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events, special

Saturday, November 23, 2019 | An Evening with Hafiz of Shiraz | 8 pm | Advance Tix $20 – At Door $30

An Evening with Hafiz of Shiraz

Saturday, November 23, 2019
8 pm

Recently published translations by:
Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. & Iraj Anvar
Music performed by:
Dawn Avery & Afshin Goodarzi


A special evening of the ghazals of Hafiz, sung and recited in English and Persian, accompanied by classical Persian and Western musicians.

The ghazals of Khwája Muhammad Shams ud-Din Háfiz-i Shírází (d. 1389), the pre-eminent lyric poet of Persian literature, speak of love, human and divine. So finely do they hover on this interface with the divine that he is known as “The Interpreter of Mysteries” and “The Tongue of the Invisible.” His poems speak to each individual heart, and they continue to be recited and sung by people throughout the Eastern Islamic world: scholars and bus drivers, writers and performers, school children and Sufis.

On this special evening the ghazals of Hafiz will be sung and recited in English and Persian, accompanied by classical Persian and Western musicians, in an intimate evening gathering at the Dergah al-Farah. The evening will feature recently-published English translations of Hafiz by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. and Iraj Anvar, and music performed by Dawn Avery (Darya) and Afshin Goodarzi.



Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. is a poet, translator, and corporate consultant. Translations from classical and contemporary Persian include Wine & Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwán of Háfiz (2019), The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty Ghazals from the Diwan-i Hafiz-i Shirazi (1995), Iran: Poems of Dissent (2013), and “Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season” by Forough Farrokhzad (in Mantis, 2014). Sections of the Tibeto-Mongolian folk epic “The Life of King Kesar of Ling,” co-translated with Dr. Siddiq Wahid of the University of Kashmir, appear in Columbia University Press’s Sources of Tibetan Tradition (2013). She has published two books of original poetry: Salient (New Directions, 2020) and SERIES | INDIA (Four Way Books, 2015). She was the founding CEO and Managing Partner of Conflict Management, Inc. and Alliance Management Partners, LLC. She serves as Chairman of The Beloit Poetry Journal Foundation and as Corporate Secretary of Friends of Writers. She joined the Board of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, based in Washington, D.C, in 2018, and served as Chair of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, in New Haven, Connecticut from 2009-2015. She holds a B.A. and J. D. from Harvard University and an M. F. A. from Warren Wilson College. She lives in New York City.

Iraj Anvar is an actor, singer, stage and film director, writer, translator, and educator.  He earned a degree in acting and directing at Alessandro Fersen’s Studio di Arti Sceniche in Rome, Italy and upon returning to Tehran, co-founded the Tehran Theater Workshop which became the most important center for innovative and avant-guard theater in Iran. He earned his Ph. D. in Middle Eastern Studies at NYU where he taught Persian language and literature for several years. He has also taught Persian literature and language at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Wisconsin University. He has had a lifelong involvement in the poetry of Rumi and Hafez. In New York, he has read and sung Rumi and Hafez in Persian and in his own translations at the Asia Society, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Bartholomew’s Church, and elsewhere. He has published two books of translations of Rumi’s ghazals: Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz, Forty Eight Ghazals (2002), and Rumi, Say Nothing (2008), and another book is forthcoming. He co-translated a collection of Hafiz’s ghazals, Wine & Prayer: Eighty Ghazals from the Diwán of Háfiz, with Elizabeth T. Gray Jr. (2019). He teaches Persian at Brown University and lives in Rhode Island with his wife and his youngest son.

Dawn Avery‘s exploration of sacred music led her to study the relationship between music and spirituality.  Dawn (Darya) has led meditation groups and spiritual music performances at the Esalen Institute, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Milan Sacred Music Festival, The Open Center in NYC, and Musicales Visuales in Mexico City.  As a leader of meditation and creativity workshops, she has worked with great healers such as the Dalai Lama, Sherif Baba Catalkaya of the Refa’i Sufi Order, Rick Jarow, Ron Young, Chidvilasananda and Hilda Charlton. Her musical path has led to critically acclaimed collaborations with Ustad Sultan Khan and Pandit Makes Jadhav, Humayun Khan, Reza Derakshani  (Water from the Well), Sussan Deyhim (Madman of God, Shy Angels, and soundtracks with Sussan Deyhim in the films of Shirin Neshat).  She is also known for her collaborative Rumi Concerts with Coleman Barks, Zuleikha, Glen Velez, Shahrok Moshkin Ghalam, and Omar Faruk Tekbilek. The newest Sufi inspired multi-media project “Beloved” with Dawn Avery (voice, cello) features Behfar Bahadoran (Persian daf, tar, setar, voice), Larry Mitchell (ambient, electric and acoustic guitars), guest whirling dervishes, and video projection by Kate Freer.  She was honored to record in an earlier project of Hafiz translations by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. with Reza Derakshani, “The Green Sea of Heaven” (2002), and is delighted to join Liz, Iraj and musicians at the very special Dergah al-Farah of Shaykha Fariha Nur.

Afshin Goodarzi has been an avid student of Iranian classical music for over 25 years. He started his studies of the Iranian Setar with Reza Derakhshani and has continued to study the Radif and its performance over the past 20 years. Afshin Goodarzi has performed and lectured at numerous venues throughout the northeast.


