Announcing: The Little Book of Sufi Stories…pre-order now!


Dear Friends of the Abwoon Network,

I am happy to announce a new book published by Hampton Roads, due in June of 2018. The Little Book of Sufi Stories retells some of my favorite stories, and a few you haven’t heard before. I am just finishing proofreading the final galleys and find that the publisher has done a beautiful job. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Although the release is a little ways off, I would encourage you to pre-order it now using the links below. It will help create some early interest (that’s the way things work in our world) and you won’t find a better price later!

Yours in peace,



The Little Book of Sufi Stories

Hampton Roads Publishing Company

240 pages, 5 x 7 paperback

ISBN-10: 1571748296

ISBN-13: 978-1571748294

Due: 1 June 2018


From the Foreword:

“If you want to hear a good story but prefer to read it instead, then read Douglas-Klotz! He writes as if he’s sitting in your living room, invited over for afternoon tea to entertain you with some heart-pleasing, often humorous, yet soul-searching Sufi stories. His modernization of these old texts is gentle and mindful, yet unapologetic.”

–Maryam Mafi, author of Rumi Day by Day

The stories in this book are drawn from the dozens that Douglas-Klotz has enjoyed telling in his seminars over the past 20 years. Most of them appear in works of the classical Sufis, such as Rumi, Attar, or S’adi. To preserve some of the in-person feeling and bring the language up to date, he has given them his own improvised turns.

From the Introduction:

As the German novelist and storyteller Hermann Hesse once wrote, the great stories of humanity—like fairy tales, Hasidic stories, Celtic stories, Zen stories and Sufi stories—provide us with incomparable examples of the “genetic history of the soul.” We share this depth of soul with all human beings. So, hearing a story live and unrehearsed brings us closer together, creating and re-creating our all-too-fragile sense of human community.

I have drawn the stories in this book from the dozens that I have enjoyed telling in my teaching seminars over the past 30-plus years. Most of them first appear in works of classical Sufis like Rumi, Attar or Sa’adi. Others simply come to us without a name, passed down from person to person with variations for hundreds of years.

Telling an oral story in print is challenging. One can strip the story back to its bare bones, thereby losing much of its flavor and aroma. Or one can treat the story like a prehistoric insect caught in amber: one leaves all sorts of cultural detail in, but the story doesn’t breathe. I am a great fan of live storytellers, but some so-called professional storytellers err on the latter side, because they don’t understand the transmission of the story—its life as an inner experience that everyone can share. The “wow” factor may be there—the special effects—but not the wisdom.

Likewise, some authors overly embellish or interpret Sufi stories with an agenda in mind (often psychological or theological). They map out the whole story as an allegory that supports a principle they want to convey. In my view, this is (as one Zen master commented) like going to a restaurant and ordering a vitamin pill. Where is the art of life, the joy of discovery?

Hopefully, I have woven my way between the extremes. I have modernized the dialogue, and so there will be deliberately anachronistic references. Hint: this is one technique for using stories as spiritual teaching. Another technique: there will be plot elements that seem to end nowhere. A third: No ‘trigger warnings’ are given. Fourth: sometimes the good are not rewarded and the evil not punished (but that’s more like life anyway). I could go on, but why spoil the fun?

Without doubt, there is nothing like hearing a Sufi story live. To tell one of these stories, I need to first live in it for a while, much as one might walk into an unknown forest and gradually get to know the plants and animals there. Yet when telling the story live, I can still meet something unexpected at any moment.

As I mentioned in The Sufi Book of Life, I encourage readers to go beyond the book (or screen) to meet real Sufis. With a sincere heart, this is not so hard (which is not to say it’s simple, given that Sufis all over the world are under threat from Islamic fundamentalists).

I hope these stories convey an aliveness that awakens a spark in your soul. If they do, you may become—as I am—a story collector.

Hear and read more of them, retell them in your own way, and you may find yourself becoming a different, wilder, more completely human you.

