Report: DHO at Lama 2018

Dear family,

Our Lama pilgrimage is now part of the ‘living history’ of Murshid Sam’s legacy.

Firstly, I am so happy to report that Murshid is alive and present, and vocal.

About 70 of us gathered for our week together, and his blessings were palpable. Alhamdulliah! The Lama community was as gracious as ever, and we felt welcomed and honored.

Five of Murshid Sam’s original mureeds were present:
Siddiq, Mansur, Fawn (Nasima), Surya (Less), and myself

We held 2 formal processions up to the grave site, and did the Absent Healing Ritual there twice. What a rush of blessings.

Ananda was with us – Yeah! – and led deeply touching sung zikr in both the Lama dome, and at the grave site itself. 

So many inner instructions were given: 

I was told to make 3 more Shafayats: Jude Sargent, Michael Endlich and Nazzruddin Eddie Greenberg. And, Siddiq was recognized for his many, many years of unselfish devotion with the title of Vakil (the Guardian). I loved his comment, when asked if he wanted this public or private -“I’ve been doing this for so many years, it might as well be public.”


Nasima came to me to share her instructions from Murshid. She had avoided the grave site, and was working in the kitchen. “He told me to be initiated,” she said. So, I initiated her as a healing conductor, and she will hold that post at Lama.

At our gathering, there were so many of our family who can hold both the inner and outer space, that we opened up the meeting to many presenters:
Although I opened with the first of the Absent Healing Ritual, each morning had a different conductor, ending with our newest initiated conductor. 

Our brother Aslan is undergoing Chemo Therapy, so there was no choir.

With more time to pray together, we increased our regular offerings: 

  • Ahura Grace took over the dance night. and, Ya Shakur! she held the energy very well.
  • Murad led an evening of Sufi Qigong/Healing Zikr that had us extending our fingers of light with wazifa and clearing blockages and pain from our bodies. A number of people reported amazing elimination of pain.
  • Ahura Grace led us in a powerful evening of zikr that was joined by the neighboring Lama community.
  • In addition, our brother Noel Hanuman was feeling too frail for high altitudes and uneven ground, so Richard took over the post of honoring Hanuman, and did a superb job. Ram! Ram! Ram!
  • 1001 Bead Zikr at the grave site (Murshida Mariam),
  • Sufi Qigong 3.0 (Murad),
  • Morning Yoga (Richard),
  • Tea (Siddiq & Sakina),
  • the Kuan Yin Aspect (Sarfaraz),
  • Dream Diving (Azima),
  • The Hidden Jewel in the Amulet (Micheal Endlich),
  • Writing Down the Bones (in honor of Elaine Sutton-Ayesha),
  • Shamanistic Journey (River)
  • Mansur read excerpts from his newest book of memories of what Murshid felt and did in his presence. He is calling it “The Bowl of Saki” – with his commentary and memories following each entry. He remarked that he had so many more memories to share that were not in his book Murshid.
  • And, there were walks
  • Ram Nam
  • The Kali Mantra
  • The Maha Mudra
  • bed time stories, and homework. 
  • Plus a lot of new reminiscences from folks who were with Murshid. I loved Nasima’s story of how she got her name…

We followed Lama’s Friday night Shabbos celebration, with some Hebrew Tassawuri walks, a few stories I recalled from my youth, and then Nazruddin enlivened the evening with Humor as a tool for healing the heart. Funny! as usual. And, better yet, it worked.

Some of the Old Timers came by for a howdy too – Rahaman was a stand out in memory. 

Special Kudos to Murad who oversaw the Pilgrimage – from inception, through planning and into reality, to Jude, who kept us in check and arranged transport and ride sharing, and to Jamil, our Lama contact, who assisted in holding such a welcoming and loving space for us to gather together. Ya Shakur.

We also spoke about our ‘special donation’ to Lama:
Lama is planning on renovating the old kitchen, which is now unusable, and they are raising funds for it. I did not want our donation to go into a large pool, but wanted it to go towards a single specific purpose, as we have done in the past. They want a new entrance door to the renovated kitchen, and donating a door (way) feels so much DHO. I envisioned a blend of design on the outer side – New Mexico and Sufi – and a Zen theme on the inner side – so that when one enters – one is aware of where one is, and when one leaves – one is made aware of leaving the inner, and re-entering the outer (world). I would also love to see a small inscription on the bottom of the outer side –

“Samuel L. Lewis Memorial Doorway to Inner Peace”

Lama has contact with a gifted local woodworker…so it is a possibility. Depending on what he charges, we may have enough in trust to cover it. Inshallah!

Topping it all off, 30 of us joined Murshida Darvesha, on Sunday – the next day – for a celebration of The Dances turning 50 years old. About 125 folks showed up for the afternoon. It was rocking.

Photos of Lama –


We are hoping for Mt. Shasta in 2019 – June 16 to 21
Mark your calendars.

