ABOUT SUFI SAM
Samuel L. Lewis (October 18, 1896 – January 15, 1971), also known as Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti or simply as Murshid Sam, was an American mystic and horticulturist who founded what became the Sufi Ruhaniat International, a branch of the Chishti Order of Sufism.
Lewis was born in San Francisco, California to a Jewish family. He was raised with a mix of religious influences, as his mother was a devotee of the Christian Science church. Lewis became interested in esoteric studies and eventually pursued Asian philosophy, despite his father's objections.
In the early 1920s, he spent time exploring self-realization and meditation, and he traveled to Asia in the 1926 to study Zen. His travels and studies led him to become a disciple of Hazrat Inayat Khan, the founder of the Sufi Order in the West (now the Inayati Order), and he was initiated into the Sufi Order in 1923.
Lewis also studied under several other spiritual teachers in Asia, including Nyogen Senzaki, an exiled Zen monk, and Swami Papa Ramdas, an Indian spiritual leader. In the United States, he studied horticulture at the University of California, Berkeley and became a specialist in soil management.
In the 1960s, Lewis became a teacher of what he called "spiritual dancing", which became known as the Dances of Universal Peace. These dances incorporated elements from multiple spiritual traditions, including Sufism, Buddhism, and Native American spirituality.
Lewis passed away in 1971, but his teachings and practices continue to influence people around the world. He is considered a pioneer of the interface of spirituality and ecology, and his dances are still performed globally.