Mysticism of Sound


Sirat-i Inayat’s founding members largely discovered Sufism by way of music, dance, and embodied prayer. Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan was a renowned musician and used metaphors of sound and music through much of his teachings.

In the late 1960’s one of Murshid’s earliest disciples, Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, began sharing an evolving spiritual practice, now called “Dances of Universal Peace.” These Dances are a living, musical form of group prayer, inspired by the Universal Worship Service.

Murshid Samuel L. Lewis included spiritual practices of wazifa, zikr, and walking meditations into this interfaith devotion.

In the mid 1980’s, two venerated teachers and dance leaders, Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz and Tasnim Hermila Fernandez, formalized an organization to protect the integrity of the Dances, implementing a system of supervision and mentorship for leaders. You are welcome to learn more about this ongoing work through https://www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org/.

The Dances of Universal Peace are a significant practice and attunement in Sirat-i Inayat. Many of our teachers and leaders are also Dance mentors, certified leaders, or leaders-in-training.

The Ray of the Mysticism of Sound also includes practices of musical and embodied Zikr. The singing, speaking, and associated movements with repeated phrases bring our awareness away from the limited self and toward the limitless God-Reality. These practices of Zikr are often shared in a circle of participants, in similar form to the Dances of Universal Peace. Zikr can also be done as a silent, seated concentration or a whispered or spoken recitation.

Interfaith chanting and kirtan are also common practices in Sirat-i Inayat. Spiritual practices based on singing, alone or in groups, lift the heart, nourish the soul, vibrate through the body, and echo in the Heart of God.

In alignment with Murshid’s teachings, we honor the body as the temple of God. It is a privilege, a delight, an honor, and a sacred responsibility to tend to the physical body. We want to recognize and use the body as God’s instrument, and to enjoy and experience the entirety of life through the senses and actions of the incarnate body. This can include engaging in ecstatic dance, yoga, walking practices, and any other modalities that bring us into full, experiential awareness of the body as a sacred vessel.

Khabir Mayer-Glauninger is the mu’alim holding this Ray for Sirat-i Inayat. He is a mentor for the Dances of Universal Peace, and is passionate about empowering and supporting aspiring leaders, chant, zikr, and Dance enthusiasts.

Check our calendar of events for specific activities or contact Khabir for more information and mentorship.