Khankah S.A.M. and the Mentorgarten
Khankah S.A.M/Mentorgarten is a residential spiritual community that is part of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, an organization formed to carry forward the work of Murshid Samuel Lewis. In the garage of his home at 410 Precita Avenue, and across the street in Precita Park, Murshid Sam began the Dances of Universal Peace, which have now spread all over the world.
The current spiritual director, Murshid Wali Ali Meyer, was one of his disciples. He lived with Murshid Sam as his assistant, was initiated as a Sheikh by his hand, and served as his esoteric secretary from 1969 until his teacher's death in January 1971. Murshid Sam's devotion and joyful magnetism attracted young spiritual seekers in the fertile years of the late 1960’s. Classes were offered, focusing on teachings given by his Sufi teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan, the Dharmic traditions, walking and breath practices, and the Dances.
This center became known as the Mentorgarten, a name offered
by Murshid Sam’s Zen teacher, Nyogen Sensaki.
Under Wali Ali’s guidance, the Khankah continued to grow as a residential community after 1971. Other properties were obtained nearby, including the houses of 63 and 65 Norwich Street. These become known as Khankah S.A.M. (signifying Sufi Ahmed Murad, one of Murshid Sam's spiritual names.) This compound of dwellings has been renovated and enhanced to create the current Khankah with its glorious gardens and central kitchen/dining area.
Khankah SAM was officially dedicated at a house blessing ceremony in 1975. This 20-minute audio recording: features dedication speeches by Spiritual Director Wali Ali Meyer, honorary Murshida Frida Waterhouse, Pir Moineddin Jablonski, and an unnamed Reverend from the Christian monastic Holy Order of Mans (which Murshid Sam Lewis aided in founding and supporting). Every word spoken then is as true as ever today, in our times, even the baby's cries at key moments.
As part of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, Khankah Sam serves the greater Sufi community through the ongoing maintenance and support of the facilities and activities at the Mentorgarten and Norwich Street. Khankah members dedicate themselves to work in service to the greater community, as human beings who model love, harmony, and beauty to our neighbors and beyond.
Khankah members are encouraged to deeply reflect on the Sufi Invocation, the Ten Sufi Thoughts and the Three Purposes of the Sufi Movement, and to study the spiritual precepts presented in the Gathas on Moral Culture and commentaries by Murshid Samuel Lewis.