95 Contributors



JOHN L. CAUGHEY is an anthropologist and a Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research involves the ethnographic, comparative investigation of contemporary cultures as systems of meaning. He has done field research in Micronesia, South Asia, and the U.S. Caughey has been practicing meditation since 1977 and is at work on a book about travel and imagination.

JAIRAN GAHAN is currently a post-doctoral fellow at University of Toronto, where she also obtained her PhD from the department for the Study of Religion. She finished her MA in Literary and Cultural Studies at English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India in 2010.

RANA HABIBI has a PhD in architecture from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. She works as an architect and independent scholar in Brussels. In addition to her work as a designer, she has written on the dialogue between tradition and modernity in the context of the architecture of cities.

MATT HANSON is a writer and journalist based in Istanbul. He produces a twice-weekly series of critical writing for the national English-language Turkish press on arts and culture across Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Denmark, England, and the U.S., also appearing as a guest speaker on TRT World.

FATEMEH KESHAVARZ is the Director of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and the Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Language and Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. Keshavarz is a published poet in Persian and English and an activist for peace and justice. She is the author of award winning books including Reading Mystical Lyric: the Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi (USC Press, 1998).

KIM LISSON is a writer, coach and principal consultant for Karrak Consulting, an organization specializing in leadership and adult learning with a focus on the ecology within communities. He lives in Western Australia’s Great Southern region.

MARK NEPO, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, has published seventeen books and recorded twelve audio projects. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. In 2015, he was given a Life-Achievement Award by AgeNation. And in 2016, he was named by Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. His new book is The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart (Atria, 2016).

ALIREZA NURBAKHSH received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in London, where he works as a solicitor and is the editor of SUFI. Upon the death of his father in October, 2008, he became Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.

LLEWELLYN VAUGHAN-LEE is a Sufi teacher in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order. In 1991, he became the successor of Irina Tweedie, author of Daughter of Fire: A Diary of Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master. He then moved to Northern California and founded The Golden Sufi Center. www.goldensufi.org.



JAMES RQ CLARK is a husband and father, dog owner, ex- Anglican priest, writer and teacher based in Dorset, south-west England.

JENI COUZYN, a blend of several nationalities and of many identities, is a feminist anthologist as well as a poet. She is the Founder/Director of the Bethesda Foundation, a project working with Bushman people in the Great Karoo region in southern Africa. She has published twelve books of poetry and two books for children in the UK, Canada and S. Africa.

ANDRÉANA LEFTON has lived and worked with minority communities like the Roma and Bahá’í. Her writing has been published by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, the London School of Economics, and the United Nations Society of Writers. She is working on a book about refugee youth and the search for spiritual freedom



ALLISON GRAYHURST is a member of the League of Canadian Poets and resides in Toronto with her family. Three times nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, she has over 1050 poems published in over 425 international journals. She has sixteen published books of poetry, seven collections and nine chapbooks. Her work has appeared in Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Elephant Journal; Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Agave Magazine; JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, Drunk Monkeys; Gris-Gris; The Muse—An International Journal of Poetry, and many others.



TADAO ANDO, a Japanese self-taught architect, is one of Japan’s pioneers in contemporary architecture. He established Tadao Ando Architect & Associates in 1969. His major works include the Church of the Light, 1989-1990 Osaka, the Modern Art Museum, 1997-2003 Fort Worth, Texas, and Tokyo Skytree, 2009, Tokyo. Ando’s awards include the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, Praemium Imperiale prize for archtecture in 1996, John F. Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts in 2010, Commander of the Order of Art and Letters (France) in 2013, Grand Officer of the Order of Merit (Italy) in 2015, and Isamu Noguchi Award in 2016, and many others. He is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo.


Top photos left to right: Mark Nepo, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Fatemeh Keshavarz

Bottom photos left to right: John L. Caughey, Tadao Ando, Allison Grayhurst