This book chronicles the life of Muzaffer Efendi and provides an account of the rich legacy of Sufi teachings which he offered as a gift to the West. Like Bodhidharma’s transmission of Zen Buddhism to China in the fourth century, Muzaffer Efendi is honored as an important modern pioneer in the transmission of authentic Islamic mysticism to the United States. The teachings of Sufism are love-centered and pacifist, rather than penal-centered and retributive, a much needed balance to the restrictive and often violent interpretation of Islam so often featured in the world media today.
This new edition of Lifting the Boundaries revises and expands the 2005 first edition, offer- ing a substantial amount of new material and photographs. The new edition incorporates nearly a decade of further research, more interviews and input from Muzaffer Efendi’s intimate companions and family members, as well as additional Sufi teachings from archival recordings of Efendi’s sohbets in America.
Gregory Blann has been an active student of Sufism and the world’s religions for over three decades. He received initiation from Pir Vilayat Khan in the Sufi Order International in 1980 and served as a representative in that order for a number of years. In 1990, he received bayat (initiation) in the Halveti-Jerrahi Order from Sheikh Nur al-Jerrahi (Lex Hixon), and also studied with Safer Efendi. He was given the name Muhammad Jamal, and became a Jerrahi sheikh in 1994. He worked closely with Sheikh Nur for four years, translating the traditional mystic hymns of the Jerrahis from Turkish into English, to be sung by dervishes in the West.