Venue: The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway, New York City

Nur Ashki Jerrahi Community / 212-966-9773

events, special

Friday, August 16, 2019 | Uyghur Benefit Concert: Folk and Sufi music from Persia and the Caucasus | 8 pm | $25

Uyghur Benefit Concert

Folk and Sufi music from Persia and the Caucasus
Friday, August 16, 2019
8 pm / $25


(proceeds from tickets sales will be donated to benefit the Uyghur people.
available online at

venue: The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway, New York City

Gabriel Marin – dutar/guitar
Mehdi Leghyeh – vocals
Dan Kurfirst – percussion

Nur Ashki Jerrahi Community / 212-966-0773


book, events, special

Friday & Saturday, March 29-30, 2019 | Pir Press Book Launch of Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi’s The Openings Revealed in Makkah (Volume 1) with Dr. Eric Winkel

Pir Press Book Launch

Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi’s The Openings Revealed in Makkah – Volume 1 (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyah – Books 1 & 2)

Translated by Dr. Eric Winkel

A two-day book launch with Dr. Eric Winkel March 29-30, 2019 – New York City

Friday Book Launch

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Book Release & Talk
Meet the translator Dr. Eric Winkel and hear about the making of the book

The making of the book – translation, editing, typesetting. We consider difficulties of translating this work, which has been widely commended over the centuries, but also highly inaccessible. We examine the challenges of editing, and the need to find and use Ibn al-Arabi’s connections and structural supports across more than ten thousand pages of text. And we look at what goes in to typesetting, to facilitate the reader’s comprehension.

The Openings Revealed in Makkah is a vision, and a counseling, encouraging us to understand this world, and the next. Eight hundred years later, it is more relevant today than it has ever been – and its presence, implicitly, historically, in every Path tells us that this vision has always been relevant. From water protectors holding mirrors confronting militarized attackers in Standing Rock, to humans endangering their environment – and the environment endangering them, to one person’s question why, Ibn al-Arabi’s insights and his reading of key texts clarify our situations, from the individual to the species.

Saturday Lecture

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Visual doors to the Openings 
Ibn al-Arabi’s Spiritual Aesthetics

Visual doors into the Openings Revealed in Makkah. We consider a dozen slides, each presenting a visual aesthetic or mechanical (schematic) translation of an aspect of Ibn al-Arabi’s vision, preparing the viewer to realize and verify for oneself (tahqiq) a truth. These are mafatih (keys) to the openings (futuhat), necessary for understanding this work.

Ibn al-Arabi’s spiritual aesthetic – participatory, interactive themes from the Openings Revealed in Makkah: mirror, shadow play, photography; the fingers of al-Rahman, the good estimation of the True; the harsh names and words of the Divine; and four words for love.


The Sufi Lodge
245 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
tel: 212.966.9773

Free Admission. Please RSVP



The Futuhat Project is Dr. Eric Winkel’s translation project of the entirety of Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi’s al-Futuhat al-Makkiyah, The Openings Revealed in Makkah.

The Greatest Teacher, al-shaykh al-akbar, Ibn al-‘Arabi dictated to his close friends this work of over 10,000 manuscript pages depicting the extraordinary vision of the Youth he encountered while circling the Kabah in Makkah. Despite its clear provenance as a completely accurate work, from the hand and mind of its transcriber, and its reputation through the centuries as the most significant and profound reflection of Islamic thought, the Futuhat al-Makkiyah has never been translated from the original classical Arabic in its entirety. From 2012, Dr. Winkel has been working exclusively on translating this work in order to produce the first complete translation into English of the Futuhat al-Makkiyah.

Pir Press is publishing the first volume of The Openings Revealed in Makkah in March 2019 and the project is anticipated to be completed in 2022 in nineteen volumes.

“At this juncture of human evolution, we are in desperate need of clear heart-guidance. We need knowledge that will help to guide us out of the dream labyrinth in which we are wandering – a labyrinth of materialism, of clinging to separate identities and nationalities, addicted to conflict, sickened by the lack of deep meaning in our life and the terror of being adrift in an uncaring universe. The only guidance that can lead us out of this haunted condition is the knowledge of the human heart which comes through the great hearts of humanity. These Masters of the heart rest in deep God-consciousness. Their light shines beyond the borders of separate religions and nations and transcends the changes of time. This is the guidance we need to urgently attend to for the survival of life on Earth and for peace and mutual understanding in our human family. It is the light that will awaken our own heart, where Truth dwells.

The subtle science of human nature and Divine Reality presented by the Master Ibn al-Arabi is this rare and precious knowledge, far beyond what empirical science can provide but also complementing it and grounding it in a spiritual universe.

May we drink from the wells of the Master of the heart, Ibn al-Arabi, and be spiritually revived.”

Fariha Fatima Friedrich, Shaykh of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order

events, special

Sunday, December 16, 2018 | Whirling with the Friend: Celebrating Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi | 5-7 pm | AT SUBUD NEW YORK | Free Admission

Whirling with the Friend

A two hour mystical journey with Zikr, Whirling and Music
celebrating Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi on his wedding night
Sunday, December 16, 2018
5 -7 pm

Come, Come …

Subud New York – downstairs
230 West 29th Street
New York City

*Audience will be invited to join the Zikr and Whirling

no rsvp required / @thesufilodge / 212-966-0773