Workshop with Pir Zia Inayat Khan, Cheikh Sufi & Deepa Gulrukh Patel
Week 1A, July 23rd – 29th, 2023
“It is what you practice that is important rather than what the teacher says. The teacher can give you protection. The teacher can say, ‘Yes, it is so, it is my experience also.'”
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
Practice is the substance of the spiritual path. More important than what we believe is what we do. When we walk toward the One, the One runs toward us.
How do we know which practices to take up? How is one to maintain a regular rhythm in practice? How do we keep our practices fresh and living, so they don’t become a mere chore? How do we know when we are ready for a new practice?
In this week of spiritual conversation and contemplation, we will explore the role of spiritual practice in our lives and renew and deepen our commitment to the ways of being that most deeply nourish our hearts and bring us closer to the Friend.
Lunch break Program
The story of Parsifal is part of the medieval legend of King Arthur and the Quest for the Holy Grail. It covers the themes of innocence, foolishness, the chivalric code of honour, how to pass through hardship, transformation of the heart and the integration of opposites.
As part of this week, Jeremy Heiss will be working in collaboration with participants to re-create the story of Parsifal, which will be performed on Friday night. There will be a lunch break programme for those of you that enjoy creative writing or movement exploring how Parsifal’s story relates to your story. Jeremy and Deepa Gulrukh will also share contemplative questions about Parsifal’s journey that relate to the teachings from Pir Zia and Cheikh Sufi.
Pir Zia Inayat Khan carries the Sufi lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. He received his Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University. His books include Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity, and the Mystical Quest, Mingled Waters: Sufism and the Mystical Unity of Religions, and Dream Flowers: The Collected Works of Noor Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is president of the Inayatiyya and founder of Suluk Academy. Now based in Richmond, Virginia, he and his family live both in the United States and France.
Deepa Gulrukh Patel is a campaigner and facilitator with a special interest in the arts, interdisciplinary collaboration, contemplation, diversity, and equality: working with organisations like the BBC, ActionAid and the Arts Council of England. Deepa has been a student of the inner life since her teens and is is a guide and teacher in the Inayatiyya as well as being a graduate and mentor at Suluk Academy.
She is currently working with the University of the Arts London and UNCHR on a variety of projects in Refugee camps in Jordan and Syria. She is also working with The Fetzer Institute on two projects, one on creating sacred space in the virtual world and is a fellow on their shared spiritual heritage project. Volunteering is important part of her life; in the UK she is Chair of Tamasha Theatre Company an advisor to The Loss Foundation, a charity that supports people bereaved by cancer and COVID-19. In the USA she is an advisor to Charis Interspirituality.
Cheikh Sufi is a Cheikh of the Mouridiyya Order of Sufis. He studied with, and is a representative of, his master, Serigne Saliou Mbacke. Since 1996 he has traveled eight times to Senegal, West Africa, to study the science of the Inner path, and lived there from 2002-2004 to complete his training. He was made a Cheikh by his Cheikh, Serigne Modou Seck, from the Holy city of Touba in 2016. Cheikh Sufi now lives in New York City.
Jeremy Heiss has been part of the Sufi Caravan since childhood. He works as a freelance theatre maker and performing arts musician. He is particularly interested in collaborative creative work as a collective. In his work he brings together art, psychology, politics and spirituality and is always curious in his search for new perspectives and connections. One focus of his work is queer feminism and gender, so he also gives workshops at schools on the topic of diversity in gender and sexual orientation. In the summer of 2022, he completed the online suluk class “Na-Koja-Abad”.