Kinship Circles Online

Kinship Circles resume: Friday, September 16 (3:00 PM EDT)

Belonging with the Natural World with Maori Grandmother Jamia Haqq Eila Paul, hosted by Shams Kairys.


The Maori concept of whanaungatanga tells us we belong in a web of life in which everything is intimately related. This is true not only of our relationship with the living world but also to the past, present and future through our whakapapa (our lineage), which is our relationship with those who came before us and are yet to come. Join Jamia Haqq to explore how these understandings of belonging are expressed and lived in the Maori world view.

Jamia Haqq Eila Paul is the current leader of Ziraat in New Zealand. For many years she was the coordinator of The Sharda Retreat Centre, whose philosophy is the Sufi Path of Love, Harmony and Beauty. Jamia Haqq is a Representative, Healing Conductor, Farmer in Ziraat and Cheraga in the Inayatiyya. Most important in her life are her children, her grandchildren and Papatuanuku, Mother Earth, and Ranginui, Sky Father. 

Shams Kairys has been a student and guide in the Inayatiyya for 45 years. He served as coordinator of the Kinship activity in the North America region for 20 years, has worked with many innovative organizations and projects dedicated to helping heal the world.

This program is part of the Inayatiyya Kinship Council of North America’s “Responding with love and courage to the Ecological Crisis” series.

Other Upcoming Fall Kinship Circles

The North American Kinship Activity will be hosting 3 additional Kinship Circles for the Fall semester on our usual 3rd Friday of the month, at 3:00-4:30 pm, US Eastern Time. The overarching theme, as with September’s circle, is “Belonging.” 

The dates are:

·      Friday, Oct. 21, 3-4:30 pm EDT – Belonging in a New Country – The Refugees’ Challenge. with Daena Thelen-Daniel, hosted by Rabia Povich

·      Friday, Nov. 18, 3-4:30 pm EST – Bridging Experiential and Cultural Gaps to Build Belonging. with Fatima Hafiz-Muid, hosted by Rabia Povich

·      Friday, Dec. 16, 3-4:30 pm EST – Beloved Community and Climate Justice.  with Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony, hosted by Shams Kairys

Social Justice Book Group Resumes – September 14

Don’t miss the opportunity to join this stimulating discussion!

The North American Kinship Activity invites you explore, in community, Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy by Rachel Ricketts. Ricketts invites us to fight racism, starting from within: “Spiritual Activism requires us to do the deep inner anti-racist work required for collective external shifts…. Racial justice starts with you and it starts within… This is why I need you to tap into your heart space, connect to your righteous rage, and use it as fuel for systemic and collective change.” Do Better provides tools for addressing oppression on the inner level, (including guided meditations and breathwork as well as reflection and visual exercises), navigating discomfort, and guidance for taking outer action. Although all are welcome to take part, Ricketts is primarily addressing white women in this book.

The book group will meet every other Wednesday evening via Zoom, from 7:00- 8:30 pm Eastern, for 8 sessions. Our first session will be on September 14th. You must register to get the Zoom link. If you are interested in joining us to discuss this book, please contact: to register. Zoom link and reading assignments will be sent to registrants. Registration for Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy closes Sept. 12th.

Also: Upcoming initiative in November! 

21 Day Equity Building Challenge….

…. To Increase Our Racial Awareness

In working in the line of kinship, our main object is to bring about a better understanding among the different classes, followers of different religions, and people of different races and different nations. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

There is no social change fairy. There is only the change made by the hands of individuals. ~ Winona LaDuke.

Kinship North America and Oceania invite the Inayatiyya community to engage in a 21-day challenge to increase our awareness about the histories and experiences of marginalized communities. Through this experience, we will increase our understanding of whole-truth history and our ability to build habits and practices of inclusion and belonging. Join us for this 21-day challenge.

Timeframe: November 1 to 21, 2022.

Creating communities of belonging means we must awaken to issues of power, privilege, supremacy and leadership. These patterns often arise from our unconscious conditioning, implicit biases and organizational structures. Change requires us to broaden our perspective. Are you ready to expand your perspective? 

This 21-day practice is about seeing from another’s point of view. Members of our Kinship Council have curated an abundance of resources to empower us to be more effective in the quest for justice, equity and inclusion.

Read, watch, listen, or engage each day of this 3-week challenge. You select the activities best suited to your life. These will be categorized by: articles, podcasts, video, song, and poetry.

You are warmly invited!  Participants who register will receive daily prompts offering supportive motivations with quotes from Murshid.


