The Life Journey of Samuel L. Lewis
An Autobiography Selected from His Letters, Papers, Diaries and Recordings
Edited, Introduced and with Biographical Notes by Neil Douglas-Klotz
With a foreword by W. A. MathieuSufi Murshid, Zen Master, Environmental and Peace Activist, Missionary to the Hippie Generation, Founder of the Dances of Universal Peace….
Drawn from his own voluminous writings, A Garden of Vision and Initiation allows us to hear Samuel Lewis’s story and teaching in his own words, the authentic voice of a spiritual original and pioneer.
“Here is the story of a mystic, a gardener, a Sufi, a Zen student, a true human being. Samuel Lewis’ spiritual practice was deepened through his meetings with Hazrat Inayat Khan, but his teaching, his wisdom, came from his own visionary nature. Garden of Visions and Initiation takes us on the inner and outer journey of this remarkable man, who left us with the gift of the Dances of Universal Peace, and the living grace of a soul who embraced both love and pain in service to God.”
–Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., author, Love is a Fire, the Sufis Mystical Journey Home.
“The reader of Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz’s sensitively selected and annotated writings of Murshid Samuel Lewis (1876-1971) is taken on the tumultuous spiritual journey of a truly universal being; a voyage propelled throughout his life by the quest for Truth, whether through the teachings of Sufism, Zen Buddhism or any other divinely revealed path. The reader grows with Sufi Sam as he explores with sincerity the inner and outer world, experiences hope and disappointment, and dances through this earthly life with his trademark flashes of spiritual humour and love for all. A collection of writings that will be of particular interest for those westerners who, like Lewis himself, find their path through the teachings of the east.”
–Muneera Haeri, author of The Chishtis, A Living Light, co-author with Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri of Sufi Encounters
“Murshid Sam came into my young adult life toward the end of his own, and although I thought I’d internalized his teachings through several years of personal interaction, I now have a far rounder view after reading so many of his writings as they evolved over a triumphant, fully-unfolded life. Whether you have known Lewis or are new to his work, it is illuminating to experience, in his compelling first person prose, how his determination to rise above the vicissitudes of his early years became fully realized in the form of an extraordinary capacity for healing the world.”
–W. A. Mathieu, author of The Listening Book and Bridge of Waves
“As much of a wonder-filled reading experience it is to dive into this ‘map’, this description of the territory, I’m sure that Murshid Sam would have encouraged the reader to go out and have some direct experiences, traveling the territory and leaving behind any concepts about it. Gardens of Vision offers us the opportunity to witness what a life of dynamic transformation lived through direct experiences and encounters looks like.”
–the Rev. Tasnim Hermila Fernandez, co-founder of the International Network for the Dances of Universal Peace.
“August 2020: For the past two years, I have been working on a major revision of my book Sufi Vision and Initiation (1986), the autobiography of Samuel L. Lewis. It is now complete and the book, entitled Gardens of Vision and Initiation, includes the following new insights from the writing of this remarkable human being.” –Neil Douglas-Klotz
- A selection of Lewis’s writings on social activism and injustice in the 1930s-1940s, a period remarkably like our own, during which Samuel Lewis acted as a whistle-blower in two organizations.
- His therapeutic journey with Dr. Blanche Baker in the late 1950s, which led him to more meaningful relationships and a conscious acceptance of his family history and sexuality.
- Growing from the same therapeutic work– letters, poems and writings that reveal the personal emotional healing and spark that ignited the Dances of Universal Peace, later catalyzed by his journeys to Asia and acceptance by mystics and scientists there.
- His lifelong interest in nature as well as his ecological work during his Asian journeys.
- Writings to his first Sufi student and representative in Pakistan containing both spiritual guidance and Lewis’ plans to move back to Pakistan for the rest of his life to work on spiritual and ecological projects.
- Fully indexed, with a glossary and footnotes identifying Samuel Lewis’s many references to people and events.
- Produced independently with the help of many devoted students in the US and Europe.