The 2017 Sufi Movement in Canada Annual General Meeting
The meeting was held as a video conference on Monday, September 18, 10:00AM MDT, 9:00AM PDT. Council members present were:
Akbar Lody Kieken David Murray Fazalunissa Harmon Jelaluddin Sill Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff
Members attending were:
Sitara Karen Joy Minish Anna Beaumont
The Invocation was recited by Kuan Yin
The meeting was called to order by David Murray
Approval of the AGM of 2016 dated Monday, September 19, 2016
Moved by David, Seconded by Kuan Yin Passed.
David Murray | National Representative’s Report
David is the National Representative for Canada and is an occasional attendee at the Federation Retreats, Summer School and Summer School Leaders’ meetings. Attendance at international meetings is constantly a challenge due the timing, the distance to travel and the cost. The role of the National Representative continued to be active in 2016-2017. The International Council has been activated under the new leadership of Murshida Nuria Sabato and Murshid Nawab Pasnak, with the assistance of Murshida Rani McLaughlin. A Google Group (International Council Sufi Movement) has been established for the participation of the NRs. The concerns and issues raised in the IC will be communicated to the SMIC board. The NR will forward responses and recommendations from the SMIC to the International Council.
In July of 2017 the SMIC was asked by the International Movement to report on how it operates. The following was submitted by David to Rani McLaughlin.
In Canada we operate as a collective and cooperative Board. The Canadian “National Representative” is like a communications director for the SMIC Board. The entire Board collectively performs the role of the National Representative for Canada.
Currently the Board of the SMIC is made up of the 5 Centre Leaders in Canada. In regard to appointments to the SMIC Board, we would report any additions or subtractions to the SMIC Board to the ISM for the record, and expect that the ISM would honour our choices. Of course there can be discussion about the appointments if ever there was a concern. Our aim will always be to congenially support the ISM headquarters and our fellow national organizations.
The SMIC is a non-profit society registered in Canada.
We currently do not have formal secretaries for the 5 Activities, but Hidayat did make appointments over the years for some the 5 Activities and for other activities as well. We work collectively to address each Activity and support each other as we lead our Centres and Retreats. In honour of Hidayat, here is the list of his appointments over the years:
Universal Worship - David Murray (Siraj-un-Munir) (National Represetntative)
Zikar - Sheikh Akbar Kieken (Siraj)
Murshida Fazalunissa Harmon
Inner School (2010 Hidayat request) - Murshid Jelaluddin Sill
Acceptance of National Representative’s Report
Moved by Fazalunissa, seconded by Kuan Yin Passed.
2017 SMIC Secretary Report
From the Secretary’s correspondence and calendar.
2016.07.29 Paul Ketelaar, a Sufi Brother in the Netherlands, begins working on a biography of Murshid Hidayat.
2016.08.21 Nirtan organizes Retreat at Lake O’Hara.
2016.09.12 Murshid Hidayat passes in Munich at the age of 99.
2016.09.19 AGM was held
2016.10.04 Registration for the “Walking The Path” retreat at the The Crossing at Ghost River Lodge begins.
2016.11.12 “The Human Rose” 2 day retreat was held in Vancouver, guided by Fazalunissa, Jelaluddin and David.
2016.12.05 SMIC General Meeting
2016.06.08 The SMIC proposes to hold the 2019 Federation Retreat in Canada.
2016.06.22 Conductor Maulabakhsh Stanislav Ovtchinnikov releases a DVD of the Russian Premiere of Murshid Hidayat’s Gandhi Symphony which was performed in Novosibirsk.
2017.01.16 SMIC Conference call
2017.05.17 Federation of the Message – Our Aspiration in the World, The Abode of the Message, New Lebanon, New York, USA 2017.06.07 Membership Renewal for the 2017-18 Sufi year begins. 36 members join or renew.
2017.08.21 “Walking The Path” Canadian National Sufi 4 day Retreat at the Crossing At Ghost River Lodge. 28 participants attend.
2017.09.06 Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin propose retreat at Loon Lake Lodge.
Acceptance of Secretary’s Report
Moved by Fazalunissa, seconded by Kuan Yin Passed.
2017 SMIC Financial Statement and A Summary of Walking The Path Retreat held at The Crossing At Ghost River Lodge, August 21 - 24, 2017
(scroll to view entire document)
Acceptance of Treasurers Report
Moved by Akbar, seconded by Nirtan Passed.
Centre Reports from the Sufi Movement in Canada
Leader: Kuan Yin Pujos-Michel
For this year, one of our main focus areas continues to be the Spiritual Healing activity. We maintain our Healing lists via personal contact with our Internal Healing lists and our wide ranging Sufi Healing Community.
Our membership draws primarily from our Banff group which includes individuals from Banff, Canmore and surrounding areas along with close contacts with our Calgary Sufi group and other individual Calgary Sufis. Other members come from across Canada and a few from the United States.
The Banff Sufis also worked as a group holding the space in our hearts and minds for the 'Walking the Path' national retreat held in August at the Crossing at Ghost River outside Calgary. Registration, logistics and communications were handled by the Banff Centre. An organizing committee of myself, David and Nirtan organized the program with input from other board members. Azima Martha Toy graciously hosted Nuria and KarimaGita in her Calgary home before the event.
We are all looking forward to being in Sufi community and continuing to expand our consciousness in the loving/living work of the Sufi Message brought to us by our Beloved teachers, Inayat Khan and Hidayat Inayat-Khan.
With love and Sufi blessings, Kuan yin
Acceptance of the Banff Centre Report
Moved by Fazalunissa, seconded by Akbar Passed.
