Event in New York City — April 22

Contact: Jean-Pierre David


Musicians, Poets and Mystics Present an Evening of Ragas, Solo and Chamber Music, Poetry and Readings from the Writings of Great Sufi Masters

International performing artists for this event include Michael Harrison, Hidayat Inayat-Khan, Shabda Kahn, Julia Khadija Goforth and Talia Toni Marcus

New York, NY (March 17, 2005)— On Friday, April 22, 2005 at 7:30 PM Saint Peter’s Church on Lexington and 54th street will host an extraordinary evening of performances by musicians, poets and mystics. “Mysticism of Sound” is the focus and title of this event.

Mystics of all ages universally love music. Sufis especially have taken music as a source of their meditation. Mystical expression of inner states of consciousness through music allows communion through tuning to unite performer, instrument and audience.

Shabda Kahn and Michael Harrison will open the evening program singing Indian Ragas. Both Harrison and Kahn are accomplished Raga musicians that teach and perform this ancient style of singing.

Shabda Kahn has been a Sufi disciple since 1969. He is a direct disciple of Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti) and worked closely with the great American mystic Joe Miller. Shabda is currently the Pir (Spiritual Director) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Director of the Chisti Sabri School of Music. Shabda spent 24 years (since 1972) developing as a vocalist under the guidance of the late Pandit Pran Nath, the master North Indian classical vocalist, who planted the 800 year old oral transmission of Chisti Sufi vocal music in the Western world. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan Buddhist Master, the 12th Tai Situpa Rinpoche.

Michael Harrison is an internationally acclaimed composer of “just intonation” piano music who performs ragas as well as concerts of his piano compositions. He studied with the late Pandit Pran Nath from 1978 to 1996 and continues his studies today with master vocalist Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan. Michael teaches and performs concerts of North Indian classical music throughout the United States and India with Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Terry Riley, Shabda Kahn, Steve Gorn, and as a soloist.

As a groundbreaking composer/pianist Harrison has developed one of the most distinctive musical styles of our time. He will also present a 45-minute version of his 95-minute work “Revelation” using a contemporary “just intonation” tuning that he invented. Working with ancient principles of harmonic resonance, Harrison’s music is an eclectic synthesis of North Indian and Western classical music, minimalism, and modal jazz. Through his expertise in alternate tuning systems and North Indian ragas, combined with a deep understanding of Indian and Middle Eastern rhythms, and his innate gift for melodic composition, he has created a revolutionary new sound for the piano. Harrison’s work Revelation was recently hailed by Stuart Isacoff of the New York Sun, and will be the co-subject of an upcoming feature article in the New Yorker by music writer Alex Ross.

The evening's program will also feature Hidayat Inayat-Khan, son of the Indian mystic and musician Hazrat Inayat Khan, introducing his composition "La Monotonia."

"La Monotonia" (opus 13) describes the various episodes of a meditative invocation, starting with a call to prayer (played by the altos and followed by the prayer-walk scored on a rhythmic pattern), all of which is part of the A-section of this slow movement, composed according to the principles of the classical "Lied-form." The B-section is the actual prayer aspect with various thematic elements coming and going continuously in a fugue style while sticking all the way through to the monotonous formula of the Indian Raga Bhairavi, where no harmonic modulation prevails. This B-section culminates into an apassionata representing "victory" over the self, the atmosphere of which is emphasized by the classical western harmonic chords sounding in a full expressive outburst. The closing is a return to the A-section of the first bars, followed by a coda, all of which is expressive of the inner meditative call. (Hidayat's great grandfather Mawlabakhsh Khan founded the first Academy of Music in India, invented the music notation system bearing his name and restored the fundamentals of Indian classical traditions in all fields of music).

Julia Khadija Goforth will present the poetry of Sufi Samuel Lewis "God Calls" that will be read by Monick Mervilus David and Eddie Greenberg. Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, aka Murshid S.A.M. (Sufi Ahmed Murad), (dubbed 'Sufi Sam' by newspaper columnists in San Francisco in the 1960's), was a forerunner of universal religion and unitive mystical experience. His poetry "God's Call" will be shared with dervish dancers turning towards their heart, becoming a torch of love in the presence of the One. Lewis died in 1971.

