"the way of peace through the breath"

Proitzer Mühle
Proitzer Mühle

SUMMER SCHOOL 2013: June 29-July 6

Summer School 2013 brochure to download
General Summer School information and previous years' class details
Auskunft auf Deutsch hier
Proitzer Mühle
♫ Recordings here

Cultivating Inner Spaciousness: Centering in Serenity

  • Introduction to the Sufi path and to the lineage of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, Hazrat Pir Samuel L. Lewis and Hazrat Pir Murshid Moineddin Jablonski.
  • A variety of classes: for those already on the Sufi path, including Sufi guides, as well as for those exploring taking up Sufi practice.
  • Guided retreat processes using Dances of Universal Peace, meditation, Sufi zikr and wazifa (mantric practice), walking concentration, body awareness, Sufi soulwork, Sufi healing practice, silence and Sufi stories.
  • A wonderful way to experience and share practices with the main Ruhaniat Sufi guides from Europe.
  • A beautiful venue in nature, comfortable accommodation, 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.

Our focus this year will be on the inner life and the cultivation of inner spaciousness, or emptiness. By establishing contact with the innate spaciousness in the heart and mind we can awaken the inner senses and realize a deeper level of being or Presence which continuously expresses itself in us every moment of our lives. The more we are in touch with spaciousness the less ego-centred we become and as Murshid Samuel Lewis has said, "There is nothing in life which is so akin to death as the constant thought of self".

Through spiritual practice the ego is assimilated into Divine Essence and correspondingly the Divine Essence also assimilated into the ego. By this transformative process self-realization can gradually take place. As Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan taught us self-realization is the ultimate aim of a sufi although this is the highest and most difficult attainment of all.

During this year's summer school we will draw from the teachings of our Sufi lineage sharing various classes including meditation, soulwork, heart focus, spiritual dance, walking concentrations, sufi zikr, wazifa, centering exercises from the Vignana Bhairava Tantra, and tassawuri. Our teachers will include the main Ruhaniat Sufi guides and initiators in Europe: Murshid Saadi, Murshida Sophia, Murshida Baraka, Khalif Jelaluddin, Khalif Wali, Sheikha Arienne, Sheikha Alima, Sheikha Rahmana, Sheikha Rafia and Murshid Tansen.

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 concepts or theories. His spiritual successor, Moineddin Jablonski (1942-2001) believed that spirituality was not fully realized until fully embodied, with all elements of the personality - both light and dark - included in a life of joy and compassion. Both of them lived and taught in the tradition of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927), who brought a message of universal Sufism to the west. On this path we recognize and honour equally all the different spiritual traditions of the world.

If you wish to explore or deepen in the Sufi path, the Summer School is a good place to be. The variety of classes as well as the relaxed, informal atmosphere and sharing with people from many different lands is invigorating. Here you can find both guidance and a company of fellow travellers with open hearts and arms ready to embrace you.

We hope you will join us!
Murshid Tansen Philip O'Donohoe, Director

Classes offered in 2013

Murshid Tansen Philip O’Donohoe

Featured Teacher and Summer School Director:
Murshid Tansen Philip O'Donohoe (England)

Cultivating Inner Spaciousness: Centering in Serenity.

The all school class will be based on the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, an ancient tantric text of the Shaiva tradition, which presents 112 ways to open the invisible door of consciousness and for awakening into reality through everyday life experience. It offers an incredible variety of spiritual practices and ways of discovering pure consciousness. No realm of human experience is excluded from the field of spiritual realization. The basic dynamics of life such as breathing, falling asleep, waking up, walking, loving, all of these are used as gateways into alignment and enlightenment. Techniques are given using sound, breath, heart, mind, body-consciousness, mantra music, dance, external and internal life situations, emotions and many other concentrations. To be really established even in a single dharana is to become one with Bhairava (Shiva).

Each dharana is complete in itself and can lead to the goal but at the same time there is a kind of progression in the groupings of the dharanas. The focus is on full body spirituality, beyond the realm of thought, being at home in the universe, and how to accept every breath, sensual experience, and emotion as a doorway into deep and intimate contact with the energies of life. It is about going deeply into experience, embracing it fully, without reservation.

Unless we remain in the present moment our awareness cannot enter into the realm of timelessness. It is in the realm of timeless eternity that the real Self is experienced. A clear sense of spaciousness diminishes our self-centredness.

These practices also came into our lineage from Murshid SAM's friend Paul Reps who gave a translation of these Centering Exercises in the book co-written with Nyogen Sensaki, Zen Bones, Zen Flesh. Murshid SAM also mentions the centering exercises in several places in his writings.

Meditation: Centering the Soul in the Heart.

Additional afternoon class based on the unpublished paper of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis Githa Dhyana: Meditation. In this class we will explore in some depth the techniques, practice and, inshallah, the experience of meditation.

