Tevia Clarke— On Murshid—8/17/76
SABIRA: Do you recall when you met Samuel Lewis?
TEVIA: I'll never forget it. To begin with, my sister and I were living in Sausalito, and she called me up one night and said that she was going to the home of a friend who lived in Mill Valley to hear Sam Lewis talk. Would I like to go? And so I said, "Certainly." I didn't have anything else to do, and she usually knows marvelous people. So we went ahead to this house, and at the door we took off our shoes, which I found interesting. As a matter of fact this is something that we applied to our own houses after that.
SABIRA: What year was this?
TEVIA: I guess it was '67 or '68, I'm not really sure, you'd probably could check that with Clojia. And we also were given bread, home baked bread as we came through the door—to break bread together, which, I thought was lovely too. And we came in and sat down in the circle, and people were talking to each other, and then this beautiful man came in—whom I did not know who he was, and was talking to people. And he went back into the kitchen and Wali Ali was calling various people to come forward and receive Darshan. Now I knew nothing of these things frankly. And so when everybody else had gone, practically, I think there were three people left—I was one of those three—Wali Ali motioned to me, and I got up and went back into the kitchen. I hadn't the faintest idea of what was going on, and Murshid was sitting on one side of the table and there was a chair across from him. I sat down and he looked at me with these eyes of total love, utter faith—the most exquisite thing I have ever experienced in my life—and I just felt suffused in warm and totality.
SABIRA: Okay, it had to be '68 if Wali Ali was there, because he didn't even come around until 1968. This was at the Mentorgarten, is that correct?
TEVIA: No dear, this was over in Mill Valley; I think it was probably Sheyla USA's house, before she became Sheyla USA, whenever that was. So, I wanted to return something to him, Sabira, and I, without thinking, though, "He is giving me all this warmth, I am going to return this; this is an exquisite beautiful precedent and the light has been great, or something like this," so I wanted to pour all my love and warmth back into a glance—and as I did so I knocked him out of his chair, and this huge balloon rainbow arc went across the table about three or four times bouncing back and forth—very electric. And Murshid just laughed and said nothing, got back into his chair, and Wali Ali, let me know that I was dismissed, and I went into the other room. And I was sort of horrified that this very fine holy man that I had just bounced right out of his chair, how gauche could I be?
Later in the evening when he was talking to everyone, and then later on he said, "There are some people that when they receive the glance, receive Darshan, in their delight, have a tendency to misuse their power by trying to reciprocate, to give back this kind of thing, and they should learn to control this first." He never called me by name or said, "There are people who are so stupid that they blow you out of your chair." And he was just my Murshid from that moment on. I have never met anybody that I felt quite that way about again, and I felt his presence very strongly.
SABIRA: Then what happened after that? Did you get initiated? Did you go to classes?
TEVIA: it was a much looser-knit thing in those days, yes, let's see, Sam did several Holy men jams that I was present at, and he did things in the park, things in Mill Valley, things in Sausalito—
SABIRA: When you say "things," would you describe those?
TEVIA: They were dances, and dances in the park, and there were Sufi get-togethers in San Rafael and at Novato.
SABIRA: Are there that particularly stand out in the way of stories or anecdotes?
TEVIA: All of them. He was just magnificent through all of them.
SABIRA: Things in particular that you remember.
TEVIA: I've seen him get very upset with somebody and just stand there and jump up and down while he was in his red and green robe, and create a completely electric impression.
SABIRA: Did he ever blast you?
TEVIA: Oh yes, many times.
SABIRA: Can you describe some of them?
TEVIA: His presence was a blessing, no—
SABIRA: No, I meant blasting you—
TEVIA: No, I don't think I ever got blasted, but I understand that other members of my family were sufficiently blasted for all of us.
SABIRA: Do you remember the time when he jumped up and down in the green robe—what was that like?
