The Hidden Gift of Cancer – by Aslan Scott

Dear Ones,

The folks at the Center for Spiritual Living recorded my recent talk on the hidden gift of cancer and placed it online at:

It lasts about 20 minutes and then there are a couple of questions from the group.  I thought you might like the reference, as I’d be happy to talk more about this aspect of life any time…

Much love,

On the Walk of Saturn

On the Walk of Saturn

Astrologically, Saturn is usually presented, at first, as representing obstacle, difficulty, and frustration. “You can’t always get what you want.” Not only that, but in its extreme, you can’t even get anything you want. My first formal lesson in the astrology of Saturn left me feeling, “That represents life on this earth.” And for me, that was the case at the time. Much later, Murshid Sam looked at my chart and said, “You’ve been thwarted a lot.” (Sun and moon conjunct Saturn square Pluto).

The first introduction to the walk of Saturn is similar. The movement is stunted, or stifled, if you will, and progress seems to come only with great difficulty, like a person with serious muscular disability, yet frustrated with his or her ability to move. Gravity seems stronger.

By way of articulating the other side of it, Saturn exalted, I mention my favorite Japanese scroll that we sometimes hang in our Tea Room. It has a single character, KAN, which means barrier, obstacle, gate. But it also means threshold, and implies passage.

Between the outer and inner Tea gardens there is a gate that is purely symbolic, and can be seen as a “Gateless Gate,” which is the title of the Mumonkan, a collection of 48 Zen koans, compiled from the teachings of early Chan masters in China. Here again, passage is implied by a symbolic barrier.

So, rightly understood, the gate or barrier becomes, with inner work, a threshold and a passage. Saturn, too, is a barrier, testing not only one’s resolve and acceptance, but skill and courage in meeting the challenge of the moment. As such it is also a gate, opening to a passage.

Gurdjieff held that Nature is not conducive to awakening, that is to say, awakening is not natural. It requires human effort, which in turn requires aspiration, and also discontent with being a pawn of nature, subject to all the frustrations that Saturn represents in its ordinary manifestations.

And Saturn exalted? The challenges remain, gravity remains, obstacles are inevitable — but one has mastered them, walking skillfully, upright with deliberation, albeit slowly. One has not overcome them, as one might overcome an enemy in battle, or a rival in competition. One has learned to work constructively with them. And one is stronger for it.

One is not “free” in the superficial sense of the word, but free in a deeper sense. Saturn has no room for sentimentality, or love without strength and skill. It demands that one cannot fly until one has fully mastered gravity. And it knows that birth and death are simply two aspects of life on this earth, forgetting neither.

Most of us cannot manifest exalted Saturn in our daily lives, any more than we can manifest the masters, saints, and prophets. We walk AS IF we had that mastery, and in all the spiritual walks gain a deeper understanding of our aspiration.

—Siddiq Hans von Briesen; March 9, 2015

DHO Gathering – June 18-23, 2017 Portland, Oregon

Dear ones,

This just in from our registrar Jude:

We have a few spaces still available for the June 18-23 DHO Camp.

Available all week:
2 rooms with twin beds that can be pushed together to form a king size bed, nice for couples
Cost (includes 3 meals) $115/day, or $575/week

Available part-time:
2 spaces in  triples-female, Wednesday and Thursday nights are available,  cost: $95/day w/3 meals

2 spaces in a triple-male,  1 for Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights,
1 for Wednesday & Thursdays nights cost $95/day w/3 meals

Would be great to fill the camp completely!

xx jude

Please contact Jude ASAP if you want to come.

We would love to see you there.

Love and healing,


Protection and Non-Attachment
Saul’s darshan picture from Murshid Sam, Lama 1970

From Murshid Sauluddin:

As we observe the increasing turmoil unleashed in the past weeks,
I am reminded of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the days just prior to World War One,

and Murshid Sam just prior to and during World War Two.

Both kept their attunement to the Spirit of Guidance alive and active.

The Absent Healing Ritual is the most powerful tool I have yet found to facilitate this attunement.

