Beloved Family,

Greetings of the Heart as the Winter Solstice approaches! Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Returned from beautiful Maui last night after a lovely retreat followed by a week to enjoy the warm climes, clean air, ocean breezes and our many friends there, including a deep and wonderful visit with my first Spiritual teacher, Baba Ram Dass, who I met in 1968! I lived with him on his fathers land in Franklin New Hampshire in the Summer of 1969.

The Maui retreat took place at the Sacred Earth Assembly, one of the most beautiful retreat centers on our planet, hosted by Blue Mountain and his wife Myriah.

Now looking forward to our Pilgrimage to Mother India with Murshida Leilah as Co-guide and Waduda as Manager beginning February. 

Join us for Sufi Sesshin, which usually begins the first Friday of the year, now is Feb 23-Mar 2, 2018 due to IONS scheduling.

During this winter month I invite us to work on purifying and enlivening the body and the centers. At our recent retreat I shared this teaching from Hazrat Inayat Khan:

There are faculties of the soul which express themselves through certain centers in the body of man. As there are parts of lands to which water never reaches - and therefore they never become fertile soil - so it is with these centers when the breath never reaches them. They are intuitive, they are full of peace and balance, they are the centers of illumination, yet never have they been awakened, for man has breathed only in those parts of his body by which he can eat, and live, and perform action. He is only half alive, if his existence is compared with the fullness of life that can be obtained by spiritual development.

The practice, which I learned on a long retreat is to recite YA QUDDUS 11x in each center descending:

first in the Crown Center, 

then the Third Eye, 

then the Throat, 

the Heart, 

the Solar Plexus,

the Belly,

the Root.

Then recite YA NUR 11x in each Center beginning at the Root and progressing up the same ladder we climbed down, ending in the Crown.

Enjoy all the pics of the Maui birdlife!

Much love, Shabda


4. Ya Quddus (yaa ḳud-DOOS)

Al-Quddus is the ever-purifying one. It requires us to take leave of what we cling to in order to experience intimate union. Al-Quddus allows the spiritual traveler to transcend the lower self and keep going toward the one. Al-Quddus is a force that constantly cleanses us from the conceptual mind and its differentiations. It is continuously purifying our experience of the world through inward intimacy and union with the absolute.

A variation of the root of this Name means to return home to one’s village. Al-Quddus is always purifying and always distancing, in the sense of leaving behind the ephemeral to go fully into the eternal.

What is constantly moving toward Allah is al-Quddus. The union given by al-Quddus is one of continually becoming the eternal reality.

93. Ya Nur (yaa NOOR)

An-Nur is the essence of light, luminosity itself. A Qur'anic verse says, “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth.”  An-Nur is the light of every soul and an inherent characteristic in every pore of your body. Munawwir is a form of the same root and means the one who illuminates.

It is interesting that the word for “hell” in Arabic is naar, which has the same root as Nur. What makes it hell is that the burning heat there is lacking in light. That kind of burning heat is our inner condition if we don’t embody God’s loving mercy and compassion (rahma) and instead become full of rage.

Whatever way we may turn, we see the all-pervading light of an-Nur. Even the darkness shines from within it. All the various forms of wisdom and guidance are expressions of an-Nur. For example, nur-ul-haqeeqah is the light of truth and guidance on the path. What continues to live on in God when we die is also a legacy of light.

 To hear the pronunciation: Ya Quddus ~ Ya Nur



This month we begin reading Series 2 of the Githa Amaliyyat: Psychology of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan with commentary by Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti). Read Githa Series 2, Numbers 1 - 3, pages 1 - 16. Click here to download the document.

1TamamTamam teaching at the Maui Retreat


2SacredEarthAssemblySacred Earth Assembly, Maui Retreat Center


3HostTamamEliOur Host, Blue Mountain, Tamam and musician and Blue Mountain’s son Eli


4ShabdaTeachingTeaching on Maui


5DancingSufis Dancing at retreat with Murshida Leilah


6RamDassSelfie with Baba Ram Dass and Tamam




7FemaleCardinalFemale Northern Cardinal


8MaleNorthernCardinalMale Northern Cardinal


9HouseSparrowHouse Sparrow


10MynahBirdMyna Bird


11LoveBirdsLove Birds


12LoveBirdJamiatLove Bird Jamiat


13RingNeckedDoveRing Necked Dove


14ZebraDovesZebra Doves


15JavaSparrowJava Sparrow




16HawaiianStiltHawaiian Stilt




18NightHeronBlack-crowned Night Heron


19HawaiianCootHawaiian Coot




21MauiPanoramaMaui Panorama

For upcoming Events and Teachings, see Shabda's calendar for more information.