in Katwijk, Netherlands
CANADIANS REPORT TO INTERNATIONAL LEADER'S MEETING
The Sufi Movement in Canada sends greetings to all members of our world-wide family and wish you much success at your meetings in Katwijk. We have just finished a council retreat on Gabriola Island attended by Akbar Kieken, David Murray, Kuan-Yin Pujos-Michel, Nirtan Sokoloff, Jelaluddin Sill and Fazalunissa Harmon. We spent three days in discussion, mostly regarding new rules and regulation imposed by the Canadian government on non-profit corporations which entailed writing a complete new set of by-laws and articles of incorporation. The document has been drafted and needs to be approved by the membership at large before becoming official. The council members took advantage of our time together by doing many practices together and planning a new national Canadian sufi camp/retreat at the same site on Gabriola Island for June 2014.
We feel that we are at an exciting junction in the work in Canada, a new energy has resulted from our meeting and we hope this bears future fruit for the sufi work in Canada. At present there are seven centres in Canada. Three of those can be considered as brotherhood centres with no regular activity but with contact persons and availability of sufi papers and advice for interested seekers after the Sufi Message. Those centres are Calgary, Salmon Arm, and Toronto. In addition we have four active centres, in Banff, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. I have included the individual centre reports as attachments to this report.
By law we are restricted in being able to send funds officially from our organization to headquarters but I have appealed to individual members and will hopefully have a donation to the work of the office in the Hague to you by the time you read this report in your meetings.
We send you all our very best wishes and prayers for a successful series of meetings and our deepest thanks for all the efforts on behalf of the Message.
Love and Blessings,
Akbar Lody Kieken
The Sufi Movement in Canada
REPORT FROM THE BANFF SUFI CENTRE
Greetings from Banff in the Canadian Rockies. We have quite a robust and active centre here in Banff of between 10 - 15 Sufis. Over this past year we have committed ourselves to working with aspects of sacred geometry as reflected in the practices given to us over the years by Pir-O-Murshid Hidayat.
Some of the main focus points have been: a' Working with the Elements' series using the new music composed by Pir -O-Murshid for the Chromatic Zikar, paying particular attention to the Kundalini sacred FIRE energy when working with all of the elements. We have been using the Focusing Breath as a starting point (that works with the kundalini energy alongside the back of the spinal column). We have also been working with 2 elements together, looking at the interaction.
Other areas of focus have been 'the Esoteric Geometry of the Zikar' as outlined in the book Path of Remembrance., the concentration practices, the geometric breathing practices, the practice of Shagal and the practice of Amal.
Continuing in this direction, we in Banff plus SMIC leaders from outside our area, will host a 1 day retreat in September, 2013 that will feature all of the above plus singing Wazifa practices with our Wazifa leader, Jelaluddin Sill.
I participated in the recent SMIC Board meeting that was held on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. I look to that meeting as a wonderful example of heartfelt love and co-operation between our various Canadian Sufi centers in helping to continue the living message of Love, Harmony and Beauty as set out for us by Hazrat Inayat Khan and our own dear Pir-O-Murshid Hidayat.
light and love,
kuan yin Pujos-Michel
THE VICTORIA SUFI CENTRE
The Victoria Sufi Centre holds a monthly meeting at which singing, dancing, prayer and reading takes place. The Victoria Sufi Centre also operates a Sufi lending library, making Sufi Message Volumes available to interested individuals. We have had the good fortune to welcome Rabia Perez (Murshida) for a visit in the past year, and we have also participated in the Vancouver Sufi Centre workshop in March. Victoria Centre leader Nirtan Sokoloff was blessed to attend the SMIC Board of Directors retreat on Gabriola Island. During the search for a suitable location for that retreat, contact was made with a retreat centre outside of Victoria, BC and the Victoria Sufi Centre plans to organize a retreat at this location in the coming year.
THE EDMONTON SUFI CENTRE
The Edmonton SMIC Centre continues to be active with weekly events. On every Tuesday evening, except the last Tuesday of the month, I hold an evening of wasifa practice and the singing zikar of Inayat Khan. Attendance varies and is occasionally as large as 6 people. This may not seem large, except that it is often different people who attend the weekly evenings given their busy schedules. There are 10-12 people who attend the zikar evenings. We have started to introduce readings from the works on Inayat Khan and there is often a lively discussion ranging from the philosophy of sufism to the translation of Arabic phrases. Several of the recent attendees are fluent in Arabic.
On the last Tuesday of each month, I attend and participate in the Edmonton Dances of Universal Peace, associated with the Sufi Ruhaniat International. These are well-attended Dances and there has been some cross-overs between the Tuesday evening events creating an excellent opportunity to expand our exposure to the sufi message. We have begun to incorporate a wasifa into the Dances, using the tunes composed by Hidayat and recorded by Jelaluddin. This has proven to be very popular and has provided the opportunity to considerably deepen the evening's spiritual experience.
CENTRE FOR THE SUFI MOVEMENT IN VANCOUVER
The centre in Vancouver has recently undergone somewhat of a Renaissance. We are still a small group at our core but there are regular Monday night Sufi classes and practices and occasional retreats and workshops.
In March, Fazalunissa Carole Harmon and Jelaluddin Gary Sill with Nirtan Sokolof and David Murray led a three day retreat at the Vancouver centre. The program had as it's theme "beauty" and through that poetic lens was experienced Wazifa, Sufi Chant and Sama, Singing Zikar (2 nights) as well as breathing, concentration and contemplation practices.
There were reading and discussion sessions where, in the Canadian style, the reading material was passed from one to another around a circle of seated participants. The event ended with Universal worship.
The usual pattern for our Monday Sufi Nights is to begin with readings from Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, discussions, breathing or concentration practices and end with a Singing Wazifa. We begin a new Wazifa with every second new moon.
Future events will include a fall retreat and participation in next year's Canadian National week long retreat.
Jelaluddin Gary Sill
SUFI MOVEMENT IN NEW ZEALAND
Fortnightly meditation, readings from the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan and singing wazifas are held in Wellington city.
A yearly 3 day retreat is held every November in the country retreat centre Strathean, Otaki. (1 ½ hours from Wellington city).
At Easter this year Murshid Nawab led a wonderful retreat in New Zealand. The theme of “The Expansion of Consciousness” was very inspiring. Mureeds from the Sufi Order, Ruahaniat, Sufi Movement and friends interested in the Sufi path attended.
Strathean House is used once a month as an open day of friendship and sharing spiritual thoughts. The programme starts with uplifting music, spiritual poetry or an uplifting reading, finishing with a silent meditation. Every month someone is asked to focus the day. The intent is to give people spiritual nourishment, rest and confidence. This has been working well with good feed back. It has also been an opportunity to speak about the Sufi Message.
Through email I am keeping contact with mureeds who are isolated in small towns, or who are unwell or have family difficulties and unable to attend meetings.
Some of these mureeds have been interested in joining in a monthly meditation focused through Hakima Staphorst in The Netherlands. Hakima sends the monthly Friday evening study texts from our Sufi teachings for the year with a very good linking and prayerful formatt . Rather similar to our Confraternity the inner linking gives the opportunity to feel and strengthen the Message vibration with each other despite distances.
At present mureeds from The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland,
Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand participate.
I apologise for being late in submitting this report.
Salima Marie Love
Sufi Movement New Zealand
2 July 2013