As it invokes in the ritual:

“Use us as a channel of Thy Love, Life and Light, that we may be more able to serve Thee and humanity.”

Allowing this blessing to flow through us is not only beneficial to our community, but to ourselves, our families and the world in general.

Join with us in Portland, Oregon this June 18-23, as we call upon the Shafia to ‘heal our bodies, hearts and souls,’ and send this highly needed blessing out to the world at large.

We will practice both protection and non attachment, and send these energies out to the world at large.

Protection for our selves, our loved ones, and our planet.

Non attachment to the fear energy being generated by those who want a war of religions.

In addition, our program includes:

Healing rituals, healing for areas, Dances of Universal Peace, Healing Zikr, spiritual walks, Ramnam, recitation of the Heart Sutra, the Confraternity Prayers, opening the heart through singing, Sufi stories, Sufi qigong, tea, yoga, the healing power of laughter, meta-meditation, gems and amulets, home work, bed time stories and more on the Ramayana.

Dates: June 18 – 23, 2017

Place: Alton Collins Retreat Center, near Portland, Oregon
Costs per person includes room and meals:
Double room – $575, Triple room – $475
If you know that you’re coming, reserve early!

$200 or full payment will hold your place.

To register – Jude Sargent
Please send your deposit or full payment to:

Jude Sargent, 922 Stanyan Street, S.F., CA 94117-3807

Please note: all staff pays full fees, and is given no honorarium.
Monies left over will be distributed to a local charity.

Hidayat’s Passing

It has been a great honor and privilege to know in person Hidayat Inayat Khan. I loved his feisty spirit, his humor, his mischievous side that he dare revealing in the intimacy of our French conversations.

The dearest moments that I shared with him were during his visits in Montclair with dear Aziza or driving together to the Abode of the Message and stopping for him to enjoy a soup that Monick had prepared. He refused to share as he held it and said “it is mine, Monick made it for me.” Of course it was done in jest but he could be funny like this at time.

Hidayat has inspired me greatly as he revealed very little of himself that I could relate to in comparison to the wealth of richness inhabiting his being. I was humble once when we had dinner with Michael Harrison and both started a conversation on the intricacy of the classical Indian music and ragas. It was as if they did not speak English any longer, they communicated with each other and we were witnesses to a communion of souls that shared a common

Hidayat’s writing that he shared will remain my source of inspiration as I saw him work on some of it with such great care, concentration in what exemplified mindfulness and singlemindedness seeking nothing less than perfection not only in the expression of his feeling and thoughts but in the grammatical structure as well.

In French he trusted me enough to share stories about his life, when he lived at Suresnes before the war and came back with his first wife. He talked about his experiences in the Vercors stealing a horse to exchange against a chicken. He wanted to understand why people of my generation sought alternative means of consciousness as he suffered greatly losing his own son to drug.

His friendship will remain dear in my heart and I will always love him as I love his dear Aziza who kept fussing about him and making sure that the kitchen produces food that he could eat. She was marvelous with him. She did not like us speaking French around her and we had to switch back to English as he cared so much about her feelings.

So many memories in Charlottesville, in Holland and in Montclair. My heart is full of gratitude to have meet an extraordinary being that has been such an inspiration over the years. He became a true God-father.

He tried to entice me to join the Sufi Movement and I declined. His heart was speaking as we loved each other but he respected my loyalty to the Sufi Ruhaniat and my dear Murshid Saul. So I told him to get Saul in the Sufi Movement and I will follow right away. This never happened.

Now that his soul freed itself from the garb, I will pray that his journey toward the light be quick and that he finds peace. The world is a bridge and he has now reached the place where he belongs and that he deserves.

Much love and blessings my dear Hidayat, my heart is with you and with all those that you love, especially your dear Aziza and your family.

Jean Pierre
Sheikh Salik of the Sufi Ruhaniat
Montclair, New Jersey, USA


Message from Hidayat

Dear Friends,

Below is a transcript of Pir Hidayat Inayat-Khan’s message at the recent Federation gathering. At age 99, he was full of fire, and his message conveyed encouragement as well as several warnings to those of us offering service in the spirit of his father.