Registrants will be invited to attend three Zoom meetings: initially to clarify the project; mid-way thru the 21 days to share personal experiences in small breakout groups; and at the end of the challenge to share learnings and insights.

Past Kinship Circles

February 18 – Building Resilience & Preventing Burnout w/ Raqib Kogan and Elizabeth Leach, hosted by Jabriel Hasan VIDEO

Join two healing professionals as we explore: How can we sustain our balance and well-being during this time of pandemic, political discord, unresolved racial injustice and ecological crisis? What do we need to reduce stress, avoid burnout and cultivate hope? The two presentations can be downloaded here:

Burnout Presentation

Resilience Presentation

March 18 – Growing into New Ways w/ Diana Badger, hosted by Shams Kairys VIDEO

Join us as we inquire into how we are called to change, adapt, and grow into new ways of being while experiencing massive, ongoing earth changes and their many resulting impacts. What new (to us) frameworks might aid us in the necessary adaptation and transformation we are called to? What assumptions, habits, and values need to be let go of, and what others need to be called to the fore, on the individual as well as collective levels?

April 15  Radical Hospitality w/ Stephen Hitchcock and Kenneth Sparks, hosted by Khatidja Rodriguez-Ruiz VIDEO

What is required of us to open ourselves, our spaces and our hearts to others, especially those who are challenging or different? What is needed of us to extend comfort to the broken, support to those in need, and to befriend the seeker after truth? Join us for an engaging conversation with heart activists as they share their experiences with radical hospitality.

May 20  Living with Relevance w/ Joanna Macy, hosted by Shams Kairys VIDEO

In this time of climate change and other global threats, we will explore how to apply Joanna’s wide-ranging work with the psychological and spiritual aspects of ecological awareness. Her work brings a new way of seeing the world – as our larger living body – freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now impact all of life on Earth.

This program is part of the Inayatiyya Kinship Council of North America’s “Responding to the Ecological Crisis” series.

This program is part of the Inayatiyya Kinship Council of North America’s “Responding to the Ecological Crisis” series.

Kinship Circle: The Food Connection w/ Jemaluddin Bolling
Friday, December 17, 3 – 4:30 pm ET

The Kinship Activity of North America invites you to join us for a special Kinship Circle on the current global Ecological Crisis, with a special focus on its connection to food security.

Jemaluddin will describe his experience of taking the “teachings” to the street, where he found that food can be a means for relieving spiritual as well as physical hunger, and a tool for social and individual transformation. His ministry also led him to bring different civic and faith groups together in dialogue, as well as shoulder to shoulder, to help those in need. Following this, we will explore his insights into the potential impact of the global ecological crisis on food security here and around the world, highlighting pitfalls and remedies.

This Kinship Circle is open to all who are sincerely interested. Registration is not required. Please see the sidebar for the time in your local area.

Kinship Circle: Connecting One Heart to Another
Friday, November 19, 3 – 4:30 pm ET

There is no relationship that can be compared with friendship. For it is in learning the law of friendship that one understands ethics and morals, and also the relationship between the person and God. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Kinship Activity of North America invites you to join us for a special Kinship Circle on the spiritual, ethical, and experiential dimensions of friendship. We will share our experiences of friendship. Please bring a poem or a story to share as we delve into qualities of friendship and explore how friendships develop and how they sustain us.

Rabia Povich, Vice President of the Kinship Activity in North America, will host this group exploration. She will be joined by friends from the Kinship Council and you!

Kinship Circle: The Intersection of Love and Justice w/ Omid Safi
Friday, October 15, 3 – 4:30 pm ET

The Kinship Activity of North America invites you to join us for a special Kinship Circle with Omid Safi examining the intersection of love and justice, a topic of enduring relevance and urgency. Omid will illuminate the teachings of love and justice from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions and look at what the Prophets, then and now, say about using love and justice to address the challenges of the day.

Omid Safi is a teacher in the Sufi tradition of Radical Love & Founder of Illuminated Courses & Tours. His online, video-based courses range from Sufi approaches to the Qur’an to Rumi. The Illuminated Tours offer spiritually oriented tours to Turkey and Morocco. He is a professor at Duke University specializing in Islamic spirituality and contemporary thought. His Memories of Muhammad is an award-winning biography of the Prophet Muhammad. His most recent book is Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition. Omid is also deeply committed to liberationist prophetic traditions in the legacy of Martin Luther King, Rabbi Heschel, and Malcolm X. He has been invited by the family of Dr. King to speak at Ebenezer Church on the relevance of Dr. King for today’s America, and has delivered the Martin Luther King keynote in the annual national MLK service.

