The meeting was held as a teleconference on Tuesday, September 22, 10:30AM MDT, 9:30AM PDT. Present were:
Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel David Murray Akbar Kieken Fazalunissa Harmon Jelaluddin Sill Qahira Fran Becker
The meeting was called to order by Akbar Kieken
Addition to the Agenda
Fazalunissa proposed and everyone agreed that “Old Business” should be added to the agenda.
Acceptance of Resignation from Council
Moved by Jelaluddin that the January 19, 2050 resignation from the council by Sitara Karen Minish be accepted. Seconded by Fazalunissa. Passed.
Acceptance of Nomination to Council
Moved by Fazalunissa that the nomination of Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel to the Council on January 19, 2015 be accepted. Seconded by Akbar. Passed.
This year, 2015, saw the role of Canadian National Representative passed to David Murray. David enters into the job at a time of much activity internationally and has already managed a great storm of correspondence and facilitated several conference calls.
Here is his report.
David Murray | National Representative’s Report
The national representative is a conduit, the person who becomes a single entry point into the Sufi movement in Canada. This is a time when there are many emails going back and forth and I have to everyone. This is a time when we find yourselves in the middle of the storm of controversy regarding the issue of succession in the International Sufi Movement. I received a note from Karimbakhsh last week in response to letter that we sent off to the executive committee, so I passed that around. , Of course, had formulated a response (to the vote which removed from the articles of incorporation the requirement for a new head of the International Sufi movement to be a member of the ISM) to the Executive Committee. Had one conference call with Murshida Rani McLaughlin was helpful in finding out what she was doing. There have been some emails coming from Nawab. Perhaps after the AGM we can discuss about what's happening internationally.
Acceptance of National Representative’s Report
Moved by Jelaluddin, seconded by Kuan Yin
Please find below a review of correspondence of interest to members of SMIC that I have received as well as my notes.
May 05, 2014
From the EC to members of the International Sufi Movement:
Communiqué from the Pir-o-Murshid Council:
The members of the Pir-o-Murshid Council agree that we wish to remain faithful to the teachings of our Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Inayat Khan.
The majority of the Pir-o-Murshid Council agrees that the successors of the co- General Representatives should be nominated from the leadership of the Sufi Movement, and not from any other organization.
In this connection, Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan has nominated as his successor Murshid Nawab Pasnak. Murshid Karimbakhsh Witteveen has not yet made his decision.
We will abide by the Articles of Incorporation.
May 5th, 2014
June 03, 2014
Received from SMI, Hamida Verlinden, minutes of the May 5, 2014 meeting:
Please find below 5 motions that were put forward at the Annual Council Meeting in Banff. Although we had discussion on these ideas, there was not enough time to put them up as proper motions, so approval was facilitated through email.
Follow Up Meeting - Decisions Taken
A continuation of the meeting was held online from June 11 to June 18, 2014 to decide motions not voted on due to a lack of time.
Co-operative International Activities Motions
1. Moved by Fazalunissa, that the SMIC Council initiate discussions with Murshidas Nuria Sabato, Rabia Ana Perez and Rani McLaughlin regarding co-operative activities between the Canadian and American Sufi Movement organizations.
Seconded by Jelaluddin, passed
2. Moved by David: That David M. prepare an agenda, for the review of the Board, to reach out to our sufi sisters in the US, Rani, Nuria and Rabia, to participate in a video conference call in early October to discuss our common interests as members of the Sufi Movement International and to build an alliance of western North American centres for mutual support and sharing of ideas, practices and the goal to make broadly available the message of universal sufism.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed
New Communications Policy Motion
3. Moved by Jelaluddin that communication of the business of the SMIC will be for members only and that announcements of events will still be sent out to the larger Sufi community.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed
Honorary Membership Motion
4. Moved by David: That the SMIC create a new membership category, tentatively called “Honorary Membership”, the purpose of which would be, from time to time, to recognize individuals who have made, or are currently making, a special and extraordinary contribution to the goals of our organization. David will prepare details of the membership criteria for the consideration of the Board.
Seconded by Fazalunissa, passed
Discussions for an October Meeting
David suggests we include Honorary Membership in a Council meeting sometime in October.
Kuan Yin suggested travel expenses for leaders be included in that discussion.
June 20, 2014
The Sufi Auction initiated by Kuan Yin offered support of the Sufi Movement in Canada, the restoration building project for the Sufi temple in Holland and support of the Dargah of Inayat Khan fund in India, administered by Murshid Nawab Pasnak.
June 23, 2014
A Call for Nominations to the SMIC Council marked the first time that a formalized the Council member process. Sitara Karen Minish was nominated and became a Council member June 30, 2014.
July 05, 2014
Received from Murshid Nawab Pasnak, the ISM International Council 2014 - National and Regional Reports.