“Let those who have ears to hear….”

Love and blessings,


Beloved Sufi Brothers and Sisters,

Most hearty welcome offered for the Federation Retreat offered for the first time in Berlin, following the kind invitation of Petra – Beate Schildbach.

We are looking forward to meeting each other, and each is respectfully expected to patiently face each other’s belief, in an atmosphere of Love, Harmony and Beauty. There are diamonds in one belief, rubies in another, and other precious jewels in all known or unknown beliefs.

Let us first relate to the historical words of our Master, who said:

“One of the words to which the term ‘Sufi’ is related, is the Greek term Sophia, meaning wisdom. Sufism is not a Religion, with a distinct and definite doctrine. There has never been a Founder of Sufism in any period of the world’s history. Wisdom has always be the central theme of Sufism. Several Sufi Schools still exist, and numberless followers of different religions benefit from the wisdom taught in these ancient schools. No doubt every school has its own method, following the personality of the leader.”

And further on, our Master said:

“The Sufi Movement consists of members of different beliefs, united together in the ideal of wisdom. Wisdom does not only belong to a particular religion, nor race. Wisdom is a divine property, which mankind has inherited; and it is this realization that unites all Sufis of different nationalities, races, beliefs, all working for that great Ideal.”

Following these precious words of our Master, the main theme “Wisdom” is brought forward today as being an ongoing process consisting in the purification of the mind from fanatic concepts that do not correspond anymore to our time. When the Truth is formulated at the level of individual understanding, it is then diversified in various interpretations, just as water poured into colored glasses gives the impression of being shaded in the color of the glasses.

Similarly, as far as the concept “Religion” is concerned, some declare having found Truth in Hinduism, others in Buddhism, in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or in various other beliefs known or unknown to the world at large. When Truth, is brought down to the level of Human understanding, it is obviously clad in ancestral garbs, highlighting thereby arbitrary dogmas that have always been the fundamental cause of world- wide religious conflicts.

Spiritual Liberty implies being responsible for the consequences of one’s own short–sighted understanding of Truth; and False Pretense obviously offers a confusing example to those who expect to experience truthfulness at the level of Spirituality.

When practicing the precious teachings of our Master called the “Art of Personality,” one realizes that any role preformed, either spiritual or material, becomes sooner or later intoxicating, and under that spell, one cherishes the illusions of the game. Each moment offers an opportunity to reconsider the lessons of the past. In a fall, there is a hidden stepping-stone upon which one might rise above one’s shortcomings. Every effort made toward the fulfillment of one’s life’s purpose brings one step-by-step closer to the ultimate goal, seen as a humble contribution to the fulfillment of the Divine Purpose.

During that journey, the present is the consequence of a hide-and-seek game, played between past experiences and day-by-day reactions; whereas both past and present are under Destiny’s command. The future shall offer the fruit of the seeds planted in the past, which shall prove sooner or later to be either sour or sweet.

As known from fairy tales, there is a magic formula used to turn base metal into gold. This mystical tale symbolizes the work done in remodeling one’s self consciousness at a humble level. Modesty is not necessarily weakness; it is a feeling arising from the living heart, which is secretly conscious of its inner beauty, while at the same time veiling itself even from its own sight.

Each of us could be seen as an individual lamp shining out in different shades of light. The brightness of that light varies in accordance to the condition of the inner heart, and all are blessed with the same current of Divine Guidance, and in so doing, contributing to the Cause, assigned by providence, all along Life’s Journey.

When the doors of the heart are open, humility awakens, finding oneself face to face with the Divine Guidance, revealed as Wisdom and Purity, the true Essence of all that is understood by the term ‘Sufi.’

May 18, 2016

Remembrance for Noor-un-Nisa

Dear Friends

For those who may be able to attend in person – and for those who may like to tune in meditatively – here’s a wee reminder about remembrance of Noor-un Nisa on the anniversary of her passing. In spite of her earlier doubts, Shrabani Basu now says she will be there.