Suggested tickets donation for "Music and Mysticism" are $25.00 dollars general admission.

Visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau, 3/2005

When lights went out ………….all over Europe

Visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau, Palm Sunday 20 March 2005

In early March this year I offered to go with my friend Jo to Poland, specifically to visit the concentration camps near Krakow.  Jo, a non-Sufi non-DUP yet like-minded friend of many years, had recently been inspired to create some artwork on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz/Birkenau and now wanted to visit there in person.

We flew to Krakow on a Saturday, and that evening Jo and I prepared for our visit with the healing ritual, adapted for places of great suffering as recommended by Saul.  During our bus journey the next day, and throughout our time at the camps, the Sufi Invocation was constantly on my breath, and I felt an increasing gratitude for this constant sense of support as, entering beneath “Arbeit maketh frei”, we were surrounded and immersed and had no choice but to look, see, imagine.  I was aware of my face becoming more and more drawn, I avoided looking at others, and noticed that most people were responding similarly.

That evening, back at our hotel in Krakow, having showered and changed our clothes, Jo and I found our own ways of beginning to process some of what we’d experienced. She wrote and wrote whereas I sang and danced, sang and danced.  First, all the Dances of Universal Peace honoring the Jewish tradition, again and again.  Then the first line of the Aramaic Prayer, closing with saying the whole prayer.  Finally the spoken Fateha, switching my focus of concentration to peace in the Middle East.

Some days later, back home again in Edinburgh, I opened my computer and began to write about my experiences – and this is what I’d now like to share with you …………

Aware of my feet as I walked along Edinburgh’s streets, it seemed incredible that these same shoes had, only a few days previously, walked along stony paths, along concrete corridors, through mud and across rubber matting, up stairs, along railway sleepers, across grass.  They had taken me to Poland.  They had taken me to Auschwitz and Birkenau (known also as Auschwitz II).  They had followed our Polish guide as she expertly swept us along in the allotted time from room to room, building to building, all the while delivering a clear and factual account of what was before us.  And today, before walking out in them again in my home town of Edinburgh, I had stopped to recall where these shoes had last walked before brushing the dust of Auschwitz from them.

Shoes, shoes, shoes.  A mountain of shoes behind glass, footwear of all kinds, heavy shoes and light shoes, expensive, cheap, tatty, new, adult’s, children’s, sandals, clogs.  Colored shoes were there for sure, yet somehow the memory is of grayness, dust-covered, worn-down.  Where had these shoes been worn for the last time?  Did they walk to the gas chambers, the solitary cells, the execution yard?  Were they scrabbling for footing at the sides of ditches being dug for the corpses?  With respect, human security, even self-respect and hope of every kind completely gone, did they in fact carry their owners willingly to their demise?  Was that final walk, for some, made in dignity and knowingness, a voluntary giving up of life when the life left to them was no life at all?

Shoes were not the only items on display behind glass walls.  Women’s hair filled another huge display area; pots and pans and various kitchen items; walking sticks, crutches and artificial limbs; hair and shaving brushes; dentures; spectacles; clothing, even from babies.  Everything that could be salvaged from the human body was salvaged.  Taken from the despised, nevertheless it was all destined for recycling to help support German soldiers wounded in battle – also providing a double bind for the SS themselves, double binds being needed to keep them in thrall to an insane regime.  A terrible symbiosis underpinned by fear on both sides.

Our introduction to Auschwitz had been by means of a video in a room full of people, many standing.  Some scenes were familiar, but what was new was that many of these photos were not stills – sudden movements of the emaciated and hollow-eyed somehow seemed shocking, a timely reminder that, in spite of their appearance, these people had indeed been alive when the photos were taken; a reminder of the endurance of the human spirit, with body wasted and frail beyond imagination; a reminder of the strength of the will to live, perhaps seen here in its last resort.

