“I have rarely been with a group that was as successful at creating an evening experience that was so
embodied in and aligned with the mission and teachings of the organization.”
– Lori Hanau, Founder of Global Round Table Leadership
(Click here to read the full Letter of Gratitude from Lori Hanau, in response to her experience at the Benefit.)

On Wednesday January 30th, 2013, Seven Pillars House of Wisdom hosted a Benefit Concert entitled Pillars of Sophia at a private loft in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca in New York City. This intimate, unplugged gathering, which acted as the symbolic launch of our Living Wisdom Tour, was inspired by “The Seven Pillars,” a process of illumination that facilitates the emergence of living wisdom within each of us.

The evening featured a spoken word rendering of poetic writings by Seven Pillars’ founder Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, performed by actress Winsome Brown, the graceful vocalizations of Bisan Toron, devotional whirling by Aziz of the Mevlevi Sufi Order and the heartful, evocative music of the Yuval Ron Ensemble. 

Approximately 60 people from New York City and the surrounding areas gathered at 8pm in the modern, open, window-lined living room of Claude and Winsome Brown, taking seats on the large L shaped couches, chairs, and floor cushions.  As the sky faded into darkness, the backdrop of windows began to glitter with stars and the skyline in the distance.

From the moment Yuval Ron struck the first cord on his oud and the opening lines of poetry rang out, to the closing reception of Turkish inspired treats, the attendees embarked on a journey together.

We are all fellow travelers.

All pilgrims together,
emerging from mystery and returning to it.

What if, when we gather,
we gather in the light of this awareness –
that we are wayfarers sharing stories of our journey,
knowing that our destination lies in mystery.

The journey began with reflections on each individual’s life experience, and grew wider until it encompassed the entire living universe and beyond. Then, when one had become attuned to a vast and silent oneness, it was shattered into countless fragments by a cry that pierced one’s being, and took hold as seeds of transformation within each person’s soul. We were left with two questions on our lips.

We must ask ourselves,
What pledge must I make to fulfill my life’s purpose, and through doing so, remember my reason for being here?

We must ask,
 What actions can I take, with integrity and beauty, to benefit all?

To learn more about “The Seven Pillars” process, please click here.

If you would like to read A Letter of Gratitude, one participant’s experience of the performance, please click here to be redirected.

Images: Jane Feldman

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This gallery features images from “Pillars of Sophia,” a Benefit Concert hosted by Seven Pillars House of Wisdom on Wednesday January 30th, 2013 at a private loft in New York City. This intimate, unplugged gathering, which acted as the symbolic launch of our Living Wisdom Tour, was inspired by “The Seven Pillars,” a process of illumination that facilitates the emergence of living wisdom within each of us.
Photos by Jane Feldman
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