Following an eight-months labour of love, between my co-editors, the Archventures group, and contributing writers, a small edition of 250 beautiful copies of a book were published in 2010 – Heart of a Sufi – A prism of reflections on Fazal Inayat-Khan (1942 -1990.) As of now, the book is affordable on-line, see below.
Hand printed wood engraving by Susanne Harding inspired by Fazal’s signature.
The book contains stories, essays and poems written by those who were inspired by the controversial and innovative nature of Fazal’s work, or by the creative spirit that pervaded the place and people he left behind.
In the way mystics talk about the right time, place, and the right people, Fazal offered a timely and challenging spiritual education that embraced wit and the complexities of modern life. During the 1970s – 80s he attracted people from many backgrounds and countries who had very little in common, other than being exiles from tradition and hungry for truth. The book gives a flavour of encounters, stories charting the edge of learning and unlearning, relationships with one’s self, the groups, the world, intense experiences, affecting deep peace and change, often achieved after games of orchestrated struggle and conflict, peaking in performances on the stage of a magical theatre – live and experience first, then reflect. Debriefings after workshops were sobering, humorous and mind-blowing events. And something ineffable was transmitted in these transformative setting, through music, through silence or through a glance.
A short history:
In 1968, at the age of 26 Fazal Inayat-Khan became the head of the Sufi Movement founded by his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan, accredited with introducing Sufism to the West. By 1982 Fazal embraced his personal style to honour his grandfather’s legacy of spiritual liberty by surrendered his leadership of the Movement and chart his own path. His approach to Sufism resembled Idris Shah’s, whose writings had perked my initial interest in Sufism as a timeless practice of wisdom pre-dating Islam, a teaching kept alive through adapting its essence to new times and people. Adaptation in many fields was called for during the 1960s – 80s. The psychological and scientific insights of that period were so radical their social assimilation has yet to happen.
Conceiving of a book that offered a window to Fazal’s work, the editors had wondered if anyone would be brave enough to come forward and share their interactions with this passionate man, the groups and the tumultuous conflicts worked out during that period. We thank again those who contributed. And there must be many more stories of regret, pain, delight, disillusionment, new found coherence, inspiration, and significant life-changes.
The rights for Fazal’s hundreds of talks, poetry and musical tunings rests with the present leadership of Sufi Way. Our book contains some of Fazal’s quotes and the extraordinary poem – Qalandar – but the purpose of Heart of a Sufi is to show the potent seeds of love this remarkable man placed into the hearts of people he touched, seeds now unfolding in new settings for generations to come.
Archventures are pleased to offer Heart of a Sufi as e-book, making it affordable:
On amazon you can peek into some of its pages: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Sufi-InayatKhanReflectionsebook/dp/B00BFUO0T6/ref=sr_1_22?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363426951&sr=1-2
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Relevant links can be followed up from the e-book. For those interested, here is a free article by Fazal from the website of Sufi Way.http://www.sufiway.org/history/texts/western_sufism.php
And I discovered there are still copies of early, controversial talks by Fazal Inayat-Khan.
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