We will meet on Sunday, 13 September at her statue in Gordon Square, which is in the Bloomsbury area of London.

Please note the timing has been changed from 3.00 P.M. to 11.00 A.M.. This is to enable more trustee members to attend this year’s informal gathering.

Love and blessings from Edinburgh,

Noor-un-Nisa Exhibition

Noor-un-Nisa_ with_instrument


An exhibition on Noor-un-Nisa opened on 1 July at the National Portrait Gallery in London and will continue until 11 October.  Its a free exhibition in 2 rooms on the ground floor (37 and 37a).

National Portrait Gallery’s Creative Connections blog entry

Shrabani Basu will be at the National Portrait Gallery on Thursday 17 September to give a free lunch-time talk at 1.15pm.

This could be excellent timing for anyone planning to visit London in the fall for a few days, as 13 September, the date of Noor’s passing, is when friends gather and flowers are laid at her statue in Gordon Square.


A Taste of Shasta

Dear ones,

Enclosed is a link to an audio file –

A Taste of DHO-Shasta-2014

For those of you who were able to make it there, here is a reminder.
For those of you who were not able to make it there, here is a taste.

There were, of course, many other wonderful parts, including Saul’s walks class, lots of Saul’s stories about Murshid Sam, Mother Mary and Kennet Roshi and much more.

Thank you to those on this audio tape –  Sauluddin, Mariam, Aslan, Michael Endlich, Eddie (the Nazz) Greenburg, Murad and to the leaders not on the tape – Sarfaraz, Siddiq, Sakina, Noel, Richard Mann, Isa. Estafurgh’allah if I forgot anyone.


Reb Zalman in the San Francisco Bay Area


Please see the article at

I have had a few questions about how to know whether venues have changes for the various sessions of the Symposium where Zalman will be honored.

All changes will be posted on the website at—public-events.html.

If you will be attending, you may want to check the website each day in case the crowd continues to grow beyond the capacity of the present location.

Shabbat shalom,
Pam Frydman


Dear one,

Many thanks for the alert. Please pass on my love.

As a short remembrance:

One day in the middle 70’s – I walked into the San Francisco house of Hallelujah The Three Rings. In the front room, I found a large bearded man sitting comfortably on the floor with a Sufi message book in his hands. He looked up at me with a smile on his face and said, “This is amazing. I’m reading ‘The Soul Whence and Wither‘ and Inayat Khan’s description of the soul’s journey is right out of the Midrash.”

Thus I had my first (although not the last) meeting with Zalman.

Mashallah! May he live healthy and clear minded until the next century.

all blessings,
hakim sauluddin

Opening to a Deeper Understanding of Judaism

Dear Ones on the Path,

I want to call your attention to a book written by Rabbi Pamela Frydman entitled Calling on God: Sacred Jewish Teachings for Seekers of All Faiths — published by Wild Earth Press.

It is a unique reference work for spiritual seekers who wish to better understand and incorporate the wisdom of the Jewish faith into their lives.

Rabbi Pam teaches the history of the Jewish Bible, the meaning of its sacred phrases and much more while interweaving the threads of Judaism, Universal Sufism and mysticism. She offers a wide array of Hebrew zikrs, mantras, walks and breath practices complete with links to the book’s website for their related text and audio files.

The book contains prefaces by Wali Ali and myself, and works by Reb Zalman and Netanel Miles-Yepes. It is accompanied by a full glossary of Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic terms in simple English – by itself an incredible gift to the reader.

Rabbi Pam was a teacher in the Ruhaniat before being called back to Judaism and studying for the rabbinate. She has taught at Mendocino Sufi Camps in the 1980s and at Dervish Healing Order gatherings most recently.

I recommend this book highly as it opens wide the door to the mysteries of the Jewish faith for Jews and non-Jews alike.




Wild Earth Press has requested that we place our orders for Calling on God directly from them at

With love,
Pam Frydman