Mother Mary. The Great White Brotherhood. The Order of Melchizadek.
Flying Saucers. Widow Springs. The Zen Mission Society. Jiu Kennett Roshi.
Panther Meadows. and so much more of the Esoteric Transmission of our lineage.

The proposed housing is not expensive, and they are happy to work with us on food.

More soon.

Am now resting up at home in Virginia
sending love and hugs

your in Service to the Real
Hakim Sauluddin
Happy Freedom Day – July 4, 2018


2018 Pilgrimage to Lama

Dear ones,

I awoke this morning thinking about Lama and Murshid Sam: I remembered once asking Murshid Sam – ‘What is a Murshid?’

His reply was an instant illumination –

“A Murshid,” he replied, “is someone who knows a step of the dance you have not yet learned. And, they stand in front of you doing this step, so that you can follow it, until you learn it.”
I replied: “and, then, you stand beside them, and watch the one showing them the next step?”
“You got it!” he replied.

This coming June 18-23, we have scheduled a Pilgrimage to honor and remember his life long dedication to the Sufi Message of Spiritual Liberty, and the Dances and Walks he brought through to spread this ideal.

Murshid often quoted Al Ghazalli – “God is your lover. Not your jailer.”

Join with us on Lama Mountain as we celebrate his dedication and his transcendent spirit. Register directly with Lama (more information below).

After our D.H.O. Pilgrimage, on June 24, we will be joining with Murshida Darvesha, who is leading a 50 year celebration of the Dances of Universal Peace. Such events are planned world wide, but this is the one we will be at.

For our DHO campers, who choose to stay an extra afternoon, the gathering is free (with a donation requested) – dinner on June 23 and brunch on June 24 will be served (with a donation requested).

Camping on June 23 is free; if you are in housing, please pay the regular Lama costs for your room-

BUT, please register with Lama, so they may have a handle of how many of us there will be on the Mountain.

All monies from our Pilgrimage will go to Lama, as a way of financially supporting Murshid’s resting place.

Ananda and I look forwards to seeing you on the Mountain to honor and celebrate his life and the accomplishment of his mission. In addition, I look forwards to sharing his version of the Maha Mudra – which he first gave on Lama Mountain in 1970 – in the Only Room (in my presence). And, some of his Tassawuri Walks of the Masters, Saints and Prophets.

Once again, please register for both events early, so Lama and we, may know who and how many will attend.

all blessings and love
Hakim Sauluddin

Registration info: $400 for 5 days. Monday dinner-Saturday lunch. Register directly with Lama – online – Or by phone-just ask for Stacy, the registrar. Their number is: 575 586-1269.

There may be a few indoor housing options

Register early if you want these. Register separately for the 50 year celebration of the Dances of Universal Peace – donation requested.

There are motel accommodations available in Questa, for people who miss out on housing, and can’t tent. Questa Lodge – 

Jude has graciously volunteered to coordinate ride-shares. When you register with Lama, contact Jude:

Questions, contact Murad –

DHO 2013 at Lama Foundation

DHO – Lama – 2013

Feeling the Presence of the Spirit of Guidance


 “Till we meet again Bodhisatva”

Dear family,
Hope to see you all soon.
Our annual gathering is upcoming:
Dates:  June 17 (Monday) to June 23 (Sunday)
Place:   Lama Foundation – New Mexico
Theme:  Feeling the Presence of the Spirit of Guidance.
As we prepare to visit Murshid Sam, here are a few things to consider: What success in this past year can you attribute to his teachings and guidance?  What have you mastered, and what are you still working on?  What has been your greatest trial, and what has been your greatest self discovery?  What brings him closer to you, and what brings on the feelings of separation?

Program:  Zikr at the Maqbara, Murshid Sam’s version of the Mahamudra, dancing, walks, chants, tea, Sufi Qi Gong, stories of our lineage, Shabbos, the Absent Healing Ritual, yoga, Ram Nam, Sohbet, bed time stories, home work, dream work, laughter as healing, amulets and gems, choir, and so much more.

Teachers: Hakim Saul Barodofsky, Ananda Cronin, Aslan Scott Satler, Rabbi Pam Frydman, Sarfaraz Cathy Knight, Murad Malvin Finkelstein, Eddie Greenburg, Michael Endlich, Siddiq & Sakina Von Briesen, Richard Mann

Register directly through Lama Foundation
(575) 586-1269

Base Costs: $400 for all 6 days / or $70 per day
plus additional housing cost (depending on accommodations)
Please note:
Staff receives neither reimbursements, nor honorarium, and pays full costs.
All proceeds benefit the Lama Foundation.

For further information or if you want to ride share (either needing a ride or offering) contact: Jude
SAM photo



As we witness the constant shifting on today’s world stage, it becomes apparent that we are amidst a growing disaster scenario.  The peacemakers are being targeted for death; the people of good will are being shunted off to the back of the room in silence, and the hate mongers and ‘incendiaries’ are creating, and directing angry and frustrated mobs.

