Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. is a world-renowned scholar in religious studies, spirituality and psychology. Living in Fife, Scotland, he directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning (www.eial.org) and for many years was co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion. In 1982, with the Rev. Tasnim Fernandez, he co-founded the International Network of the Dances of Universal Peace (www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org).
A frequent speaker and workshop leader, he is the author of several books. His books on the Aramaic spirituality of Jesus include Prayers of the Cosmos, The Hidden Gospel, Original Meditation: The Aramaic Jesus and the Spirituality of Creation, and Blessings of the Cosmos. His books on a comparative view of ‘native’ Middle Eastern spirituality includeDesert Wisdom: A Nomad’s Guide to Life’s Big Questions and The Tent of Abraham (with Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Sr. Joan Chittister). His books on Sufi spirituality include The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish and A Little Book of Sufi Stories. His biographical collections of the works of his Sufi teachers include Gardens of Vision and Initiation (Samuel L. Lewis) and Illuminating the Shadow (Moineddin Jablonski). He has also written a mystery novel set in the first century C.E. Holy Land entitled A Murder at Armageddon.
He recently edited four “Little Books” published by Hampton Roads devoted to a new selection of the work of Lebanese-American writer, poet and painter Kahlil Gibran, based on his Middle Eastern roots and culture. In 2021, his anthology of classic writings on spiritual ecology was published by Hampton Roads under the title Wild Wisdom.
Known also for his citizen diplomacy work, Neil led several group trips to Russia and the Middle East and in 2004 cofounded the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace (www.eicsp.org). In 2005 he was awarded the Kessler-Keener Foundation Peacemaker of the Year award for his work in Middle Eastern peacemaking.
Under his Sufi name, Saadi Shakur Chishti, Neil also offers spiritual retreats combining his work with Native Middle Eastern spirituality with the lineage of Chishti Sufism. He was a long-time student of the Murshid Moineddin Jablonski (d. 2001), the spiritual successor of Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti (1996-1971), who was the student of Hazrat Inayat Khan Chishti and Pir Barkat Ali. Saadi was recognised by Moineddin as a teacher in the Sufi path in 1981 and a senior teacher (murshid) in 1993. His current Sufi mentors include Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri. He also serves on the advisory board of the International Association of Sufism. (www.ruhaniateurope.org).
Moineddin Jablonski wrote:
“The passion play of personal crisis serves to create the human being anew, to move the soul a step closer to its spiritual purpose. Thus it has been, thus will it be. Let us start from our knees for a change, and pray that we become instruments of the divine compassion.”
“We are indeed entering a new era of humanity, a time of massive inner and outer change and growth. Earth herself is giving birth to what she must become. Upheaval–personal, societal, and geologic– are the labor and birth pangs that will create greater consciousness of spiritual reality for all. As each one of us is moved into Soul-consciousness, and we are being so moved, we will select our own modes of spiritual realization. What we now know as ‘Sufism’ will become vastly expanded and transformed. It will be like the reported meeting of Inayat Khan and Nyogen Senzaki. They entered samadhi together, ‘and Sufism and Zen became like yesterday’s dream.’”