Teachers


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Netanel Miles-Yépez

Netanel Miles-Yépez, Abode Spiritual Director, is a teacher of religion and Pir of the Inayati-Maimuni lineage of Sufism, co-founded with his teacher, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, fusing the Sufi and Hasidic principles of spirituality and practice espoused by Rabbi Avraham Maimuni in 13th-century Egypt with the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and Hazrat Inayat Khan. He is the translator of My Love Stands Behind a Wall: A Translation of the Songs of Songs and Other Poems (2015), and co-author of A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009). Currently, he is in residence at the Abode of the Message in…

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Paul Naamon

Rev. Monshin Paul Naamon is the Jushoku (Abbot) of the Tendai Buddhist Institute, Jiunzan Tendai-ji, Tendai-shu New York Betsuin, Jushoku of the California Tendai Monastery, and Secretary General of the Japanese Tendai Buddhism in North America.  Rev. Naamon was educated at the University of Buffalo, University at Albany, and Taisho University, Tokyo, Japan.  Additionally, he was a Research Scholar at Federal University of Brazil Research Hospital, Bahia, Brazil and University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Japan.  His Tendai Buddhist priest training was in Japan at Taisho University, Tokyo, Enryakuji, Mt. Hiei, and Tamon-in Temple, Chiba, where he was ordained in…

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Devin Franklin

Devin has loved exploring in and learning about nature since early childhood. He discovered his thirst for the Wilderness Teachings in 1994 and has been walking the wilderness path ever since. In his first four years, Devin studied Survival, Tracking, and Awareness skills with Dan Fisher of Wilderness School in Maine and Tom Brown Jr. at the Tracker School in New Jersey. Devin has trained for six years in Naturalist Mentoring and Community-Building skills through Jon Young and the Wilderness Awareness School, as well as Mark Morey and the Vermont Wilderness School. Devin received a degree in Environmental Education from Prescott…

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Dr. Randy Weston

Randy Weston, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926, didn’t have to travel far to hear the early jazz giants that were to influence him. Though Weston cites Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and of course, Duke Ellington as his other piano heroes, it was Monk who had the greatest impact.  “He was the most original I ever heard,” Weston remembers.  “He  played  like  they  must  have  played  in  Egypt  5000  years  ago.” Randy Weston’s first recording as a leader came in 1954 on Riverside Records  Randy Weston plays Cole Porter –  Cole Porter in a modern mood   It…

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Eve Ilsen

Eve Ilsen is a psychotherapist, singer and storyteller.  Her studies and work have taken her from somatic psychology in California and Denmark to flying to rural villages in Alaska to Jerusalem and her studies there of the imaginal world with Mme. Colette Aboulker-Muscat.  For twenty-seven years she partnered in teaching with her late husband, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.   Photo: Michael Kosacoff

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Pir Zia Inayat-Khan

Pir Zia is the first son of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and Taj Inayat, born in 1971 in Novato, California. He grew up in California, New York, and New Mexico. Pir Vilayat made it clear to Zia at an early age that he wished him to continue his lineage. He prepared him by instructing him in meditation, and at times guiding him in spiritual retreat—once 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…

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Amin Dawdy

Producer-director Amin Dawdy has had a distinguished career as a motion picture producer, journalist, and businessman. As a student of the Sufi Inayat Khan, he is now the Writer-Director-Producer of My Heart’s Song, a documentary motion picture about the early days of the poet and influential musician who has helped shape 21st century culture. “My desire to tell this story is to spark new interest in Inayat Khan by showing how his times and experiences as a youth shaped his remarkable spiritual philosophy,” says Mr. Dawdy. Mr. Dawdy began his career as a reporter-photographer for the Lewiston, Idaho, Morning Tribune…

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Fatima Hafiz-Muid, PhD

Dr. Hafiz’s has more than 35 years’ experience in the field of education. Her research interests focus on emotions in social spaces where issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity and nationality intersect. Fatima currently serves as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College and Columbia University in teacher education and social work. Her pedagogical approach and education content knowledge has impacted hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students for the past 16 years. Fatima has been on a journey of self-healing, meditation and spiritual development for more than 35 years. Her practices include meditation from different spiritual paths. As an educator and…

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Aziza Scott

Aziza Scott, M. ED., has guided retreats for many years as the head of the Sufi Order International Esoteric School, now The Inayati Order. She is Emeritus at this time and continues to be the Director of Retreat Guide Training. She is one of the core faculty of the Suluk Academy in North America with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan and has a retreat center in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. She worked closely with Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan for more than 30 years and is a beloved friend of the Abode of the Message.

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Onaje Muid

Onaje Muid, a transformative, Sufi social worker/ activist has a thirty-year career which combined human services, human rights, and spirituality, especially for descendants of formerly enslaved Africans and indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere. He is the creator of the Saba Uhuru Saba Ujija Healing System and the SEEDS Garden Network. He has served as an advisor to graduate students at  Columbia University School of Social Work and taught as an adjunct lecturer.  His United Nations work culminated in the declaring the Transatlantic Slave Trade as a crime against humanity at the seminal United Nations World Conference Against Racism, in Durban,…

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Peter Schein

For more than forty years Peter has been teaching math, science, philosophy, as well as writing, storytelling, juggling, and playing tennis.  He has mostly avoided a full time job to be free to go on meditation retreats. He is an interfaith spiritual guide, and has studied in Taoist, Buddhist, Jewish – and most recently – Sufi traditions.