This is the time to sharpen our focus on Healing and Peace.  The Absent Healing Ritual is a wondrous tool given us by Hazrat Inayat Khan.  Let us use it, or rather, allow it to use us as “Thy wisdom chooseth,” to counter hatred and distortions with Love and Light and the laughter of true Joy.As you read this, take a moment and breath Peace to all the troubled areas of the world.  I hope to do Murshid Sam’s version of the Mahamudra at his Maqbara this June.  Please begin your preparation for this practice now.

All blessings and see you on Lama Mountain
hakim sauluddin

DHO 2010 at Lama Foundation

Dear family,

Lama in June is upcoming (June 20-26), and although the DHO (Dervish Healing Order) is noted for being last minute – I do encourage you to get your registration in to Lama early.

As for money, even if you can only send in a deposit, than please do so.

($375 for all 6 days or $70 per day)

“Remember” is one of the most wonderful teachings that Lama has given us.

So, I encourage you all to “Remember”!

And do remember to send in your registration…
(575) 586-1269

We shall have our usual fun and frolicking amidst the new trees, all our usual joy; Plus the Maqbara!

A fabulous place to process to, and to pray and walk and dance around. Remember Zikr at the Maqbara!

Elaine has said she will again do Shabbos. Plus juice and transmission from Mansur Johnson, Mariam Baker, Siddiq von Brissen, Murad Finkelstein, Sarfaraz Knight, Aslan Sattler, Azima Lila Forest, Eddie Greenberg & Michael Endlich (amongst others).

I look forwards to seeing you on the Mountain again.

More instructions and news will be sent to those who are registered.

Sending all love and blessings.


Yours in Service to the Real,
Hakim Sauluddin

DHO stucco work. and news from Germany!

Dear family – Please see the sweet letter from Krishnadas at Lama.

Alhamdulliah!  we were able to make a contribution to the upkeep of the Lama infrastructure.

I am hopeful that we can do a return visit in 2010 (June).  Dates to be announced later.

and, Ananda & I are just back from Shneida in Germany – a wonderful meeting, and celebration of my 70th birthday – who would have thought it possible.  Thanks to all our German family for keeping the torch lit these 25 years.  Mashallah!

Big News:  we raised 2,000 Euros for the publishing of a German Language edition of In the Garden…Ya Fatah! the translation and design will all be done by our very talented family in Germany…what a great birthday present.  Thank you all. 

And, don’t forget our upcoming DHO gathering near Portland – June 22 – 26, 2009….

Please contact Jennifer Avian for registration.

And, especially during this time of uncertainty, fear and hope, let us hold the high ground, and remember our earliest lessons on the ‘Path’: That life’s true treasure is not the gold of the world, but rather the jewel of the open heart.

May our hearts be open and filled with the Love, Joy & Peace of God’s Grace.

I send all my love and blessings

hakim sauluddin

—–Original Message—–

Subject: DHO stucco work.

Dear Saul,Greetings from Lama where the snow is turning to mud — but we will get more snow no doubt.

We would like for the DHO to know that this past fall we used the DHO money for stucco work to restore the south and west face of the 2 straw bale structures that Beth and I live in. The houses now have a very stable protective surface on the storm sides. This was a grand success and model for the work to be done this coming summer on all of the deteriorating south faces of many of Lama’s structures.

We are appreciative and grateful for the money DHO gave for this to happen.

The money for the Maqbara awning structure is in a restricted account –“DHO Maqbara project”. Meanwhile, I will try to get an estimate from the custom awning place in Santa Fe.

I will be leaving Lama at after 8 summers and 7 winters — whew! — staying down the road at Annie’s Magic Tourtise community until September — still assisting up here part time for the summer. Then I shall travel on once Beth finishes the summer.

My intention is to still assist Lama with it’s summer program calendar in the future — all inshAllah.

Which brings the question — ? — If DHO is interested in returning in 2010,  we are willing to give you the prime calendar dates of your choice in June of 2010. Perhaps you could let me know when DHO has it’s summer gathering.

Lots of love to you and the DHO.

Krishna Das

DHO 2008 at Lama Upcoming

Dates: June 23rd (Monday) – June 29th (Sunday) – 2008.

Theme: Oracles and the Oracular Function — Tuning into the Spirit of Guidance

Place: Lama Foundation, above Taos, New Mexico.

Cost: a benefit for the Lama Foundation...$375 for the week – or – $75 per day
(Please note – all monies collected will go to Lama).

Registration: Lama  will do the registration –

Please send your money to:
Lama Foundation
P.O. Box 444
San Cristobal, New Mexico 87564

I am hopeful we can gather together some of the pieces of the oracular puzzle, and with Murshids assistance, put them to work for us in our personal and professional lives.

Looking forwards to being on the Mountain together again.

