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2016 AGM MINUTES
The meeting was held as a teleconference on Monday, September 19, 10:00AM MDT, 9:00AM PDT.
Council members present were:

Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel
Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff
David Murray
Fazalunissa Harmon
Jelaluddin Sill

Members attending were:

Shams Richard Olafson

The Invocation was recited by Nirtan

The meeting was called to order by David Murray
Old Business
Approval of the AGM of 2015 dated September 22nd 2015

Moved by David, Seconded by Kuan Yin
Executive Reports

NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

David Murray | National Representative’s Report


David is the National Representative for Canada and is an occasional attendee at the Federation Retreats, and less so at Summer School and the Leaders’ meetings. Attendance at international meetings is constantly a challenge due the timing, the distance to travel and the cost.    
The role of the National Representative is becoming more active in late 2016. The International Council has been activated under the new leadership of Murshida Nuria Sabato and Murshid Nawab Pasnak, with the assistance of Murshida Rani McLaughlin. A Google Group (International Council Sufi Movement) has been established for the participation of the NRs. The concerns and issues raised in the IC will be communicated to the SMIC board. The NR will forward responses and recommendations from the SMIC to the International Council.
Acceptance of National Representative’s Report

Moved by Fazalunissa, seconded by Nirtan

SECRETARY

2015.06.01 to 2016.02.19 | Ongoing discussions around a proposal by Murshid Karimbakhsh to appoint Pir Zia as his successor as Co-Representative General of the ISM.

2015.09.22 SMIC AGM is held

2015.10.24 “The Music of Life” workshop/retreat is held in Vancouver.

2015.12.04 | Lake O’Hara 2016 Retreat announced.

2016.01.01 | This year, the Sufi Order changed it's name. As Pir Zia announced: "…moved by a deep sense that the time has come, on this first day of the year 2016, we announce that The Sufi Order International will henceforth be known as The Inayati Order." As a fuller designation the Order will be introduced as The Inayati Order: A Sufi Path of Spiritual Liberty. The name Inayatiyya will be considered a welcome synonym.

2016.01.05 | Qahira Fran Becker, working with Sufia Sill, launched her book, "Heart Flower Mandalas.

2016.01.11 | The SMIC Council met on a conference call.

The subject of succession of the ISM leadership continued to be debated in the early part of the year.

2016.01.15 | Murshida Rani McLaughlin offered for sale original (1979) edition orange volumes which are no longer published. The ordering is being facilitated by the SMIC website and managed by Rani. Some of the inventory is being stored here in Vancouver.

2016.01.18 | Murshid Hidayat's "Royal Legend" as well as the Russian Premiere of his "Gandhi Symphony" is performed in Russia.

2016.02.19 | We were informed by Hidayat, that Murshid Karimbakhsh was seriously ill and in hospital and that he had invited Nuria Sabato to be his Successor as co-General representative. On behalf of the SMIC, David responded to M. Hidayat's request for letters of support for this decision.

2016.02.27 Australian Sufis, Yaqin Hull and Nuria Daly launch national newsletter.

2016.03.18 | Performance of M. Hidayat's "Concerto for Strings" in Pforzheim, Germany.

2016.06.06 Jelaluddin's internet radio station was launched.

2016.06.07 | Kuan Yin, Jill and Sitara visit "The Crossing At Ghost River" and recommend it be the site of the next SMIC national retreat.

2016.06.20 | The SMIC Council met on a conference call. At this SMIC Council conference call meeting the idea that the SMIC might host the Federation Retreat in 2019 was discussed. The idea will be explored further in the future.

2016.07.04 | Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan issued his official resignation from the position of Joint General Representative of the International Sufi Movement. Murshid Hidayat then nominated Murshid Nawab Pasnak as his successor who graciously accepted. Murshid Nawab joins Murshid Karimbakhsh’s successor, Nuria Sabato, to co-lead the ISM.

2016.07.13 | ISM Summer School was held in Katwijk with the theme of "The Living Heart"
Acceptance of Secretary’s Report

Moved by David, seconded by Kuan Yin

TREASURER

(Please allow extra time for these images to load.)

A Report On The Structure of The Sufi Movement In Canada
Fazalunissa Carole Harmon
August 10, 2016
Dear David, Nuria, and whomever else this is distributed to.