TEVIA: Oh yes—I think somebody was determined to do their own thing when we were all singing and dancing, and unless I am mistaken, I think somebody was a little out of their mind, and had sort of joined in from the outside, and did something inappropriate and perhaps out of fear, that was my impression, and Sam just let down and just jumped up and down in a fury in front of them, and I think surrounded them with light so that they were no longer frightened, and stopped doing this rip-off thing that they were doing. But it was very contained, he was it just blasting somebody, sending them on their way. I think that perhaps it was somebody who wanted to belong who had been unable to belong to anything perhaps all their lives, and instead of isolating them or lecturing them, he zapped them and it was just really the finest thing.
SABIRA: What other impressions do you have? What things do you remember? Were there embarrassing moments?
TEVIA: There were always those.
SABIRA: We want you to give personal anecdotes of things that you remember that actually happened to you.
TEVIA: Oh wow, I don't know that I am very good at that, Sabira; I can remember—it's terrible, I can remember a thousand things, but I don't know that any of them were embarrassing, really. I felt embarrassed many times, but there is one of his favorite expressions that it's that embarrassment is all that stands in our way of attaining Divinity.
SABIRA: Yeah? I hadn't heard that one before.
TEVIA: It's only embarrassment, he said, "If we would just give up our embarrassment.
SABIRA: He actually said that?
TEVIA: Oh yes, many times.
SABIRA: I wonder if that is why he tried to put people into embarrassing situations, that's interesting.
TEVIA: He would put you into embarrassing situations to see what you would do. And almost inevitably, if you are in a momentary embarrassing situation you have to give that up. There is no way that you could maintain it, particularly with someone as dynamic as Sam was.
SABIRA: Yes, very interesting; first time that anybody's put in that way.
TEVIA: Oh I think he's bridge it, I've seen him bridge a thousand spaces for people, people who are on ego trips—I'm sure he's done it to me, I'm just—I don't, I really can't think of Sam without anything but a deep abiding love. I have seen him embrace Paul Reps, and there is an electric combination.
SABIRA: Can you describe that meeting?
TEVIA: We were over in Sausalito and they just embraced for a moment and they—Paul Reps was, I think, hopping on—I've forgotten her name momentarily—one of the old time and very beautiful Sufi ladies, and in which she said that her problem was that she was too stiff necked, and he preceded to take away her stiff-neckedness.
SABIRA: Paul Reps did that?
TEVIA: Yes—and I am sure that Murshid set that up.
SABIRA: Oh yeah? And then they embraced?
TEVIA: Yes, and there was a great deal of comradeship—between Sam and almost everyone I've ever met. He sent us many places to enhance our education.
SABIRA: Mention those?
TEVIA: He sent us to Magaña Baptiste where we learned a great deal about ourselves and our bodies. He sent us to Tai Chi, he sent us to the Buddhist Temple which is the Chan Temple.
SABIRA: Did you go to see To-Lun?
SABIRA: When you say "we," do you mean Renee and yourself?
TEVIA: Yeah, most of the Dreamers were Sam's disciples—but not everybody got initiated before he transited.
SABIRA: Did you have any special experience with initiation?
TEVIA: I never was too sure that I had even been initiated. He told me several times, "Now you are a Sufi," and I was never sure—I was always sure while he was around, it was only after he transited, and other people were discussing the very formal affairs, the very formal initiations with one Murshid or another that I had some doubts about whether I had been indeed a mureed. I remember at one of the very first meetings that I went to he said, "Will my mureeds please get up and dance and I didn't move since I didn't know quite what capacity I fell into, and Sam walked over and put out his arm and said, "Will you dance with me?"
SABIRA: Yeah, this happened with several people, that's beautiful.
TEVIA: And as I said, on several occasions, once he said, "Will all my disciples please get up and do a certain thing," and I was sitting minding somebody's baby at the moment, and he said, "Certainly you can manage with that child when you have one so large," because Paul was quite a bit bigger at the time. So I promptly got up to do the dancing. And we went to many places, and there were many times that the Khankah in Novato that we danced and learned spins and all kinds of things here at the Mentorgarten.
