User:Aattr/Samuel L Lewis

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Samuel L. Lewis

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Samuel L. Lewis (October 18, 1896 - January 2, 1971) was an American mystic and dance teacher who founded the Dances of Universal Peace movement. He is also known by his Sufi name, Murshid Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti, and to the popular press as "Sufi Sam."


His father was a Vice President of the Levi Strauss jeans manufacturing company. His mother was Harriet Rosenthal, the daughter of Lenore Rothschild. The Rotschilds owned an international banking company.

The young Samuel rejected his father's attempts to steer him into a business career, showing instead a keen interest in religion and spirituality.

In 1916 he began the study of mathematics and mathematical philosophy under Cassius Keyser of Columbia. Later, Professor Keyser introduced him to Alfred Korzybski, a proponent of General Semantics | general semantics]].

In 1919 he entered a Sufi community in Fairfax, California, where he met and was influenced by the teachings of the eastern Indian Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan, head of the Sufi Order in the West.

One year later he began the study of Zen Buddhism with Sogaku Shaku, a disciple of the Rinzai Zen Buddhist Abbot Shaku Soyen . The twin spiritual influences of Sufism and Zen remained central throughout his life.

Over the next several years he achieved deepening spiritual experiences. During 1926 he collaborated with Nyogen Senzak in creating the first official Zendo to be opened in America.

Returning to college in 1949, he degree in horticulture. His interest in plants played a large part in his later work toward improving the lot of humanity.

In the years 1956 and 1961 he traveled extensively seeking the company of other mystics and teachers, and meeting politicians and civic functionaries in order to work with them on remedies for the problems of world hunger, conflict and poverty. The diaries (see especially Sufi Vision and Initiation) of his journeys through Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India and Egypt reflect a deep concern for the troubled peoples of the planet.

He wrote that in 1968 while hospitalized "... God came to me and said, 'I make you spiritual teacher of the hippies'". For the remainder of his life he travelled around California and the American Southwest, developing and teaching the Dances of Universal Peace (also called "Sufi Dancing"), drawing upon themes from the spiritual traditions he had learned. The work he began is continued today (as of 2005) by his spiritual descendants, members of the Sufi Ruhaniat International (S.R.I.), formerly known as the Sufi Islamia Ruhaniat Society (S.I.R.S.).


"Words are not peace. Thoughts are not peace. Plans are not peace. Programs are not peace. Peace is fundamental to all faiths. Peace is fullness, all inclusive ... and must be experienced."

"One of the reasons I am teaching this music and dancing is to increase Joy, not awe towards another person, but bliss in our own self. This is finding God within, through Experience." [edit ]


Toward spiritual brotherhood Prophecy Pressworks (1971) ASIN: B0006CFWLE

This is the new age, in person Omen Press (1972) ISBN: 0912358130

Suras of the new age (Ikhwan Press new age poetry series) Ikhwan (1973) ASIN: B00070S2T4

In the garden Harmony Books (1975) 0517524120

Siva! Siva! : Crescent and Heart Sufi Islamia/Prophecy Publications, Sufi Islamia Ruhaniat Society; 1st ed edition (1980) 0915424045

Talks of an American Sufi: Love, sex & relationships : the path of initiation & other selections (Bismillah books) Sufi Islamia/Prophecy Publications; 1st ed edition (1981 0915424061

The bowl of saki commentary: The sutra on the three-hundred and sixty-six aphorisms : being the commentary on The bowl of saki of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan Sufi Islamia/Prophecy Publications; 1st ed edition (1981) 0915424088

Spiritual dance and walk: An introduction from the work of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti) Sufi Islamia/Prophecy Publications; 2nd rev. ed edition (1983) ISBN: 0915424053

Spiritual Dancing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Saddi Klotz ed. Sirs Caravan Pubns (June 1, 1984) 0915424118 (need to ask saddi about his role in this, editor? co-author? other?)

Sufi Vision and Initiation: Meetings With Remarkable Beings Sirs Caravan Pubns (October 1, 1986) ISBN: 091542410X

Spiritual Dance and Walk Peaceworks (April 1, 1990) 0915424134


Original Dances of Samuel L. Lewis (Recorded Music)

External links (A Sketch of the Life of Murshid Samuel Lewis ) [the one already listed in the article - who wrote?] website of Pir Shabda Khan, current (as of February 2005) head of the S.R.I. Contains another excellent biography of Samuel L. Lewis, this one written by Wali Ali Meyer. Yet another excellent biography.

Categories :1896 births |1971 deaths