I am the treasurer of the Sufi Movement in Canada and David has asked me to comment on our official structure.

We have an unusual history because SMIC was originally set up when Fazal was head of the ISM by mureeds of his who lived in North Vancouver. SMIC is a Canadian non-profit society under the designation of religious organizations. The original bylaws were very convoluted and referenced the Pir-O-Murshid of the ISM as being the top Sufi in the world among other things which were a bit odd.

When Lake O’Hara Sufi Camp was first organized it was done by a group of friends without any official structure. Early on Hidayat stared coming as it’s leader and most people involved in the early years became official mureeds and sometimes Centre leaders etc. without an organization being formed. Fazal was gone and his Canadian mureeds didn’t continue with SMIC so the organization was “offered” to the informal group of Sufis who were studying under Hidayat by the ISM. There are others who know this history better than I do.The organization was in danger of losing it’s status so Sufia Sill, Nawab and others took it over.

I’m writing about this history because I think it still has a lot of influence on how things continue to unfold in Canada.

SMIC wasn’t universally popular to the group of free thinking individuals who organized Lake O’Hara camp and local Centres. It sort of existed parallel to the informal organization. The Lake O’Hara camps were organized outside of SMIC but SMIC was a supporter of these events. Not everyone became members and to this day there are active Sufis in Canada with ISM background who are official mureeds but are not members.

I took over as treasurer after Padmani died. At that time her husband Maharaj was still National Rep and I had worked closely with him as registrar of some of the O’Hara Camps in the 90’s and we had tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to establish policies for SMIC.

When Jelaluddin and I organized The Mysticism of Sound Conference in 2007 Padmani was still with us and I ran the conference as a SMIC event with her help. This was the first time that revenues and expenses for the entire event were submitted to the government. Nowadays most workshops or retreats are run this way with all expenses and revenue accounted for and reported but the odd one is still run as an independent event with official contributions from SMIC as in the old days. This decision depends on who is organizing the event.

The Canadian regulations for societies are very similar to what Nuria outlined for the USA and if anyone wants I can send our bylaws. We have a Board of six people at the moment with president, secretary and treasurer. Our National Rep acts as the president but there is no requirement for him or her to do so. The National Rep is regarded as a position of the ISM rather than of SMIC. Our three officers act as an executive committee which has been most active in all the international discussions in the last couple of years. We file annual society reports on our activities, our Board is officially registered, and we file taxes and hold an AGM. In Canada we have been able to waive the requirement for an audit through an annual motion to waive the audit. Three years ago the Canadian Government revised the regulations regarding corporate reporting and all Societies had to submit revised bylaws. We were able to drop some of the arcane clauses we had inherited from Fazal and are now allowed unaudited financial statements.

Where we differ from the USA is we are not allowed to receive or give money to affiliated organizations outside Canada. Thus we are not able to send donations to Holland through SMIC. This is a very strictly monitored regulation to do with money laundering. The Canadian Government regards us as an independent Canadian Society not as a branch of an international organization.When I first became treasurer I corresponded with Siddhartha about the impression which persists in Holland that we don’t “pay our dues”. We have informally gathered money to donate to the Dargah, the Temple in Katwijk etc. and in the Lake O’Hara era there was a hefty contribution to Holland built into the Retreat budget which was possible because it wasn’t an official SMIC event. My hope has always been to have some sort of official agreement about how Canadians contribute financially to the ISM but to date this has not happened and I notice that our donations are sporadic rather than organized as a result.

In the past few years our organization has strengthened. We don’t have a lot of members but those we do have are quite active. Jelaluddin has built and maintains our excellent website and we hold regional retreats and regular weekly or by-weekly meetings in several Centres. Next year we will have a larger retreat in Alberta.

in the spirit of our original coming into being we have in Canada SMIC members who are quite active but are not official mureeds, mureeds who are active but have little or nothing to do with SMIC, and mureeds from “the old days” who aren’t active at all but come out of the woodwork from time to time with strong opinions about what is happening, especially with the ISM leadership. All are good hearts and hold the Sufi Message reverently in their own way.

