Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Sufi tradition extends deeply into the ethers of
time, but our story starts with a teacher born in India in 1882. He was raised in a family of famous classical musicians and as a child he also had deep interest in spiritual traditions. He was initiated into the Chisti Sufi Order, which honored inspiration thru music. At age 29, his teacher gave him the assignment to "harmonize the East and West with the harmony of thy music. Spread the wisdom of Sufism abroad...." Hazrat Inayat Khan, along with his brothers and cousin, traveled to America in 1910, and later England and Europe. They gave concerts of Indian music and he lectured on spiritual concepts. These lectures were preserved and many books have been published based on the teachings of
The Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty.
Among them are: The Unity of Religious Ideals,
The Mysticism of Sound and Music, The Alchemy of Happiness, and The Art of Personality.
In his final years, he lived in Paris with his American wife and four children. He held lectures until he fell ill on a 1927 trip to India.
His son, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan 1916-2004
continued the teachings in America and Europe.
His grandson, Pir Zia Inayat Khan 1971-
is now carrying on the Inayati legacy from
Murshid Samuel Lewis
This story begins in San Francisco in 1896 with the birth of a son into a wealthy
and secular family. From a young age, Samuel Lewis was much more interested in spiritual concepts than business.
His studies led him to Theosophy, Sufism, Zen Buddhism, Judaism, and Mystical Christianity. In 1923, he met Hazrat Inayat Khan when he traveled again to California.
Samuel Lewis was an acknowledged Zen master and Murshid (master ) in the Chisti Sufi Order.
But his daily life was humble and he worked as a gardener while prolifically corresponding with remarkable beings around the world. He was concerned about seeds to feed the bellies and spiritual practices to fill the hearts of all people.
In 1968, late in his life, he became a teacher to a young generation who had flocked to California for a new way of life.
He had finally found his students and
they found a wise, funny, and caring mentor.
He lived with his students at the Mentorgarden
in San Francisco until his passing in 1971.
He wrote letters and poems in great volume
but his best known legacy is
The Dances of Universal Peace,
a combination of sacred prayer and folk dance movements. These Dances have grown in
number through the following 50 years and
now circles are held around the world.
When a few people gathered in a garage
for the first dance,
Samuel Lewis had a vision
that this would be so.
For more information visit the following websites:
Lineage and international sufi organization activities
Find local circles, stories, and resources about the Dances
More about Pir Zia Inayat Khan, local, and international activities