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David R. Montgomery

David R. Montgomery studies the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. He received his B.S. in geology at Stanford University (1984) and his Ph.D. in geomorphology from UC Berkeley (1991). His published work includes studies of the evolution and near-extirpation of salmon, fluvial and hillslope processes in mountain drainage basins, the evolution of mountain ranges (Cascades, Andes, and Himalaya), and the analysis of digital topography. Current research includes field projects in the Philippines, eastern Tibet, and the Pacific Northwest of North America.

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Naima Khabira Brown

Naima Khabira Brown is Vice President of the Inayati Order Esoteric school in North America. She serves as a Representative (Teacher and Guide) and as a Retreat Guide.  She was a founding mentor in Suluk Academy, a school of meditation, and is a member of its advisory board.  She is committed to developing and supporting the training and curriculum of students and Teachers in the esoteric branch of the Inayati Order established by Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan.  She is a life-long educator of young children in the Greater Boston area where she and her husband Aqil live and where they…

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Amanda Salima McCall

Amanda Salima McCall is a beloved mureed and coordinator within the Inayati Order. She is a graduate of Suluk Academy and has been consciously walking a personal spiritual path for many years. Her professional life is an outgrowth of her foundational belief that everyone deserves to be seen and cared for. This devotion to tending to the well-being of the human experience, body and soul, has driven her personal and professional life. Salima has been a healing arts practitioner for close to two decades and is a licensed nurse. Currently she is pursuing a degree in social work. Salima trained as a circle leader through the…

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Aimée Brodeur Johnson

Aimée was initiated by Pir Vilayat in 1985 and has lived at the Abode since 1988. She is an ordained Cheraga and a conductor in the Healing Order. She retired a few years ago from 25 years as a teacher and director of Mountain Road School in New Lebanon, New York. Her work with Tara stems from her connection with Tara Dhatu, a worldwide non-profit sacred arts organization formed to protect the integrity of the Mandala Dance of the 21 Praises of Tara. This spiritual dance practice is based on ancient prayer and developed by Prema Dasara,spiritual and creative director…

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Kainat Felicia Norton

Kainat Felicia Norton is a senior teacher, retreat guide, and serves on the faculty of Suluk Academy within the Inayati Order. She is First Vice President and International Head of the Ziraat activity. She tours the solo dance/theatre piece ‘NOOR’, which she has performed in Edinburgh, London, Paris and most recently in NYC. She co-founded and facilitates, with Muinuddin Smith, the Light of Guidance Center for Sufi Studies in New York City. Kainat and Muinuddin co-authored the book An Emerald Earth: Cultivating a Natural Spirituality and Serving Creative Beauty in Our World and together they offer meditation retreats and workshops internationally.

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Muinuddin Charles Smith

Muinuddin Charles Smith, PhD, is a senior teacher and retreat guide within the Inayati Order. Charles teaches leadership and sustainability studies at Hofstra University. He co- founded and facilitates, with Kainat Felicia Norton, the Light of Guidance Center for Sufi Studies in New York City. Kainat and Muinuddin co-authored the book, An Emerald Earth: Cultivating a Natural Spirituality and Serving Creative Beauty in Our World and together they offer meditation retreats and workshops internationally.

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Deepa Gulrukh Patel

Deepa Gulrukh Patel is a Sufi teacher in the Inayati Order, which she also serves in her capacity as International Coordinator and Executive Director for the Zenith Institute, a four-week Sufi meditation camp in the Swiss Alps, where she guides retreats for young adults. She is also the Chair of Tamasha Theatre Company and the Loss Foundation, a bereavement support service for people who have lost loved ones to cancer. Her past roles have included being a music education producer for the BBC, a campaigner on HIV/AIDS for Action Aid, and Managing Director of Creative Partnerships (a national UK Government…

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Yaqin Joseph Aubert

Yaqin Joseph Aubert is the esoteric secretary to Pir Zia Inayat Khan, head of the Inayati Order, a mystical and ecumenical fellowship. Yaqin is a senior teacher in the Order and has been studying in Sufism for more than 40 years. He has been a teacher in the Suluk Academy, a school of contemplative study with branches in the United States and Europe. He was initiated into Sufism by Pir Zia’s father Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and is a Cherag (minister) in the Universal Worship. Yaqin is a founding member of the Abode of the Message, a spiritual community and…

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Evan Thaler-Null

Evan Thaler-Null, Abode Manager of Ecology, has been working on the Abode land for the past five years. Evan moved to New Lebanon in 2012 to take over the management of the farmland at the Abode with his partner, Sarah Steadman, who grew up down the road from the Abode, the daughter of long-time Sufi parents.  As the co-founder and manager of Abode Farm CSA, Evan brings his connection to agriculture, ecology, and community to his role as Manager of Ecology for the Abode. Raised with a love for the outdoors, animals, and plants, Evan first began studying botany and herbalism…

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Wahida Janice Young

Wahida Young is a Suluk Academy graduate and an ordained Cheraga in the Inayati Order and coordinator of the Universal Worship at the Abode. She is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and taught T’ai chi for 10 years. She has long been a student of Feng Shui. Wahida previously served in the role of Volunteer Coordinator at the Abode as well as head of the housekeeping concentration. She drew on years of experience as a French teacher and her own experience as a work-exchange resident to perform her roles, striving for fairness while holding a high standard…