Happy Birthday, Murshid S.A.M.

Dear all hearts,

Today is Murshid Sam’s birthday celebration.

Born in 1896, a born mystic, he recalled watching the fires from the San Francisco earthquake from Potrero Hill.

Considering who we were when he took us on, there is so much to be grateful for.

Not only did he inspire us, but nurtured and trained, and opened our eyes to the reality of achieving consciousness of the inner worlds.

Ya Shakur Allah!

Looking forwards to seeing you again in June, 2018 at Lama.

But for today – Ice Cream Is On The House!

all blessings
hakim sauluddin

Mother Mary and Murshid SAM

Dear family,

Murshid Sam made the most incredible statement to me about Mother Mary (of Mount Shasta): I will take any of her students as my mureeds.” (He wound up with 4 or 5, that I recall.)

I never heard him make such a statement about any other spiritual teacher and their students. He also attempted to meet with her, when Mansur (and myself) drove through Mt Shasta en route to Vancouver, to see Sam’s uncle Harry. We missed her, but did get to hang out with Helen Fetterman (Mary’s Lieutenant) and visit Crater Lake.

Helen later drove down to San Francisco when Murshid passed and helped console us, as she “witnessed” the funeral arrangements, and the court battle to fight his autopsy. (We didn’t want his body cut, and Pir Vilayat showed up to assist us in this. He actually called Sam a Sufi Saint – under oath – in Marin County Court.)

Basira (then called Gypsy) first told SAM about Mother Mary, and he sent her and Shirin up to Mt. Shasta to meet her, and for Shirin to see a living High Priestess in action. Shirin later said she was a real one. It was this duo (Shirin and Basira) who brought me to meet Murshid, and I was hooked from the very beginning.

I share these stories, as I believe that a direct spiritual connection exists between these two lights. And, am deeply touched, that I was blessed to be able to “walk with her” and “take hands” with Murshid. Murshid once remarked to me: “You call her Mother,” he said. “But I’m really your Mother. She’s your Father.” I got it, and it’s true – the Father directs, and the Mother nurtures. Mary started me out, and Sam nurtured my path.

So, our gathering on Mt Shasta will bring forth these joint blessings: From Hazrat Inayat Khan (whom Mother claimed to have met in vision – she was also good friends with Murshida Bkati Engle, and of course knew all about Bakti’s teacher), to The Great White Brotherhood, the Order of Melchizadeck, and the Space Brotherhoods.

We will be joined by Jeffrey Whittier (whose book on Mother Mary should be bound and ready for distribution), and Linden Carlton (Mother’s driver on our trip to meet the Hopis in 1968) as well as a goodly number of senior teachers in the Ruhaniat. So far we have commitments from: Murshid Saadi Klotz, Murshida Mariam Baker, Shiekhs Jean Pierre David, Aslan Sattler, Murad Finkelstein, Siddiq von Brissen, Mansur Johnson, Sarfaraz Knight & Najat Roberts – and of course myself. Plus our own Michael Endlich, Fadhilla Bradly, and Nazruddin Greenberg; and Special Guests from the Mountain.

We’re looking forwards to a great time, with gourmet food, many presentations, and visits to the Mountain, Shasta Abbey (Jiu Kennett Roshi) and Widow Healing Springs. All this plus Flying Saucers.

JUNE 19th (dinner) to JUNE 24th (lunch) – 5 Full Days.

Stewart Mineral Springs, Mt Shasta, California: www.stewartmineralsprings.com
Looks like costs will be between $117 per night to $171 per night – all inclusive.
For specific costs and reservations, contact: Jude Sargent

Please note: Staff receives neither reimbursement, nor honorarium, and pays full fees.

See you on the Mountain:
All Blessings
Hakim Sauluddin

A few thoughts on adab

Dear hearts,

I would like to make a few comments about adab, fana and our Ruhaniat.

Firstly, our Ruhaniat family has always been a raucous group of ‘dissidents’.  Starting with Murshid Sam, and all those he attracted.  Ram Dass called Murshid the ‘pied piper of the hippies’ and this may have been factual.

Our lack of respect of authority for it’s own sake was very unsettling to more “established” and more “traditional” sufi orders – like our brothers and sisters in the Sufi Order, and the Sufi Movement at the time (1960’s and 70’s).

But I do also recall, that we always gave proper respect to those we felt worthy of our respect: Not based upon their title or rank, but rather on their manifestation of a higher maquam. Like Joe & Guin Miller, and Frida Waterhouse who held no titles (didn’t want them) but accepted “Honorary Murshid” titles from Moineddin.

