“Human suffering is the first call we must answer.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan
Holding to the premise of Kinship, we offer four programs:
Kinship Circles are gatherings of people dedicated to creating a more intimate and responsible relationship with each other, their community and the world. We act from a sense of belonging to the community of all life and work to take our appropriate place in that community.
The Kinship Activity offers sample formats for meetings that range from the somewhat formal structure of the original “Brotherhood” meetings to very loosely structured “friendship groups” that have minimal structure. Topics of the circles are identified to meet the local community needs. Readings that capture the spirit of belonging in love and friendship and serving from a place of love are included as suggestions. Sample formats may be requested via email.
In addition to community Circles, Kinship offers monthly public Kinship Circle on various Kinship-related topics. You may go to: https://inayatiorder.org/event/for more information.
KINSHIP TRAINING PROGRAMS
Kinship offers two workshops or retreat opportunities for communities or groups who seek to create deeper connections, address conflicts, and build a real sense of belonging. These programs are designed to broaden our outlook, spotlight our limitations and remove barriers that divide people and groups. To arrange a Kinship Training program, please email us.
Moving from Me to We
Kinship embodies a host of teachings, values and practices that can foster spiritual growth, particularly when applied in one’s relationships with others, for Kinship is based in friendship. Starting with befriending oneself and gradually expanding outward, the path of friendship offers rewards and challenges that carry powerful potential for transformation. Five features of this path follow:
● The first is being respectful to all whom we encounter.
● The second is cultivating sympathy, that quality that allows us to reach out and experience the condition of another.
● The third is deepening our understanding.
● Thefourth is practicing tolerance and forgiveness as a way of life.
● The fifth is developing a practical and very real sense of unity with each person we meet.
In this manner we learn to see ourselves in others. From the place of love and understanding we seek to serve each other.
Maturing the Self: Creating Wholeness
This training is organized around a developmental model of maturation. It inspired by a structure that is rooted in Islamic mysticism* and developed by Pir Zia Inayat Khan in the Inayatiyya Order.
Awareness: We focus on developing an understanding of self-reflexive awareness to create a loving connection with others and eventually with all of life.
Knowing: We go on to explore a life that has a beginning and an end, remembering the past and envisioning the future.
Empowerment: We begin to explore the underpinnings of how we impact our environment, and how we are impacted by our environment.
Yearning: We explore how we influence our story and our direction by what we desire – by our yearnings.
Receptivity: We now explore how we shift our vantage point from our own personal perceptions to opening up to others.
Creativity: Now the possibility arises of participating creatively in the purposeful thrust of evolution.
Integration: All the previous stages culminate in the experience of integration. In this state balance becomes an act of beauty and awareness, and we begin to experience life as a seamless whole.
For more information on these two programs, send us an email.
*Footnote: These stages of development come from ancient Sufi teachings including those given by Ibn Arabi. The stages are sometime referred to as the Seven Leading Names. As traditionally taught they are: al-Hayy; al-Alim; al-Qadr; al-Murid; al-Sami; al-Basir; al-Kalim.
MUREED’S EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
The Kinship Activity oversees the Emergency Relief Fund, a donor-seeded fund that is available to Inayatiyya murids in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand to address urgent basic needs unmet by other sources. The fund provides one-time awards of up to $1,200. If you are a murid and need help of this kind, or wish to act as an advocate for another mureed, please contact us to request an application.
The Emergency Relief Fund is now completing its eighth year, with 44 grants awarded to date. Contributions to the Fund may be made out to the Inayatiyya Order, noting that your donation be applied to the Emergency Relief Fund on our Donate page.
To inquire about the Mureed Emergency Relief Fund, please send an email here.
PRISON BOOK PROJECT
The Prison Book Project (PBP) was initiated by the Inayatiyya in 1975. Its purpose was to provide books on spirituality at no charge to incarcerated inmates who request them. Over the years, the project has sent hundreds of books to inmates in many correctional facilities. Some of the inmates have gone on to not only grow spiritually inwardly but also to turn their outward lives around. Contributions to the PBP may be made on our Donate page, noting that your donation be applied to the Prison Book Project.
If you know someone who is currently incarcerated, they may request books, not only on Sufism but also any spiritual path, you may write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some comments we have received:
“Thank you for your support of my growth through the books and guidance in my life that has been my ‘rock’.” – J.G., Texas
“I cannot thank you enough for providing me with so much life changing material… I can truly say that to become fully enlightened and liberated is difficult; I listen to the teachings I have received rather than my ego. “These lessons and books have impacted my life so positively. They have been powerful sources of guidance!Our communication… has [made] my life more meaningful” – A.R., California
“Your consistent communications and support are very valued and appreciated.” – M.A., Texas
“The books and guidance I have received through your project has opened my eyes to a new way of Being! Bless you!” – K.P., North Carolina
SOCIAL JUSTICE BOOK GROUP
Begins Oct 6, 2021
The Sufi message warns humanity to know life better and to achieve freedom in life; it warns humanity to accomplish what it considers good, just, and desirable, and before every action, to note its consequences by studying the situation, by judging one’s own attitude, by studying beforehand the method which one adopts to act in life. ~ Social Gathekas, Hazrat Inayat Khan
The North American Kinship Activity invites you explore, in community, How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, a book that transforms the conversation about racism and shows us how to dismantle it both systemically and within ourselves.
I’ve come to see that the movement from racist to antiracist is always ongoing- it requires understanding and snubbing racism based on biology, ethnicity, body, culture, behavior, color, space, and class. And beyond that, it means standing ready to fight at racism’s intersections with other bigotries. ~ Ibram X. Kendi
This is the first book for the Social Justice Book Group that will read books on issues of antiracism, indigenous rights, immigrant rights and more. The book group will meet every other Wednesday evening via Zoom, from 7:00- 8:30 pm Eastern, for six sessions. Our first session will be on October 6th. Fazilee Buechel will serve as coordinator. We will begin each session together contemplating a video of the author, related work, or meditation. We will then move into small breakout groups, and spend most of our time with discussion questions.
This group is intended to be a space of learning together, reflecting on the stories we have been told about race, unpacking our racial conditioning, and identifying and challenging racial oppression. This kind of reflection can cause unintended harm for people of different racial experiences. Therefore, although this group is open to anyone interested in participating, we would like participants to know that the facilitation team currently identified is composed of white people, who, along with the participants, will be engaging in this process of learning, and are not experts on this topic. These facilitators do not have the expertise or lived racial experience to support BIPOC folks.
Our hope is that this book group will be a tool for expanding our understanding of social justice issues and identifying what we can do to be better allies/coconspirators as we attune our hearts and minds in community, in service of the vision of a more just and equitable society.
If you are interested in joining us to discuss this book, please contact: Kinship@inayatiyya.org to register. (When a new book is selected we will announce it and invite new registration. You do not need to commit to future selections.) A Zoom link and reading assignments will be sent to registrants. Registration for How to be an Antiracist closes Sept 27.