Spiritual teacher and Seven Pillars' founder Pir Zia Inayat-Khan will present a unique journey through "The Seven Pillars," a process that illuminates the unfolding experiences of life and facilitates the emergence of a living wisdom that can help us address the urgent social and ecological needs of our time, with integrity and beauty.
This talk will be followed by a dialogue with Dean Varun Soni and a reception, sale and book signing of Pir Zia's recent book, Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity and the Mystical Quest.
About Saracen Chivalry: Counsels on Valor, Generosity and the Mystical Quest
Saracen Chivalry explores the space between Arthurian romance and the ethics and spirituality of Sufism. Framed as a medieval treatise penned by a fabled African queen, the book articulates a vision of life centered on the virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance, and generosity, illustrating these virtues with scriptural verses, prophetic sayings, sage maxims, and traditional legends and lore.
About Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
Pir Zia is the first son of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and Taj Begum Inayat, born in 1971 in Novato, California. He grew up in California, New York, and New Mexico. Pir Vilayat prepared Pir Zia by instructing him in meditation, and at times guiding him in spiritual retreatóonce in his cave in the Alps of Chamonix.
When Zia was 13, Pir Vilayat sent him to Dharamsala, India, to study under the auspices of his friend His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Sufism, however, was the central theme of the training Pir Vilayat passed on to his son. Pir Vilayat urged him to study Persian and Urdu at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, which he did, earning a B.A. with Honors, in Persian Literature. He went on to pursue graduate research in Islamic Studies, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University.
With his fatherís blessing, Zia undertook a period of seclusion at the Chrishti Khangah in Ahmedabad, India, and received spiritual transmission from Pir Rashid-ul-Hasan Jili Kalimi in Yderabad.
In 2000 Pir Vilayat held a turban-tying ceremony, known as dastar-bandi, in Delhi, initiating Zia to the rank of Pir and confirming him as his spiritual successor. Pir Vilayat passed away three years later.
Since 2004 Pir Zia has served as Head of the Sufi Order International, guiding Sufi communities in North America, South American, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.
To provide opportunites for intensive Sufi study, Pir Zia founded the Suluk Academy. Based at the Abode of the Message in upstate New York, the Suluk Academy currently offers courses for Sufi initiates in New York, California, and France.
Outside the Sufi sphere, Pir Zia has taken part in numerous interreligious and interdisciplinary gatherings. To encourage such conversations and collaborations, he founded Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. Pir Zia is also a Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, and an Advisor to the Contemplative Alliance.
Pir Zia is editor of A Pearl in Wine (Omega, 2001) and Caravan of Souls (Suluk Press, forthcoming), and author of Saracen Chivalry (Suluk Press, 2012).
He lives with his wife Pirani Sartaj and children Rasulan and Ravanbakhsh at the Abode of the Message in New Lebanon, New York, and at Fazal Manzil in Suresnes, France.