Fana is at the very heart of Sufi practice.  How else, save for Divine Grace, can we be in a position to receive the baraka. To manifest fana is to manifest mureedship.  All else is but the dance of the nefs.

Of course, some are much better dancers than others, but this does not necessarily indicate their rightness, nor their advanced state.

As we were all taught “and a little child shall lead them.”

To me this means that one who is in a natural state of innocence (fana) and non resistant, is more open to the baraka and Message of God than one who has already made up their mind as to ‘right and wrong,’ especially as it applies to other people and their opinions which one disagrees with.

I feel that it is not disrespectful to disagree, but rather it can be disrespectful in how one manifests ones disagreements.  Is it personal?  Is it about subject?  Or object?  And, can one disagree without negative feelings flowing through ones words.

Let us not blame and then execute the messenger.   But rather look within ourselves to see where our feelings of disagreements (read separation) are coming from.

For us to reach our goals we must discipline our inner observers.  Many of us have inner children who are wounded and afraid.  They must be dealt with first – lovingly and carefully.

As our God Mother, Frida Waterhouse said, “Take your child to the alter of the Most High within you.”  It is there that true inner peace can be manifested.  And it is only from that place that we can change the world.

All the rest is the dross of dunya.

all blessings

hakim sauluddin

Murshid’s Urs Day

Dear ones,

Here is a short quote from S.A.M. on his Urs day:

“There are only 2 reasons to do things – one is for God, and the other is for money.”

Ya Shakur Allah!
Ya Shakur Murshid.

How fortunate we all were to be touched by his presence.

In addition, I was privileged to be present and to record Murshid’s ‘death-bed’ letter to his living Pir – Sufi Barkat Ali:

“Praise be to Allah! This has been a glorious exit, and one which will go down in history, a sign of all the beauty, truth and goodness in the universe. One has been truly saved from the jaws of death and adversity, and may live on indefinitely, as God wills. It is the sign ad symbol of all goodness, and the establishment of God’s message in the Western world forever, praise be to Allah! For I am the first one born in the West to have received the divine message, and believe to have representatives in all the purity and goodness of which Allah is capable, and which will now be presumed done forever.”

all blessings

hakim sauluddin

Health and our Ruhaniat

Dear friends and family,

As we begin this newest year, I am moved to offer some thoughts on Health, Prayer and the active healing concentration held within our Ruhaniat by the Dervish Healing Order.

One of the more important aspects of Murshid Sam’s effect on people was not just his sun like energy, but also the razor sharp clarity of his mind. He felt that these were inter-dependent.

During my two active years with him, I rarely saw him in an agitated state. Mostly, he was not only clear, but also enthusiastically heart centered. He often remarked that “if one wishes to use the Zen Stick, one’s heart must be open.”

I also remember during a meeting he remarked, “ An idea dropped into a clear and focused mind will crisp like a potato slice in bubbling hot oil.”

It is this clarity and focused will (or purpose) which directs our ‘performance’ of the absent healing ritual. The reason why the healing conductor is an initiation, is so that:

  1. They are first trained, and evaluated, to insure that their ‘makam’ is sufficient for this work.
  2. They are connected to, and may draw from the inner clarity & barakka of our silsela.

To do successful healing, one must first have an open and focused heart. To attempt the absent healing ritual without these in place, puts the very health of the person being prayed for into jeopardy. When one concentrates with any negative, or even personal emotions, than one takes the risk that these negative (or personal) feelings will also be sent out. Not what the ill or grieved has asked for.

Some orders are very firm in their ‘qualifications’ for leading the healing ritual. And, some leaders in our own order have asked that their names not be put out to general distribution. Their concern is actual, and perhaps has some merit.

As of this writing, we are in the process of attempting a unitive approach to the healing needs of our Inayati family.

I am hopeful that in the near future, there will be a real “all order healing list” for all of us to send our prayers through.

This will be a major step towards unity, and your positive thoughts ar e requested.

Until these steps are accepted by all the various orders, please continue to support your local healing centers. It is very important that we have an active healing concentration in place for our own Ruhaniat.

If you are not on the DHO listserve, or do not know the Healing Conductors in your area, then please continue to place your requests for healing on Oursohbet and the Jamiat Khas listserves. No other entity represents our work.

Even better, join with your local healing circle to pray for our order, our spiritual family, and our world.

If all of us take on what Inayat Khan called the “problems of the day,” we will have a greater opportunity to alter our interactions with the world, and thus bring into manifestation the healthy, clear, and loving kindness we all seek.

Remember, Murshid Sam said that “the New Age will come about by itself.” And, Mother Mary told me that “if we were very fortunate, we could become the teachers of the teachers of the New Age.”