SABIRA: Did he give you a Dharma and Karma walk, astrological walk?
SABIRA: Which were yours?
TEVIA: I dealt mostly with the Moon walk, which was a way, I believe, of telling me, that my receptivity needed cleaning up.
SABIRA: Did you agree?
TEVIA: I guess.
SABIRA: He definitely was right —
TEVIA: Yeah I know, I've never known him to be wrong. And I've seen him deal with intractable people who were called pigs and fishes in the I Ching and just totally deal with impossible situations with great clarity and total understanding. Sometimes by yelling, sometimes by jumping up and down, sometimes by simply smiling. It shows that in my whole lifetime of experience I have met many, many people from one side of this country to the other, and outside of this country too. If I was ever asked for the two most important people in my life, I would say my father and Sam, I always considered myself very blessed to have them both.
SABIRA: Did you go to restaurants with Sam? Have any restaurant stories to tell us?
TEVIA: Yeah, I believe he poured coffee in the salad once.
SABIRA: Oh God. I forget what he was upset about. He was annoyed about something and he went splash, and later on, Greg who was another member of the California Dreamers also did that, and I was forced to say to him, "You don't do it with the same grace.”
SABIRA: Did he make you sing at the restaurants?
SABIRA: That's one of the things he used to do. How'd you feel about that?
TEVIA: That was marvelous. I happen to have a flat bass, I think I am probably the only one who sang with the group who had a flat bass. And somehow I always felt as though I were doing just fine.
SABIRA: It didn't embarrasses you?
TEVIA: It was very difficult after he transited, but it certainly wasn't when he was around.
SABIRA: But it wasn't embarrassing—some people found it was—
TEVIA: He never made you feel in any way, I don't know if this applies to everyone—but he made me feel in any way that there was nothing, there just was nothing that I could not attain. I always felt that whatever Murshid felt I should do I would be able to do, because he was always groovy. I think he was pepper—
SABIRA: More peppery—?
TEVIA: Peppery, I think he probably had the clearest insight of anyone I have ever spoken to about anything. I didn't always get along with him; we did not at that time always agree on everything, and I have found since that what he was saying was quite sound. It was my own limitations that saw it in a remembered way rather than looking at it in the Sufi way.
SABIRA: Do you have an example of that?
TEVIA: I think one of my biggest disagreements with him was on the war—World War II, we had several very strong disagreements about that, mostly, because I was unwilling to admit that it was, perhaps, a cosmic plan. And I was very one-sided about how I saw that, you see. I was unable to see that all things are not necessarily bright and beautiful and sparkling with diamonds. I am perhaps more aware than most people that while you blame the rotten apples of the world, it takes the humus to make the tree grow, and Sam was a good gardener—and he used his manure well, too. Those of us who were manurery from time to time, he used us well, and never let us feel that we were any the less for that, although he was very stern, about dropping previous reports. And he has said to me many times, "That's a remembered response; get rid of it, and he was right every time, even when I fought it, I could see later that I was not using an overview on it, not really looking at it in any sane way; I was looking at it from a remembered something that I thought I had learned when indeed I hadn't learned anything at all.
SABIRA: But you didn't realize this until after he had passed?
TEVIA: I didn't realize it until after I had been exposed to other Murshids—they were just marvelous, but they were never mine.
SABIRA: What about his death—you call it transiting—what thoughts do you have about that? Were you at the hospital?
TEVIA: No, we were in close contact with the hospital from the house at the time, and I wept, because it was a very personal loss to me. I don't feel that Sam died, I feel he transited, and he gave me a complete understanding of death that I had never had before, Sabira.
SABIRA: What was that?
TEVIA: That there was no such thing, that we go to different planes. I was very selfish in that I would of just as soon he hadn't left, but I think I adjusted to that pretty quickly. And yes, we danced our salutations to him, and to his transition, we drank wine to it.
SABIRA: Were you at the funeral?