Respectfully submitted
Fazalunissa
Treasurer
Acceptance of Treasurers Report

Moved by David, seconded by Jelaluddin

Centre Reports from the Sufi Movement in Canada, June 2016
The SMIC consists of 5 Centres - Victoria, Vancouver and Qualicum in Beach British Columbia; Banff and Edmonton in Alberta.

The SMIC website is a tremendous effort that has been organized by Fazalunissa and Jelaluddin in Vancouver. It is the repository and distribution centre for information about the teachings of Pir-o-Murshid hazrat Inayat Khan. This beautiful website also offers free of charge details of a variety of resources - music, books and practices – that are fundamental to our organization.

http://www.sufimovementincanada.ca

Jelaluddin has initiated a web-based music platform named Gary Sill Radio that, in addition to Gary’s compositions and performance, offers to the world wide web an introduction to Sufism and the music of Hidayat Inayat Khan.

http://www.garysillmusic.com

In Victoria, Nirtan Carole Sokoloff and her husband Richard Olafson, operate a book publishing company that has published numerous volumes on the writings of Hidayat Inayat Khan and other sufism topics. These volumes have become essential components of sufi libraries around the world.

http://www.ekstasiseditions.com

David Murray

BANFF

Leader: Kuan Yin Cindy Pujos-Michel

Our Banff Sufi Centre has been very active over the past year, 2015/2016.  We held a Healing Retreat last year around this time, June 21st, called Offering the Healing Heart.  It was very well attended, held here in Banff at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum.  Throughout the year we keep what we call ' our Internal Healing Lists'.    People get in touch with us via email, telephone or in person to have someone's name placed on the list.  We then as individuals within the Healing community offer healing prayers on a daily basis for the person or group named on the list.

We have found this to be a wonderful extension to our Spiritual Healing Activity which we also continue with several times over a given year.

Other practices that we heavily ascribe to are:  the Singing Zikar of Inayat Khan,  Chromatic Zikar, Pranayama, Shaghal, Amal, Concentration,and this year we have placed a heavier emphasis on the Prayers of Inayat Khan.  We also work with Wazifa, and of course, readings from the Volumes of Inayat Khan.

Our Sufi evenings are held every 2 weeks on Thursday, 7:30 to 9:30 or so.  The sufi meetings are held in my home in Banff.     Our group members are:

Jill MacAulay
Sitara Karen Minish
Fatayab Bob Knowlden
Val Knowlden
Hanifa Meg Nicks
Ulrike Kimbley-Nicolai
Shirley Tooke
Sita Laureen Rama - living in Calgary
Ayaz Jacques Pujos- Michel
Myself, Kuan Yin Pujos- Michel

and on occasions:
Our dear Sufi sisters from Calgary join us as they all did at Christmas, 2015(as a group) and individually when they feel like venturing forth...........
Qahira Fran Becker, Calgary Leader
Azima Martha Toy
Naseera Wendy Ross

We also have a group that we stay connected with via email on a by-weekly basis.

This past week, 2 of our group plus myself did an exploratory trip to the outskirts of Calgary in hopes of finding a suitable location for a proposed Canadian National Retreat for 2017.  I will be reporting on our findings along with a quote from 'the Crossing at Ghost River' at our next Board meeting.

In August, 2016 Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff will be hosting a 'Reunion of Canadian Sufis  at Lake O'Hara in the Canadian Rockies' and we in Banff will be supporting this hiking retreat as best we can.

Sending streams of love and Sufi Blessings,
Kuan yin

EDMONTON

Leader: David Murray
 
Regular events consist of monthly meetings at David’s premises on the second Tuesday. The event is currently called Studies in Sufism - Living in the Modern World - the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.   The event is attending by about 6 people + leader. The program varies but currently consists of some philosophical discussions, practices in Pranayama, the Prayers, a Wasifa using the compositions of Hidayat Inayat Khan and finishing with the Singing Zikar.

David is also a co-leader in the monthly Dances of Universal Peace where he leads either a Wasifa or the singing Zikar that has been incorporated into the Dance program.

There are also informal weekly Tuesday Singing Zikars that are usually attended by a variety of individuals from the Edmonton community.

David is the National Representative for Canada and is an occasional attendee at the Federation Retreats, and less so at Summer School and the Leaders’ meetings. Attendance at international meetings is constantly a challenge due the timing, the distance to travel and the cost.