–Neil Douglas-Klotz

Pre-order here:

Barnes and Noble




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Registration now open: “Light of Success” in Columbus, Ohio

The Light of Success:

Achievement in the World

and the Spiritual Life

How to attain our earthly goals and still be happy


A workshop with

Neil Douglas-Klotz and Natalia Lapteva

October 26-29, 2017


Place: Martin dePorres Center, Columbus, Ohio

Time: Thursday evening 7pm until Sunday 12 noon, Friday and Saturday evenings included.


When we embark on the spiritual journey, we often put aside our more ‘mundane’ and ‘common’ desires and purposes, or begin to consider them as being on a ‘lower plane’ altogether. However, it is important for us, as beings of flesh and emotion, to develop, tend and bring to fruition all facets of our lives.

On the path of the inner life, how can we find a way to live harmoniously in the ‘real world’?  If we over-focus on success, we risk being sucked into an endless round of activity—there is always more to achieve—and we can become trapped by what we have manifested. If we suppress our desire to create and achieve, the self usually reacts negatively. Down either path can lie depression and ill-health. How do we find the balance and the joy that can arise from it?

We will use as tools: Dances of Universal Peace, walking and sitting meditation, Sufi wasifa and zikr, practices from world spirituality and modern psychology. Inspired by the teachings of Murshid Samuel Lewis and Hazrat Inayat Khan on “Sadhana—the Path of Attaintment.”

“The love of power, wealth, status and influence are inherent in us. Our conditioned consciousness drives us towards acquiring these assets. As these ideas have no definable end, their quest will inevitably produce some discord, violence and brutality towards oneself and others. Conditioned consciousness and curbing the lower self or ego leads to potential resistance and even depression, unless it connects with the higher self and soul.” –Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Registration and Information here.

New Beatitudes Chant CD released from world music group ‘Sofia’

2 February 2017

A few years ago, Gospel singer Timothy Frantzich, whom I met at a Robert Bly conference, asked if he could arrange my Beatitude chant melodies for a small choral ensemble. That new creation is now here–a world music collaboration by the group ‘Sofia’ in Minnesota, USA: Timothy Frantzich, Carin Vagle and Dean Magraw.  Beautiful voices, splendid guitar, flutes, percussion and a rhythmic, meditative experience to carry you through the “Beatitude Way.”

Here is a short extract from the third Beatitude, “Tubwayhun l’makikhe d’hennon nertun ar’ah”–ripe are those finding their natural inheritance of strength and healing from nature–and their original nature. This is the one usually translated “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”

You can find out more about the recording as well as links to purchase it in either CD or iTunes format here:

Later today, I am doing a live interview with Janet Conner on Unity Radio on the Beatitude Way, applying it to life today as we find it. The Beatitudes are an eyes-open prayer, calling us to awaken to what is important in life right now–“what is really ours to do?”

You an listen live here:

The archive of the recording will be online here, probably by tomorrow (Friday 3 February):

Happy Candlemas and Imbolc to all!






New Offerings from the Abwoon Network and ARC Books

Dear Friends,

I am happy to announce the following new offerings at the Abwoon Network store site. My thanks to a number of friends who helped make these possible, including Richard Abdul Haqq, Jelaluddin Sturm, Katie Shroth, Jim Gentles, Jannat Granger and Farid Granger.

Love and blessings for the New Year!


Audio Downloads:

25% discount on all audio downloads at the site until 6 January 2017.

Use this code (once per person):  NEWYEAR17

Vectors of Love

Vectors of Love Live Workshop

A weekend workshop from April 2015 with one of the early trials of the ‘Nomad’s Way’ theme I have been working with. Also includes: the relation of our earliest human memories to some of the “Beautiful Names of Allah’–qualities we already possess, but may have forgotten. Also: the four Daroods that were given to Murshid Samuel Lewis by Sufi Barkat Ali, taught as both chants and Walks. 12.5 hours total:

Sufi Stories LiveSufi Stories Live, Volume One

I have gone rummaging through my archives and begun to unearth some of the best live recordings of Sufi stories and world wisdom tales that I have shared over the past decade. The first volume contains: Mullah Nasruddin’s Jobs, Mullah and the Parrot, The Goldsmith’s Daughter, Mullah’s Missing Donkey, Sufi Stories of Mariam and Jesus, The Shaykh and Halva and Jonah’s Zikr and Story.

