Nyogen Sensaki

Nyogen SensakiNyogen Senzaki was born on the Kamchatka Peninsula in northeastern Siberia.  Little is known about his parents except that his mother was Japanese and his father was either Russian or Chinese.  A traveling Japanese Buddhist monk found the infant Nyogen beside the frozen body of his mother.  The monk brought the orphaned baby back to Japan where he was adopted and raised by a ship carpenter named Senzaki whose family lived in Aamori Prefecture in the northern part of the country.

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Sokei-an Sasaki

Sokei-an Shigetsu SasakiWhat follows is a description of the Zen teacher Sokei-an Sasaki in the words of Samuel Lewis in one of his spiritual autobiographies, “Dharma Transmission.”

Mohammed said, “I am an ordinary man like you.”  God made the ordinary man in His Image.  Sometimes this is manifested.  Sokei-an was not a Swami Ramdas or Sufi, whose love-vibrations permeate the atmosphere.  Neither did he show power or beauty or repose; he was, in one sense, the most ordinary person one could meet and, in another sense, the most complete.

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Papa Swami Ramdas & Mother Krishnabai

Papa Swami RamdasMother KrishabaiIn the 1950’s Murshid SAM reported a recurring vision with the face of a saint accompanied by poetry, “By one year’s time, by land or sea, I will come to thee.”  In 1954, in keeping with the vision, Papa (Swami) Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai came to San Francisco on their World Tour and Murshid SAM found his “Hindu” Guru.

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Sufi Barkat Ali

Sufi Barkat AliIn one of his spiritual autobiographies, The Lotus and the Universe, Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti) offers the following description of his Sufi teacher in Pakistan:

"Sufi Barkat Ali combines the tasawwuf of the Chisti, Kadiri, and Sabri Schools.  The Chisti use music, mainly, and there have been some excellent kawwals (songs of devotion) presented in his community by individuals and groups. 

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Joe & Guin Miller

Joe & Guin MillerThe Life & Teachings of Joe Miller, 1904–1992

By Shabda Kahn, written as a book review for Yoga Journal after the publication of Richard Power’s book about Joe

Joe Miller is one of the great “homemade” American Mystics of this century.  He was recognized as an enlightened being by many spiritual authorities and revered as a mentor by many young seekers.

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Murshida Vera Corda

Murshida Vera CordaVisit Murshida Vera's web site

Murshida Vera Corda was a lifelong student of Hazrat Inayat Khan, dedicating her life to the message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty.  From her first contact with Inayat Khan in the spirit body before the age of five to her last breath leaving this plane on the zikr of light, Murshida Vera was an exemplary student of inquiry, practice, discipline and devotion to the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.  Murshida speaks of her life’s guidance; “Well, you can imagine that for a person who had met Inayat Khan in the spirit body at five years of age, it was a tremendous guidance in my entire life work before I ever knew that he lived on this plane…” 

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Ruth St. Denis

Ruth St. DenisRuth St. Denis was a major influence on Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, who called her “Mata-Ji” (Honored Mother) and referred to her as “my fairy godmother.”  She was a source of inspiration in Murshid SAM’s creation of the Dances of Universal Peace and of the Spiritual Walks.  In his diaries, Murshid SAM reports several profound encounters with her at pivotal times in his ministry, and says she taught him the faculty of “drawing music and dances right out of the cosmos, out of the heart-of-God.”

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Frida Waterhouse

Frida WaterhouseA Brief Autobiography

The amanuensis, Frida Waterhouse, was born of Jewish parents on October 12, 1907, at Gloversville, New York.  She has a sister who is still living.  The year 1907 was a prelude to an economic depression in the United States, and there was barely enough food in the house for the two children.  Ultimately both parents became quite ill, which meant a separation of the family unit for a period of time.

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