SABIRA: Did you participate in—
TEVIA: You mean in Sausalito?
SABIRA: Yeah—in Sunseed? Were you able to be in any of the scenes?
TEVIA: I don't know if I was in any of the current showings of it, I think Amertat has something like seven years of film there, and probably enough to make 16 films, and I am in many of them.
TEVIA: There was a large amount of footage that was done, for instance when the mureeds met over in Marin on a little island, I don't even remember what the name of it was, and Banefsha and Michael were married at that time, and that astrologist—
SABIRA: Gavin Arthur?
TEVIA: Gavin Arthur—was there, and I have forgotten, there was a Rabbi there also.
SABIRA: Shlomo Carlebach?
TEVIA: Mansur was there—no it wasn't Shlomo Carlebach— I know Shlomo very well. And I love Shlomo too, that is somebody whom I also know and love. But there was a—there was life to Sam. There was no one that was ever around him who didn't feel tremendous vitality and he was very free with it—he really gave all his energy and never seemed to be diminished. I've known him a few times when he seemed tired toward the end there. And I saw him once or twice when he seemed a little subdued as though he felt possibly that his time was getting—was drawing a little less near—
SABIRA: Do you think he had premonitions that he might be—
TEVIA: Yes, I think that's possible. When he was at the Whirling Dervish bazaar he came in and whirled around with me and discussed—I was running the Thieves' Market—we discussed that and we strode through the hall together for perhaps thirty/thirty-five minutes.
SABIRA: That was in November or December of 1970?
TEVIA: Yeah, and he was gone very shortly after that, four or five weeks. The Sufis that were around then are perhaps different from the Sufis now, but I feel that all of these young Sufis, new Sufis are really Murshid's disciples too. He brought us a very deep understanding of music, and of Hazrat Inayat Khan and of Sufism, and whatever has transpired now—he always used to say what would he do when he had thousands of disciples—and he really does have thousands of disciples now, because these are all his disciples, in one sense of the word.
SABIRA: Has he come to you in dreams or visions?
TEVIA: Oh yeah, sure.
SABIRA: Can you describe some of those?
TEVIA: I rely very heavily on those.
SABIRA: In what way? Can you describe some of those?
TEVIA: They perhaps lessened somewhat this year when so much has been going on in my life that is remote from the Sufi world. Oh, I think that when I have been headed in a direction that was perhaps a little less worthwhile than the other, Murshid has appeared. I remember in this dream walking in the garden and opening up—picking a flower, which promptly opened and there was Murshid inside very tiny, and he leapt out onto my hand and shook his finger at me very strongly, and said, "No, Not Now, Not Now!" And I woke up and I said, "Alright." I never questioned it.
SABIRA: But you knew what he was referring to?
TEVIA: Instantly!, and I have felt him many times in dancing—with a tiny flute because he was so much like Krishna, so much like Christ, so much like all of the avatars—I don't feel he was any the less than any of the rest, and I don't feel he was anymore than any of the rest.
SABIRA: That's a wonderful dream; were there anymore like that? Or visions?
SABIRA: You'd have to call that one a vision, I think.
TEVIA: Oh I can remember also watching he and Wali Ali and Saul slide down the rainbow once on their backsides. That was hilarious.
SABIRA: What rainbow?
TEVIA: Just a huge rainbow—
SABIRA: Oh in a dream—
TEVIA: Yeah—watching them slide down on their rear ends and laughing hilariously like small children coming down a slide—and there were probably a million recollections that I have; it's just that I've always sort of hoarded them to myself.
SABIRA: That's understandable.