Staying Awake w/ Nora Manon Müller & Anselm Ibingy
Sept 17, 2021 3:00 4:30 pm EDT VIDEO

What is the deeper sense behind this cascade of planetary crises for the sea of souls that we are?

The Kinship Activity of North America invites you to join us for a special Kinship Circle with Nora Manon Müller and Anselm Ibing on the pressing issues confronting each of us when we face the future. They raise big questions right out of the fabric of their lives for us to consider:

“In our family life – our son Émile was born mid-January – we deal with questions of carbon emissions, water footprints, pollution, and uneasy future scenarios every day, and try to navigate this ‘minefield’ as we make choices for our future and that of our son and the world around us.”

Responding to the Global Ecological Crisis: The Joy of Nature
June 18, 2021 3:00 4:30 pm EDT VIDEO

There is much that needs to be attended to in our beleaguered world, but the first thing that needs attention is the condition of our own hearts. When we attune to the rhythms of Nature, we can find there the natural state of joy.

This Circle will be hosted by Shams Kairys, with special guests Alexia Allen and Daniel Hamid Kirchhof of Hawthorn Farm in Woodinville, Washington. After hearing from our presenters, we will move into breakout groups to explore our response to what has been shared. 

Shams Kairys has been Inayatiyya leader for over 45 years. His love of the natural world and growing awareness of its degradation led to decades of study and efforts to deepen our kinship with all of life at this critical time.

Alexia Allen and Daniel (Hamid) Kirchhof live and work on Hawthorn Farm in Woodinville, Washington with their sweet “farmily.” They are an integral part of the ecosystem they inhabit, and are passionate about farming with horses, teaching, and growing amazing food. In 2017 they spent the year eating only hand-harvested food, paving the way for understanding the mysticism and practicalities of being fed from the abundance of the garden and of wild spaces, and for expressing gratitude for the land. Alexia and Daniel will share the story of this food challenge, and invite us all to examine how nourishing our bodies can also nourish our connection to Earth. Join us for a brief and joyful look at Hawthorn Farm!

This program is part of the Inayatiyya Kinship Council of North America’s “Responding to the Ecological Crisis” series.

A Conversation with a Younger Generation on Social Harmony & Service
May 28, 2021 3:00 4:30 pm EDT VIDEO

Join Kinship Council and Young Adult Council member who is currently living at the Abode of the Message Amir Bisio as he explores the social harmony and the role service has and continues to play in the lives of two young adults: Fazilee Buechel and Jabriel Hasan.
Fazilee Buechel is a mentor in the Prisoner Interaction Project, an Inayatiyya Retreat Guide and Healing Conductor, and a member of her local chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). She is also an AmeriCorps alum and a certified mediator. She has volunteered with the Alternatives to Violence Project as a facilitator in three different countries. She lived and served at the Abode of the Message as a khadim in the Programs Office, farm, and gardens. Fazilee is a lifelong world traveler seeking clarity on her vocation, and enjoys deepening her skills in Nonviolent Communication, Spanish, meditation, and connecting with and honoring nature everywhere.

Jabriel Hasan is a second year seminarian pursuing his Master’s in Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary.  He is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a former resident of Richmond Hill, a local ecumenical Christian community and retreat center.  He is also a founding member and officer of the Black Coalition of Change, a local community organization in Richmond, Virginia. In his spare time Jabriel enjoys activism, exercise, nature, writing, and prayer.

Service in Everyday Life VIDEO
April 16, 2021 3:00 – 4:30 pm Eastern

As we walk the Path of the Heart, we take particular notice of our interactions with our fellow human beings. Our hearts awaken in sympathy, and we look to see how we can serve God and humanity. As we seek to realize the ideals of love, harmony and beauty, our efforts need not result in something grand or large, but can be embodied in “unassuming work, noiseless work, a humble service without any pretense of being a worker” [Hazrat Inayat Khan]. Join Rabia Povich, head of the North American Kinship Activity, Zakir-Amin Povich, Charlottesville Center representative, and others as we explore, in small group discussions, how kinship and service show up in our everyday lives

Responding to the Global Ecological Crisis: Kinship With All Beings VIDEO
March 26th, 2021 3 – 4.30 pm Eastern

This month Shams Kairys will be joined by Sharifa Oppenheimer, who will share the four directions of kinship — with the Divine, with others, with the earth, and with all creatures. We will then focus on kinship with Mother Earth and our cousins, the creatures of the earth. Sharifa has been a student of Sufism for forty-five years. A former Waldorf teacher, Sharifa has authored several books oriented toward parents of young children. Now retired, she has returned her attention to her love of the living earth, and offers Sacred Earth ~ Sacred Self gatherings that explore our inter-being with Gaia.

