- Week 3 -
7:15-8:00 AM, Monday - Friday, Presbyterian House Sanctuary
12:30-1:55 PM, Tuesday and Thursday, Hall of Missions
4:45-5:30 PM, Monday and Wednesday, Hurlbutt Sanctuary
Sufi Meditation Practice
"The true religion to a Sufi is the sea of truth and all the different faiths are as its waves. The message of God from time to time comes as tides in the sea, but what remains always is the sea, the truth. Those who consider another on the wrong track they themselves are also not on the right track, for the one who is on the right track finds every road leading to the same goal sooner or later. Faith to a Sufi is a free ideal, not a captivity."
- Hazrat Inayat Khan, first Sufi teacher who came to the West, 1910
The word Sufi, often seen as derived from the Greek word Sophia, means wisdom. Sufism, called "the religion of the heart", emphasizes the realization of wisdom and beauty in every dimension of life. Sufism is non-dogmatic seeking to rise above the distinctions and differences which divide us. It is often recognized as the mystical dimension of Islam, but also has ancient roots connecting it to the light and truth found in all the world's spiritual traditions.
The Sufi recognizes life itself and nature as holy books, as sacred manuscripts offering clear guidance towards the essential Reality that transpires through existence. Sufi meditation practices help to cultivate the heart, unfold the light of the soul, and clarify perception. We share meditations with light, sound, breath, movement as well as teaching stories including the Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz.
"The clear bead at the center changes everything."
- Jelaluddin Rumi, Sufi Mystic and Poet
Sharifa Felicia Norton and Muinuddin Charles Smith
Sharifa and Muinuddin are senior Sufi teachers, retreat guides, and interfaith ministers within the Inayati Sufi Order. Together they founded and facilitate the Light of Guidance Center for Sufi Studies in NYC (www.lightofguidance.org). They also facilitate the Ziraat activity, devoted to inner cultivation and sacred ecology, within the Inayati Order (www.ziraat.org).
Charles teaches leadership and sustainability studies at Hofstra University and Felicia teaches at the United Nations International School. They are married and live in New York City.
Felicia has been touring the solo dance/theatre piece 'NOOR', depicting the life of Noor Inayat Khan, a Sufi pacifist and WW2 heroine, in London, Edinburgh, UK, and France. She recently performed 'NOOR' in November 2016 in New York City.
Together Felicia and Charles co-authored the book, 'An Emerald Earth–Cultivating a Natural Spirituality and Serving Creative Beauty in Our World' ( www.anemeraldearth.org). This book offers basic practices, poetry, and wisdom teachings from the Sufi tradition. They travel and offer retreats and workshops throughout the US, Canada and in Europe.