Carl Jablonski [Moineddin] and Otis Johnson [Mansur] outside of Iowa City, Iowa, circa 1966, where Moineddin tended bar and Mansur attended graduate school at the University of Iowa 

Letters From Moineddin: November 1975 to August 1980

By Mansur Johnson

What shall I do with a folder of 82 letters from Moineddin Jablonski, my old friend from the 60s, who became the successor of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis in the lineage of Hazrat Inayat Khan?

Rather than just hand the letters off to the archivist, who will, no doubt, receive a mass of material from others like myself, I have decided to post them on this website, preceded by an intro that clarifies historical issues, identifies persons named in the letters, and offers personal details that only the recipient of the letters could give.

It is my intention to treat the posting of these letters, probably a few each week, as a Work in Progress, a rough draft that might change from week to week as I receive feedback in the form of correction or criticism or additional information, which I hereby invite. You must be signed in to leave a comment. Sign in at the Home page and look for the invitation to "Add New Comment" at the bottom of each letter. Click that and add a comment.

The file of letters I discovered covers the time period from November 1975 to August 1980. Murshid died January 15, 1971.

To mimic what I wrote in Murshid, Chapter 1, “Introduction to Murshid,” I don’t know if anybody today but members of the Sufi Ruhaniat International have any interest in the subject of Moineddin, but perhaps enough of us do to make this exercise interesting and valuable to a self-selected few.

 By 1975, I was living in Boston, where I had been sent by Pir Vilayat Khan, after showing an interest in being a Sufi teacher. Immediately following Murshid's death and for the next 10 years, I led seminars and workshops all over the country, in Los Angeles, Tucson, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Kansas, Spokane, Seattle, and also, in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, Canada to name a few.

At this time, Murshid Sam's group in San Francisco was part of the Sufi Order under the direction of Pir Vilayat Khan. Both Moineddin and I were dedicated to giving to others what we had received from our Murshid.

The friendship and support shared in these letters burns with the intensity of a mission, which was to keep alive the teachings of Samuel Lewis and to spread the message of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

In Letters from Moineddin, I will write about myself, the character of Mansur, in the third person from the point of view of today, 35 years after the exchange with the benefit of hindsight.

As the letters show, Moineddin handles my occasionally difficult presentation with grace and tolerance, a sign of his greatness. Many of the letters deal with the ordinary matters of everyday life, but shining through even the most mundane is a spirit that permits those who didn't know Moineddin to know him a little bit. And to know why he was chosen by Murshid to carry on the Sufi tradition in the United States and around the world.

Moineddin, as you would expect of a poet, took more care than most of us would with his letters. Therefore, it can be said, as Saadi Neil Douglas Klotz, Miriam Baker, and Malik Cotter ended their profile of Pir Moineddin Jablonski (January 1, 1942-February 27, 2001) at, "Moineddin's correspondence is also a treasure of spiritual wisdom, which, inshallah, will be published in future years."