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The Whorl & the World w/ Pir Zia & Friends

The Whorl & the World w/ Pir Zia & Friends

Seven Sundays, September 18th through October 30th, 2022
3-4:30 pm EST (New York)/9-10:30 pm CET (Paris)

“New to this class? Please join us for a free, brief orientation on Sunday, September 18th from 2:00 – 2:30 ET / 8:00 – 8:30 CET using the same Zoom link!”

An Alchemical Exploration of the World Soul and the Future of the Earth

As a continuation of our spring Sophic Whorl series, we turn from inner exploration to outer realization. How do the Seven Stations of the Whorl apply to the World?

While the Spring Series set the stage, focusing on teachings and practices, the Fall Series will be more experimental, featuring various special guests and more discussion.

The Whorl and the World: A Conference of Animals

The human being is a miniature world. All that we perceive outside ourselves is also inside us. But we are not only mirrors of the world, we are also free agents and trust bearers, presented with choices and tasked with preserving and cultivating the love and beauty the Creator has poured into creation.

The Sophic Whorl illuminates seven ways of being in the universe with awakened conscience and consciousness. In these seven Zoom sessions we will explore them, one by one, as a series of colloquies among companions on the path. The vision of a more whole, grounded, connected, and kind world will set us in motion.

Since ancient times, human beings have looked to our fellow animals for inspiration and guidance. Today, animals are all too often treated merely as chattel, pests, or oddities. Whole species are rapidly vanishing before our eyes and we are losing our ability to commune with the animate Earth and its animal personifications.

Murshid taught that in following the spiritual path it becomes imperative to consciously realize one’s kinship with the animal world. Accordingly, in the fall term of The Whorl and the World we will enter a Conference of Animals and let ourselves be guided by twenty-one species of fellow earthlings – scaled, feathered, and furred. These venerable animal guides carry traditionary links with the seven stations of the Whorl.

Each session will begin with a tuning practice led by Tarana Jobin, continue with offerings from Pir Zia, Gulrukh Patel, Tariq Al-Olaimy and special guests, and culminate with a community suhbat (spiritual conversation).

Colloquy One – Snake, Wolf, Eagle

Snake: Go silently with purpose
Wolf: Find your pack
Eagle: Gaze intently

Colloquy Two – Eel, Toad, Bat

Eel: Return to the ocean
Toad: Wait underground
Bat: Navigate darkness

Colloquy Three – Tortoise, Cat, Swan

Tortoise: Reside within
Cat: Watch in stillness
Swan: Float on the current

Colloquy Four – Chicken, Ant, Dog

Chicken: Investigate your patch of earth
Ant: Small as you are, be part of great whole
Dog: Stay humble and loyal

Colloquy Five – Lion, Mountain Goat, Crow

Lion: Be morally courageous
Mountain Goat: Ascend the peak
Crow: Riddle out life’s puzzles

Colloquy Six – Elephant, Dolphin, Chameleon

Elephant: Remember
Dolphin: Jubilate and compassionate
Chameleon: Disappear

Colloquy Seven – Nightingale, Bee, Hoopoe

Nightingale: Marry joy and sorrow
Bee: Extract the essence
Hoopoe: Be a guiding light


Advanced registration is required for this seven-part course, offered in English, Deutsch, Francais, and Turkish. A registration fee of $49 is recommended ($7 per class). We also provide a sliding scale where you can attend for free or for any donation amount.

Audio & Video will be posted to a special Dropbox folder and sent to you each week, so you may participate in real time or anytime you’d like. Registration is required to access the audio & video.


If you have any questions about our The Whorl & the World fall course, please email us at


Pir Zia Inayat Khan carries the Sufi lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. He received his Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University. His books include Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity, and the Mystical Quest, Mingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions, and Dream Flowers: The Collected Works of Noor Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is president of the Inayatiyya and founder of Suluk Academy. Now based in Richmond, Virginia, when not in a pandemic, he and his family live both in the United States and France.

Deepa Gulrukh PatelDeepa Gulrukh Patel is an activist and facilitator with a special interest in the arts, interdisciplinary collaboration, contemplation, diversity, and equality. She has worked with organisations such as the BBC, ActionAid, and the Arts Council of England. She is currently working with the University of Sheffield, UNCHR, and other partners on a number of projects with refugees in Jordan at the Zaatari refugee camp. She is also working with the Fetzer Foundation on a project around Virtual Sacred Spaces. Voluntary work is an important part of her life and in the UK she is Chair of Tamasha Theatre Company and The Loss Foundation, a charity for the bereaved of those who have died of cancer. Deepa has been involved with the inner life since she was a teenager and is the director of a summer meditation camp in the Swiss Alps. She is a teacher and guide in the Inayatiyya, a Sufi lineage founded by Hazrat Inayat Khan and the Vice-Chair of the Inayatiyya International Board.

Tarana Jobin is the Astana’s Music Director & Vice President of our Music Activity in North America. Inclusive of decades conducting operas and symphony orchestras in North America and Europe, music as spiritual practice remains Tarana’s greatest pursuit. Her talent is in service to projects that increase the peace, respect the planet, open people’s minds, and bring us together. She is a Suluk Gulzar graduate.

Tariq Al-Olaimy is co-founder of 3BL Associates, a people + planet strategy Think-do-Tank, that was established to accelerate regenerative development through collaboration. Through his work, Tariq has co-founded various social enterprises, including Public-Planet Partnerships, Diversity on Board, Recipes for Wellbeing, and As an educator at heart, Tariq has conducted training across six continents and has held advisory board and co-chair roles with organizations such as UNESCO, the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, EAT Foundation, and AIESEC. Among his studies, Tariq has completed a specialization in the field of Biomimicry, as well as an Alternative Masters in Divinity (Alt*Div) that was centered at the intersection of justice, spiritual ecology, and community building. Tariq continues to have a passionate engagement with organizations working at the intersection of climate and (inter) faith initiatives and is based in Bahrain.