Urs – Inayat Khan

My first encounter with Inayat Khan’s teachings

I was living in Calgary, it was the early 70’s, and I’d joined a mail-order book lending service called the Lucis Trust Library. They sent out lists of available esoteric books and you could borrow them for free. Slow process in comparison with today’s world of too much information, but the library is still functioning. In the list, along with all the Alice Bailey and other esoteric books, was a title that looked interesting with an author whose name looked “sufi” to me. In an Eastern Rose Garden by Inayat Khan. I was interested in the sufis, so took a chance.

A very worn and thick red book eventually arrived in the mail from New York. It had a beautiful prologue about the garden and the gardener, then selections of lectures. I was totally astonished at the depth of thought and simplicity of explanation. It was as if I recognized it all from before. I read and reread that book as if my life depended on it! The book had a photo in it, which I also studied each time I opened it. When the month was up and the time came to return it, I recorded some of the book so I could keep it – yes, reel to reel – I read it into the microphone.

For a moment I toyed with the idea of not returning the book. It was already very very old and had been read many times. The worn cover was falling apart, I knew it wouldn’t last. But how could I steal from an esoteric library? Bad idea. I packaged it up and mailed it back.

Then a friend found that there were more of the books, 12 of them! We set about ordering them one at a time, the hard cover Orange Volumes. How was I to know then that this would become a lifelong study, that I was to meet one of the students of Inayat Khan, Shamcher Beorse, and be initiated by him, or that I would come to meet both his sons, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and PiroMurshid Hidayat Inayat Khan? And of course, early in the process, learning that his name “Inayat” was not pronounced INayat (like “idiot”) but inAYat. Through this contact I’ve also met and learned from so many many remarkable people. All this contact emerged from the magical weaving of circumstances and events that is the sufi culture – a remarkable reality that infuses this so-called reality with the presence of divine guidance. From that time on, my life was carried along on the current of my soul’s true destiny. My story is not unusual. Anyone looking into these teachings finds life treasures and potentials to be unfolded through time.

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