TEVIA: It is very difficult, because they would perhaps be more or less meaningless, and also because there are a lot of new suns who know of him through books and things, but who didn't meet him personally, and who have a somewhat different approach than I do. He was very irascible, taught me to play a game of cards called Patience, and that when the cards weren't working out, neither was anything else—but to sit and wait and give it time and not rush into anything that was not clear for me yet, and this has sustained me whenever I have had to make a major decision, even if I just have to get started on a day when I'm not sure of the direction that I want to go to, I always kept a pack of cards. For about four years I kept a pack of cards that Sam gave me; they disappeared as some things will, although I still have his scarf and I have one of his old shirts. It's been tie-dyed and patched and mended, and about as madzub as anything I'll ever own that I treasure. And I always took these cards in the morning, and would lay out my game of patience—it's a form of solitaire—
SABIRA: Oh, was that what he was playing in Sunseed then?
TEVIA: Yes. And he said that when your thoughts were directed in the right fashion, you'd be able to think better—when you have confusion or something, you'll be blocked, and you'll be blocked until you learn to see through—to see through that particular thing, whatever it is—and I have passed this on to quite a few other friends.
SABIRA: One person has said that he received messages in the cards, he'd get ideas, if he had a problem or a conflict, he'd play this game and he'd get his answer—
TEVIA: Yes, keeping it together. There are messages, too, when there are suddenly no jacks in your deck turning up, and that's what is stymieing you, that that particular kind of concentration is not being used in your judgment, or, if for instance, no queens turn up in the game, and that is the place you are blocked, than you know you are not relying on other women, which is something Sam always stressed that we were all brothers and sisters and we should use each other well. He disliked any of the petty bickering or—and he used to just explode in laughter at people for their—for their egos. He'd say, "That's an ego trip," and he would just absolutely guffaw at you, and you could hardly maintain that pose in the face of such a blue-pricking fart; you'd have to laugh at yourself, pow!, you'd have to laugh at yourself. And that wasn't hard to do either; it was the comfortable thing to do. And he used to twinkle a lot; I am convinced that he could astral travel at the drop of a hat. Many times when I didn’t see how he could possibly have gotten from one place to another, possibly he was doing it more literally than most, and just meditating to wherever he wanted to be.
SABIRA: What was his purpose in life do you suppose?
TEVIA: To garden, to cultivate—Hsuan Hua—that's To-Lun—says that there is no real path that doesn't have demons on it—that's how you tell, and the way that you work that through is you cultivate, you polish the demon into light, because the demons are just your own wrong thoughts on the subject in the first place. In the emptiness of existence there are no worthy groups, there are no not-demons, and Sam was one of the best polishers and cultivators that I ever knew—he was a gardener. I believe that was his whole life. And he saw the whole world as his garden. So that he spoke of bringing peace to the Middle East or he spoke of his understanding of the original Americans here, the native people or he spoke of the black people. There was never any condescension, there was always a full comprehension of what he was saying as though he realized life much more totally than most people do. And even his awareness on the war was right, I hated it, fought it—I think my sister yelled at him and he yelled back many times over. He had a great deal of patience, but he also could lose his patience. He was never confused about losing it. It was not his Divinity that he was losing, it was just his patience, and consequently, there were times, as I said, when he just hopped up and down shivering with people, and he would be very annoyed, for instance, if some of the young hippie people came and we were doing one of the dances or concentrating on walks, and people would just diddaly-bop in and try to do their own thing, falling out from the top to the bottom of their current costume. And once he clapped his hands together and made a horrendous noise like a fox in a hen house, and he said that in the future we would either come without any clothes on at all, or we would come in long dresses—that he would have no women who were falling out here or there.
SABIRA: What happened to that? What did the women think of that or what did you think of that?
TEVIA: I think there was a lot of heavy shopping.
SABIRA: So that's the story—
TEVIA: Everybody went out and got a long dress, because I don't think that any of us wanted to displease Murshid. It wasn't that we were trying to please him, it's just that he seemed so right about things.
SABIRA: Wasn't that pretty archaic and old fashioned?
SABIRA: No, it didn't seem that way?
TEVIA: I think that he, and Yogi Bhajan, perhaps are the enduring people because they chose the path that they did—and Kennett Roshi also. Now, when you see Kennett Roshi's people you don't think it is old fashioned, they are exquisite, right? And Kennett Roshi is another person who deeply loved Sam.