With sorrow, we were told of the sudden and tragic loss of three beloved members of our Sufi family. Allahbakhsh Willem Witteveen, Kalyani Liduine Heerkens and their daughter Marit Witteveen were passengers in the unfortunate Malaysian Airlines flight that was lost over eastern Ukraine on July 17th.
September 13, 2014
The “Way of Illumination” retreat was held in Banff. 12 participants were organized and directed by Kuan Yin with help from Akbar, Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin.
September 13, 2014
The “Breath, Music and Human Nature” retreat was held in Vancouver. 8 participants were organized and directed by Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin.
May 13 to 17, 2015
The Federation of the Sufi Message, 16th Annual Gathering was attended by David, Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin. The SMIC was asked to present two Wazifas as a group practice which were very well received.
May 22, 2015
Jelaluddin sent out this report of experiences at the Federation Retreat:
Kuan Yin presented how the Banff Spring Retreat has been financed and David explained how the upcoming Dance Retreat is being partly financed by SMIC.
Approval of the Treasurer’s Report
Moved by David that the Treasurer’s Report be accepted. Seconded by Kuan Yin. Passed.
Love and greetings from all of the Banff Sufis. I was just looking over my list and we have about 16 active Sufis in our group (some more so than others) and 10 on our inactive list (meaning they may have moved away or participate only once in a while or have left us altogether).
This year has been a busy one for all of us. We have been studying 'the art of personality' as our main focus...of course we continue on with Healing and our outreach 'Internal Healing list' and actually work with all of the practices at one time or another. I think of us as being fairly well rounded in all of the practices that Hidayat laid out for us. A couple of exceptions are Universal Worship and deeper work with the Prayers of Inayat Khan. (we may change things up for next year and work more in depth with the prayers).
We had a Spiritual Healing retreat on the summer solstice, June 21st titled, Offering the Healing Heart. This retreat was held at 'the cabin', attached to the Buffalo Nations Museum and we are very excited about our connection and energy exchange with our First Nation brothers and sisters (thinking of our Zoroastrian/Shamanic roots). The location is smaller than our usual Retreat venue, holding between 12- 15 participants, but I think it will work well for Healing. We have 9 registered to date with another 4 who have said they are coming......so we are almost full. Nirtan Carol Ann will be here in a teaching capacity, which is wonderful.
I am thinking of a second retreat in Sept. or Oct. but haven't fully committed to it yet. Looking for the right theme, etc.
We have been fund-raising over the past year hoping to pay our own way in everything we do here in Banff and also hoping to continue to support (in our small way) the Dargah of Inayat Khan in India. This effort all began with the silent auction started by a wonderful Sufi (who asks to remain unknown). We were able to raise about $1200.00 and there are still 2 items available be bid on.
This has been an amazing journey for all of us as we continue together toward the goal.......and beyond. Sending much love to you both, Kuan yin
Our Centre is fairly quiet. I hold weekly evening practices at my office where we participate in a variety of practices consisting of readings from Hazrat Inayat Khan, pranayama, wasifas and the singing zikar. On the 4th Tuesday of every month, there is a joint circle of the Dances of Universal Peace, led by Auni Amini a trained Dance leader, and the Sufi Movement in Canada. I lead a singing wasifa as part of the evening activities which has been very well-received. There will be a joint Retreat in Edmonton between the two organizations in September 25 and 26th 2015.
Love, David (National Representative)
This year Sharda and Akbar travelled to Nelson to be with our brothers and sisters in the Ruhaniat for a dance weekend led by Pir Shabda Kahn. Many contacts were made and a real sense of family existed which inspired us tremendously. It was wonderful to dance with a large group, 90 dancers in all, and share in the practices of the Ruhaniat which were centered on breath and spiritual walks in addition to the dancing. In July Akbar will be leading a four-day dance workshop at Johnson's Landing with Amir O'Loughlin from the Sufi Order and Majida Roy and Shreemayi Dania from the Ruhaniat. We look forward to continuing the brotherhood and sisterhood work which we started in Nelson in the spring.
The July Retreat at Johnson’s Landing with about 20 people turned into mini camp. In addition to the Sufi Dancing, there was Kirtan which turned into readings from Inayat Khan which led to Wazifa practice. This all met with a good response and Akbar plans to do it again next year.
The Vancouver Sufi Centre is presently in the home of Fazalunissa, Carole Harmon and Jelaluddin, Gary Sill. This year our Wednesday evening weekly meetings have revolved around the teachings of our Murshid, Inayat Khan, as published in the Sanghitas. Our process is to read a chapter a week, passing the book around, and then to discuss what we have read.This has led to some lively and deep discussions and we all love the process of further delving into the depths of Sufi thought. We all find direct applications in our daily lives so this is a most helpful study. We also do practices. This year we started off with concentration and moved into shagal with the coming of spring. Each month, timed with the new moon, we pick a new wazifa and do it at the end of our gathering for the following month.