The Adab of Service VIDEO
February 19th, 2021 3 4.30 pm Eastern

To serve others with gratitude is good adab. A seeker on the path looks for opportunities to serve, knowing that service is an essential part of the spiritual path.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan considered the practice of adab as the initial teaching for seekers to develop Akhlaq Allah, the Manner of God, aka: The Manner of Friendliness. Looking at the realm of service, the guiding principle of the Kinship Activity, we will investigate how some of the expressions of the adab teachings relate to our service work, however it may manifest.

Mikail Davenport will facilitate this exploration. Mikail has been a servant-leader in Inayatiyya for over 35 years. He coordinates the Prison Book Program and the Prisoner Interaction Project of the Kinship Activity, serves as a Cherag, Healing Conductor, and Representative, and is a founding member of the Pir Vilayat Legacy Project. Mikail formerly served as Ziraat Secretariat in the mid 80’s and early 90’s. His work of the past 20 years is in interfaith prison ministry for the incarcerated in 10 state prisons. Mikail passed away on March 10th, 2021.

Kinship Circle January 15, 2021, 3:00 4:30 pm Eastern

We have all been impacted by the actions of violence and insurrection at the US Capitol last week. Our country is deeply divided. The roots of colonization and inequity are at the heart of this hostility. These attitudes are not new to our black and brown brothers and sisters, but they are more fully unveiled. 

Amidst the conflict, we seek to hold our balance and equanimity so that we may become the anti-bodies to violence and division. We must not allow our hearts to harden. Nor can we achieve justice by denial. We are called upon to be honest in our assessment of ourselves and our lives.

Let us join together to support making the whole of humanity as one single family in the parenthood of God.

The Call of the Sacred: Healing our Relationship with the Earth
December 18, 3:00 – 4:30 pm Eastern VIDEO, Healing our Relationship with the Earth with Wali Via (Audio), Wali Via’s Nature Meditation (Audio)
Humankind is far removed from nature both within and without, and has become an exile from the ideal state of life.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan
If one only knew what intelligence, what emotion, what beauty lies beneath the spectacular display of life on the planet, one would realize how much is gained by discovering and contacting this world of the soul.” – Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

The global ecological crisis is calling us to become a healing force on the planet by radically changing our relationship with the Earth. When we realize that the connective strands of the web of life are sacred, we treat them with reverence. In establishing this covenant with nature, a shift of consciousness dawns. Our choices and actions are no longer bound to fear for survival, or economic opportunity, but are inspired by respect and love. Most of you reading this know of this awakening; we look forward to exploring its implications together.  For the zoom link go here.
• Shams Kairys has been an Inayatiyya leader for over 45 years. His love of the natural world and growing awareness of its degradation led to decades of study, and efforts to deepen our kinship with all of life at this critical time.

• Wali Via is a retired biodynamic farmer living in western Oregon, in the ancestral lands of the Chelamela tribe of the Kalapuya. He has been leading ceremonies for the healing of the Earth farmers for many years. His passions include serving in various roles in the Inayatiyya, spending time in the wilderness, composting, nature photography, and playing with his grandchildren.

Indigenous Reconciliation, Inclusion and Unity:
Exploring the Love Languages of The Algonquin People in Canada

November 20 SLIDES, VIDEO
Murshid guides our exploration of the languages of love needed for these times in The Art of Personality and Unity of Religious Ideals. Grandmother Judi and Mu’izza Mizen have worked together guiding Indigenous Reconciliation, Unity and Inclusion with the Ottawa Inayatiyya community over the past 12 years. They will share with us the qualities needed in this process.
Wab Kinew (a Canadian Indigenous wisdom keeper and leader): “Reconciliation is not something that happens on a grand level, when a prime minister and national chief shake hands. It is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and their differences need to be respected.”

Having Civil Conversations in Difficult Times
October 16, 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

This month we will share how our beloved community can reach across the great divide that partitions our current landscape. Join us as we explore how we can bring a spirit of loving-kindness to our interactions with others – especially with those with whom we disagree. Come with a sense of inquiry and a commitment to dive deeply as we seek to shed light on our relations with others. Join Batina Sheets, retired Texas Child Protective Services social worker and active retreat guide, Espabad Babbs, attorney, social worker and retreat guide, and others as they frame our time together.