SABIRA: Yes I know.
TEVIA: And I know Sam did too.
SABIRA: She's been ill; we haven't been able to interview her yet.
TEVIA: I'm sorry to hear that.
SABIRA: Very ill.
TEVIA: I'm really sorry to hear that.
SABIRA: But she's better now.
TEVIA: I'm glad to hear that.
SABIRA; Yeah, they almost lost her in June, but she's alright now, last letter we got.
TEVIA: Yeah, it was very difficult for everyone—that month, interesting month—a month of heavy purification, a lot of people weren't following that purification kind of thing, so what happens in effect is—I suppose even in very spiritual people is that your ego becomes your illness and whatever you have left uncultivated, so to speak, is what you have. Some people called it a cold, some people called it the flu, some people were even arrogant enough to call it TB, or circulation problems—
SABIRA: Flu or whatever, it still manifests in a physical way—
TEVIA: Our egos or nufs, as we Sufis say, our nufs—if they are not burned away, they find themselves flourishing in the garden. And it behooves you to eat your weeds, change your patterning, change your thinking about it. It is hard for me, Sabira, to find the one thing about Sam to make a little related story. His humor was so magnificent. Almost everything that he said was hilarious, and when he was being serious he was very, very deep, and you could almost travel on his glance, and it was almost as though he made a path that you could walk on.
SABIRA: Did you do work with him at the Mentorgarten?
SABIRA: What did you do?
TEVIA: Oh, whatever he wanted. He is the one that taught me, "When the Abbot tells you to scrub the floors, you scrub the floors, and don't worry about what's in the kitchen pot or who is cooking it." And so if he said that he wanted me to sort through letters, that's what I did, I sorted through letters. I didn't stop to read them all and learn somebody else's business. I looked at the dates and who they were from and to, and put everything in proper order, and then he would say to me, "Perhaps you can read them," but I really learned a tremendous amount of concentration with him. I think perhaps all my life, because of my own planetary patterning, I have had a good sense of being able to be organized—not always organized but being able to be organized—being able to adhere to a concentration, but Sam really solidified that for me, and he did it always in the most hilarious way. Sometimes he yelled at me too.
SABIRA: Was that in a hilarious way also?
TEVIA: Yes, but I didn't always think so at the time it happened, but yes, it always was.
SABIRA: For instance, what would he yell at you about?
TEVIA: Oh, sometimes when he would feel that one or the other of us was doing something which was really not a Sufi thing . Our whole section, if we were all sitting together, would catch our lumps.
SABIRA: You mean the Dreamers?
TEVIA: Not just the Dreamers, whomever might happen to be sitting in an area. And he would find inharmony in our voices or somebody's ego trying to climb up above everybody elses'—and this sort of threw water on the whole little unit, and it was always very purifying. It dampened your spirits momentarily, but it was very purifying. The fact that he was so tiny, and so impossible sometimes; it was magnificent too.
SABIRA: Was there anything about him that you didn't like?
SABIRA : We also want to get those kind of impressions, if there are any.
TEVIA: Oh, I am sure that in the beginning I felt that sometimes he was facetious, or fatuous is a better word, but I soon came to realize how childish that was of me. I don't think there is anything I didn't like about him.
SABIRA: How did that manifest?
TEVIA: I think I just absolutely adored him, and whatever he was doing I thought was perfectly alright; he could have been absolutely outrageous, Sabira, and I would have felt it was totally alright. I would have learned to cultivate myself to go well with that and I have heard some of the older mureeds say from time to time, "Sam said, always do this— Sam always told me this," and I have—on occasion—in fact I got very angry with one of the mureeds once, and I said, "You're nothing but a Murshid-pig, because Sam told you, that's fine, but Sam told me something totally different, and I'm not laying it on you, so how are you laying your trip on me? What he told you was for you; what he told me was for me, and let's not get into who knew him the longest, because it is all just a tick in time anyway." That was another thing he told me, it was all just a tick in time. "Don't worry, it's all just a tick in time anyway."
