Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, 1896-1971
Samuel Lewis was born on October 18, 1896 in San Francisco. His mother Harriet had a dream of the Prophet Samuel before his birth. From his earliest years he had mystical insights. Samuel graduated from San Francisco’s top high school, Lowell, with the highest grades, but was at odds with the values of his family and was not supported to go on to college. Later, when by the Grace of God, he became the spiritual teacher of the hippies, he told his students and disciples that his experience of family rejection was God's way of preparing him to be sympathetic to them.
In November 1919 he met Murshida Rabia Martin who introduced him to the universal Sufi teachings of the Indian Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, and Inayat became his spiritual guide in 1923. In a series of interviews in 1926 he received the full Baraka (transmission of blessing) of his teacher, and instructions for his lifework.
During WWII he served as a civilian in US Army Intelligence and received a citation for his service which was said to include "distant reading" of troop movements in North Africa. In the 1950's and 60's he traveled extensively in the Middle East and Asia and was celebrated as a realized being by Sufi, Buddhist, and Hindu teachers.
During the last years of his life he successfully collaborated with Pir Vilayat Khan, the son of his teacher, to revive the Sufi Message in America. The Dances of Universal Peace were born in his garage in 1968 and have flourished around the globe. On January 15, 1971, Samuel Lewis died after a fall down the stairs of his home. He is buried at Lama Foundation near Taos, New Mexico where his burial site is a place of pilgrimage. The Sufi Ruhaniat International was formed to carry forward Murshid Sam's transmission.