The following are some impressions from our 2nd “Gathering of the Clans”.
Like all the others who reported, I was very pleased with the wonderful hospitality and seamless organization that our hosts in the Sufi Movement provided. The energy of the Temple and the grounds was uplifting and accommodating. It was a treat and a privilege to gather together in the name of the Sufi Message to pray and eat together amidst the very dunes where Hazrat Inayat Khan had a spiritual vision. The energy was so high and love filled that I took a moment during our outside walking meditation to gather wild flowers to bring back to Ananda. It was also a loving re-gathering for many of us who were at the first meeting in Charlottesville. And of course, the heads of all three of our family’s orders were present, and it was a rare treat and privilege to be present for their prayerful interactions.
There are, in addition, two memories-impressions I wish to share:
One was during lunch one afternoon when Hamida asked to me to lead a grace, and I felt in such an exuberant and uplifted state I could only lead the Calypso Grace. This was well received with all its attendant dancing and shaking and joy. The next morning, Hamida asked Akbar (a Sufi Movement Shiekh from Canada) to lead the grace for lunch. Imagine our delighted surprise when he led the Walt Disney Grace. A sweet and fun memory.
The other event I would like to tell from my perspective. I am aware that others have reported it, but perhaps some more details may help those who were not present to feel more of the spectacular nature of the event itself.
It was the last session, on the third day, and there was to have been a panel discussion. However, the energy was so high and we all were so full, that it was decided to have a closing dance instead. Someone suggested the Blessing Dance, and then we were all in the Temple singing and moving through the steps of the dance. I was standing behind a seated Hidayat & Aziza, singing the song and watching the dance unfold around the room, when Aziza stood up and pulled Hidayat to her. “Let’s dance,” she said. And she pulled him into the moving circle. I was a bit astonished, as his knees preclude his doing any strenuous activity. But there they were dancing and singing and blessing each other and their respective partners. Right about this time, Vilayat came into the room, and someone pulled him into the dance – sorry, I didn’t see whom. Within a few moments the two brothers were approaching each other and I saw Aziza look at Vilayat, and take Hidayat’s hand and bring him right to his brother. With hardly a second’s hesitation, they began the blessings of each other.
May the dance continue.
It is a wondrous picture – watching the two sons of Hazrat Inayat Khan representing the Sufi Movement and the Sufi Order blessing each other within a dance of Universal Peace (aptly named) and inspired by Murshid SAM. I am so proud of our family and its manifestation of Murshid SAM’s statement: “Peace is Power”. Or, my tassawuri: “Making peace through love is powerful.”
Finally, I wish to acknowledge the work done by Shabda, our new Permanent Member. It was a great pleasure to work with him during this meeting, and to observe his loving focus and mastery in action. As you might have heard, amidst all the peace making which was bursting out from every side, I asked Shabda to be present during my meeting with Vilayat. His instructions to me before we began our discussions were to only speak from my personal experiences and my truth. Not only a good psychological tool but also a good spiritual tool.
I am also very happy to report that this energy carried on into our work at Shneida (in North Germany) where our 17th annual meeting went so well, and was so well received, that many of our European family have decided to make the Lama Pilgrimage to Murshid SAM with us this month.
May the Message of God Reach Far and Wide.
Yours in service to the Real,
Charlottesville, Virginia June 1, 2001