12 Jun 2013
June 12, 2013

Featured Teacher: Sufi Sam


sam-centralpark“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.” – Sufi Sam

Mystic, Sufi Master, Zen Teacher, Peace Activist, Horticulturist, Scientist, Madzub: Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Sam) has been called these things and more. The originator of the Dances of Universal Peace was a spiritual renaissance man whose life and teachings were a testimony to truth, originality and embodied spirituality. Though rejected by polite society and even his own family because of his spiritual leanings, Samuel Lewis remained true to the penetrating spiritual vision of human liberation at the core of his being. His life, often difficult, bore much fruit for his students and for the world.

From his rich life experiences Sufi Sam envisioned and created the Dances as a dynamic method to promote “Peace through the Arts.” From the early days and his original body of about 50 dances, the collection has grown since his passing in 1971 to more than 500 dances, which celebrate the sacred heart of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Aramaic, Native American, Native Middle Eastern, Celtic, Native African, and Goddess traditions. His work continues through the teachers of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the order which Murshid Sam founded, and through the Dances of Universal Peace International Network.

Sufi Sam talks about Spirituality vs. Concepts in the video below:

  • Jai Hanuman

    From my journal; Lama Mountain 1986:
    “On the second morning of the retreat, I got up with the sun and
    instead of doing Tai Chi, I decided to take a walk on the mountain.
    Lama is at 7,000 feet, and commends a breathtaking view of multiple
    valleys with huge colorful features stretching to the horizon. The
    mighty Rio Grande River appears as a thin ribbon far below. This is
    arid territory, with scrub pine tress and low bushes. I wandered
    around the mountain, because I couldn’t find much in the way of
    trails. I kept thinking I was on one, only to discover it was just a
    deer path that would disappear into nothing. It was one of those
    occasions when my “thinking mind” was giving me all sorts of
    advice, like I ought to turn back because I think I’m in an area that
    is “off limits” (there are hermitages there, so you are suppose
    to respect that space), or if I keep roaming around, I’ll probably
    get lost, or whatever. All the meantime, my feet keep moving me up
    the mountain, like they have a mind of their own.

    Suddenly I come upon a grave, covered
    with stones, and a large sign that states this is the resting place
    of a much honored Sufi Lama (“Sufi Sam”). The spot is
    incredible. It is so peaceful; as if one had walked into some
    invisible room. I found myself spontaneously paying homage to this
    man of whom I knew nothing, but who was clearly someone of
    astonishing spiritual presence; the vibration of peace and love seem
    to literally hang in the air. During the rest of the retreat, I
    would often go to that place since it would immediately lift my
    spirit. I even went there in the middle of the night, and quite
    surprisingly, the rocks that lined the path, and the rocks that
    covered his grave, all glowed in the dark! It was incredible!!
    Later, during a conversation with Ram Dass, I mentioned that I had
    happened upon that grave, and that it was astonishing how much energy
    emanated from there. He looked with a surprised expression on his
    face and asked, “You can feel that?!”