As one enters the real silence one begins to receive the energy of space which is the energy of life.
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

Pure meditation aids one to reach into the inner recesses of the heart. Concentration is principally concerned with mind, whereas meditation, while not entirely unconcerned with mind, centers the soul where it belongs: in the heart.
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

The inner life is not separate from the outer life, being only a larger life, which takes into consideration far more than appears on the surface manifestation. Although when we speak of "inner life" we include esoteric practices, meditations, dreams, visions and various experiences and efforts, it does not exclude the everyday life. Instead of adding any burdens to an over-troubled world, meditation shows how to avoid difficulties and overcome burdens.
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

Murshid Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz

Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti (Scotland):

Entering a Secret Garden of Love:
The "Plan A" of Hazrat Inayat Khan

The flower opens, the flower closes. We will explore early, embodied practices of Hazrat Inayat Khan to cultivate healing and connection to guidance. These were practices given to his earliest mureeds, Rabia Martin and Khorshed de Ravalieu. First, we will experience the inner way of rhythmic Sufi body prayer Pir-o-Murshid used to dive into an ocean of peace, releasing all care and worry in divine oblivion. This is "prayer" as spiritual connection, with intention everything and words secondary, rather than as a religious ritual, the original practice of tasawwuri Muhammad. Second, we will experience a body awareness practice of cleansing and healing the senses, falling backwards and downwards into the arms of the Beloved, so that we can feel each new breath as a healing breath. Moving zikr, walking meditation, group dance and chant will complete our journey.

Initiators Class: The "Delicate Thread"

This class for Sufi initiators and guides will continue to explore teachings and practices from the Sangathas of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Topics will include the five types of magnetism, working with mureeds in the silence, tasawwuri, zikr, and atmosphere. We will also continue our work from last year with darshan and tawajjeh. "The link which exists between murshid and mureed is more delicate than a thin thread and at the same time much stronger than a steel wire. And the only way to preserve it is to keep that delicate feeling about one's teacher living in one's heart." - Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Murshida Sophia Gita Onnen

Murshida Sophia Gita Onnen (Germany):


"Die before you die"

Fana points to the fact, that everything existing in a form or a body will change, allowing the door to another world to open, bringing it back to the Universal Self. Fana can free us for a meaningful life in the Here and Now which is all there is. Let us take the chance and continue now with letting go of unhealthy attachments, conceptions and identifications. Diving into the depths of our being with meditative Soulwork, breathing and walking concentration, dance, mantric practices, stillness.

Murshida Baraka von Kügelgen

Murshida Baraka von Kügelgen (Germany):


The Essence of Spiritual Healing

Performing the Healing Ritual we ask to be used as a channel for the divine healing energies. How can we expand our inner space more and more and keep it open for the flow of light, love and life force? How can we increase our capacity for compassion and unity? Murshid SAM points out that from the highest view there is no healing but healing of self.

We will work on potential barriers to being a clear healing channel; strengthen our magnetism with specific healing practices and learn how to use it in different ways.

Khalif Wali & Sheikha Ariënne van der Zwan

Khalif Wali & Sheikha Ariënne van der Zwan (Germany)


The Perfection of the Heart
An original paper from Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

Why do we move from and concentrate upon the heart in our practices and the Dances? What is the aim of inner development and why this emphasis on the heart? And, what is the heart in Sufi context beyond the physical organ? And what is meant by Perfection?

For answers to these and other questions, we turn to 'The Perfection of the Heart', an original paper of Murshid SAM. In this paper, SAM shows us ways towards perfecting our heart through his original views on Concentration, Zikr, the Nafs (ego), Fana and Baka and other practices. In this paper, he draws equally from Bible, Gospels, Quran and Inayat Khan's prayers, placing them in his wide and spiritual context.

In the classes, we will share some of his practices and teachings, as usual mixed with some dances and possibly walks. As usual, questions and sharing as a way to going deeper into SAM's teachings are an integral part of the classes.

Sheikha Alima Stoeckel

Sheikha Alima Stoeckel (Germany):


Looking into the mirror of life - within and without

We will practice to cultivate and keep an open, embracing and loving space within, where we can welcome the diversity of life with all its challenges. Looking honestly into the mirror of life, allowing healing and transformation to happen in the depth of our being, living our life from a broader view, a deeper understanding and the power of an open heart and spirit.

A creative soulwork based exploration of life with the rich tools of our transmission - dances, meditation, wazifas, planetary walks.

Khalif Hauke Jelaluddin Sturm

Khalif Hauke Jelaluddin Sturm (Germany):


Discover the Inner life to live a fulfilling outer life

In "The Inner Life" Hazrat Inayat Khan describes the inner journey as "the journey of life". On this journey we don't ignore the everyday life; on the contrary, we are enabled to master the outer life and to find the purpose of our life. Sam Lewis in his commentary of Hazrat Inayat Khan says "Go beyond the material world, orient to the fullness of life".

We will try this, through various practices and following the guidance that Hazrat Inayat Khan and Samuel Lewis offer us for this journey.

Sheikha Rahmana Dziubany

Sheikha Rahmana Dziubany (Germany):


Women on the Path. Journeying the landscapes of our soul in the footsteps of our female ancestors.

Through the gateway of these great women's hearts, their own unique soul journey, their teachings, stories, poetry, prayers, their call and mission as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and lovers, mystics, dancers, ascetics and so much more we enter our own life's story. Hand in hand with them we travel through our inner fields, forests, deserts and oceans. Let us meet, greet and welcome Khadija, Umm Salama, Rabia al Adawidda, Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, Ruth St. Denis, Kamae Amrapali Miller.

Director: Murshid Tansen Philip O'Donohoe
Assistant Director: Murshida Sophia Gita Onnen
Manager: Edmund Aziz Dixon
Organisational Director: Qadima Sabine Brandt

Proitzer Mühle in North Germany, in the hills of the nature reserve park of the Elbe river, surrounded by forests, meadows and lakes. Proitzer Mühle is an old watermill, whose history goes back to the 14th century. The buildings are on 10 hectares of grounds and have been remodeled to a high standard, with a large, wooden sprung-floor with space for 200 people to dance.

Full transport details will be sent upon registration, and there will be help and guidance for non-German speakers.

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