I send all my love and many blessings,

DHO 2008 Announcement

The Dervish Healing Order presents:

A Pilgrimage to Murshid SAM

Where: Lama Foundation, above Taos, New Mexico.
When: June 23rd (Monday) to June 29th (Sunday) 2008.
Cost: $375. For all 6 days – or, $70 each day for part-timers.
Theme: Oracles and the Oracular function.
Registration: Contact Lama directly –
Or, if there is a problem:


Prophecy and the Spirit of Guidance are an integral part of the spiritual path. Murshid SAM especially encouraged a greater awareness of this “gift” amongst his students, some of whom were given initiations and spiritual titles which recognized and promoted this inner work.In addition to opening these “inner doorways”™: We shall Remember, eat, pray, sing, dance, walk, chant, process, do rituals together, and of course continue our legendary frolicking amongst the trees.

Please note: This is a benefit for Lama. All monies collected go to the Lama Foundation. Staff receives neither honorarium nor reimbursement, and pays full camp fee.

I send all my love and blessings, and my prayer that we all receive the very best that Allah can bestow upon us.

Yours in Service to the Real,
Hakim Sauluddin

Report: DHO at Lama – 2006

Beloved Family,

This years American DHO Gathering was at Lama Foundation, and I am happy to report that Murshid is alive and well, and Lama continues to lovingly care for his Maqbara. Alhamdulliah!

Our dream work (home work) reported many of his visitations and instructions. Ya Shakur.

Forty of us gathered together from all over the USA & Canada, and we raised $12,135.00 for Lama, of which $10,520, came from registration, and $1,615 was a direct donation towards the repair of their leaking community roof.

As part of our continued attempt to offer the original teachings of Murshid Sam, we felt it was important to reintroduce both the prayers, and the 10 Sufi Thoughts. The former were done before our morning meeting, and the later were used as a theme for the nights `homework.’

Mansur Johnson was our guest, and shared some more of his forthcoming book on Murshid SAM. Due in October 2006 from Peaceworks (thanks Saadi and Jelaluddin for taking this on).

New Mexico is experiencing it’s worst drought in 133 years, but the love and joy we experienced kept us all in such a heart centered place that few of us noticed it. In addition, Lama is greener than expected, and their new trees and plants are prospering with all the loving care they receive.

Very Special Thanks to:

  • Mansur Johnson for leading our procession up to the Maqubara.
  • Scott Aslan Sattler for the choir, and for leading Murshid Sam’s original dances at night.
  • Fadilla Bradley for leading us in the con-fraternity prayers each morning.
  • Siddiq & Sakina von Brissen for their Japanese tea classes, and for doing an all camp tea under the big dome – wonderful!
  • Elaine Sutton for being our Rabbi for Friday night Shabbas, and for her writing class.
  • Ananda Cronin for leading us in the Bon meditation that links us directly to a departed elder, for leading the woman’s circle, and for shlepping her harmonium through 27 airports so we could do sing zikr at the Maqbara.
  • Eddie Nasruddin Greenberg for a hilarious 30 minute stand up routine.
  • Noel Hale for manifesting the Heart of Hanuman.
  • Murad Finkestein for sharing his meditation experiences in the Taoist caves of China, and for leading Sufi Chi Gong.’
  • Asha Greer for holding the energy so well during tea, meditation, the woman’s circle, and for leading us into the Lama Meditation Chamber.
  • Jean Pierre for manifesting his practice of the 99 Names (or pathways).

And to all of our family who participated in the flowering of Love, Harmony & Beauty. Ya Shakur! Alhamdulliah!

We are also most pleased to announce that there were three initiations given at Lama:

Jean Pierre David is our latest Shafayette, and Eddie Nasruddin Greenberg, and Michael Endlick are now Initiators. May the Message of God Reach Far and Wide.

A few additional memories of the Lama Gathering:

  • The deep inner silence we all shared in the Lama meditation room (the old “Khiva”).
  • The loving and supportive Lama Beans who constantly blessed and
  • nurtured our work.
  • The kitchen crew who manifested delicious and nourishing food in cornucopious amounts.
  • Watching us all become children again and snuggling up for a bed-time story.

More News:

Next year we are talking about having our gathering at the Mentorgarten, and having an extended field trip to visit our historical elders favorite places – “Walking in the Footsteps of the Teacher.”

Plus, an additional day dedicated to a structured approach to the teaching of Sufi Healing. More on this soon.

This September I will return to Russia with Mujahid Havell – my 12th year. 2007 we are scheduled to be in Prague.

The Harmony Committee has finished its work, and the letters of support and regret are starting to circulate. Mashallah! It has been a long, painful and joyful process, but it feels worth all the effort. If there are any questions or comments on the letter, please feel free to write me.

And, Along these lines:

The 2007 Meeting of the Federation of the Sufi Message will be held in Charlottesville, Virginia.

