abraham Sussman. Front Row: Wali Ali Meyer, Fatima Lassar, Leilah Be, Sophia Gita Onnen, Halima Sussman, Baraka von Kügelgen, Mariam Baker. Not pictured: Asha Greer, Darvesha MacDonald

Members of the Murshids' Circle are:

Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan brought the Sufi message of Love, Harmony and Beauty to the West in 1910, and taught extensively in Europe, the UK and the USA. His teachings, recorded by his followers, fill many volumes and are available online or in print from several sources.

Seven volumes of The Complete Works of Hazrat Inayat Khan (about this edition), faithfully presenting his words as spoken, are available online for purchase or by free download;

The more familiar Sufi Message volumes are also available online, presented here by Wahiduddin Richard Shelquist, gratis and with an excellent search function. 

For free downloads of Hazrat Inayat Khan's works in non-English languages, visit www.ReachFarAndWide.org.