‘There are some who believe in God and others who love God; and there are others who are lost in God. Those who believe in God, they are on earth and God is in heaven for them. Those who love God, for them God is before them. And those who are lost in God gained their real self … Spirituality is not a certain knowledge, spirituality is the expansion of consciousness.’

Hazrat Inayat Khan as quoted in the book A Sufi Master Answers: On the Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan by Dr. Elisabeth Keesing

I am currently reading the above book. It was lent to me by a friend who’s a teacher of Dances of Universal Peace. I mentioned in another post of my love of the Dances of Universal Peace. The originator of the dances, Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (1896 – 1971) was a disciple of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 – 1927) and I must say that I am greatly inspired by the messages and lives of both of these great men.

I’ve experienced getting truly lost in the sublime while doing the Dances of Universal Peace. There is something about dancing and singing holy phrases at the same time with like-minded people that is extraordinarily powerful. I can feel blissful while chanting kirtan (Sanskrit for ‘to repeat’, call-and-response chanting) in a group (as I do many Thursday evenings) but I get divinely lost in the dances in a beautiful way. I must say that same feeling arises often while working in the garden as well. I had it this afternoon while preparing an area for planting (by burying seaweed and compost). When working mindfully in the garden timelessness sets in. It’s not for nothing I love the poem:

The kiss of the sun for pardon

The song of the birds for mirth

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.

 Dorothy Gurney (1858 – 1932)

The complete poem can be found here.


The following words are extracted from http://www.om-guru.com/html/saints/khan.html I urge you to read further if you would like to know more on the life of Hazrat Inayat Khan, founder of what is today called Sufi Order International. I spent two glorious years in my 20s on the edge of Medina, the holy city in Saudi Arabia where Mohammed lived for a time and was buried. I find it fascinating that Inayat Khan’s teacher’s family came from Medina.

[Hazrat Inayat Khan] developed considerable skill at the Vina (an Indian instrument). At eighteen, he went on a concert tour throughout India intent on reviving some of the older folk songs which were being replaced by more popular melodies. He felt these songs carried a special spiritual quality which was being lost. This brought him some critical acclaim, and he was invited to perform in the courts of Rajas (the rulers of India’s princely states who cooperated with the British).

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Inayat began to seek spiritual guidance at this point. He had seen the face of a very spiritual bearded man off and on in his dreams for some time. One day in Hyderabad, he had a premonition that something important was about to occur. A short time later, the man he had seen in his dreams entered the room.

Both teacher and disciple were immediately drawn to each other. The teacher was Mohammed Abu Hasana (or Said Abu Hashim Mudan depending on one’s source) whose family originally came from Medina, the sacred city of Islam in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed was a member of the Chishti Sufi Order that was introduced into India at the close of the 12th century A.D.

Inayat describes the close relationship the disciple should develop with his or her teacher:

The next thing in the attainment of the inner life is to seek a spiritual guide – someone whom a man can absolutely trust and have every confidence in, someone to whom one can look up to, and one with whom one is in sympathy – a relationship which would culminate in what is called devotion. And if once he has found someone in life that he considers his Guru, his Murshad, his guide, then he should give him all confidence, so that not a thing is kept back. If there is something kept back, then what is given might just as well be taken away, because everything must be done fully, either have confidence or not have confidence, either have trust or not have trust. On the path of perfection, all things must be done fully.

 The Inner Life, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Orient Books, 1980, P. 43)

Inayat maintained close contact with his teacher for four years. During this time, he experienced a level of realization that made God a reality in his life.

 As his master lay dying, the teacher told him: “Go to the Western world my son and unite East and West through the magic of your music”. Two years later, in September of 1910, Inayat sailed for America.

Oneness of Religion

This Sufi universalism, or interest in and respect for different religions is reflected in a saying by the thirteenth century Andalusian Sufi teacher Ibn ‘Arabi. This respected scholar and mystic who authored among other works the classic Sufi retreat manual Journey To The Lord Of Power wrote:

Beware of confining yourself to a particular belief and denying all else, for much good would elude you – indeed, the knowledge of reality would elude you. Be in yourself for all forms of belief, for God is too vast and tremendous to be restricted to one belief rather than another. (Awakening – A Sufi Experience by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Jeremy P. Tarcher – Putnam, New York, 1999, p. VIII)

Other books by and about Hazrat Inayat Khan are:

The Inner Life and the Purpose of Life by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Creating the Person: A Practical Guide to the Development of Self by Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Soul’s Journey by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Memories of a Sufi Sage HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN by Sirkan Von Stolk and Daphne Dunlop, East-West Publications Fonds B.V., 1975

Possibly Related Posts:

Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin With Me

The Healthful Benefits of Dance

Dances of Universal Peace: The Dances and the Dance Leaders

Why Do We Meditate?