April 11 -15. Mark your calendar, and pray that ALL the streams of the Sufi Message will be present and accounted for.

And, there will be a joint healing meeting of the Dervish Healing Order & the Sufi Healing Order in Kansas City – March 10, 11 & 12. Devi Tide and myself will be leading it. A landmark event.

I send you all my love and blessings and prayers for your continued health and inner peace.

Yours in Service to the Real,
Hakim Sauluddin
Jennifer Avian – our camp planner
Jude Sargent – our secretary
Jean Pierre David – our web master

DHO retreat at Lama Foundation, Taos, New Mexico, June 2006

The Dervish Healing Order serves as that aspect of the Sufi Ruhaniat which maintains and promotes the vision of health and Divine Healing as presented by Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. It holds the concentration for the health of the Sufi Ruhaniat on all levels. One of the tools given by Inayat Khan is the Healing Ritual. In addition, we are guided by breathing practices, healing meditations, visualizations, and a body of esoteric papers on healing from Inayat Khan, with commentaries by Murshid SAM.

The DHO is an international initiatic order. All members have demonstrated deep commitment in some aspect of healing, either toward self, or others, or both.

Membership is open to all who meet the requirements of dedication to service on the healing path, whether or not they are mureeds of the Sufi Ruhaniat.

Initiates and prospective DHO members are encouraged to attend yearly Healing Order gatherings organized with input from regional initiators and Shafayats. The Shafayats serve under the leadership of the DHO director, the Khafayat, Murshid Sauluddin, in a similar capacity to Sufi Ruhaniat Sheiks and Khalifs.

This year the meeting is at Lama Foundation, near Taos, New Mexico. See the Lama website for more information on the history and purpose of this center for retreat and for mindful living:

Getting to Taos proved to be quite an adventure with Southwest Airlines. The first indication that something unusual was going on is that arriving at the gate at La Guardia Airport, I found out that the previous flight had been cancelled. All these poor people were now on standby for our flight to Chicago that was already very full. We finally left one hour late. In Chicago, the mayhem was even worse with the advent of a major rainstorm. This flight left after more than two hours delay. I arrived in Albuquerque, NM and went to my rental car company. I got finally on the way at 8:30PM to arrive in Taos three hours later. After a futile attempt to find something open in Taos for food since I did not have anything to eat since the toast and tea of the morning breakfast, I decided to call it a day for fasting and just drank some water. I had some dry fruit on the plane and could not bring myself to eat anything else they call snacks.

I found my way in the dark up a dirt road leading to Lama Foundation, height thousand feet above sea level, in those mountains of New Mexico, it was difficult to breathe and I felt the oxygen ramification right away. This was a moonless dark night, since I had made a printout from Lama’s website, I was able to find the entrance of the dirt road at mile 15 from Taos. When I finally arrived, it was past midnight and the whole complex was quiet and dark. I resolved to pull my sleeping bag and accommodate myself in the car until morning. When I opened my suitcase, I found all the content soaking wet. The airlines had left the entire luggage on the airport tarmac during the major storm that delayed us. Luckily the inside of the sleeping bag stayed dry. I made myself a bed in the back of the car and slept until five thirty in the morning when the sunlight started illuminating the sky.

At 6 AM, I decided to put on my winter mountain jacket and boots and complete my pilgrimage to the feet of our beloved Murshid SAM. I made up the trip up the hill from Lama, crossing the village still deeply asleep made up of houses and tents.

When I reached the Maqbara, where Murshid SAM is resting under a tomb made of simple stones, I came down to my knees and touched the ground with my forehead in gratefulness and thanks.

I spoke to Sam:

“You see I came to you again to thank you. I wish to ask nothing more for myself. I have received so many blessings. The cry of my childhood heart has been answered, that deep longing to know the truth that has driven me for so many years has been quenched. Allah and this wonderful lineage have led me all along to reach this point in my life, to come to you, so here I am again. I am throwing myself at your feet. Not to worship you, but as a companion praying with you to the Divine Grace of Allah that we all be One in the presence of the Beloved. At times, I believed that I was acting from my own free will, what an illusion, you have driven me and I could only learn to surrender to the process. Thank you for my dear friend Sauluddin who I have known for thirty years. He told me once that he did not like puritans and wanted to make sure that I knew that true liberation comes when saint and sinner come together around the circle of unity in all my selves. You know that I had realized that already and this is why I love him so much as he is, accepting him in his totality as a being led by the highest ideal combined with all his humanness. Thank you for all the godfather and godmother in our lineage such as my friends Hidayat Inayat Khan and Aziza, Reverend Master Jiyu-Kennett, Nyogen Senzaki, Mother Mary, Suleyman Dede, Joe & Guin Miller. Thank you for Moineddin Jablonski, for Pir Shabda Kahn and for Murshida Khadija Julia Goforth. Thank you for allowing me to be with the companions, to walk in the footsteps of such friends, of the Silsila, of all the prophets, to allow the Sifats to exemplify their wondrous qualities in my heart that is really the heart of the one. You remember my longing in the cliffs of Mendocino, immersed in the One, helped by the magic of the peyote, looking for the guide who could help unlock the doors to come back in the fold of the beloved at will. I am so grateful to all of you who have by your compassion so generously bestowed your blessings on my longing heart. Shakur Allah. In this caravan of life, I am not only grateful for all those who have shown the way before but also for all those who are entrusted friends and who feel the same longing to be in the presence of the Beloved. I bring with me not only my dear wife Monick and all the children and grandchildren, the family, the friends but specially the mureed. I pray that I can be true to the spirit of my beloved Majid, an instrument of the divine grace in service to all. I bring you my beloved Sophia, Salima, Nadia and Noufissa in Morocco, Cigdem in Turkey, Cora & Lisbeth in France, Umbreen in Pakistan, Noor, Bitak, Chakameh, Deirdre, Fareen, Juanita, Lisa-Renee, Sanaa, Shahid, Shihana and Sophia Nazli in the US. Please help me and pray with me for all those named and for those friends close to our heart like Imrana, Nipa, Sakeenah and Trish. Let’s say the Fatiha together for all of them known and unknown who you are placing on my path so that I can be of service to them, to help them find the light in the niche of their heart, light upon light.”

