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2019 Calendar

Centering Prayer

Christian Meditation

Hindu and Yoga Based Meditation

Islam/Sufism

Judaism/Kabbalah

Kundalini Yoga Meditation

Sikh Dharma

Theravada Buddhism/Mindfulness Meditation

Japanese Zen Buddhism

Korean Zen Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism

The Aramaic Lord's Prayer


Sufiism

Islam/Sufism

- Week 6 -

7:15-8:00 AM, Monday - Friday, Presbyterian House Chapel
(Teacher: Jim Leff)

- Week 7 -

7:15-8:00 AM, Monday - Friday, Presbyterian House Chapel
12:30-1:55 PM, Tuesday and Thursday, Hall of Missions
(Teachers: Sharifa Felicia Norton and Muinuddin Charles Smith)


Sufi Meditation Practice
"The true religion to a Sufi is the sea of truth and all the different faiths are as its waves. The message of God from time to time comes as tides in the sea, but what remains always is the sea, the truth. Those who consider another on the wrong track they themselves are also not on the right track, for the one who is on the right track finds every road leading to the same goal sooner or later. Faith to a Sufi is a free ideal, not a captivity."
- Hazrat Inayat Khan, first Sufi teacher who came to the West, 1910

The word Sufi, often seen as derived from the Greek word Sophia, means wisdom. Sufism, called "the religion of the heart", emphasizes the realization of wisdom and beauty in every dimension of life. Sufism is non-dogmatic seeking to rise above the distinctions and differences which divide us. It is often recognized as the mystical dimension of Islam, but also has ancient roots connecting it to the light and truth found in all the world's spiritual traditions.

The Sufi recognizes life itself and nature as holy books, as sacred manuscripts offering clear guidance towards the essential Reality that transpires through existence. Sufi meditation practices help to cultivate the heart, unfold the light of the soul, and clarify perception. We share meditations with light, sound, breath, movement as well as teaching stories including the Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz.

"The clear bead at the center changes everything."
- Jelaluddin Rumi, Sufi Mystic and Poet


James Leff

James Leff
James Leff is a longtime student of religion and mysticism. He has studied extensively with Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz and has taught the Aramaic Lord's Prayer for many years in Rochester, NY. He is a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic, a leader of the Dances of Universal Peace, and an initiate in the Inayati Sufi Order.

Attention to the breath is the starting point for meditation across many mystical traditions. And the use of sound practices can focus our attention with vibrations that open the various subtle centers and bring our bodies into the meditative experience. Sufi practice incorporates breath and sound practices to lead us from concentration to contemplation to meditation.

 

Sharifa Felicia Norton and Muinuddin Charles Smith

Sharifa Felicia Norton and Muinuddin Charles Smith
Sharifa and Muinuddin are senior Sufi teachers, retreat guides, and interfaith ministers within the Inayati Sufi Order. Together they founded and facilitate the Light of Guidance Center for Sufi Studies in NYC (www.lightofguidance.org). They also facilitate the Ziraat activity, devoted to inner cultivation and sacred ecology, within the Inayati Order (www.ziraat.org).

Charles teaches leadership and sustainability studies at Hofstra University and Felicia teaches at the United Nations International School. They are married and live in New York City.

Felicia has been touring the solo dance/theatre piece 'NOOR', depicting the life of Noor Inayat Khan, Sufi WW2 heroine, in London, Edinburgh, UK, and France, and NYC. Most recently she performed 'NOOR' Dec 2017 at Sarah Lawrence College.

Together Felicia and Charles co-authored the book, 'An Emerald Earth–Cultivating a Natural Spirituality and Serving Creative Beauty in Our World' (www.anemeraldearth.org). This book offers basic practices, poetry, and wisdom teachings from the Sufi tradition. They travel and offer retreats and workshops throughout the US, Canada and in Europe.