Supporting your local healing circle is a wonderful opportunity to manifest our spiritual ideals of Serving God by Serving Humanity.

I send all my love and blessings, and my prayers for our health, and the continued prosperity of our spirit.

Remember the DHO Gathering – outside Portland, Oregon – June 22 to 26, 2009. More data very soon.

yours in service to the real

hakim sauluddin
January 10, 2009

P.s. Do I need to note that Murshid Sam’s Urs is January 15th?

Frida Waterhouse: question & reply

Dear Friends,

In our Gathekas Class we have been including a study of some of the history of the lineage of the Sufi Ruhaniat International by, in part, reading biographies of our spiritual God Parents, including Frida Waterhouse.

The (auto) biography of Frida in the Mureeds Manual says nothing of what her relationship was to Murshid Samuel Lewis or Hazrat Inayat Khan and I would like to get a better understanding of this.  I do have two books that she published, Why Me? and Tomorrow Never Comes but her books do not have references to Murshid SAM or Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Can anyone help fill in this history, all types of information about her would be welcome, including personal stories of your experiences with her if you are willing to share them (Saul?).

Love and Thanks,


Dear Basira,

Thank you for asking the question.  And, I am so pleased that your class is taking up the historical roots and transmission of our order.

Murshid felt that it was important that his mureeds have a “past-life” reading -so that we should all be more aware of the unseen worlds, and our interactions with them.

When I was a new mureed, Murshid sent me (and Mary Sultana) to see Lois Robinson (his psychic of choice) for our readings.

Later, one of the mureeds from a Marin commune (I think it was Sara Morgan?), introduced Murshid to Frida Waterhouse, and she became his psychic of choice.

I have no idea what ever became of Lois Robinson.  She just dropped off our radar screen, and Frida took over that work.  Frida became one of Murshids ‘older’ friends and collegues (like Joe & Guin, Gene Wagner, Voica Fisk and Teddy Reich).

Frida took over the psychic portion of our training after Murshid passed, and held classes and did individual sessions with mureeds, as well as starting to train others to do similar work.

When I was doing the Rainbow Bridge, I helped publish and distribute her books.

Moineddin made her an ‘honorary’ Murshid in the Ruhaniat — as he did with Joe & Guin (amongst others).

It was from her work with us that the present incarnation, called ‘soul work,’ was developed.

Actually, I also feel that our training and attunement to the ‘unseen worlds’ has been less actively persued in more recent times.

As a partial correction to this historical process, our (2008 June) DHO gathering at Lama will have the theme of “Oracles and the Oracular Function.”

Hope this helps.  any questions?

all blessings
hakim saul


Review of Mansur’s Book: Murshid

Cries for Attention: Nuggets of wisdom are buried in this difficult tome about American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis 

Sufism is the mystical heart of Islam. As with most forms of mysticism, the basic goals of Sufism are to free the mind from its conditioning and attachments, dissolve the ego and awaken the soul to spiritual reality.There are numerous books about Sufi beliefs and practices–many by Sufis themselves–but any book on this topic is a bit paradoxical because, as most Sufis will tell you, the written word is quite limited in its ability to convey spiritual ideas. Deep mystical understanding, they insist, can be grasped only through communion with a spiritual teacher or murshid.A new book by Tucsonan Mansur Johnson details his three-year association with Sufi teacher Samuel L. Lewis in the San Francisco Bay area during the late 1960s. Murshid: A Personal Memoir of Life With American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis, Johnson’s seriously underedited journal of the time, examines the final years of a complex mystical guide, as well as the peaks and valleys of Johnson’s spiritual odyssey.

In the midst of California’s eclectic spiritual counterculture, Lewis was a leader of some prominence (he was profiled in a 1969 Playboy article on California’s religious cults), and his story is indeed interesting.

Lewis came from a well-to-do family (his father was an executive with the Levi Strauss and Co., his mother a Rothschild), and, from a young age, he appeared spiritually precocious. As he grew older, he demonstrated little material ambition and, consequently, became estranged from his family. He spent his life reading voraciously, writing, traveling, studying a broad range of religions with a number of teachers–including Hazrat Inayat Khan, a guiding force in the Western migration of Sufism–and working a variety of jobs from military intelligence to highway landscaping. In 1967, three years before his death, he had a vision in which he said God anointed him “spiritual leader of the hippies” and soon began teaching Sufi dances, breath work and philosophy to a growing number of young disciples.

Johnson learned about Lewis while teaching at a Michigan university and seems to have experienced an immediate calling. He soon moved his family to California, becoming one of the murshid’s most devoted disciples.