I started the Fatiha. On the first words Bismillah er-rahman, er-rahim, I could not go any further, shocking with tears. I felt my heart exploding in compassion and gratitude. I could only think of Hafiz’s poem shared by Saadi under Ar-Rahim, the moon of love in his beautiful book “The Sufi Book of Life, 99 Pathways of the Heart.”

The sun is the wine, the moon is the cup.
Pour the sun into the moon if you want to be filled.
Drinking such wine could be good or bad.
Why not drink anyway!

I tried again to restart the Fatiha and now could not go beyond the first word “Bismillah.” I had to let the tears flow freely, my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. This could have been embarrassing. I was not crying for want, for pain, for longing, just for gratefulness for all the miracle of having the blessing to be in presence of the scent of the beloved. I just remembered all the blessings, the miracles, the inspirations and the sweetness of all those friendships. Sophia came first to my heart and I cried sweetly again. Then I thought each one, they were all there with me. I did not have anything to dry my face and used my sleeves. Those gestures made me laugh, seeing my dear wife scolding me for my lack of good manners.

Finally I was able to sing a Fatiha with a trembling voice and then another and another again. I started doing my daily practices. To be there, praying with my Murshid, being so thankful of all the blessings of the beautiful transmission that he left for us and also all the abundance of blessings of all that has happened in my life since the last visit and since I came to this blessed spiritual path, was overwhelming. I could not stop the tears.

I did the Muslim call for prayer, the Fatiha, the Suratul Ikhlass and Suratul `Asr, the full Zikr of Hazrat Inayat Khan, the recital of the 99 names of Allah, the prayers Saum and Salat and finally the heart sutra. By that time it was past 7 AM and I was feeling the pain of hunger in my stomach. I made my way back after offering once more my thanks for Murshid blessings.

Breakfast was wonderful and most welcome. Of course meeting all the old friends is part of the wonder of such retreat. Michael, Aslan, Saul, Ananda, Aarifa of the true north, Eddie, Murad, Sarfaraz, Mansur, Deborah Sabura and so many more, it was a reunion full of the joy of kisses and hugs.

Mansur Johnson was with us again to introduce his book Murshid, a personal memoir of life with American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis. He was taking orders for delivery in September 2006. This book will go fast and only 2000 copies have been printed. Otis B. Johnson was a young college professor of English in the 1960’s when he joined the exodus of hippies to California to meet someone his friend said could take them where they wanted to go the fastest. Where did they want to go? They wanted to meet the divinity, obtain God-consciousness, get enlightened, find love, experience Samadhi, in short didn’t know for sure. What happened? Otis B. Johnson became Mansur Johnson during a three year encounter with the world’s first Guru-Roshi-Murshid, Samuel L. Lewis. Murshid shows in intimate detail how Murshid, the first Western born Sufi teacher, Zen master, and practitioner of Indian cosmic metaphysics, accomplished his life’s purpose.

“Everytime I remember Sam, I end up laughing at myself. That’s pretty good work for a dead rascal-saint.”  Wrote Ram Dass, author of Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying.

We had our first meeting in the great dome at 10 AM. First we did the prayers Saum and Salat and then did an old practice from Murshid Sam “Ya Allah, in love, reverence and humility, I surrender to thee, to thee alone and Thou thus raise me spiritually.” Saul mentioned the importance of keeping up the old practices from Sam that got us where we are today. Since his passing we tend to adopt so many new practices and sometimes do not put enough concentration on Sam’s original practices.