In Auschwitz we saw cells for solitary confinement, the suffocation cell, an enclosed yard where executions by firing took place.  We saw improved quarters for camp informers and the superior rooms used by the SS.  We also stood inside the old gas chambers beneath the holes from which cyanide had been dropped.  Bodies had been crammed into the space to provide sufficient natural heat to vaporize the cyanide pellets.  We saw the ovens.  But extermination at Auschwitz was not efficient enough.  With 700 bodies per day to dispose of and the crematoria only able to cope with half that number, the gas chambers and ovens were closed down in preference to the more extensive and efficient procedures being built at Birkenau, a huge concentration camp intended to take in men, women and children.  Whereas the buildings at Auschwitz were brick-built, having previously been an army barracks, those at Birkenau were wooden pre-fab constructions, supplied from Germany.  Originally intended as stables for 50-plus horses, at Birkenau each hut provided sleeping space for 700, sometimes increasing to 1,000.  Night-time space would be a better description than ‘sleeping’, the wooden-slatted bunks being in tiers of 3, each wide enough for 10 bodies, provided all turned at the same moment.  Space between the bunks was minimal, so the scene as one looked down the length of the room was of almost continuous wooden slating interspersed by upright supports.  It was the fittest who were able to climb into the preferred top bunks, knowing at least they would not be covered by dripping excrement from bodies exhausted with diarrhea lying in the bunk above. A few burning coals in a bucket were provided when the temperature dropped sufficiently below freezing, and this in Silesia, a coal-mining area of Poland.  Ironically these rooms provided jobs in which people were most likely to survive – cleaning the latrines, the battery of holes barely giving shoulder-to-shoulder space and which in-mates were allowed to use twice a day.  Cleaning these was preferable in terms of life-expectation, in spite of the stench and risk of infection, to having to walk in all weathers to hard manual work in the labor camps.  Running water was laid on after Birkenau had been functioning two years – prior to that prisoners had no alternative but to drink supposedly purified recycled water from latrines and primitive washing facilities.

Birkenau is enclosed by deep ditches inside double perimeter fences of wire and barbed wire, interspersed by watch towers.  I stood between these double fences, attempting to imagine escaping through one in darkness only to be caught by searchlight before the second. The tallest tower above the entrance gate, with rail tracks passing beneath, provides a view of the whole camp.  I stood here also, this time attempting to imagine myself in SS shoes, hearing the rumble and clanking of the next trainload to arrive. Gazing across the huge area of the camp I imagined it filled again with the wooden huts that once occupied this space.  Complete huts only occupy the foreground now, the SS having burned down the majority in the last days of January 1945, before liberation.  Only the brick chimneys survived, two to each hut, neat rows of twin chimneys now covering the ground to the far perimeter fence.  Beyond the fences the land between Auschwitz and Birkenau had been kept free of buildings and trees, so that escaping prisoners could be better seen, and this was also where ash from the crematoria was spread, as fertilizer.

Eric Berne taught that, under stress, we regress to either a childish part of ourselves or a part that we involuntarily absorbed from our parents, depending on who we are currently communicating with and the context.  Thus, under the conditions of a concentration camp, in-mates would be likely to react from their Conditioned Child ego-state towards the very real (rather than subjectively perceived) Authoritarian Parent ego-state of their aggressors.  The Games People Play (Eric Berne, 1964) would be played out at the ‘nth’ degree, with destructive or self-destructive endings.  Further, if the SS were to function effectively, they needed to be kept in bondage to their insane regime – and that was carried out not only from the threat of death they themselves faced if they failed in their duties, but from believing they were morally right to do what they had to do.  In a wider context, perhaps one needs to remember that the so-called science of eugenics had been interesting Western intellectuals for some time.  Any humane feelings that might begin to surface in an individual Nazi were therefore a threat to their own life and had to be squashed; any feelings of compassion and the whole house of cards could start to come down.  Unlike the ‘Games’ that people usually ‘play’ (ibid), the whole set-up was self-perpetuating with no likelihood of an end being brought about by the ‘role’ change normal in human social interactions.  Only intervention from outside could do that – and contemplation of that raised questions in my mind of the outside world, of not only Poles, not only Germans but the whole of the Western world. Where was the country that really opened its doors to Jews and Gypsies?

The words of a children’s song ask: “When I needed a neighbor were you there, were you there?  When I needed a neighbor, were you there?”