Starting September 2014, we also held a weekly zikar evening on Sunday nights which has sometimes been well attended. We have found, however, that the lack of consistency in attendance has made it difficult to establish a harmonious rhythm so this is presently suspended and next year we will be following a different pattern, as yet undecided.
We have plans for a weekend workshop In Vancouver the weekend of October 24. The theme will be “The Music of Life” and it will be led by Jelaluddin and Fazalunissa. Registration is already open and information about the retreat is on the SMIC website.
Jelaluddin is the secretary for SMIC and I am it's treasurer. Our lives are always full of energies Sufi. I can't express what a challenge and blessing it is to live in this atmosphere which enriches all that we do.
Fazalunissa Carole Harmon
Much of the activity of the Vancouver Centre is presented beautifully in Fazalunissa’s report. I would only add that our weekly meetings are almost always concluded with music; usually a Singing Wazifa practice or Sama.
Work on the SMIC website is manageably constant with increasing use by Sufis from around the world. A co-operative linking to the International website of some of these resources seems useful and is being explored.
A Short History and Report of the Singing Wazifa Recordings
The Singing Wazifa practice has been in development since 1993 when the first attempt to record an instrumental version of “Ya Wahabo” was made. By 2000, an initial collection was released on a double CD. Revisions to these Wazifas as well as the creation of new ones has made that CD collection obsolete and it is no longer available.
There have been several stages in the creation of this repertoire: • original composing and orchestration work by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan, (1992 - 2005). • performance and production of instrumental recordings by myself, (1993 - 2012). • the making of the WAGs (Wazifa Audio Guides) with Aslan Sattler and Fazalunissa Harmon, (2011). • the arranging and production of male and female voices with the instrumental recordings. (2014 - present).
All through the 25 year development there have been many changes and improvements, from completely new melodies and arrangements to re-mixing of the various instrumental voices for greater clarity . By 2012, most of the Wazifas were finished and all 21 instrumental recordings are available on the SMIC website as free downloads at:
In 2014, with the financial support of the Sufi Movement in Canada, recording began with professional singers who also had experience in performing sacred chant. We are all grateful for the beautiful singing by Claire Brett, Aslan Sattler and Jerry DesVoignes. Vocal tracks now exist for all 21 Wazifas, and over the rest of this year (2015) will be mixed and uploaded to the website. The first of these, “Ya Nur” is there now.
To listen to or download “Ya Nur” go to this link:
With the help of Akbar Kieken, I wrote and recorded a Sufi Dance setting of “This is Not My Body”. The recording is of piano with singer Jerry DesVoignes . In Edmonton, David Murray is using the recording as an External Zikar dance before doing the Singing Zikar.
Instructions, the score and a free download are available here:
Victoria, BC continues to be an active Sufi Movement centre, with ongoing participants and the return of several significant individuals who have been elsewhere or otherwise engaged for sometime. A monthly dance and sufi thought meeting takes place the first Tuesday of each month at the Quaker Meeting House (since approximately 1990). This meeting is currently experiencing an influx of new and returning attendees. In addition to leading this dance meeting, Centre leader Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff has run two very successful programs on Rumi, Hafez and the Mystic Poets of Persia through the University of Victoria's Continuing Education department, sharing sufi thought in an academic setting but including an experiential component. Nirtan has also been invited to take part in the leadership of the Banff Sufi retreat in June.
In the past few months there has been a demand for the return of the Victoria Sufi Study Circle , which took place regularly in Victoria for many years prior to the passing of Amin and Amina McQuaig who hosted these gatherings. Nirtan's teaching commitments have made it difficult to schedule this night, but interest continues to grow and the meeting will likely begin again in the near future. The Victoria Sufi Centre continues to be involved in the creation of new songs and dances based on the writings and teachings of Inayat Khan and the publication and distribution of sufi books including titles by Murshid Hidayat published by Ekstasis Editions.
Approval of the Centre Reports
Moved by David that the Centre Reports for the 2014 - 2015 AGM be approved. Seconded by Fazalunissa. Passed.
It was agreed that a teleconference meeting be held in October to discuss new business.
Date of the Next AGM
Moved by Akbar that the AGM be held Monday, September 19, 2016. Seconded by Kuan Yin. Passed.
Motion to Adjourn
Moved by David to adjourn Seconded by Kuan Yin. Passed.
Meeting ended at 10:36AM PDT, 11:36 MDT
Sufi Circle Canada Is a Sufi Movement In Canada Community affiliated with the Sufi Movement International