"the way of peace through the breath"

Tranquil millpond behind Proitzer Mühle
Tranquil millpond behind Proitzer Mühle

SUMMER SCHOOL 2012: 30 June - 7 July

Summer School 2012 brochure to download
General Summer School information and previous years' class details
Auskunft auf Deutsch hier
Proitzer Mühle
♫ Recordings here

Light of Beauty:
The Sufi Arts of Recreating Ourselves

  • Special focus this year: Sufi teachings on the creative arts - music, dance, poetry, art - and the art of personality;
  • Classes this year include: Art and Creativity through Music, Breath, Walk and Dance, Healing and the Art of Personality, Rumi's Path to Realization, Sufi Poetry, Spiritual Dancing and more.
    Special Guest: Murshida Fatima Lassar;
  • Introduction to the Sufi path and lineage of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, Hazrat Pir Samuel L. Lewis and Hazrat Pir Murshid Moineddin Jablonski;
  • A variety of classes: some especially for those exploring taking up Sufi practice, as well as for those already on the Sufi path - beginners, middle and more advanced (including Sufi guides);
  • Guided retreat processes using Dances of Universal Peace, Sufi zikr and wasaif (mantric practice), walking meditation, body awareness and contemplation, Sufi Soulwork, Sufi healing practice, silence and Sufi teaching stories;
  • A wonderful way to experience and share practice with the main Ruhaniat Sufi guides in Europe;
  • A beautiful venue in nature, comfortable accommodations, and healthy food catering to a variety of diets - experience our "Sufi café" atmosphere on the terrace of Proitzer Mühle;
  • Joyous community with seekers from a dozen countries and languages-"eating, dancing and praying together."
"The art of personality is not a qualification. It is the purpose for which a human being was created, and it leads one to that prupose in the fulfillment of which is one's entire satisfaction." - Hazrat Inayat Khan

For hundreds of years, the Chishti Sufi lineage has used music, dance, poetry and the creative arts to embody and express spiritual practice. Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis both emphasize using these tools for the constant alchemical refinement of the self, rather than for exaggerating what they call an "artistic temperament". Popular culture goes down the latter track, which easily becomes an emphasis on celebrity, superficiality and sensationalism. The deeper side of creativity is not producing "objects", "works", or "compositions", but re-creating ourselves.

We will explore this rich vein of teaching and practice from our lineage during this year's summer school. As part of this, I will be offering teaching from the "Spiritual Dancing" commentary of Murshid Samuel Lewis, a manuscript he wrote several decades before he began the Dances of Universal Peace. In addition, we welcome back Murshida Fatima Lassar from the USA, one of the original students of Murshid Samuel Lewis. Murshida Fatima will be sharing from her unique experience and wisdom in this area, including teachings for our initiators' class on sharing the light of the glance through the practice called tawwajjehi in the Sufi tradition (or darshan in the yoga tradition).

Our main teaching staff will again include the main Ruhaniat Sufi guides and initiators in Europe:  Murshida Gita Sophia, Murshid Tansen, Murshida Baraka, Sheikh Jelaluddin, Sheikha Rahmana, Sheikha Alima and Sheikh(a)s Wali and Arienne, Sheikha Rafia, Zubin Westrick and myself.

main dance hall

Our summer school is dedicated to the service of peace and for the benefit of all living beings. Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (1896-1971) was a mystic schooled in both Zen and Sufism, recognized as a teacher in both traditions, who felt that spirituality should be a matter of living experience, not division and conflict. His spiritual successor, Murshid Moineddin Jablonski (1942-2001) believed that spirituality was not fully realized until fully embodied, with all elements of the personality - light and dark - included in a life of joy and compassion. Both lived and taught in the tradition of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), who brought a tradition of universal Sufism to the west. On this path we recognize equally all the different spiritual traditions of the world and honor them as an expression of the Holy.

main dance hall

If you wish to explore the Sufi path, the Summer School is a good place to start. The variety of classes as well as the relaxed, informal atmosphere and sharing with people from many different lands is invigorating. If you are steadily traveling the path and encountering challenges (as we all do), you can find here both guidance and a company of fellow travellers with open hearts and arms ready to embace you. We hope you can join us!

Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti, Director


Class information:

Murshid Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz

Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Scotland):

Light of Beauty: The Dance of Re-creating Ourselves

(Sources: unpublished "Spiritual Dancing" writings of Murshid Samuel Lewis, "Art of Personality" by Hazrat Inayat Khan and "Kitab al-Futuwwah" of al-Sulami. (all-school class) 


Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis both emphasize using the arts as tools for the constant alchemical refinement of the self, rather than for exaggerating what they call an "artistic temperament." Popular culture goes down the latter track, which easily becomes an emphasis on celebrity, superficiality and sensationalism. The deeper side of creativity is not producing "objects," "works," or "compositions," but re-creating ourselves. Including stories, practices, Walk, spiritual movement and meditation.

Initiators Class: "The breath is enough, the heart is enough, the eye is enough, the atmosphere is enough" - Pir Moineddin Jablonski
Murshid Saadi will also co-lead a class with Murshida Fatima.
- for Sufi initiators and others by permission, continuing the lessons from last year on tassawuri, attunement, and extending them to tawajjeh (breath-energy communion), and the practice of darshan as done by Murshid Samuel L. Lewis.