QUALICUM BEACH

Leader: Akbar Lody Kieken

Akbar is a member of the Board of the Sufi Movment in Canada. This is a new centre, now that Akbar and Sharda have moved from Salmon Arm.

VANCOUVER

Leader: Fazalunissa Carole Harmon and Jelaluddin Gary Sill

The Vancouver Centre of The Sufi Movement in Canada is small but enthusiastic. We are on our summer break but held weekly meetings at our home from September through the end of May. Jelaluddin and I are co-centre leaders and we attempt to create a collaborative atmosphere of learning and practice. We usually have five - seven people in attendance. Several other individuals come when they can from out of town, or as their work schedule permits. We have tea and readings from Inayat Khan, sometimes Hidayat, followed by a discussion of what we’ve read. We have also been discussing the poetry of Hafiz. Then we do practices. This year we focused on concentration and shagal as well as wazifa. We do a new wazifa each new moon and continue for a month. This coming fall we will focus on zikar. We have held yearly regional two day workshops for the past four years which have been well received but have remained small. Our next workshop will be in November 2016.

There is a great spirit to our small centre, we have deep discussions. Only one attendee is an initiated mureed, The others are people with deep experience in a variety of spiritual traditions who like the feeling of our group and it’s open atmosphere.

Jelaluddin maintains the SMIC website and is secretary, I am treasurer for SMIC. We feel the focus beyond our walls, and beyond Canada, is essential and constitutes our greatest contribution.

VICTORIA

Leader: Nirtan Carol Ann Sokoloff

Victoria, BC is the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, an island almost the size of Britain some 90 minutes by boat from the city of Vancouver.  Victoria has been known as centre of spiritual energy and Krishnamurti built a centre and residence on the outskirts of the city.  There is a great response to Sufi influence in this place, but also many paths to sample. During his visits Pir Hidayat initiated several mureeds who remain in touch with Nirtan Carol Sokoloff, who has focalized sufi activity in Victoria since 1986. There are also other interested people who attend meetings such as the monthly Dances of Universal Peace and Sufi thought meeting (led by Nirtan) and occasional sufi study circles. Nirtan has also been teaching a Continuing Studies program at the University of Victoria on Rumi, Hafez and the Mystic Poets of Persia, introducing sufi thought in an academic setting, although including an experiential segment. This course has proven popular and some students are drawn to other activities.

Nirtan was successful in winning a bid to bring a group to Lake O'Hara, the site of many wonderful Western Canada sufi camps and has organized a Lake O'Hara Sufi Camp Reunion Retreat for August 2016. Many longtime and newer loving hearts from many places will take part in this retreat in nature, which we will co-create.

Victoria, BC has also been the centre for publishing many sufi titles including the authoritative volumes of Pir Hidayat Inayat Khan. Ekstasis Editions under Shams Richard Olafson continues to keep these works in print and distribute them through the website www.ekstasiseditions.com.  Nirtan is working on updating her long poem "A Light Unbroken", on the life of Noor Inayat Khan.  First published as a chapbook in 1986, the new edition will feature  photos (kindly supplied by the Nekhbhakt Foundation) as well as an introduction describing the recent research into Noor's  life, work and wartime service.  

Nirtan was also privileged to recently attend the Sufi Federation Retreat in Berlin and shared a thought that perhaps Canada could host this event in the future, and looks forward to working with our Canadian and other organizations to make this happen.

Other Future plans include:

• Recording of new and  previous sufi songs (composed by CASokloff, many wiht
texts by Inayat Khan)
• Publishing ' A Light Unbroken' on the life of Noor Inayat Khan

Concert of Spiritual Music

Regular sufi study circles
Approval of the Centre Reports

Moved by Fazalunissa that the Centre Reports for the 2015 - 2016 AGM be approved.
Seconded by Kuan Yin. Passed.

New Business

It was agreed that a teleconference Council meeting be held Monday, September 26, 2016 to discuss new business.

Date of the Next AGM

Moved by David that the AGM be held Monday, September 18, 2017. Seconded by Nirtan. Passed.

Motion to Adjourn

Moved by Fazalunissa to adjourn Seconded by David. Passed.

Meeting ended at 10:05AM PDT, 11:05AM MDT
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