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The Zephyr, August 2022

18 August 2022

Dear Companions on the Path,

I hope you are having a splendid summer. If you are dealing with difficulties, I wish you ease, and relief soon.

Sartaj, Ravan, and I were in Turkiye for two weeks and were overwhelmed by the hospitality of our Inayatiyya family there. The beautiful retreat we experienced together was followed by a visit to the sacred sites of Bursa and Iznik, cities of fascinating historical significance.

Afterward we traveled to the Zenith Camp in the Swiss Alps and spent two weeks in suhbat, retreat, and zikr with friends from many parts of the world. During the first week we were blessed by the presence of Dr. Scherto Gill, an eminent philosopher whose method is Socratic Dialogue, with an emphasis on posing just the right questions. Meanwhile, and afterward, we were uplifted by the music of Ravan, Sinan, Fereshta, and Ruhiya, and by the mystique of the mountain and its many moods. It was a hot and dry time, but on the last day, during zikr, the sky quenched us with a thorough drenching punctuated by booming peals of thunder.

During a Universal Worship at the Camp, Hayat Buus and Latif Brinck were given the blessing to serve as joint Peshkars (Vice Presidents) of the Kinship Activity in Europe. Hayat hails from Denmark and Latif is from Chile. Hayat and Latif will be succeeding Halim Knobel, who has served with distinction as European Peshkar over a number of years. One of Halim’s many meaningful accomplishments was the recent publication of Murshid’s Social Gathekas. Please join me in expressing deep appreciation to Halim and a warm welcome to Hayat and Latif.

Ravan has now returned to the U.S. and Sartaj and I are in Suresnes, France, at Fazal Manzil, Murshid’s home. The Ṭūbā class of the Suluk Academy has just had its final session, culminating in a moving graduation ceremony in the Oriental Room. Ṭūbā was supposed to be an entirely in-person class, but lockdowns compelled us instead to meet online for a stretch. It was a great pleasure being back together with the group for this concluding session, breathing the same air.

Fazal Manzil is currently under renovation. Major repairs are needed so that gatherings can take place again in compliance with city codes. Many ashiqs and murids have generously contributed to the effort, and there is a team here — including Latifa, Qahira, Sahar-un-Nisa, and Majid — that has been working hard to bring about the renewal that is now well underway. The expectation is that Fazal Manzil, with its renovated Khankah meeting space and its new museum and library, will be ready to receive visitors and host gatherings next summer, God willing. Being here now, and witnessing the revival of the building’s history and traditions, is inspiring. May Murshid’s home continue to flourish as our blessed “Heartquarters” for long years to come. I hope you will come and visit after the reopening.

As you know, another place of importance for our lineage, the Abode, is also in transition. More information about the current state of things can be expected from the Trustees before long. For now, let me simply observe that in times of change, when fears are high and rumors are swirling — when, as Kipling would say, all about you are losing their heads and blaming it on you — what glows most brightly is the faithfulness and consideration of one’s sincere, stalwart, and sober-minded friends.

Regarding communication in the midst of complex situations, and in life in general (which always seems to tend toward complexity, at least in our day and age), Confucius put it well when he advised, “Listen much, keep silent when in doubt, and always take heed of the tongue; thou wilt make few mistakes.”

Let me close with some good news. I am pleased to let you know that, following a period of reorganization, Suluk Press has strongly re-emerged under the leadership of Beatrice Upenieks. A handsome, updated edition of the definitive Biography of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan is now in print, and more titles are just around the corner. Suluk Press’ redesigned website definitely bears visiting and can be found here. Shams may have thrown Rumi’s books in the well, but he also inspired him to write a book that contains endless sacred truths. The right book at the right time can work wonders.

May a great blessing be inscribed for you in the Book of Life.

Yours ever,
Pir Zia

The Whorl & The World
w/ Pir Zia Inayat Khan & friends
Seven Sundays, September 18th – October 30th

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.

Creating a Beautiful Mind
Six-Week Daily Practice w/ Amida Cary & Jacob Miraj Ellenberg
September 26th – November 4th

We invite you to this unique six week series to explore the Sufi perspective on the nature of the mind. A beautiful mind makes a wonderful servant. A troubled, confused mind makes a terrible master. How, then, might we create a beautiful mind? Join us to explore aspects of mind, including sensation, memory, imagination, will and identity through breath work, concentration, sacred sound, and contemplation. This six-week series is led by Jacob Miraj and Amida Cary, new Vice Presidents (North America) of the Inner School of the Inayatiyya.

Universal Kinship Convocation
The Roslyn Retreat Center, Richmond, VA & Online
September 29th – October 2nd

Over the course of four days, we will gather those who have committed part or all of their life’s work to the message of unity. Ministers in the Universal Worship, called Cherags (lamplighters), will gather worldwide online via Zoom, and also in-person at Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond, Virginia. If you are not yet a Cherag and have an interest in learning more about the Universal Worship, please join us. All are welcome and encouraged to join.

The Inayatiyya’s Call of the Earth Initiative, galvanized by the climate needs of our collective moment, unites us all in spirit and action through the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. This month we hear from the Universal Worship Activity: 

“The Universal Worship is not another Church to be included among the variety of existing Churches. It is a Church, which gives an opportunity to those belonging to different religions… Read more

The Zephyr is a monthly newsletter of Inayatiyya, an interfaith mystical fellowship with branches worldwide. For more gatherings, please visit our Inayatiyya Digital Programs Calendar for Spring 2022.