Murshida Fatima Lassar

Special Guest:
Murshida Fatima Lassar (USA):


A Celebration of Murshid Samuel Lewis.

Murshida Fatima was one of the earliest and closest students of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis. Throughout the summer school she will be offering her remembrances of her time with Murshid S.A.M., along with the practices that he shared with her. She will also be showing photos of Murshid not seen previously.

Murshida Fatima will also lead an afternoon class on Spiritual Art:

Arts and Crafts as Spiritual Practice

"When I first met SAM, he introduced us to visual art long before the dances. We visited museums, and studios. He even paid for art classes for a couple of his students."
Experience the satisfaction of creation. Individual and group projects. Draw, paint, cut and paste with the joy and freedom of your 4 year old self. All skill levels. There is no failure.

Murshida Sophia Gita Onnen

Murshida Sophia Gita Onnen (Germany):


The Art of Spiritual Walking Meditation:
Healing Renewal Step-by-Step

In discovering the depths of our own being, we get to know how to live from an inner place of peace creatively. We come to this through rhythm, breath and heart, in a living spirit, with clear composed intention. "Beauty blossoms in the stillness of your presence." Walks of the centers, elements, wazifa, planets, masters, prophets and holy ones; also our own walk in conscious awareness of our True Self, the divine source.

Murshid Tansen Philip O’Donohoe

Murshid Tansen Philip O'Donohoe (England):

The Art and Science of Breath

(Sources: papers of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel L. Lewis)

The path of spiritual development is also the path of breath development. It can even be said that one's consciousness does not rise higher than the refinement of one's breath. As the breath becomes refined one becomes refined in one's thoughts, words and actions. Then one's ability to be creative, one's appreciation of beauty, one's ability to sing and to dance will be developed accordingly.

Murshida Baraka von Kügelgen

Murshida Baraka von Kügelgen (Germany):


Seeing with Both Eyes, Hearing with Both Ears: The Healing Art of Personality

As Hazrat Inayat Khan emphazises, the art of personality is our greatest work of art. We will deepen different qualities which he and also Murshid Samuel Lewis mention in this context, for instance gratefulness, spiritual economy, reconciliation, friendship (brother/sisterhood), using Sufi tools and practices, wasifa work and walks, as well as connecting with more recent psychological research and the actual global challenges of today.

Sheikha Rahmana Dziubany

Sheikha Rahmana Dziubany (Germany):


White Jade: Our Body as a Temple

(Sources: writings of Ruth St. Denis and Murshid Samuel Lewis)

Experiencing the living heritage of Ruth St. Denis in divine embodiments - as a spiritual practice and as part of our daily lifes through dance, song, breath, walking meditations and poetry, based on the book "Wisdom Comes Dancing: Selected Writings of Ruth St. Denis on Dance, Spirituality and the Body" by Kamae A. Miller and the book "Spiritual Dancing" by Samuel L. Lewis.

Sheikha Alima Stoeckel

Sheikha Alima Stoeckel (Germany):


When Words Spread Their Wings, The Wisdom of a Thousand Years Spreads Before Us

Inspiring and wise words can become a holistic, deeply felt and embodied experience. Only that way they can serve us on our life's path and become a source of inner peace, healing, power and renewal. We will experience a creative way to let the message and the power of words of wisdom become very alive within us and between us and to feel their energy. We work with the rich possibilities of expression of our lineage, Planetary - and Tassawuri walks, dances, breath and creative expression. With selected sayings and prayers of Pir o Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, Murshid Samuel Lewis, Ruth St. Denis, Pir Moineddin Jablonski.

Khalif Hauke Jelaluddin Sturm

Khalif Hauke Jelaluddin Sturm (Germany):


Creating 'Home':
A Course in 'Sufi Feng Shui'

"So, know your art! Be possessed of all its resources!" (Samuel L. Lewis)

Creative development of spiritual architecture in us and our surrounding - with sound, form, communication and movement. The room/place/home where we live and where we meet influences us - and we influence those places. Every thought, every feeling is needing a home, says Hazrat Inayat Khan. How can we build and arrange these places, our communties and also ourselves in creative, spiritual ways? We will experience and experiment with the principles Hazrat Inayat Khan offers as Samuel L. Lewis comments and enlarges them. Based on Murshid Samuel Lewis' commentaries on "Spiritual Architecture" of Hazrat Inayat Khan and sources like Samuel L. Lewis' "Art and Music."

Khalif Wali & Sheikha Ariënne van der Zwan

Khalif Wali & Sheikha Ariënne van der Zwan (Germany)


Rumi's Path to Self-Realization

Hazrat Inayat Khan says that the the Sufi literature, written by the great poets as Rumi and Hafiz, is about the relationship between human beings as the lovers and God as the Beloveds. About Rumi he says he did not write about dogmas or moral teachings, but about the law of life.

This law of life is clothed in the words of Rumi's famous Masnavi, written for his students. His poetry and teachings are mirrors for his students and, likewise, for us. They reflect our state of being and at the same time offer tools for further development.

Unfortunately, Rumi doesn't offer a blueprint of the spiritual path. He was already criticized for that by his contemporaries. So in these classes we will follow Inayat Khan's observations on Rumi and thus climb Rumi's ladder. Step by step, for each step is as essential for the self as rungs are for a ladder, for 'when two rungs out of a hundred are missing, you cannot reach the roof'.

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