The Zephyr November 2018

The Zephyr

Dear Companions on the Path,

Here in the U.S., the election season has brought into sharp relief the fault lines in the minds of the population. Where there is goodwill and civility, common ground is always discoverable, but too often it seems the will is lacking. Tragically, as we’ve seen, a symptom of polarization is increased incidences of violence—specifically, violence rooted in what Murshid calls “the spirit of agitation.”

The recent heartbreaking shootings in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Florida serve as harrowing reminders that irrational fear can all too easily become irrational anger, and that irrational anger can quickly travel from thought to speech, and from speech to action, with consequences that devastate lives, families, and communities.

As we know, the antidote to the spirit of agitation in this world is the presence of the spirit of peace. Like agitation, peace emanates from the interior to the exterior. A heart at peace speaks and acts kindly as a matter of course.

We may not always experience peace of heart, but we know that peace can be cultivated. If, when agitated, instead of lashing out we connect with the breath and find our natural rhythm again, we will be able to maintain poise and attend to what really matters.

While signs of dysfunction in society are glaringly conspicuous in the news—and these are concerns that cannot be ignored—at the same time, there are encouraging developments in our midst that must not be ignored either. Indeed, there are opportunities all around us to join in the work of reconnecting the broken pieces of our world.

Last week thousands of people flocked to Toronto to celebrate the unity of religious ideals at the 18th Parliament of the World’s religions. Amongst them were over fifty Cherags of the Universal Worship, who performed twelve services. A report from Amina Hall, our esteemed North American Vice President of the Universal Worship, can be found here.

May the Message of God reach far and wide!

Yours ever,

Sarafil Bawa

Sufi Teachings at the Astana

Pir Zia teaches select Sundays at the Astana in Richmond, Virginia. On Sunday, November 4, Pir Zia talked about themes related to his letter above. To see the video clip, please go to our channel on Youtube.

To see the full class video, please visit us on Vimeo. Also join us online or in-person for future classes, Sundays, December 16, January 6 & 13 and February 10 & 24.

For the Astana’s full schedule, please visit

Ordination Ceremony Image

Parliament of World Religions, Toronto 2018

Please click on the image above to see photos from the Parliament,
compliments of the Universal Worship Lamplighter Cherags.

Gayan Commentary

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Gayan

“The rapidity of my walk imagination cannot follow.”

A sage walked through the city. She came back glowing, and said, “What a joy!” A pupil of the sage was keen to see the same sights. He followed the route she had taken, but came back seized with repugnance. He asked, “Why did you and I see such different cities?” The sage answered, “We walked in different rhythms.”

The mystic’s walk crosses the bridge between the visible and invisible. Yes, the mystic sees the ordinary sights: the gutter, the butcher’s shop, the vacant look in the eyes of weary commuters. But the mystic sees more as well.

The mystic perceives the intricate web of life. The stagnant water in the gutter once surged in ocean waves and flew through the sky in clouds—and will again. The flank in the window came from a cow whose mother loved her. But she suffered rough treatment, and was kin to cattle for whom ancient forests are being bulldozed (sealing the doom of their teeming inhabitants). Buried in the chests of the ennui-stricken office-goers are hearts capable of an emotion as vast as the universe.

The mystic’s stride encompasses all of this, and more besides. Pressing onward, the mystic surpasses the boundaries of the bounded world. Vistas of light, energy, and vibration blaze into sight as the molten undercurrents of the universe disclose themselves. As the mystic hurls toward the center of everything, Being unveils its mysterium tremendum: only I exist.

Being is not a destination to which the imagination can walk. But Being imagines the universe and walks in it.

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

The Inayati Order Fall Appeal 2018 

We are incredibly thankful for all of you who give regularly as tithers and donors. Our Inayati Order Fall Appeal for 2018 just went in the snail mail, and a digital version should have been in your inbox last week. Please take a moment to read this year’s letter and Inayati Order Keynotes, when you have a chance.

This fall, as part of the appeal, we are focusing on the theme of harmony. Hazrat Inayat Khan says, “Harmony is the source of manifestation, the cause of its existence, and the medium between God and humanity.” Over the coming weeks we will explore the power of harmonizing, via social media, email, and video. We invite you to join us, cultivating the specific keynote Murshid’s teaching introduces into the world.

To see this year’s full appeal and to make a donation please visit

Angelic Lights: A Weekend Seminar with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
17-18 November in London, England
For info and booking email Karima at

Making One’s Own Nature with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
1-2 December in Cambridge, MA – Register Now