SUMMER SCHOOL 2009
Summer School 2009 brochure to download: English Deutsch
General Summer School information and previous years' class details
Embracing Life as the Teacher:
Life's Circumstances as an Opportunity for Transformation
We recognize that an awakened being is the one whose inner condition is no longer based on circumstance. In other words, no circumstance could arise that would take them out of their awakening. With this understanding, we can now see that life is the teacher, bringing to us those circumstances which upset our inner state, though which we need to transform to fulfill our purpose of awakening. We no longer experience these as difficulties, but as opportunities brought by our Teacher (Life) to help us transform that part of ourselves which is still reactive, not at peace and ease.
Every year the Ruhaniat Summer School offers participants the opportunity to experience the broad range of teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Hazrat Samuel L. Lewis and Hazrat Moineddin Jablonski. At the same time, we deepen in and renew these teachings, finding in them fertile ground for wisdom for the needs of our time.
"Life is action, action in any direction. Vibrations are like waves that rise and fall. The wave travels in a definite direction as toward a goal and yet in its movement rises and falls to crest and trough. So man rises and falls, has apparent successes and failures, but all the time may be moving toward his true destination without even knowing it. It is only the one who does not move who does not arrive."
--Murshid Samuel Lewis
We will transmit the living tradition of Sufism through the Dances of Universal Peace, Walking Meditations, Zikr (remembrance), Wazifa, Prayer, Song, Soulwork and spiritual psychology, healing, art, Sufi poetry and stories, meditation and silence - We will also again have a silent, guided retreat day.
Our summer school is dedicated to the service of peace and for the benefit of all living beings. Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (1896-1971) was a mystic schooled in both Zen and Sufism, recognized as a teacher in both traditions, who felt that spirituality should be a matter of living experience, not division and conflict. His spiritual successor, Moineddin Jablonski (1942-2001) believed that spirituality was not fully realized until fully embodied, with all elements of the personality - light and dark - included in a life of joy and compassion. Both lived and taught in the tradition of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), who brought a tradition of universal Sufism to the west. On this path we recognize equally all the different spititual traditions of the world and honor them as an expression of the Holy.
Classes offered in 2009
Special Guest Teacher this year: Pir Shabda Khan (USA)
Spiritual Director of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, direct disciple of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis:
Awakening Not Based on Outer Conditions
- based on "201 Suras on Breath" by Murshid Samuel Lewis, in addition to advanced Walks, Wazifa, Sufi Sesshin. See introductory paragraph above.
Sheikha Tamam Khan (USA)
The Lives of the Holy Women at the Time of Prophet Muhammad
with poetry, meditation, spiritual practice, wazifa, zikr:
Despite the importance of the first Muslim women, few people in the non-Islamic world know their names. We have heard of Omar Khayaam. We are familiar with the tale of Shaharazad, a fanciful tale combining legends from Persia, Arabia, Turkey, and India. Such a fable is very distant from the Islamic canon, collected sayings and actions of Muhammad written in narrative form and traced to an "authenticated" source. In order to write about these women, I read every biography I could find in English, becoming familiar with their culture through study of Arabic, the Qu'ran, hadith, and other secondary literature. I learned from and was inspired by all manner of scholarship. As the years passed, I worked toward primary sources. I was amazed at the lack of information, especially in English, and the holes in the research. Disagreements among scholars convinced me of the notion that all history is somewhat accurate and mostly fictitious.
As I studied further, I discovered that even during the historical period before Islam, a parallel matriarchic culture existed in parts of Arabia. Muhammad's mother, Amina, stayed with her clan to give birth to her baby and remained with them until she died when the boy was seven. Ibn Ishaq wrote of Salama, mother of the Prophet's grandfather, "[B]ecause of her noble birth and her high position among her people, [she] never allowed herself to marry anyone except under the condition that she would be her own master and retain the initiative to leave her husband if she disliked him." Her son, 'Abd al-Muttalib, raised Muhammad after Amina died. Khadija, the Prophet's wife, as a very wealthy widow, ran her own business. These were women with authority.
Murshid Saadi Shakur Chisti (Scotland):
Sitting Alive: The Sufi Way of Meditation
based on the papers Gita Dhyana of Murshid Samuel Lewis, who integrates both Sufi and Buddhist approaches to silence, with sound practice, zikr, walking meditation, wazifa:
This class will introduce the main teachings in Murshid S.A.M.'s major three-series paper Gita Dhyana, usually overlooked because it was for many years falsely considered a corruption of talks by Hazrat Inayat Khan. Murshid approaches this subject (as he does many others) from the experience of three-bodies--body, heart-mind, spirit. This offers us many doorways to enter profound states of peace, able to channel blessings for our communities and all beings. The class will use sitting and walking meditation, wasifa and zikr practice (both with movement).