New Books:


Original Meditation:

The Aramaic Jesus and the Spirituality of Creation

By Neil Douglas-Klotz

A new paperback edition of  “Genesis Meditations” with original cover art by Murshida Fatima Lassar and cover design by Jelaluddin Sturm in Berlin. “One of the best spiritual books of the year”–Spirituality and Health

Today apocalyptic predictions and images dominate popular culture and social media. Yet for most of our history, human consciousness focused on the mystery of beginnings, not endings. Our ancestors felt that the most powerful energy and clearest vision for the future  could be found at our inception.  They meditated on stories of the Great Beginning as the way to go forward.


A Book of Self Re-education

By Raden Ayou Jodjana

Foreword by Neil Douglas-Klotz

A Book of Self Re-education is a treasure house for all who wish to explore the creative essence of life in the substances of their bodily form. Raden Ayou Jodjana (1888-1981), beloved student of the Sufi Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan and devoted wife of Prince Raden Mas Jodjana, the great Jananese dancer, here expresses the inexpressible teaching of these two great masters as a step-by-step guide to waking up fully inside our human bodies.

Nancy: A Personal Goodbye to a Dances of Universal Peace Pioneer

By Sharon Abercrombie


Just days before her death from pancreatic cancer on June 23,  a very fragile Nancy Norris was determined to get to her regular Santa Cruz, California  dance meeting—somehow. And she did.  With the help of her  son Davie and daughter Carolyn Roberts.

She arrived  in a wheelchair –  a brave gesture to say the least, given her weakened condition.

Nancy was about important work that night. “She had spent the day building up the energy,” to make it happen, recalls Carolyn.

Nancy, 81,  wanted to let the circle know she was hanging up her dancing shoes after 30 years of  leading and mentoring. She wanted to let them know she was turning over her Garden Sanctuary meeting to “the younger 60- and 70-year-olds.” said Carolyn.  She wanted to certify her last mentee. Terry Karima Forman, an area kindergarten teacher. She accomplished all three.

nancyDuring the meeting, Karima lead her beloved teacher’s work-in-progress dance, a call and response chant “Infinite Waters that Flow Through It All.”

Jilani Esterly,  a member of the Santa Cruz dance team, described Nancy’s demeanor  that night as “as soft spoken, yet completely present, peaceful and good humored.”

Karima said she will remember her beloved friend and teacher as “the unconditionally loving mother, someone who greeted everyone as family.”

And this writer, a 1997 mentee certified in Oakland, CA, has similar memories. I recall the hugs Nancy gave to everyone who came to our Isis Oasis California Quarterly weekends—newcomers and veteran dancers alike.  From Friday night until Sunday noon,  she functioned as a quiet, non-stop energetic presence, leading dances, teaching open tuned guitar, participating in feedback sessions for new dancers, and meeting with her mentees. She was always giving to us. Saturday afternoon nap times were a rarity.

Andrew Joselson, a veteran dance musician, from Santa Cruz, views her as the archetypal nurturer., as well. “Nancy, he wrote, “conjures up the image of Johannes Vermeer’s painting, ‘The Milkmaid.’”  But Joselson’s take on the portrait shows a guitar strap supporting the huge milk jug.

Nancy Norris’ vicious illness first invaded her life in January 2016. She had spent the previous year in seemingly good health, immersed in dance and family activities. At one point, she and Carolyn had embarked upon a major road trip  to the Southwest, for the latter’s Masonic  work. The two made an overnight stop in Silver City, Mexico, to visit with long-time dance friend Darvesha MacDonald and her partner, Ishan. The couple lives  near the Southwest Sufi Community’s retreat land there.  “Nancy said it had always been her dream to visit us, and she did it,” noted Darvesha.

Up until two weeks before her death, “she was still picking up the guitar,” said Karima.  When the Hospice caregivers asked if she wanted any music, Nancy declined, replying “I have my own orchestra.”–the guitarists, drummers, keyboardists and harmonium players who accompanied  her dance meeting through the years.

