The Zephyr December 2018

The Zephyr

Dear Companions on the Path,

I hope this finds you very well. All is well here at the Astana, alhamdulillah.

At the beginning of the month we hosted the Emergent Leaders group, a cadre of Representatives-in-Training who are honing their skills as upcoming Guides and Center Leaders under the guidance of a faculty of seasoned teachers in the Esoteric School. This time, the instructors were the wonderful Gayan Macher and my own dear mother Taj.

In the second week of the month I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, for the fifth annual Mind & Life International Symposium for Contemplative Research, where I was invited to lead a pair of meditations.The Mind & Life Institute is doing outstanding work connecting individuals and organizations practicing and teaching contemplative methods in various fields, including science, medicine, therapy, and education.

During the conference, it piqued my curiosity to learn that corporations have become interested in mindfulness as a service to deliver, and that contemplative apps are on the rise. The next step, it seems, is to train artificial intelligence to use real-time physiological data to gauge meditators’ shifting psychological states and respond with appropriate contemplative prompts. All of this is fascinating, but it only deepens my appreciation of the heart-to-heart transmission (sina ba-sina ta‘lim) that is so central to the Sufi path.

The following week I traveled to London. I had planned to arrive the morning before the gathering, but my flights were cancelled twice due to a storm in the Northeast, with the result that I arrived only after the program had begun on Saturday. Nigel Wali, the esteemed Center Leader in London, kindly filled in for me at the outset. Once there, I greatly enjoyed my time with the delightful U.K. community. Together we mapped the soul’s journey from the angelic realm to Earth and back again.

The return journey to the angelic realm—whether undertaken in the hereafter or, better yet, while still here on Earth—reminds me of Mawlana Rumi’s glowing words in the Masnavi, “Next I will die to the human condition so that I may spread my wings and lift my head among the angels.” Selah!

Yours ever,

Sarafil Bawa

Vadan Commentary

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Vadan

“We shall see who will endure to the end, my persevering adversary or my patience.”

In a battle of wills there is always the temptation to flee the encounter, or alternatively, to bend to pressure and make concessions soon to be regretted. Resoluteness comes either from egotism or conviction.

The resoluteness of egotism is the desire to always be seen to be right, or at least, to defeat one’s opponents. To the little ego, the nature of a disagreement is inconsequential; what matters is to have the last word.

The resoluteness of conviction, on the other hand, is concerned with principles. One’s desire to prevail is motivated by the justness of the cause one serves. Even if doomed to fail, one considers oneself obligated to make every effort. Continued

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


Nature’s Hidden Dimensions
By Suhrawardi Gebel

New from Suluk Press!

The scientific point of view has gained dominance in our growing world culture by basing its authenticity on an empirical foundation. Yet mystics can point to a different test of authenticity: The broad agreement in subtle perceptions of reality across many cultures and stretches of history.
$26.95 Paperback


Overlooked No More!
Noor in the New York Times

The New York Times recently featured Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan in Overlooked. See here:

Also, limited edition portraits of Noor by Majida Nan Hill are now available in time for the holidays! Shipping worldwide is free through December 17, 2018. Order today through the Inayati Order Online Store.


Season of the Rose

Season of the Rose: Essentials of the Sufi Path
Part Deux – Save the Date!

Lewis & Clark College
Portland, Oregon
26 June – 01 July 2019

Additional details and our full North American Program Schedule will be shared later this month!

The Inayati Order Fall Appeal 2018 

We are very gratefully in the middle of our Inayati Order Fall Appeal for 2018. Thank you to all of you who give so generously throughout the year as a tither, as a donor, and in so many other ways. This fall we hope to raise $150,000 with $87,500 donated or pledged so far. Please consider giving to help us raise another $62,500 by the end of the year. To learn more about our work and about ways to give, please visit