Life Is a Pilgrimage
by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
An inspiring and thought-provoking selection of the discourses sent by Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan to his students from 1983 to 2004. In these pages he offers spiritual guidance and insight on world affairs, meditation and everyday life, science and faith, psychology and addiction, freedom and creativity, mastery and service, leadership, death and resurrection.
Reviews for Life Is a Pilgrimage:
“Pir Vilayat’s brilliant understanding and his embodiment of that lovely, hilarious, grieving, courageous, magnificent mystery called Sufism, or the lineage of the Sufi masters, was and is a great gift to Western Civilization.” – Coleman Barks, poet and translator of Rumi
“Pir Vilayat was an elegant writer as well as a captivating speaker. But his genius lay in transcending boundaries—cultural, philosophical, and religious—and ‘thinking like the universe.’” – Yoga Journal
“Pir Vilayat takes us into the laboratory of the Spirit. With a grand master’s deft touch and transpersonal sophistication, he leads us step-by-step into the core of the service. He marshals the wisdom gained on his own and the treasures of his exalted Chishti lineage, as well as the practical work of the Sacred Kabbalah and other mystic traditions. Pir Vilayat uses words with healing magic to stimulate our growth and to entrain us in our growth to G-d. Fly home on his maps.” – Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, author
Read an excerpt from Life Is a Pilgrimage:
“In a large number of human activities, the know-how must be continually updated. Meditation also needs to be updated. Armed with the information in the enormous pool of published material available in our day, we are now able to make a comprehensive study of the methods of meditation taught in the classical schools. By taking the opportunity to compare all these methods, we can gain a whole new grasp of the core issues facing our pioneering meditating predecessors. This in turn will help us to look ahead, and to brainstorm perspectives on the future of meditation at the scale of present day thinking.
Since the challenges of our times are in some ways more demanding than those faced by our predecessors, our free-wheeling into the future must integrate a greater complexity. For example, we will need to take into consideration futuristic views in physics (some of which have not yet gained acceptance in the party line of physics), or the latest developments in psychology. Meditation needs to give us the means to reduce stress, improve decision-making, to overcome resentment and poor self-image. We need to honor our concerns about the environment, the population explosion, crime, and political oppression. We need to gain insight into the disenchantment about institutionalization, particularly in the field of spirituality, and join the nascent trend to explore new expressions of our need for the sacred, emancipated from hackneyed forms of sanctimoniousness, prescriptions, dogmatism, and superstitions.
Thanks to the momentous advances in communication (the media, technology, education, and the new paradigms), our way of considering the cosmos and the Planet Earth in particular, has taken a quantum leap. Looking at photos of the Earth from outer space is almost like having been out there personally. This has surreptitiously revolutionized our way of considering our planet, which in turn revolutionizes our way of seeing ourselves.
We image outer space to be ‘out there,’ but has it ever occurred to you that actually planet Earth is in outer space? It all depends on how you look at it. This progressive vantage point is bound to open up new vistas in our meditation practices.”