We did the healing ritual with a beautiful Zikr lead by Ananda singing “Bismillah, er Rahman, er Rahim.” I do not know if it was the melody, the remembrance, the feeling of Shakur, but the tears flowed again down my checks and I did not try to hide them, I was among friends. They knew, most of them felt the same way anyway.

At lunch we have the custom to hold hands with the residents of Lama Foundation and sing the blessing “O Thou, the Sustainer of our body, heart and soul, bless all that we receive in thankfulness.” Before the blessing another custom is to wish well those who leave Lama. We sang from the Native American tradition “While you are away from your people, we do pray, that in your searching, you will find balance in your heart and mind.”

In the afternoon, people can choose from many activities such as learning the art of the Tea ceremony, the singing choir lead by Aslan, and many other options. At 3:30 we all meet for the spiritual walks taught by Murshid Sauluddin. In the evening after dinner we shared Zikr.

The evening Zikr was magical with such a group of elders, holding hands in a circle and singing Allah or La illaha ilallahu, Mohamedah Rassul Allah in so many forms, tones and rhythms, thanks to Aslan for his great leadership. Not only Aslan makes it deep but fun as well.

The first night in the yurt was much better than sleeping in the car, however temperature that can be in the 80’s in the daytime dropped to 40 degrees at night. I was happy to have brought my sleeping bag.

In the morning after a 6 AM wakeup call, we ascended the mountain as a group to the Maqbara of Murshid Sam and did Zikr and Fatiha after spreading a cloth on his tomb that came from the tomb of Moineddin Chisti in India. We ended up with some original dances of Murshid Sam led again by Aslan. The sun finally warmed us around 7 AM and I shared Hafiz’s poem with everyone: “the sun is the wine, the moon is the cup….” So Asha suggested doing Murshid dance “fill your cup, drink it up, ya Allah Allah…”

After a breakfast prepared by Lama’s staff, we met in the main dome meditation room. Asha suggested to go to the small pueblo meditation room on the side, it is a most extraordinary architecture, first the door is very low, forcing the person to enter in humility by lowering one’s head, the inside altar is in the center of a circle built on two levels. Asha led some meditative practices and we went back to the main dome for the healing ritual led by Michael.

As we formed a circle, Saul called me in the middle of it. I hesitated and he called me again forcefully. I walked to him not knowing what he was going to do. Saul asked me to stand and took my hands. He initiated me as a Shafayat in the Dervish Healing Order. I had no clue that he was going to do that, he simply said that since I was functioning already as such it was just time to recognize it formally.

After lunch with Deirdre and her son Able, I found a couple of Lama residents willing to play GO with me, the meditative Japanese game with white and black stones.

The afternoon was busy with singing in the choir led by Aslan, with the spiritual walks by Sauluddin and since today was Friday, with the traditional practice of the Jewish Sabbath in the evening. Nasrudin was volunteered to tell us some stories in his stand up comedian act.

We talked about having our next year meeting at the Mentorgarten in San Francisco.

We did the walks of the elements led by Murshid Sauluddin and the walks of the sifats, the first one for Suhban Allah (God is pure), the second one for Alhamdullillah (All praise be to Allah) and the third for Allaho Akbar (Peace is Power as given by Murshid Sam).

Sabbath was officiated by Elaine, after the Jewish prayers, we shared the wine and the bread in communion. Not only all the people from the retreat were present but also all the Lama residents and staff members. Aslan led us in the dances including the Zikr with the outer circle singing Echad Yahid Umi Yuhad, the One, every single one, each one joined and united in the One and the inner circle singing La Illaha el ilallahu (nothing exist except Allah). This was quite a statement uniting two traditions in a single dance and witnessing both communities praying for the same thing that nothing exist except the One in Hebrew and Arabic.

Nasrudin was remarkable and performed an outstanding and hilarious stand alone act poking fun at various people and entities including the Sufis. He told us a poem from Kabir that to find out if you have a real teacher, you should hang him or her over a cliff for an hour or two and if you find out that they did not wet their pants, may be you found your real teacher. Someone in the group asked where the nearer cliff was suggesting that we should hang out our beloved Murshid Sauluddin. That brought some good laughter.

Murshid Sauluddin bed time story concluded the night. His story about the man who sold his tooth with the moral to the story that if you want to get rid of a mouse, you should not hire a tiger, was very entertaining in his well proven style of the old time story teller. During his bedtime story, everyone was to lie down on the floor with their pillow and blanket and the light was turned off.

Again the night was cold and at 40 degrees in the yurt in the morning from the high of 94 in the afternoon, it was difficult to get out of the sleeping bag at 6 AM. The sun was most welcome around 7 AM when he appeared behind the mountain ridge.

Our homework for the night came from one of the 10 Sufi thoughts about finding the teacher and spirit of guidance ever present in each and everyone of our heart. I had done my homework the first morning at the Maqbara.