There were two goodbye ceremonies held in Nancy’s honor. The first, a vigil, took place in the family home. Richard McMurtry, editor of the Desert Flowers email list serve, and one of Nancy’s mentees was there. He recalls the visit with heartbreaking poignancy.

“She was lying in her room draped in purple and turquoise –decked with rose petals. Her body had the look of someone who has passed and gone beyond.  On a bedside table sat her “Nancy Norris 2017 calendar” with photos of both her and her beloved family members. On a bedside table was the wall hanging version of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic from the 1980s.”

Then on the afternoon of July 24, over 100 friends and family gathered at Henry Cowell State Park, in nearby Felton, California, to share memories and dance among the redwoods. The circle participated in some of her favorite Dances of Universal Peace including “Ubi Caritas,” “ Kuake, Leno Leno”  “May the Long time Sun shine upon you,” and “The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer.”

Before the celebration of life event, Nancy’s mentor and long time friend, Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz , sent a tribute from his home in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since the mid-1980s,  Nancy had been a supportive ground-floor presence for him, encouraging the founding co-director of the  Dances of Universal Peace Network, as he brought through the beginnings of his Aramaic Jesus work –The Lord’s Prayer and The Beatitudes. Said Neil: “Nancy was a loving soul with a huge heart and a beautiful musician and dance leader.  She worked with me as a mureed and was a mainstay a the early Lama Dance Camp, as well as the California Quarterly Retreats, which at one point, replaced the Saturday Advanced Class started by Murshid Samuel Lewis.”

After Neil left the Bay Area in 1993, Nancy, along with Darvesha McDonald of San Francisco continued the quarterlies, seeing them through the transition to their current less frequent gatherings. Violetta Reiser has remained the registrar, to this day.

For many years during the Christmas and Easter seasons,  Nancy opened her home to special “Aramaic Lord’s Prayer” celebrations and potlucks in her spacious living room. Violetta and I were privileged to guitar for many of these holiday events

In Vio’s words, “I am going to miss her terribly and cannot fathom never see her again.”Vio first met Nancy in June of 1984, when she was fresh off the boat from her native Croatia. Awarded a scholarship to the Mendocino Sufi Camp, Vio immersed herself in everything. After a 20-minute open-tuned guitar lesson with another musician, “I was hooked.” She became friends with Nancy at that camp, too  and recalls  the two of them sitting on the steps of the main hall, “me with her guitar,  trying to play notes while  she was patiently saying, zero two,four zero, five. She was teaching me the Kalama Dance.”

Nancy Norris did not discover the Dances of Universal Peace until she was in her late 40s, but she made up for lost time. Richard McMurtry writes that she had been taking a Course in Miracles when she was moved to ask “How can I deepen in the experience of what we’ve been talking about?”  Someone suggested Sufi dancing. This individual “also saw her clearly enough to suggest that she became a dance leader.  Nancy replied that she was too shy to imagine becoming a leader. But this friend believed in her in such a way as to teach her open tuning on the guitar.”  Four years later, she had become a Dance leader. Her confidence in playing guitar soared during those times.

During the past decade or so, Nancy’s confidence grew in other ways as well. On Saturday nights, at the quarterlies, she began what I can only describe as extemporaneous zikrs.  Confessing that she had no idea what would happen, she would simply begin with a note, then a melody she would pull from the ethers, accompanied by a sacred phrase. Within 30 minutes, our circle would be singing in four-part harmony and doing the zikr movements she taught us.


Dances of Universal Peace in the Kremlin 1989

On a final note: Supplying a bit of biographical information about her mom, Carolyn adds that Nancy loved the Peace Through the Arts Camp in the UK, the Lama Dance camp in New Mexico, The California Quarterly and the South Bay Sufi Camp, to mention a few.  A 1989 trip to the Soviet Union “was one of the most moving experiences of her life.”

