The Zephyr November 2020

The Zephyr

16 November 2020

Dear Companions on the Path,

Just as the pandemic hit this spring, my family and I moved into a little house by the James River. Throughout the summer—our first summer in America in twenty some years—whenever there was a free moment I would go out into the backyard and tend to the herbs and flowers. Left and right, invasive vines had to be persuaded to take another path. Suddenly, amongst the elegant lilies a crop of rough-looking characters sprouted up vigorously. I wondered if it wasn’t my duty to gently escort these interlopers elsewhere. But something gave me pause. Emerson defined a weed as a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. Perhaps there was a discovery to be made here? And so, warily, I extended a hand of friendship. Months went by, and the Suluk Global inaugural session rolled around. All of a sudden, one of those loiterers among the lilies put forth an enormous red flower! It was, I discovered, a Texas Star Hibiscus, or Scarlet Swamp Mallow. Far from being an intruder, it is a native species, and a generous one at that. Last week we had the inaugural session of the Suluk Graduate course, and lo and behold: a second enormous red flower!

Alas, Monday brought melancholy news as we learned from Evan Thompson that the previous day, Nov. 8th, his father William Irwin Thompson had peacefully passed away at home in Maine at the age of 82. William Irwin Thompson will be remembered as one of the great visionaries of the last fifty years. Less widely recognized than he deserved to be, William was a rare genius endowed with an almost magical ability to weave science, art, and mysticism into a complex “mind-jazz” that boldly advanced the horizon of contemporary culture. While James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis built the scientific case for the Gaia Hypothesis, William undertook the multidisciplinary articulation of a Gaian revolution of the spirit.

William’s Lindisfarne Fellowship was the laboratory of his Gaian politique, and in keeping with his keen interest in Murshid’s teachings, the Fellowship maintained friendly relations with our Order from the beginning. My father spoke at the inaugural Lindisfarne conference in 1973, William kindly welcomed me into the Fellowship in 2008, and the Abode hosted a memorable Lindisfarne conference in 2012.

In a dialogue with David Spangler and myself in 2009, William wrote: “When your mind is the mud, the stem, and the lotus, / you will be free to die and not even notice.” William’s was just such a mind. Those of us who knew and esteemed him will certainly notice the absence in this world of someone we so dearly cherished.

Yours ever,

Pir Zia

Third Friday Kinship Circle
Indigenous Reconciliation, Inclusion, and Unity: Exploring
the Love Languages of The Algonquin People in Canada
Sunday, November 20th, 2020
3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

Murshid guides our exploration of the languages of love needed for these times in The Art of Personality and Unity of Religious Ideals. Grandmother Judi and Mu’izza Mizen have worked together guiding Indigenous Reconciliation, Unity and Inclusion with the Ottawa Inayatiyya community over the past 12 years. They will share with us the qualities needed in this process.


Astana Bookstore Online Sale November 2020!

Earlier this year, we purchased an extensive amount of book stock for our store at the Astana, our headquarters in North America. Due to the pandemic, our bricks-and-mortar store has been closed, so we would like to now offer you many wonderful Sufi books at a special 20-25% discount!


Inayatiyya Fall Appeal & Survey 2020

Our Inayatiyya Fall Appeal for 2020 was emailed this past Wednesday and shared an overview of our activities throughout this unusual year. There has been tremendous growth, catalyzed by the pandemic. We deeply appreciate the many ways you’ve supported us in the past as well as any contribution that you are able to give this fall, as we prepare for 2021.

Also, please consider completing our 5-minute Inayatiyya Community Survey providing feedback on 2020 programs and your ideas for next year. Thank you!


The Zephyr is a monthly newsletter of Inayatiyya, an interfaith mystical fellowship with branches worldwide. For more information on our activities, please visit