Influential Past Teachers

Birth Place
London, England

Foundation of Teaching
Universal Sufism, Interfaith, Tibetan Buddhism, Yoga

Example of Teaching
“There are no limits to your being, only those you ascribe to yourself.”

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Pir Vilayat Khan

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan was the eldest son and successor of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, founder of the Sufi Order in the West.  During his fifty years as head of the Sufi Order International became an internationally-recognized spiritual teacher and master of meditation.  An avid student of many religious and spiritual traditions and incorporated the rich mystical heritage of East and West into his teachings, adding to it the scholarship of the West in music, science, and psychology. He initiated dozens of international interreligious conferences as well as convening spiritual and scientific leaders for public dialogues. He founded the Abode of the Message, a spiritual community in the Berkshires for over thirty years, and Omega Institute, a flourishing learning center.

He traced his spiritual lineage through a long line of Sufi pirs (masters), but his teaching was free from any religious bias or attempt to proselytize. His teaching brought the timeless contributions of the ancient Sufi mystics and poets together with the discoveries of psychology and science. He rejected absolutely any attempt to treat him as a ‘guru’, taking pride in the strong, independent and creative qualities of those drawn to be his students.

Pir Vilayat was one of the first Muslims in the modern era to bring a positive vision of Islam to the West, beginning in the late 1960’s. The Sufi tradition he represented, with its origins in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey, is the most intellectually open strand of Islam, as well as the most ecstatic, experiential one.  In keeping with the aims of his father, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan continued to sponsor and conduct events to promote understanding between East and West. He helped translate the vocabulary of the mystic into the language of the modern person.

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  1. "Sufism is the reconciliation of the irreconcilables."
  2. "There are no limits to your being, only those you ascribe to yourself."
  3. "Our thinking must be in harmony with the thinking of the universe to be valid."
  4. "Shake your soul! Awaken it from slumber! The time has come to awaken to your divine being."
  5. "There are no limits to your understanding, only those that are due to trying to understand with the mind."
  6. "There is no limit to your light, except the dark shadows of the ego cast upon the sky which we call the self."
  7. "Have the courage to face the light of your own being."
  8. "When we give our creative being it's proper place in our lives, we have a sense of meaningfulness and purposefulness. The moment we touch upon this well spring of life, a change takes place in our personality. That is the moment of breakthrough."
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