Nancy Norris was born in San Francisco in 1935 and lived most of her early years in Sacramento and Oroville.  She loved swimming in the Feather River and was a regular at Gold Lake Y-camp during the summer. It was where she learned numerous campfire songs. As a teen she studied piano and was active in Job’s Daughters and was Honored Queen for Bethel 50. She studied music and French in  college. Midway through her studies  she married John Norris, and when he was drafted, the couple moved to Maryland.  While there, without a degree or credential, she was asked to teach fourth and fifth grade. After returning to California she completed her studies in education from Mills College in Oakland.

She is survived by sons Davie and Ben, daughter Carolyn, grandchildren Leila, Jasmine, Anisa, Christie and Eddie.



We Need Your Help for an Important Project

7 September 2016


Dear Friends,

I’m writing a personal letter to the Abwoon Network to ask your help in completing the project to restore the dargah (gravesite) of Murshid Samuel Lewis in New Mexico. Whatever you may or may not have read about this in past, I would request a few moments of your time to consider the following, some of which you may not have heard before.

As one of the first practicing inter-spiritual mystics of the 20th century, Murshid Samuel Lewis nurtured his own spiritual life with three simple things: retreat, pilgrimage and a deep, inner connection to his teachers. The three went together. Throughout his life, he travelled on retreat or pilgrimage to visit living teachers or absorb their living presence at a sacred site. While there, he received the inspirations that formed the basis of his life and work. Whether it was his study with Buddhist Zen teachers, with Swami Papa Ramdas or with Christian mystics and Sufis, he always felt that genuine spiritual work for peace resulted from living experience and vision rather than ideas and concepts. The Dances of Universal Peace and spiritual Walks—the culmination of his work—were sparked by a vision that he received at the dargah of the Sufi saint Selim Chishti in India. Shortly afterwards, when Murshid S.A.M. visited Ruth St Denis, his spiritual dance teacher, she confirmed the vision.

Likewise, the International Dances of Universal Peace Network, in the form we have it, resulted from a vision received by this person at the dargah of Murshid S.A.M. at Lama Foundation in New Mexico in October 1982. Along with this, at the same time, came the vision that led to the first Aramaic Dances for the Prayer of Jesus. Following this, I began to do the scholarly work that led to my first book, Prayers of the Cosmos.

This vision happened during a month-long pilgrimage led by Murshid Wali Ali Meyer, during which about twenty of us rebuilt Murshid S.A.M.’s dargah, which was falling into decay due to its harsh surroundings. The vision was confirmed by my own teacher, Murshid Moineddin, as well as by meeting my spiritual sister Murshida Tasnim Fernandez, with whom I began the Dance Network.

All of you reading this who are engaged in some way with the Dances or the Aramaic Jesus work will find that it is because of one or both of these visions, which resulted from pilgrimages to a dargah.

All things fall into decay eventually. Some things worth keeping need to be maintained and sometimes rebuilt, with effort and sacrifice. Sacred sites around the world have been made sacred by combining earth energies with the group devotion of a community of people who sacrificed to keep a particular portal between the worlds open for those coming along later.

Of course, anyone can receive a vision anywhere, under any circumstances. But it is no coincidence that more of these occur at sacred sites, which are kept alive by a field of group devotion, effort and sacrifice.

Some years ago, we again reached the point where Murshid’s dargah needed to be completely rebuilt. When I visited the dargah in August 2014, it was clear—from comparing its present state with what we had designed and rebuilt in 1982—that the site had already substantially eroded into the hillside. This was no one’s fault. It resulted from a combination of factors. First, the 1996 fire at Lama changed the drainage and ecology of the hillside. Second, the changing demographics of our Dance and Sufi commuities: we got older and less capable of the heavy lifting we did 34 years ago during the rebuild or by which we maintained the dargah in the ten years following during our annual summer Dance camps. Third, the changing demographics of the Lama community in the last decade: during this time the average time a permanent resident remained in the community shortened dramatically from ten years to five to its current two. With such a quick turnover, more immediate survival needs in a wilderness community take priority.