TEVIA: Yeah, and here I was all kadood (?) about something irrelevant, life was horrendous and impossible, and how was I going to make it through? He just patted me and tweaked my ear and nose and said, "It's all just a tick in time anyway." And I realized that he was quite right, what was I doing wasting myself that way, worrying, and worrying, and worrying, so I cleaned up my receptivity, did my moon spin and got it together.
SABIRA: Just like that?
TEVIA: And other than that, we had, I remember Kabbalah classes with Michael Gest and Sam was very instrumental in those. He was totally impossible in the most realistic manner conceivable. If he felt like taking a nap, he would lay down in the garden and take a nap. If it started to rain, he would just put his robe over his face; if he wanted to eat something, and what he wanted in the house was not there, he ate something else. He was quite capable of handing you a dish of lettuce and radishes and onions and telling you it was steak. "Eat it and shut up," which you did, and it was very steak-like in flavor somehow, even though you were sitting there eating grass or something. And I loved that in him, that fact that he was his own person. Not that he was his own person because he was very dedicated to Allah, totally Allah's person, but his own person on this plane, in this level—not given to making decisions for people that he hadn't thought about, not given to doing prescribed things that he hadn't thought through, that one never felt any falseness. There was never any lack of surety. If he was angry he was horrendous, and he could get very angry about things. One of us could be doing something in a totally impossible fashion, or be doing something very astrally—or out to lunch. And if he caught you at it he would give you your lumps.
SABIRA: He wanted you to be on the earth plane.
TEVIA: He carried a huge Zen stick; no, he wanted you to do your astral traveling carefully, considerately.
SABIRA: Did he carry his—did he literally carry his Zen stick to classes?
SABIRA: You meant facetiously there?
TEVIA: He had the largest Zen stick I've ever seen. And he used it like a god-mother's—like a fairy god-mother's wand.
SABIRA: The story of when he went to see Moineddin in the hospital and he said, "If you don't get out of that bed, I'm going to beat you with my Zen stick," is one of those stories.
SABIRA: So I know what you're saying. He did have it, he still has it—it's still here, at the Mentorgarten—
TEVIA: And the fact that Moineddin is around is largely due to that, because until that point he had been dealing with an ego trip of some kind, which was quite dangerous to him. And I think Moineddin in some fashion had momentarily given up .
SABIRA: Yes, he said he had—
TEVIA: His own sense of control—and that's what I meant by Sam; I never felt that he was doing a prescribed thing because it was prescribed. I always felt he thought it through, and he knew that Moineddin might very well go under if he didn't come into that hospital and yell at him— and he went and yelled and left.
SABIRA: He said later that it was the hardest thing that he ever had to do.
TEVIA: I believe it.
SABIRA: Do you want to sum up, because we are about to the end of this side of the tape, unless you have a lot more, we'll turn it over.
TEVIA: No, I'm sure that will be enough. Sam used to tell stories—fairy tales or Sufi stories—and I guess he was sort of all of my teachers in one lifetime rolled into one. I don't want him to sound like I have hero worship for him because I don't. I have a profound respect for Sam here and he earned every inch of that, and it is sort of arrogant of me to even presume that he would care or give a damn about it, so I won’t be that arrogant—
SABIRA: I suspect he would have cared very much.
TEVIA: In his own way, I’m sure, but he had, just an amazing sense of brightness that you rarely see, and I feel he is very present most of the time. It is customary amongst my Indian people when we are doing an Indian ceremony to say "all our relations" when you make your prayers to grandfather. And I believe that I frequently think of Sam in that capacity as all of my relations, and my grandfather to whom I pray to, and I wish I had more to give you—
SABIRA: Oh that's fine, that's excellent—
TEVIA: He was too much, and the only person I've known who could afford to be too much.
SABIRA: Do you miss him a lot?
