Cherags training course
with Sheikha ZubinNur Westrik
to run over 2 years
April 2021 – May 2023
The world around us is changing rapidly, there is a spiritual thirst for Light, Unity, understanding and ‘holding space’, This is part of the work of a cherag. Maybe you feel called to deepen your understanding of many of the religions and wisdom ways in the world around us? Maybe you feel called to ‘hold aloft the Light’, that others may come and be nourished at an all inclusive altar? In the Universal Sufism such a Light Bearer is called a Cherag, the word means ‘lamp’. Of course we are all ‘Light bearers in some way, and there are those of us who feel called to the path of the interfaith aspect of our path. In Universal Sufism brought to the West by Hazrat Inayat Khan this ‘Light’ is the Light of carrying and understanding the Sacred Unity of All, and especially of all the Wisdom Ways of the world, that there is One Light holding, feeding and nourishing them all. This is a form of ministry and requires a training to receive this ordination. This course is a preparation for such an ordination, though not a guarantee that ordination can be given. Sometimes such deepening of our own
wisdom and understanding is enough without becoming a minister. And learning to do this with full respect for those who walk these Wisdom Ways.
At this current time there is a need, a great need for more Wisdom and Understanding of our differences and our similarities, in our communities, in our cultures, in our world - to support us, to nourish our light , our compassion and our passion on the Path of Spiritual Unity, if you feel this passion, this call… please read on.
During this course we will research and practise from one of the world’s wisdom traditions/religions, taking a new Path every two months. The aim is not only to have some intellectual knowledge of a path, it’s roots and traditions, rather to also learn through experiencing it’s practises. Stretching our hearts to become even more deeply the dwelling place of the Beloved, no matter what Her/His/It’s Name may be.
Each of us is unique and will bring our own qualities to the course and to our manner of ‘holding the Light’ with inclusivity, radiance and authenticity. There is a formal form of the Universal Worship Service and an informal form. We will learn both and find our own unique way of expressing this wonderful message of Spiritual Liberty and Unity. Intrinsically this course is grounded and rooted in the work and teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel L. Lewis this next to the riches of many of the worlds religions and wisdom traditions too. There will be monthly assignments… especially if you are aiming to become ordained (I repeat there are no guarantees), group learning and interaction, we will cherish what each participant already brings in the ways of experience and knowledge of particular traditions
A Cherag is a form of interfaith minister, within the Sufi Ruhaniat (and in other rays of the Message given by Hazrat Inayat Khan) ordination through this course is within the Sufi Ruhaniat and is an empowerment to officiate at weddings, funerals, name-giving and house blessing and other services. The lessons will alternate between: one month reaching into Wisdom Teachings of a Tradition, the next month looking at rituals of various forms, rituals, and of course the Service of Universal Worship.
For those aiming for ordination the course will also include self-insight, self-understanding and self-assessment and reflection. As
we take on this role we need to cultivate strong personal rituals and and manifest personal, psychological and spiritual maturity
and stability for maintaining our strength, and balance to be there for others in times of need and celebration.
- The course will be on-line through the facility of zoom meetings.
- The group will be no more than 12 students.
- There will be on-line group sessions each month (sometimes with guest teachers) where there is interchange between participants and sharing assignments.
- There will be personal on-line check-in meetings with ZubinNur to talk about your insight and practise and development.
- The group meetings will be on the 1stSaturday of each month. (There is some flexibility here).
- The group training will start on 3rdof April run over 2 years.
- The cost of the course lies between €30 - €60 per month according to your financial means.
Individual training is also possible, this means you can set your own pace to fit your personal requirements, though has no effect on the syllabus. Monthly check-in. The contents of the course remains the same as does the price.
- a curious and open heart
- commitment to pursue the course for 2 years
- monthly participation
- commitment to daily personal spiritual practice of various Wisdom Traditions and Faiths.
- Some reporting of experience and learning, both oral and written, the notes are as much for yourreference as for ZubinNur to see/read.
- on-going self-reflection/assessment
- payment to ZubinNur as agreed
- you do not have to an initiated Sufi in the Sufi Ruhaniat International to do the course, however ordination does have this requirement.
Some ideas/questions for your own reflection, if you are considering doing the course please send me a mail and we can have a chat along these lines.:
- What is your motivation to follow this course? What do you wish to learn?
- Are you willing to invest time in personal practise and research?
- Are you anticipating ordination? How do you feel you may be able to use this?
- Do you have a background in ministry and community support?
- How can this course support your work in the world?
- Do you have the time and energy to invest in yourself over the set period?
- What are yourquestions?