Beloved Family,

Winter greetings! With the Sufi Sesshin in late February for the first time, I have had an extended homestay which has been delightful.

Pruned the garden plants, added chicken manure and compost, planted a few fruit trees and enjoyed many walks with friends and the birds!

In 10 days I travel to Mother India with Murshida Leilah and a beautiful group of pilgrims from many countries. A week after my return is the Annual Sufi Sesshin.

Towards the end of March I fly down to Ecovillage Atlantida near Cali Colombia where the last time there were 185 people , 150 of them under 35 years old. For this reason the Ruhaniat Sufi Youth Council has made this retreat the site of the once every two years Ruhaniat Sufi Youth Jam!

In April I have the pleasure of leading a retreat in Nevada City, close to home and then the annual Ruhaniat Jamiat Aam in Portland.

In May I will teach in Southern France for the first time, followed by the annual Federation of the Sufi Message Harmony Gathering, this year at Hazrat Inayat Khan’s home and Sufi Center, Fazal Manzil, in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris.

The 44th Anuual July Mendocino Sufi Camp flyer just came out-- see you there.

Stay warm; Spring is around the corner!

Much love,



Recite 101x  YA HAFIZ ~ YA 'AZIM 

38. Ya Hafiz (yaa ḥa-FEEḌḤ)

Al-Hafiz means that everything in the heavens and earth, down to the smallest particle, is within the protection of Allah. For human beings, it involves becoming mindful, considerate, respectful, and cherishing deeply in your heart. This makes it exactly parallel with dhikr (zikr), which means “to remember.” It is in this sense that God says in the Qur'an, “Remember me, and I will remember you.”

Al-Hafiz is protecting and remembering everyone. To realize al-Hafiz is to be conscious of the greatest of secrets, to know the secret, and to keep it. The order, sequence, and timing of the universe are preserved through this quality.

Invocation of Ya Hafiz is useful for all who need protection from fear, despair, and hopelessness. Al-Hafiz is a matrix for the whole family of the divine Names of protection because it contains within itself all the specific qualities they each evoke.

33. Ya 'Azim (yaa 'a-ḌḤEEM)

Al-'Azim actualizes the divine presence. It involves feeling this presence in the depth of your soul, literally in your very bones. Al-'Azim comes from al-'adaam, which means to grow strong in the bones. It is the experience of the infinite in your deepest, essential self, as well as in the world outside. Al-'Azim means to embody the divine presence in a complete way, a physical way. A most difficult part of human actualization is reaching the stage of being able to bring the structure of your inner realization into balance with the structure of your outward manifestation in the world.

The invocation of Ya 'Azim is a very helpful practice for all who pay attention to realization in an abstract sort of way, but who cannot bring their realization out and function with it in daily life. It is a divine quality that is called on for the accomplishment of extraordinary aims. There is an awesome or overwhelming feeling connected with this Name. The root of 'Azim alludes to the hundredth or greatest Name of God, the unknown Name. 

To hear the pronunciation: Ya Hafiz ~ Ya 'Azim



This month we continue 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 4-7, pages 17 - 33. Click here to download the document.



1RedtailedHawkRed Tailed Hawk


2RedShoulderedHawkRed Shouldered Hawk


3BaldEagleABald Eagle




5NorthernShrikeNorthern Shrike



6GreatHornedOwlGreat Horned Owl


7SandCranes1Sand Hill Cranes







10BeltedKingFisherBelted Kingfisher




12GreenwingedTealGreen-winged Teal


13CinnamonTealCinnamon Teal


14AmericanBitternAmerican Bittern


15TurkeyVultureTurkey Vulture


16NorthernFlickerNorthern Flicker


17AmericanKestralAmerican Kestrel


18WhitTailedKiteWhite-tailed Kite


19ViewofSFfromtopofTamView of San Francisco from the top of Mt. Tam


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