26 October 2020
Dear Companions on the Path,
I hope this finds you well. Here in Richmond, the sidewalks are spangled with golden leaves. As the trees shed their spent foliage, the Light of Nature is calling us to relinquish our outworn devices and sink down into our roots. Thus Shelley sings to the West Wind, “Drive my dead thoughts over the universe / Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!”
The last month has brought us together in delightful ways. The Suluk Global course convened for its inaugural session, attended by saliks and salikas from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also happily gathered for the Volume Four study course, and for Spiritual Healing. Next month the Suluk Graduate course on alchemy commences, and in the Sunday classes we return to the Gathas.
I received many positive responses to the announcement last month recommending “Messenger” as an alternative to “Master” in the Invocation. But “Master” exists in other prayers as well (together with the word “Lord”), and questions remain. Please be assured that the Message Council and I are giving deep consideration to the whole subject, and more is yet to be resolved. Your thoughts on this subject are welcome and may be sent to: [email protected]
Here is another announcement of a linguistic nature. Since its founding more than a century ago, the initiatic school within our movement has been known by various names. It has been called the Esoteric School (a phrase borrowed from the Theosophical Society, of which the Madar al-Maham of the Order, Murshida Sharifa, had been a prominent member), the Inner School, the Sufi Order, the Order, and the Tariqat. As we streamline our communication, there is value in highlighting one of these names as the primary one. In many ways, the Inner School is the most intuitive of the names, pointing directly as it does to the inner life, which is the essence of the matter. In view of this, the Vice Presidents of the Activity and I have reached the conclusion that “Inner School” is the designation we will prioritize going forward.
Murshid’s words on the inner life bear quoting on this occasion: “By inner life is meant a life directed towards perfection, which may be called the perfection of love, harmony, and beauty; in the words of the orthodox, towards God. The inner life is not necessarily in an opposite direction to the worldly life, but the inner life is a fuller life. The worldly life means the limitation of life; the inner life means a complete life. The ascetics who have taken a direction quite opposite to the worldly life, have done so in order to have the facility to search into the depths of life; but going in one direction alone does not make a complete life. Therefore the inner life means the fullness of life.”
In the United States, the presidential election is nearly upon us. True democracy, Murshid reminds us, is seeing the Divine spark in every soul. A spark of the Divine Life exists in every candidate on the ballot and, just as importantly, in every person, animal, and plant that will be affected by the winners’ actions in office. May the good of the whole guide us, and may none be forgotten, least of all the least remembered.
Dream Flowers: The Collected Works of Noor Inayat Khan is now in print from Suluk Press. This volume contains all of the major works of Noor, including several previously unpublished pieces. Among the never-before-published essays are commentaries on scripture and on the teachings of her father. Pir Zia contextualizes the contents in an extensive analytical introduction. This definitive collection is recommended for all devotees of Noor, as well as students of her life and legacy. Purchase Dream Flowers Today. Also, please see A Call to Spy Note of Correction on our Noor Society website.
Sunday Sufi Teachings
w/ Pir Zia Inayat Khan
Sunday, November 1st, 2020
3:00-4:30 pm Eastern
After our four-part Healing & the Mind World series, we return to offering our weekly Sufi Teachings w/ Pir Zia class this Sunday. All are welcome! Please see here for details.
Thank you for remembering the Inayatiyya!
Inayatiyya Digital Programs Schedule
There are many programs every month, hosted by our Seven Activities —
Inner School, Universal Worship, Kinship, Ziraat, Healing, Knighthood of Purity, and Music
— as well as by Inayatiyya Young Adults and Anjumani Islam.
Please see our full program calendar for upcoming dates:
The Zephyr is a monthly newsletter of Inayatiyya, an interfaith mystical fellowship with branches worldwide. For more information on our activities, please visit inayatiyya.org.