Saturday morning after breakfast at 8 AM and some smoothing with friends we started the meeting with a report from Mumin about Murshida Vera Corda Maqbara next to Murshid Sam. In addition to Mumin presentation on Murshida Vera’s life, many made comments and remembrances. Work will start soon to beautify the area around her tomb to make it more practical for people to sit and pray with her.

Noel sang for us a song that Murshida Vera Corda enjoyed hearing from him while he was taking care of her in her later years. Now Noel is like me, musically impaired, so we were moved by his effort and his heart more than his style.

I was invited to conduct the healing ritual which I started with the call for prayer, the Fatiha and practices on five of the 99 beautiful names that are pathways of healing the heart for Bar, Tawwab, Muntaqim, Afuw and Ra’uf. Then after doing the Ya Shaffee, Ya Kaffee breathing practices with a visualization of the elements of earth, water, fire and air, we did the prayer Nayaz : Beloved lord, almighty god, through the rays of the sun, through the waves of the air, through the all pervading life in space, purify and revivify us and we pray, heal our body, heart and soul. After the healing ritual, with Aslan as the balance and `Aarifa of the true north’ as the reader of the names, we closed the morning session and went for lunch prepared by the Lama staff, a vegetarian meal with pasta salad, tofu and a choice of dressings.

The company over the meal and the conversation were priceless. We bathed in the pleasure of each other company, exchanging high spirited jokes and laughter.

Monday was our last day together at Lama. In the morning we got up again in the cold at 6 AM to climb the mountain in pilgrimage to Murad Ahmed Chisti Maqbara. There Ananda led us in a meditation form dating back 18,000 years in the Bon Bon Tibetan tradition. We closed with a dance of thankfulness around Murshid Sam’s tomb and left the mountain after having created in our mind eye a connection from there to our home thanks to a meditation led by Murad, who was just back from an extensive trip in China where he studied another form of the Shi Gong tradition.

We sat again in the main dome to share our experiences of the night after having done our homework as assigned by Murshid Sauluddin. Many felt confident enough in this environment to open their heart and share their thoughts and dreams with the family.

Many people complimented the evening practice, after having led a Zikr separately for the men and for the women and then for the beauty of the moment when we all came together, the men making a circle around the women’s circle. Many felt the harmony in the energetic exchange between Jelal and Jamal. In the ruin of the old building, we had stand as a group of men, doing Zikr after recognizing each other as man among men. Mansur told us that Murshid Sam had initiated him as Naqib or representative of the spiritual hierarchy, even that he did not know what it meant at the time.

In the afternoon, Sauluddin led the saints and prophets attunement walks starting in the prayer Saum with Rama and also Sita, Krishna, Parvati, Hanuman, Shiva, Buddha, Abraham, Solomon, Zarathustra, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and then Quan Yin who he kept for last as the mother of compassion and love.

After dinner, we started the evening practices with the Japanese Tea ceremony presented by Asha and accompanied by Siddiq and some of Lama’s resident. Asha led us in a Zikr of La illaha ilallahu most uplifting.

In the morning, I got up at 6 and left following Sauluddin’s car. Saul, Ananda, Murad and I had breakfast in Taos and lunch at the airport in Albuquerque before saying goodbye until next time.

On the flight back home, reflecting on the week retreat, feeling the separation from the beloved friends, drinking once more of the wine of elation that we shared, feeling the gratefulness for the company of such Madzubs, revisiting the site of Murshid Sam tomb on the mountain, as if I was still there physically, tears filled up my eyes once more. The blessings of the healing of the heart felt like the greatest purpose of the DHO, now it is time to go back in service to bestow the light and share the Baraka with all the beloved, family and friends.

In service,


DHO Retreat 2006 at Lama Foundation, New Mexico

Beloved ones of God,

Greetings and love from Virginia.

Our yearly gathering is upcoming, and this year we shall be returning to Lama Mountain
to celebrate Murshid Sam’s 35th urs year.

Place: Lama Mountain, New Mexico
Dates: June 21-27, 2006. (Wednesday through Tuesday)
Theme: Receiving the Transmission – Honoring Murshid Sam’s 35 year.

Staff to date: Shafayets: Murshida Asha von Brissen, Shiekh Siddiq von Brissen, Shiekh Aslan Scott Sattler, Shiekh Murad Finkestein, and Sarafraz Cathy Knight. Plus: Shieka Ananda Cronin, Murshida Khadija Goforth, Elaine Sutton and Hakim Saul. Plus the usual light filled guests.

Our focus shall be on attunement practices, and transmissional exercises.

Plus: meditation, zikr, tea, absent healing, spontaneous rituals, breathing practices, walks, Ram Nam, Chi Gong, visualizations, dances, choir, bed time stories, great food, and our usual frolicking amidst the trees.

For more information contact: Jennifer Avian

Price for the week only $350

As always: All monies go to the Lama Foundation. Staff receives neither reimbursement nor honorarium.

See you on the mountain.

Hakim Sauluddin
Charlottesville, Virginia