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More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars.

Franklin D. Roosevelt  

I love the Maori creation myth which tells how heaven and earth were once joined. Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, lay together in a tight embrace. They had many children who lived in the darkness between them. The children wished to live in the light and so separated their unwilling parents. Ranginui and Papatuanuku continue to grieve for each other to this day. Rangi’s tears fall as rain towards Papatuanuku to show how much he loves her. When mist rises from the forests, these are Papa’s sighs as the warmth of her body yearns for him and continues to nurture mankind.

As I walked in the pre-dawn dark this morning Rangi’s tears fell upon me, the interloper. Gravity pulled the rivulets of moisture down my face, some finding their way to the earth mother, to Papatuanuku. I felt caught in their embrace, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother, a lone man moving step by step through the dark, feeling the love of creation. At such times one feels the stillness and I chanted a short song of peace as I walked. A pin prick of light bobbed towards me from down the hill. Only as they passed could I make out the forms of two ladies and a dog enjoying their equally early sojourn. “We must be crazy,” one called out, laughing. They too felt the joy of the moment, caught in the arms of the mother and the tears of the father.

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Unknown Author

Peace. Our primordial state. Anything other than peace is but a reflection of the misguided flailings of the ego. As my saturated shoes began to squish on the asphalt, I reflected on the progress we’ve made in the world towards peace and justice. It’s not so very long ago that Sammy Davis Jr. had to go through the service entrance to headline on stage. It’s not so very long ago that entire families in Berlin were separated by a huge wall of stone and concrete. It’s not so very long ago that Nelson Mandela was released after 28 years of imprisonment, heralding the end of apartheid and announcing the beginning of positive change in South Africa. Today one small country, Costa Rica, is home to a peace university and chooses not to have a military. Would this have been possible a century ago?

Transcendental Meditators (from TM) have proven that a group of sufficient size meditating together regularly can help bring peace to the area in which they live. Similarly, a late dear friend of mine, Dr. John Ray, led another group in a town in Virginia and also found reductions in crime.

A critical experimental test of the peace-creating effect of large meditating groups was conducted during the peak of the Lebanon war. A day-by-day study of a two-month TM meditation assembly in Israel in 1983 showed that, on days when the number of participants (“TM Group Size,” right) was high, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon dropped by 76% (p < 10-7). In addition, crime, traffic accidents, fires, and other indicators of social stress in Israel (combined into a Composite Index) all correlated strongly with changes in the size of the peace-creating group. Other possible causes (weekends, holidays, weather, etc.) were statistically controlled for.*

* Orme-Johnson, D.W., Alexander, C.N., Davies, J.L., Chandler, H.M., & Larimore, W.E. (1988). International peace project in the Middle East: The effect of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32(4), 776–812.


Jeannie Whyte recently made a short post titled Are We Going to Make It or Not? Which I received from her on Facebook.

The first words of this post are printed below:

Dear wonderful friends,

It is said that if just 1% (or some other very small number) of the ENTIRE world population were to meditate for just 5 minutes a day, world peace could be attained. 

Will you join me in AFFIRMING that this has already happened?

In a world that is rapidly becoming a global village, a world without borders, what percentage of people is required to affect change? At the risk of repeating a quote you’ve all already heard I’d still like to refer to what Margaret Mead, that wonderful anthropologist said,  ####. We do make a difference with every breath we take, with every word we speak. Again I encourage you to use the following affirmation I made for myself a few years ago. It was inspired by some lyrics of Sting:

Every step I make, every breath I take, every thought I have,

 every word I speak brings me peace.

So I encourage you to not lose heart. This peace we all long for is not only possible, it is inevitable. All each of us need do is find one (or more) area in which to focus our peace efforts. For some this may take the form of political action, for others it may mean resolving some long standing conflict within their family. Each of us needs to take time to reclaim our own innate peaceful state of mind. Do join with others for regular meditations. If there is no group in your area consider sting with others at a distance at a prescribed time. One such technique in place around the world is termed Triangle Meditation whereby you choose to sit with two other people who can live anywhere. For information on this, click here.

Peace in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, in our countries and in the world is not only possible, it is inevitable.

Another enjoyable way to share with others is to perform Dances of Universal Peace. I will be joining a group of dance teachers at a beautiful retreat centre, Tauhara, in the middle of the North Island in late May to share Dances of Universal Peace.

The first light of dawn appeared on the horizon as I reached the beach, the last star visible under the overhanging cloud. The rain slowed. My heart sang. Nothing more is needed. Just the realization that all is well in the world and always has been. The dream may appear to be flawed, but it is just a dream.

Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the absence of negativity.

 ~David Lynch

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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United We Sing: An Appeal for Peace

United We Sing: The Video

World Peace is Inevitable

From the Heart of a Master