Longing to Belong: Responding to the Crisis of the Day with Love
September 18, 2020

We live in a time of turmoil and change. Come share your wisdom as we look to the words of Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat Khan, and former-Representative John Lewis for ways to avoid the spirit of agitation and create a loving community that sustains us. Facilitators for our sharing are two members of the Kinship Council: Nur Azad Mangold, spiritual guide and psychotherapist, and Batina Sheets, retired Texas Child Protective Services social worker and retreat guide.

What is Mine and Ours, To Do about the Ecological Crisis
August 15, 22 & 29, 3:00 – 4:30 pm EDT

In these 90 minute sessions, we will explore the ecological crisis with diverse co-presenters, breakout groups, full-group discussion, and tie-in with environmental justice. Hosted by Shams Kairys, a long-time student of global ecology, and former vice president for Kinship.

Registration required, with the fee for the three sessions $11-33, sliding scale. All are welcome and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Some of the funds raised from this event will support the Prison Book Project. If possible, participants are encouraged to attend all three programs.

Session 1: Global Warming and Climate Disruption – August 15 (VIDEO)
Climate Change 101 features a presentation by Isfandarmuz Maggie Hanna, a geologist with expertise on reducing our environmental footprint and developing a post-carbon future. She will provide a simple, accurate understanding of the basic science of climate change, along with a glimpse of energy systems of the future. For the Powerpoints and resources on this Kinship Circle go to Belonging to the Human Family on our Resources page.

Session 2: What impedes, and supports,  our ability to make personal changes to address the crisis, and to engage others? – August 22 (VIDEO)

This exploration will include a presentation by Helena Doku, co-founder of Haywanat, a new Inayatiyya network that brings young adults together to seek ways to address the ecological crisis using earthly healing practices and engaging in sacred activism. To view the recorded session:

Session 3: What can the Inayatiyya community do to help remedy the ecological crisis, and how can I help bring that about? – August 29 (VIDEO)

This session features a presentation on Agriculture and Climate Change by Firos Holterman ten Hove, an agricultural engineer specializing in organic methods, and vice president for Ziraat in Europe. For the Powerpoints and resources on this Kinship Circle go to Belonging to the Human Family on our Resources page.

Other 2020 Events
All Together Now

Conversations on Identity and Inclusion: A four-part series of on-line calls for Inayati leaders: March to May 2019
Growing out of a desire to overcome feelings of separation, the Inayatiyya Order Worldwide Message Council has encouraged conversations and communion, exploring that which makes us unique and that which unifies us. Inayatiyya Order North American leaders, emergent leaders and leaders in training in all Activities are invited to participate in a series of Zoom calls where we begin to explore our identities – the realities of our lived lives – acknowledging and honoring our differences. We hope to work as a group to discover, “What does it take to be part of a collective ?”

July 17, 2020
We will consider what it means to serve one another. We will be joined by Board members of the Delhi-based Hope Project, Pir Vilayat’s legacy service activity. They will share the inspiration behind the Project, the history and evolution of programs offered, and provide an update on how the Coronavirus is impacting the communities served.
Come and connect! No advance registration required.

“Love lies in service. Only that which is done, not for fame or name, nor for the appreciation or thanks of those for whom it is done, is love’s service.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan

June 19, 2020

As we explore Murshid’s teachings on Kinship, we will contemplate a seed thought. We will engage in both large and small group discussions. Come and connect! No advance registration required.
Today the world is crying for justice and equity. Rabia Povich, Vice President of Kinship in North America, along with others will facilitate a heart-centered discussion on awakening justice with courage and kindness.  As a springboard for our personal reflections we will contemplate the 5th Sufi Thought: “There is One Law, the law of reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience, together with a sense of awakened justice.”

April 18, 2020
The Global Ecological Crisis: Responding with Love & Courage to the Call
The Kinship Activity of North America will host an online, inter-generational zoom call to reflect on the planetary ecological crisis. On this call, Shams Kairys, who has focused on this predicament for decades, will open with some thoughts on how we can strengthen the capacity to sustain our gaze on the fraying of the natural world and maintain a positive spirit of engagement, followed by reflections from Sab Bonfonti, a community organizer and facilitator working on social and ecological issues in diverse settings. The call will offer an opportunity to connect with others concerned about this critical issue with time for small group breakout discussions and full group sharing. This event is free and open to the public.

For an archive of 2017-2019 Events, please go here.

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