TEVIA: Sometimes—it would help a lot if he were still around physically—with his Zen stick. I never found another Murshid who I felt that way about, and I don't think I ever will. I think one was enough. But he helps me still with a lot of decisions, and he gave me a lot of practices. It is not everyone who would recognize that learning to deal with patience is perhaps one of the best Sufi practices in the world.
SABIRA: Yes, I know—
TEVIA: Sometimes learning to cook, sometimes paying attention to each grain of rice that goes into your pot is a Zikr all its own and certainly a concentration all your own, and very special because of that.
SABIRA: Thank you very much. Okay, Tevia, what about your name?
TEVIA: Tevia is my own name, it is my given name, and almost all of the Sufi women had names, which were not the names they had—either new names too and most of them were those of the Apostles, and so I asked him if it was that I wasn't ready for a name and he said, no, that my name in the long run fit me just right, and also that I would get a name from somebody else later.
SABIRA: What did he mean by that prediction, do you know?
TEVIA: I guess he meant that I was Tevia and I should do well recognizing that.
SABIRA: Does it have a meaning—Tevia?
TEVIA: It's one who Imala watches over—and who does God's work.
SABIRA: Oh well, that's beautiful.
TEVIA: It is Timanthia in Gaelic. That's the meaning of Timothy.
SABIRA: That was a beautiful reason, that makes a lot of sense.
TEVIA: So I was always very satisfied with my name because of that. I never felt any loss. However, when I became a Buddhist in the Chan Temple, of course, I got a Dharma name which is Kuohsun which means admonisher, adviser etc, so I figured that Sam had arranged that for me and I would have to live with that—
SABIRA: That's what he said – you would get a name from someone else.
TEVIA: I try to accept that one. It sounds kind of like a prior's poop (?) doesn't it—admonisher and adviser.
SABIRA: Whatever you make of it.
TEVIA: Sam has given me a lot. When our kids were growing up, we—our children celebrate all kinds of things. They celebrate Christmas, and Hanukkah, and the Swedish festival of lights, Buddha's birthday, and honor dances and scout benefit give-a ways and I think that Sam opened up a whole new door for our kids; our kids really loved him.
SABIRA: Does Paul remember Sam?
TEVIA: Oh yes.
SABIRA: Okay, Tevia, you were telling me something about Rashad.
TEVIA: I first met Rashad when he was over at our house in the Haight, and he used a technique that he said he had gotten from Sam where he just zapped our kids to sleep so they couldn't bother him while he was lecturing to us, and later I was over in Sausalito when he was speaking to the Sufis and had probably had the most singular experience I have ever experienced in my whole life, and that is I saw into the fourth dimension.
[End of side one]
TEVIA: … or Mathematics to understand that particular plane, and I thought that it was because—until I met Sam, I was just considered sort of crazy—and Sam pointed out to us, "That aren't we all?" And he opened a great many of my Chakras which I'd never even heard of before that time.
SABIRA: How did he open them?
TEVIA: Sometimes with practices, and sometimes just because he could really expand space, and frequently explained to us that we couldn't. I remember in the Haight helping some friends that were going to a sort of holy man's jam—and having a lot of trouble parking, and I remember expanding their parking space so they could get through traffic.
SABIRA: I remember you did that with me with ya Hayy, ya Hakk—
TEVIA: Yes, I know—
SABIRA: And I'm still doing it—
TEVIA: And a lot of people get very frightened and think that is some kind of magic, but that's really just being aware of your dimensions, and not manipulating them in any way. It's just understanding that there is just such an abundance here on this plane for us. And so it's fine to be crazy.
SABIRA: Hurrah. Hurrah for us, hurrah for Sam.
TEVIA: Right, you'd better believe it, and how Sufish of us—
SABIRA: How what?
TEVIA: How Sufish of us—
SABIRA: Alright, that's great, can you think of anymore of these little games?
TEVIA: Oh probably I could get through the whole night coming up with them, but it's hard when you try to sit down and do it, Sabira.