While some people like the image of our dargah gradually fading away, to me this attitude reflects laziness rather than an enlightened attitude to impermanence. Valuable things are worth reusing and reviving, rather than simply throwing away—an attitude our superficially impermanent consumer society promotes.

An additional factor: if you burrow into the internet news, you will see that Sufi sacred sites around the world are being threatened and destroyed by extremists of all sorts–in Africa, East Asia and the Middle East. These include the very dargahs that Murshid SAM himself visited. We may well be in a situation where sacred lineage portals like ours can only survive in the West for the moment, much as Tibetan Buddhism is surviving in exile from its historical homeland.



We are now in the final phase of the dargah restoration, which will be complete by summer 2017.

For the final push we need 300 people who are willing to donate a total of $1000 over the next three years (2016-2018). That’s about $333 a year, less than what most of us spend a year on workshops, retreats and camps.

This one is ours to do. It cannot wait for another generation. One can come up with all sorts of excuses why it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done, or could be done differently. Having studied the budget and plans in depth, as well as the whole history of the dargah’s maintenance and the Sufi Ruhaniat’s communications around this with Lama Foundation (which began more than 20 years ago in Pir Moineddin’s time), I’m convinced that this project is being done in the most cost-efficient, maintainable, ecological and beautiful way possible, in consideration of the long-term benefit to both the human and natural communities involved.

After our own Dance circles are forgotten, the dargah will be there, hopefully to provide visionary inspiration for a whole new generation of Dancers, who may need to revolutionize what we’re doing in the same way that the Dance Network did ten years after Murshid S.A.M.’s passing. At that point, Murshida Tasnim and I began the Dance Network with $500, and look where we are today.

Please join me in making the pledge mentioned above and manifesting this. Here is the link:

If you can give more, give more. If you can give less, do that. Every person who puts in some energy, and makes some sacrifice in the name of devotion, helps clear the channel for others. We can talk about “paying it forward” as much as we want, but this is one practical thing we can actually do to help sustain the future of the Dances—and the living interspiritual work that Murshid SAM began—for coming generations. Don’t miss the opportunity to say you helped make this happen.

Love and blessings,

Neil Douglas-Klotz

Fife, Scotland


New book release: Illuminating the Shadow

Moineddin Illuminating Cover Lay_6 kompl print.indd


Illuminating the Shadow:

The Life, Love and Laughter of a 20th century Sufi

Moineddin Jablonski

Edited and with an introduction and notes by Neil Douglas-Klotz

Sufi Ruhaniat International, 392 pages, $18.95


For the past four years, I have been working with a team on a collection of the articles, interviews, correspondence and other writings of Murshid Moineddin Jablonski (1942-2001), my spiritual guide.

As the book Sufi Vision and Initiation did for Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, we wanted to allow Moineddin’s own words, woven together, to reveal his own very human and inspiring life story. The completed book is something between autobiography and found “actuality”—-combining all of his more refined writing and spiritual commentary, as well as interviews, letters, emails and unpublished poetry. These prayer-beads, threaded together, reveal the necklace of service and devotion that formed the last thirty years of his life, from age twenty-nine until his passing at fifty-nine.

The book is now out, in both printed and ebook formats. Below you will find the book’s description, a few of the many endorsements and some short excerpts.

The whole process has been very inspiring, and as several of the endorsements say, putting all of the pieces in place have allowed those of us who knew Moineddin to see him in a new way. For those who never knew him in the body, it introduces the wisdom of his life and teaching to a wider community.

To order the book in the print edition, please go to this url:

The price is US $18.95 plus shipping. Using this website estore maximizes the return for the Sufi Ruhaniat. The only royalty being paid is going to Moineddin’s four children. If you live outside of the USA, just use the slowest shipping and ignore the dire predictions of how long it will take. After several tests, the slowest shipping delivers the book to Europe in about a week. We will also have copies at the Ruhaniat European Summer School in July.

For the Kindle ebook edition, please go to your local Amazon site.

May all we do return to praise the One!