Murshida Sophia Gita Onnen (Germany):
Mastering the Challenges of Life Creatively: Soulwork
after the teaching of Hazrat Pir Moineddin Jablonski and Murshid Samuel Lewis:
In Soulwork we remember the Source of Life and, through doing so, recognize how often we forget it. We learn to connect, more regularly and clearly, with our own spiritual guidance in order to integrate spiritual practice with everyday life. Through this process, we discover and deeply feel the previously unknown and unimagined powers that lie within us, which are a great treasure. The awakening of these potentials give us courage and trust in the inner companionship of the wise ones, healers, prophets and great souls who have gone before us. Through this inner work, integration and deep healing can take place. Conditioning and patterns from the impressions of childhood and the past can be transformed. We can learn to lead a more fulfilling life in the here and now, one that is easier, more loving and more peaceful.
Khalifa Baraka von Kügelgen (Germany):
Sufi-Healing: Prevention and Self-Healing Force
- based on the commentaries of Murshid Samuel Lewis on the papers on "Everyday Life
" by Hazrat Inayat Khan, for deepening our metaphysical insight in the rhythm of healing and maintaining health:
The three-series Commentaries on Takua Taharat (Everyday Life) are full of an abundance of inspirations and ideas for deepening our metaphysical insight in the rhythm of healing and maintaining health, with the intention of fulfilling better the purpose of our life to the benefit of others. Within these papers are practices for opening and activating the centers, for dissolving destructive emotional and mental conditions, and for strengthening willpower and selfconfidence in the light of the divine presence. In addition we will practice a sort of Soulwork especially for the healing of the body as well as share the Absent Healing Ritual of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Khalif Tansen Philip O'Donohoe (England):
Exploration of this paper of Hazrat Inayat Khan with its commentaries by Murshid Samuel L. Lewis and Murshid Moineddin Jablonski. Including zikr, fikr, breathing practices, Mujahida and meditation.
It is essential that the mind be cleansed and purified. There are three main ways of mental purification: by stilling the mind; by breathing; and by the right attitude towards life. In these classes we will work with all three methods. Zikr, Fikr, breathing practices, Mujahida and Meditation as well as consciously releasing attitudes that no longer serve us.
Wali und Arienne van der Zwan (Belgium):
Life as Cultivator of the Heart
In this class we will work towards insight in and answers for these questions from both Murshid Samuel Lewis and Hazrat Inayat Khan through sayings from the Bowl of Saki
and other texts and commentaries. Through movement (dance and walk), meditation and breath, we 'translate' all to our own every day experience:
Why is the heart both in the logo of Sufism and the Dances? Why do all movements of dance or zikr start with the heart? Why do we breathe to our heart when meditating? Why did Hazrat Inayat Khan put heart qualities like Love, Harmony and Beauty at the core of his message? Why can the hart be painful, while (Joe Miller) 'joy is the natural state of the heart'? In this class we will work towards insight in and answers for these questions from both Murshid SAM and Hazrat Inayat Khan through sayings from the Bowl of Saki and other texts and commentaries. Sufism is based on experience, so we expect to experience whatever we read through movement (dance and walk), meditation and breath and by 'translating' all to our own every day experience, thus coming to a deeper understanding of ourselves and of the life we live and experience in us and outside us in our families and other 'sanghas' and work situations. Apart from coming to a deeper understanding of our own inner psyche and motivations, we may get a deeper view on the driving spiritual forces behind our practices, for our own benefit and for our spiritual families and communities.
Sheikha Alima Stoeckel (Germany):
Walking Meditation: Spiritual Practice for our Everyday Life.
Selected Walks of the centers, elements, planets, wazaif as well as Walks of the masters, healers and prophets:
The Walks help us, by the use of breath, heart atunement and concentration, to progress through all stages of development. They are also very useful in translating the experience of the Dances into everyday life. We will do experimental work with the walks and their combinations with a special emphasis on their use in our daily lives. In the class we will use the writings of Murshid Samuel Lewis as a rich and profound basis for the work, dances as enrichment and deepening of the process, and share our own living experiences.
Khalif Hauke Jelaluddin Sturm (Germany):
The Harmony of Life: Music as a Mirror for Relationships and Daily Life
- based on the essays of Murshid Samuel Lewis on "Music and Cosmic Evolution
" and selections from Hazrat I. Khan's "Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word
Music and its principles are the essential foundaton of the philosophy of Hazrat Inayat Khan. The principles of music describe the origin and functioning of the material and immaterial worlds and also human relationships. Murshid Samuel Lewis took this as a starting point and made it a reality in his further work with Dances, Walks, Meditation and Zikr. In our inner and outer relationships, how do these musical principles of harmony and dissonance, sound and silence, rhythm and tone, work? We will experience this on the basis of Dances, Walks, Meditation and Zikr as well as in group and partner practices. Our particular foundation for this work will be the the essays of Murshid Samuel Lewis on "Music and Cosmic Evolution" as well as selections from Hazrat Inayat Khan's "Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word."