01/12/2017 - 05/12/2017    
All Day


Carmelite Retreat Centre
Boar's Hill, Oxford, OX1 5HB, England

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Incense of Tranquility: Absorption into Reality

2017 UK Sufi Mureeds Retreat


with Murshids Tansen O’Donohoe and Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz

“Mediation is not a difficult task….it is a way to lead you to your long-lost home.”
–Zen master Soyen Shaku
Without speech, without silence, let us demonstrate…let these demonstrations occur everywhere.”
–Murshid Samuel L. Lewis




Our lineage teachings and practices are such an incredible gift and rich resource to draw upon as we walk the spiritual path together especially as we gather together as mureeds committed to this lineage. Of course our particular path is one of embodied spirituality especially through the dances and walks though not limited to them. Life in all its fullness is the grist for the mill of awakening. Separating ourselves from anything that is problematic or “non-spiritual” in order to gain so called higher spiritual states can lead to states of disembodiment. We could even say that the only way to have complete realisation is in and through a fully embodied human existence.

In our annual retreat this year we will explore some of the teachings and practices of the meditative experience.  As Murshid SAM says: “The purpose of Meditation is to enter upon a state of unity, thought of unity, feeling of unity, life of unity.” While the incense of tranquility may be a welcome stage in the process of unfoldment there’s always more to be experienced into the beyond and beyond the beyond. Along with Zen and other Tibetan strands of meditative practices, Murshid SAM’s methods for absorption into reality similarly involve the body and all aspects of being.

Murshid SAM’s Githa Dhyana is an indispensable contribution to our forms of meditation practice. We will also delve into some of the works of Murshid’s Zen teachers, especially of Sokei-an Sasaki in his commentary on the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch and Nyogen Sensaki in his commentary of the Gateless Gate.

Naturally being practitioners within the Ruhaniat we will also share the ever living delights of zikr, walking meditation, dance, chant and various other practices especially the centring practices from the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.

The retreat is open to Sufi mureeds, initiates of the Inayati healing orders and others by permission.

The retreat leaders are the UK senior teachers (murshids) in the Chishti Ruhaniat tradition of Sufism in the line of Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti and Hazrat Inayat Khan Chishti. Saadi Shakur Chishti (Neil Douglas-Klotz) is the author of  The Sufi Book of LifeThe Tent of Abraham, Blessings of the Cosmos, Desert Wisdom and other books. He lives in Glenrothes, Scotland and directs the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning. He co-founded the Edinburgh International Festival of Middle Eastern Spirituality and Peace. Tansen is master teacher of spiritual dance and meditation who has made a life-long study of use of sound in healing and spiritual development. He has followed the path of Sufism since 1989 and he guides those who seek to cultivate within themselves the deeper experiences of the spiritual path.

“There are many kinds of Meditation, and all are valuable so long as the form, the ritual, becomes a means to attainment, not a barrier beyond which one must not go. True, there are methods which have been most advantageous. But too many schools adhere stringently to the means. Then the freedom is lost, the purpose is lost, and instead of there being relaxation and liberation, there is only another form of bondage. If this were not so, everyone trying the methods of Zen Buddhism would reach liberation. Millions try every year; hardly a handful attain.” —Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

In meditation make the mind as motionless as a mountain. To practice this you must have faith that you are going back to the original mind of the great universe, original nature. You must know that you are one with the universe. This term handled mentally prevents you from entering the mind of the universe. Do not make the mistake of trying to grasp it with your brain. Grasp it with integral existence, with your whole nature. Do not think using this mind.” —Sokei-an Sasaki

Location: Carmelite Retreat Centre, Boars Hill, nr Oxford,Boars Hill, Chilswell, Oxford, England OX1 5HB  UK The Carmelite Retreat Centre is set in 17 acres of woodland and is just outside Oxford. Accommodation will be mostly in single rooms or twin rooms.

Time: Retreat begins with dinner on Friday evening and concludes with Tuesday lunch.

Registration: To book your place a non-refundable deposit of £75 is required.

The price for the retreat is £435 which includes food and residential costs. Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for; please specify when booking. The retreat will begin with supper on the Friday evening at 6.30pm and end with lunch on the Tuesday afternoon.

Please send cheques payable to “Lancaster Sufi Circle” to Philip O’Donohoe, East Barn, Churchfoot Lane, Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset. DT10 2DS. Or pay online to Account Name: Lancaster Sufi Circle. Sort Code: 40-27-02. Account Number: 81378449.  

For bookings and further details contact TansenPhilip Tansen philipodonohoe@btopenworld.com