Neil Douglas-Klotz


Illuminating the Shadow collects the Sufi writings of Moineddin Carl Jablonski (1942-2001), the spiritual successor of Samuel L. Lewis, founder of the Dances of Universal Peace and originator of a branch of the Chishtia Sufi lineage currently called the Sufi Ruhaniat International.

The book weaves autobiography, letters, poems, articles and interviews to provide a unique glimpse of an illuminated Western-born mystic. Jablonski faced enormous inner and outer challenges as he sought to establish an authentic, living Sufi tradition in the West.

“A book of subtle messages which will challenge and inspire any serious seeker, regardless of ethnic or religious background.”

Muneera Haeri, author of The Chishtis: A Living Light and co-author with Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri of Sufi Links

“This book illuminates, in his own words, the life of a gentle and gifted soul. Over the three decades I knew Moineddin Jablonski we enjoyed many intimacies, including countless hours of music-making, the study of Sufism under his guidance, and open, spacious darshans. I thought I knew him well. But in reading Illuminating the Shadow I received a newly clear, coherent picture of the whole man in all his glories and tortures, and I’ve come to love him as never before. Thanks to this savvy presentation of his writings, Moineddin’s vision can now light the way for many more seekers of the realized life.”

W. A. Mathieu, author of The Listening Book and Bridge of Waves

“…a rich compendium of anecdote and teaching of the eclectic and universalist shaman, Moineddin Carl Jablonski, direct heir to Samuel Lewis, Sufi and Zen master. Illuminating The Shadow is an important read for anyone interested in the Light and Shadow of our human story, and the journey of the soul. Douglas-Klotz adds to the current mystical wisdom stream with this poignant exposition of the life, love and laughter of this Sufi leader and humble practitioner.”

Mariam Baker, author of Woman as Divine: Tales of the Goddess



The Kidneys of Our Hearts (Letter, 1980)

“There is nothing but Love, and if we feel the brief crucifixions that improve our fana let us keep Allah foremost in our heart-breath. It is all a process, at once enlightened and eternal, and also a gradual awakening according to our innocence, strength, purity and love. But until these latter become entirely of Allah, instead of “ours,” there will be more need for some little pain.

“Also, the world’s condition is being poured through the kidneys of our hearts. Why should it be otherwise? We asked for this before the beginning of time.

“Now let us be who we are.”

Lessons from the Book of Love (Letter, 1983)

“Many of the lessons we must learn are hard lessons, and many we make hard. Some others may be easier to master, and our own ease makes them so. But all of our lessons, and we are here only to learn them, are given out from the Book of Love authored by the Hand of God.”

The Flavor of Murshid S.A.M.’s Transmission (Interview, 1992)

“I think the essential qualities of the Sufi Islamia Ruhaniat Society (SIRS) can be found living in the hearts of the Mureeds as: Sincere seeking; devoted practice; deep inner experience; universal vision. We are developing in our own lives the God-realization not only of Murshid S.A.M. and Hazrat Inayat Khan, but of all the Illuminated Souls, male and female, of all times and places and cultures and schools.

“Does that sound extravagant? It isn’t really. The Sufi invocation is our basic and primary teaching. We encourage a strong, vital and open approach to personal and spiritual wholeness. We are not afraid to be ourselves. We are daring in our quest to reach beyond ourselves. Presently we are learning the difficult lessons of love in the schoolhouse of Earth, but truly we are citizens of the starry Cosmos … What can I say?

“Our Sufi initiation and practice unite us as sisters and brothers on the spiritual path. We’re a family. We love. We fight. We’re eclectic. We’re open. We’re innovative. We’re a lot of things the more orthodox Sufi schools say we shouldn’t be. God bless them, but we are who we are. As to the future, we will continue to eat, dance and pray with the peoples of the world—and with each other—as the simplest and best means to unify hearts and create peace. We will also utilize the tremendous love our community has developed to organize compassionate and focused responses to the suffering of homeless people, people with AIDS, and other victims of personal and collective catastrophe. In short, we will become more committed and active in addressing the growing helplessness and hopelessness felt by so many in our society.”

Yesterday’s Dream (Interview, 1992)

 “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 which 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.’”