The Inner School

The Sufi Order is mainly an esoteric school. There are three esoteric schools most known in the East: the Buddhist School, the Vedantic School, and the Sufi School. Two of the schools, the Buddhist and the Vedantic, use asceticism as the principal means of spiritual advancement. The peculiarity of the Sufi School is that it uses humanity as the main path for spiritual advancement.

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
Easter Retreat – Sahara Desert

The Inner School is the primary vehicle for personal transformation of initiates of the Inayatiyya. Individuals are asked to establish a relationship with a spiritual guide, who has been trained and empowered by the Pir. Within the context of this relationship, the mureed (student) is given a “prescription” of spiritual practices intended to facilitate the emergence of qualities lying dormant beneath the layers of personality and habitual thinking. The goal of the mureed is to identify experientially a source of inner guidance to the realisation and fulfilment of his or her unique purpose in life.

Another powerful tool for transformation is the personal retreat, where the mureed spends an intensive period of time focusing on the transformational process to the exclusion of any external stimuli. An individual retreat may take a day or two, or last as long as forty days. Retreat guides are certified by the Inayatiyya after a period of intensive training and testing.

The Inayatiyya is not a “guru-centred” school; no one is considered infallible, and guides are discouraged from giving mureeds advice about their lives, focusing instead on the method of contacting inner guidance, or the mureed’s own insight, to deal with his or her problems. Guides are held accountable to a published set of ethical guidelines. Spiritual practices are offered in accordance with the teaching of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, who provided a curriculum, and of Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, the current head of the Inayatiyya.

To find out more about the Inner School you can attend classes in London and around the UK. Check the UK Centres page for locations.

The Inner School has an online open meeting on Monday evenings from 6.45pm to 9pm. The Zoom meetings are open to anyone of whatever background or faith. The evening starts with half an hour of chanting, silent attunement or dancing, followed by an open message class where we study the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan and other mystics and sages. There are monthly newcomers’ gatherings which are open to all. Please note: all our gatherings are now taking place on zoom. Email the Office to find out more.

There is a charge of £12 (£8 concessions) to cover office costs.