Knowing, feeling, accepting that the darkness of the concentration camps, of victims and perpetrators both, is shadow residing within myself, since Palm Sunday this year I’ve found myself changing the words to: When you needed a neighbor, where, oh where, was I?

Lights indeed went out all over Europe.

Alice Fateah Saunders
March 2005

Need Help in Looking for a Book

Dear all,

There was a small press book published in Edmonds, Washington in 1991, titled “Autobiography of Fatah Engle” – by Qahira

I need the book for a few days to copy a photo in it of Bakti Engle (his wife and Qahira's mother).

Any help is greatly appreciated.

all blessings
hakim saul

The Wintu or Wintun People of Mt. Shasta


The original Peoples closest to Mt. Shasta are the Wintu People. In their creation story, their elders came to earth through a spring (in Panther Meadows.)

The Hoopa, Yaruk and Karuk Peoples are original peoples close by Mt. Shasta.

To all these people Mt. Shasta is a sacred place of pilgrimage.

I met a Karuk elder Charles RedHawk Thom and he said it is a tradition among many his people to visit Mt. Shasta once a year, not more.

It has been a priveledge to accompany RedHawk and his extended family to Mt. Shasta several times and do purification ceremony on the exact spot Red Hawks grandfather took him to ceremony as a young boy, beside the same sacred spring the Wintu people were “created” from.

This spring has some of the best tasting water, I’ve ever tasted. (In my past I’ve sold drinking water systems, I know water.) You might want to bring a jar to bring some water home with you.

This site is 35 to 40 minutes from the 2005 DHO Gathering site this year.

The Spring is called the Mother Spring of Mt.Shasta.

These people are all very much alive and have living Elders.

toward Spring 2005, not there yet,

Irish Francis Rainbowheart

p.s. Over the years I have found the Forest Service in Shasta City to be an excellant resource.


Thanks for the info on the "locals" -

I am aware of three main springs on the Mountain:

  1. Widows Spring – which we will visit
  2. the spring on Panther meadows – where Ballard met St Germain (posing as a black panther) and was “awakened” and started the I AM Society –
  3. and the headwaters of the Sacramento River – which is the sweetest water I ever drunk –

And, amongst all our usual "frolicking amongst the trees" --- we also plan on:

  1. having at least 2 of Mother Marys folks with us for stories – and maybe a view of her Biography –
  2. and, Inshallah!  a visit to Shasta Abbey – to pay respects to our late God mother – Jiu Kennett Roshi –

by the by -

the only time I ever heard SAM make the all inclusive statement that he would taker as mureeds all of someones disciples - was refeering to Mother Mary - a number of us showed up - I was number 2 after Basira.

see yas on the Mountain

halim saul

Update on the 2005 Federation Meeting

Beloved one,

I am happy to report that the upcoming meeting of the Federation of the Sufi Message is going to manifest once more, this year, with the participation of all the branches of Hazrat Inayat Khan as they were last year in Holland. Yes there will be representatives of the Sufi Order, Sufi Ruhaniat, International Sufi Movement, Fraternity of Light, Sufi Way and Sufi Contact.

So far 47 people will meet at the Sufi Books meeting room in New York City (in Tribeca) on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24.

The meeting will start with a wonderful event at Saint Peter's Church on Lexington and 54th Street, called "Mysticism of Sound" with the participation of many great musicians including Pir Shabda and Michael Harrison who will play ragas, Talia Toni Marcus and a string quintet who will play "La Monotonia" that will be introduced by POM Hidayat Inayat Khan, with Murshida Khadijah Goforth who will direct turning dervishes during the poetry recital of Murshid SAM's "God Calls" and with Michael Harrison presenting his piano composition "Revelation".

Saturday night Zikar will be held at the Al Jerrahi center one block from Sufi Books with all the Federation attendees, the local family, all the great musicians and more cited above, Sheikha Fariha Al Jerrahi and her mureeds. Towards the One.... Sheikha Fariha has welcomed all of us with her great heart full of love without distinctions and differences.

All praise be to Allah.

May the vision and the work of the Federation of the Sufi Message continue.

Love and blessings,