Living and traveling with Lewis, Johnson became his “esoteric secretary,” often transcribing the murshid’s enormous output of letters. A good third of the book is composed of Lewis’ correspondence, and these letters provide our clearest view of the murshid.

Lewis was a driven communicator, writing to anyone–politicians, academics, journalists, religious leaders and numerous others–who would listen (and some who didn’t want to), descanting on topics ranging from arcane mystical concepts, to the Vietnam War, DDT, the Black Panthers and Joe Namath. Lewis’ assertions are generally lucid, but sometimes–he says that the rhythm of a Tennyson poem helps him foretell the future–we need a mystical Rosetta stone to understand him.

However, Lewis’ constant theme was his anger and frustration over not being universally hailed as a spiritual teacher. He complains to everyone about being rejected and ignored, shouting to the rooftops about his spiritual eminence, often sending carbon copies to the offending parties. This overarching bombast raises a question that the book never satisfactorily answers: What exactly was Lewis’ allure?

Johnson writes that, in his case, he wanted to find out what was behind the murshid’s braggadocio, and that he also had an almost childlike need for guidance. Johnson tells of his wholehearted quest for enlightenment, complicated by the painful breakup of his marriage after his wife’s affair with another murshid. Johnson gives glimmers of Lewis’ empathy and insight, and of some kind of mental attunement between them, but we’re hard pressed to pinpoint how the murshid actually helped him.

What we get more than a glimmer of, though, is a kitchen midden of utterly useless minutiae, including shopping expeditions, house and auto repairs, meals, weather reports, trip routes, the murshid’s day-by-day itineraries and his endless pontifications.

“My practice,” Johnson writes, “is … remembering what I do and recording it … to make it more real.”

This material is all very real, but it would be far more accessible and compelling if Johnson’s journal had been turned into a tightly focused narrative with more about his inner struggles before meeting Lewis, the spiritual ramifications of his divorce and his reflections since the murshid’s death.

Still, this is a worthwhile read for those willing to sift through the clutter for the occasional nuggets of wisdom and a taste of an authentic spiritual journey.

Buy this book from Amazon.com!

Murshid: A Personal Memoir of Life With American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis
Mansur Johnson
Peaceworks Publications
ISBN: 0915424169



Original URL: http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Books/Content?oid=oid:93957


“Murshid” by Mansur Johnson Published

Beloved One,

Please find attached a flyer describing Mansur Johnson’s new book:
Murshid: A Personal Memoir of Life with American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis

This book is a great blessing that Mansur has been working at sharing with us. It will be printed in only 2000 copies and the group at the DHO meeting at Lama placed the first orders already.

You can purchase online at http://www.mansurjohnson.com

Love and blessings


Otis B. Johnson was a young college professor of English in the 1960s 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, fi nd love, experience samadhi, in short – they 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.”
– Ram Dass, author of Still Here: Embracing Aging,

Changing and Dying
“I have no fonder memory of the 60’s than the appearance of this strange-looking man, who said things that made me fi rst laugh, then smile, then later pause in appreciation of a spiritual original, a pioneer.”
– Dr. Jacob Needleman, author of The Wisdom of Love and The American Soul

“Dear Reader: Prepare for a unique adventure of spiritual discovery and transformation…. you have before you a wild, bucking-bronco of a ride. Hold on!”
– from the foreward by Neil Douglas-Klotz, author of The Sufi Book of Life

Murshid Story

Dear all,

I feel moved to report an occurance I wittnessed at the Khankah in Novato (Garden of Inayat) in 1970.

Someone had brought over a film of some teacher talking (not our family), and the members of the Khanka were watching it in their dining room.

Murshid arrived, saw what was happening, went to the meditation room, and closed the door. I was not interested in the film, and was outside the room talking to Ayesha when Murshid stormed out of the meditation room and started to rake the Khankah over the coals.

I don’t remember exactly what he said, as I was attempting to make myself as small as possible against the wall as he fumed by.  He glanced at me in passing and said “This has nothing to do with you.” As Ayesha and I went upstairs, I heard Murshid say, “If I have hurt your vision or your heart I apologize. But I don’t give a damn about your ego.”

Happy Fall

hakim saul


A short recollection:

When Murshid was in San Francisco General Hospital (just prior to his passing) he awoke from a coma and looked at me in the eye to ask where he was and who had been there to visit him.

I replied that he had realy put us-me through the wringer, and I was so happy he was back.  He twinkled at me, "If you think this is something, you should see what you have in store for you."

Who would have thought.

Happy Birthday Murshid - Ice Cream is on the House!

all blessings,