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The Zephyr January 2019

Dear Companions on the Path,

I hope this finds you well. Whether you are enjoying good times or going through a hard time, I hope you feel the Divine Presence with you.

At the beginning of December, in Boston, I was the guest of our esteemed North American Vice President of the Esoteric School, Naima Brown, and her wonderful husband Aqil. Our weekend gathering on the theme of Making One’s Own Nature took us into sustained reflection on the arc of our inner and outer lives, and it was a pleasure to see many old and new friends.

On returning to Richmond, the second session on Concentration was held at the Astana for the saliks and salikas of the Naubahar class of the Suluk Academy. We took the foot of snow that fell on the final day as an auspicious sign, although it certainly complicated the homeward journeys of many members of the class.

Hanukkah and Christmas are a time of giving and receiving kindness, and a remarkable double gift this year was the publication of two important books related to the Sufi Message. The first was revered Hassan Suhrawardi Gebel’s second volume of spiritual reflections, entitled The Inner Life of the Universe. In it, Hassan Suhrawardi adeptly draws on Murshid’s teachings to effect a compelling rapprochement between science and mysticism that illuminates our place in the universe.

The second notable book to appear in December was my dear erstwhile neighbor Mikhail Horowitz’s lovingly drawn portrait of my father Pir Vilayat, entitled Illumination. How well I remember my father’s affection for Mikhail, and the service Mikhail rendered over so many years as recorder and preserver of my father’s talks, as well as curator of my father’s favorite sacred music. Mikhail’s evocative book is a moving testament to the closeness between them.

Let us begin the New Year “with pure heart and with clear conscience, with courage and hope.” May God’s guidance be with us for the fulfillment of the purpose of our lives.

Yours ever,

Sarafil Bawa

Vadan Commentary

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Vadan

“My soul often has the feeling of being stretched, held fast by the heavens and pulled continually by the earth.”

If the soul remained entirely in the heavens and did not incarnate, its life would be simple, clear, and serene, but it would lack the opportunity to undergo the journey of life. It would have innocence but not experience.

If the soul came to earth and gave itself over completely to the intoxication of personal identity and sensory experience, it would enjoy pleasures and suffer pains and become, all the while, oblivious to its own essential nature. Continued

See the full commentary on the Inayati Order website, and please check back for updates.

The Way of Illumination: An Introduction to the Sufi Path

The Way of Illumination: An Introduction to the Sufi Path 

The Astana, Richmond, Virginia and Online
5-7 April 2019

Over the first weekend in April, Pir Zia will share an overview of the key teachings of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. While this program is designed as an introduction for those new to Inayati Sufism, all are welcome to attend either in person or online worldwide. Please help us tell one and all about this gathering.

Registration now open!

Artwork by the Swedish abstract painter and mystic Hilma af Klint, now on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Altarpiece, No. 1, Group X, 1915.

Season of the Rose:
Essentials of the Sufi Path

Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
26 June – 1 July 2019

Early Bird Discounts Through Friday, April 26th!
Our caravan will gather once more for five days of Sufi Summer School on the gorgeous campus of Lewis & Clark College in Portland! We will be with some of our favorite teachers including Pir Zia, Tasnim Fernandez, Gayan Macher, Devi Tide, Jacob Ellenberg, Gulrukh Patel, and special guest Cheikh Sufi of the Mouridiyya Order of Sufis.


Making One's Own Nature 2018 Photo Album
Making One’s Own Nature Audio Now Available! 

Listen to one or both of Pir Zia’s Making One’s Own Nature gatherings held last fall in Berkeley, CA and Cambridge, MA. Visit our Multimedia Page for these and many other outstanding digital programs.

See our Making One’s Own Nature Cambridge Photo Album compliments of Sarah Deckro.

Illumination: The Saga of a Spiritual Master By Mikhail Horowitz

Pir Vilayat’s longtime friend and audio video technician shares decades of stories and insights about his teacher and and the nature of the Sufi Path. Highly recommended reading!

Now available from

Sufi Teachings Webcast Series

Join those of us at the Astana in Richmond, Virginia for Sunday afternoon classes with Pir Zia, in-person or online worldwide. Dates and details can be found here.


Our Worldwide Calendar


Practices of the Chishtiyya
Jamiat Khas Retreat 2019

Richmond, Virginia & Online
19-21 March 2019

Anatomy of Illumination
Inayati Leadership Training 2019

Richmond, Virginia & Online
21-24 March 2019

Way of Illumination: An Introduction to the Sufi Path
w/ Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Richmond, Virginia & Online
5-7 April 2019

Season of the Rose: Essentials of the Sufi Path
Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
26 June – 1 July 2019

Labor Day Silent Retreat
w/ Pir Zia Inayat-Khan & Friends

The Abode of the Message, New Lebanon, New York
Labor Day Weekend, 30 August – 2 September 2019
Registration Opens March 2019!


Inayati European Leaders Training 2019
Suresnes, France
26-27 January 2019

German Easter Retreat
Gersfeld, Germany
18-21 April 2019

Zenith Institute
Olivone, Switzerland
22 July – 5 August 2019

Pir Zia Seminar in The Netherlands
Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
23-25 August 2019

Pir Zia Seminar in Paris
Paris, France
22-24 November 2019

Suluk Academy will begin to accept applications for the North American 2020-2022 class Fall 2019, and for Suluk Europe’s new class soon thereafter. Sign up for updates. For a worldwide calendar featuring many Inayati Order teachers and programs, please visit our Inayati Worldwide Programs Calendar.