Leader: David Murray
Our small group meets weekly year-round. I hold an evening of sufi studies on Tuesday evenings. There have been many new people attending the class this past year. It is common that many show an interest but do not remain permanent members. Our evenings mostly focus on the practice of the Singing Zikar and are held at my office and gallery, photo attached. Because of the fairly rapid turnover of attendees, we are not currently focused on a structured agenda for the evenings. I take the time to instruct newcomers on the techniques of the zikar practice. In addition to zikar, there may be readings from HIK on a variety of subjects of interest to the attendees and we usually include some breathing practices.
I host the Dances of Universal Peace at my office once a month. They are led by Edmonton Dances of Universal Peace Leader Khabira Auni Amini and attended by approximately 10-12 Edmontonians. The Dances are held from September to May.
sending love David
Acceptance of the Edmonton Centre Report
Moved by Akbar, seconded by Fazalunissa Passed.
Leader: Akbar Lody Kieken
Akbar is a member of the Board of the Sufi Movement in Canada. This is a new Brotherhood/Sisterhood centre which co-operates with a Sufi Dance group in the area. A Sufi gathering September 24 will include a House Blessing of Sharda and Akbar's new home.
Acceptance of the Qualicum Beach Centre Report
Moved by Fazalunissa, seconded by Kuan Yin Passed.
Leader: Fazalunissa Carole Harmon and Jelaluddin Gary Sill
2017 Vancouver Centre Report
The Vancouver Sufi Centre has seen many developments since our last report. Here is a chronology.
We held weekly Vancouver Sufi nights from late January to the end of May 2016. Our weekly evenings generally followed a program of Invocation, readings from Murshid’s writings, practices (breathing, concentration, shagal and sama..) then a Singing Wazifa or the Singing Zikar.
We were all enthusiastic supporters of the Lake O’Hara August 21 - 23, 2016 gathering which was organized by Nirtan Sokoloff and brought new energy to SMIC from a traditional gathering place. Sufis old and new met in a community of brothers and sisters surrounded by the exquisite beauty of Lake O’Hara.
On September 12, 2016 we were all deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear older Sufi brother and friend on the path, Murshid Hidayat. The following Tuesday, when Sufi Night gatherings resumed, the evening was dedicated to Hidayat’s memory with stories exchanged and with questions asked by those who had never had the fortune to meet him.
The fall brought several new and enthusiastic participants and a special effort was made to bring everyone into the magic and deep atmosphere of the Singing Zikar.
Saturday and Sunday,November 12 and 13, 2016, The Vancouver Sufi Centre presented “The Human Rose", A Sufi Retreat with Fazalunissa Carole Harmon, Jelaluddin Gary Sill and David Murray. Activities and practices were at the home of Jelaluddin and Fazalunissa with a trip to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for the part of the program held outdoors.
On October 21 work began with SMIC member, Hamideh Stewart to design and implement a communication strategy for SMIC that will upgrade our involvement with social media. A revised website, a Facebook page and a blog will likely be the outward results of this work as well as an examination of how the organization might communicate more effectively on internal matters.
In January 2017, new participants for the weekly Sufi nights increased attendance. Usually 5 to 10 dear souls joined the heartfelt proceedings. The weekly meetings continued to April 4.
As many of you will know, in April Jelaluddin had surgery and while he was recovering, activities were suspended. Jelaluddin recently learned that tests show him now to be cancer free.
There is a great spirit in our small centre; we have deep discussions. Only one attendee is an initiated mureed, The others are people with deep experience in a variety of spiritual traditions who like the feeling of our group and it’s open atmosphere.
Jelaluddin maintains the SMIC website and acts as the organization’s secretary. Fazalunissa continues in her role of treasurer. We feel that the Sufi work in Canada is being expressed beyond our local centres, beyond Canada, and is hopefully an important contribution to the Sufi Message.
Sending much love and deep gratitude for our connections with so many Sufi hearts,
Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin Vancouver Sufi Centre
Acceptance of the Vancouver Centre Report
Moved by David, seconded by Kuan Yin Passed.
Leader: Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff
Victoria has an active Sufi centre with once a month Dances of Universal Peace and Sufi Thought. These evenings include dancing, readings and discussions. Nirtan continues to maintain a Sufi Lending Library.
Nirtan was successful in winning a bid to bring a group to Lake O'Hara, the site of many wonderful Western Canada Sufi camps and organized a Lake O'Hara Sufi Camp Reunion Retreat in August 2016. Many longtime and newer loving hearts from many places took part in this retreat in nature, which was co-created by the participants.
Nirtan is working on her long poem "A Light Unbroken", on the life of Noor Inayat Khan. First published as a chapbook in 1986, the new edition will feature photos (kindly supplied by the Nekhbhakt Foundation) as well as an introduction describing the recent research into Noor's life, work and wartime service.
Nirtan has presented a course of study at the University of Victoria on "Mystical Persian Poets" About 12 people were in the study group and the program was well received. Some contemporary Sufi thought was introduced from writings of Inayat Khan.
A new Sufi, Medwyn MCConachy, has volunteered to host meetings at her place when she moves to Victoria this year.
Nirtan has been visiting Inayat Inayat-Khan (Murshid Hidayat's daughter) who lives in Mill Bay not far from Victoria.
Acceptance of the Victoria Centre Report
Moved by David, seconded by Akbar Passed.
It was agreed that a video conference Council meeting be held immediately after the AGM to discuss new business.
Date of the Next AGM
Moved by Akbar that the next AGM be held Monday, September 17, 2018. Seconded by Nirtan. Passed.
Motion to Adjourn
Moved by Fazalunissa to adjourn. Passed.
Meeting ended at 11:50AM PDT, 12:50PM MDT
Sufi Circle Canada Is a Sufi Movement In Canada Community affiliated with the Sufi Movement International