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a passionate repentance



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may God stand
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, an internationally known lecturer
and author, and head of the Sufi Order International, died
yesterday, June 17, 2004, at his home in Suresnes, just
outside Paris, France, two days before his 88th birthday. He
was recently awarded the Hollister Prize for creating
interfaith understanding. The award will be presented on July
10th in Barcelona, at the Parliament of World Religions. Pir
Vilayat, born in London in 1916, was the spiritual successor
of his father, the pioneer Sufi teacher in the West, Hazrat
Inayat Khan, who had been a celebrated musician in India. Pir
Vilayat became a musician himself, playing ‘cello, and
studying composition with Nadia Boulanger. He took a degree in
psychology from the Sorbonne. During the Second World War he
and his older sister Noor served the British war effort. Noor,
known as Madeleine, was a heroine of the Resistance, executed
at Dachau. Pir Vilayat served on a minesweeper which was
torpedoed in the D-Day invasion in Normandy. . In the 1950s
Pir Vilayat began teaching through the Sufi Order, and
particularly in America he drew a large number of people. More
than one hundred local centers for the study of Sufism exist
in the United States, as well as many in Germany and in many
other countries around the world. In 1975 he founded, in
upstate New York, a spiritual community, the Abode of the
Message, and also Omega Institute, a flourishing learning
center embracing many teaching approaches. In 1974 he
published Toward the One, a highly successful introduction to
spiritual traditions and practices. He followed that up with A
Message in Our Time, 1978, a study of the life and teachings
of his father. After that he published a series of books on
various aspects of meditation and realization: The Call of the
Dervish (1981), Introducing Spirituality into Counseling and
Psychotherapy (1982), That which Transpires through that Which
Appears (1994), Awakening (1999), and finally, in 2003, In
Search of the Hidden Treasure, a wide-ranging exploration of
Sufi teachings in the form of an imagined congress of Sufis
through the ages.

Pir Vilayat traveled very widely, and spent much time in
India, learning meditation techniques from teachers of
different traditions. He taught his students techniques of
meditation drawn from Yoga, Buddhism, Jewish and Christian
traditions, as well as established Sufi methods. Since 1965,
Pir Vilayat assembled every spring a Congress of Religions in
or near Paris, where representatives of various traditions met
together to discuss and understand each others' viewpoints. He
also took a keen interest in new developments in science, and
often spoke at symposia dedicated to dialogue between
scientists and spiritual teachers. He regularly incorporated
the latest scientific thought into the discourses he delivered
with great flair at seminars and meditation camps. Every
summer, he conducted a camps in the Swiss Alps and in the
United States, attended by thousands of people. He is survived
by his wife of more than 50 years, Mary Walls, his younger
brother Hidayat and sister Claire Harper; by a daughter,
Maria, and two sons, Zia of New York, who has been designated
his spiritual successor, and Mirza of California, and two
grandchildren. His body will be taken for burial to Delhi,
India, in the tomb complex where his father is buried.

Additional information can be found at PirVilayat.org,
Universel.net, and SufiOrderInternational.org.

I'm selfishly sad. I know that he will be with his family, and he will be with God. He will be happier than he has ever been before. But I am sad for me, that he will no longer be here in this world with me. I did not know him and he did not know me. I still feel that the world is a little darker and a little colder and a little sadder without him in it.
  • From JRaynmaker

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    • Re: From JRaynmaker

      Jay! Hey there! How are you? How are you doing? I'm so *glad* to hear from you. I hope you're well. Do you have a journal I can friend?
  • From Jay

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