A consensus has always existed in spirit that recognizes the elevation of consciousness as the fundamental human task; a gaze that bears witness to the present in every instant beyond limited images projecting confined perception.
The Instituto Luz Sobre Luz, since its inception, has been a place dedicated to the exploration and sharing of healing paths that awaken clarity and peace within the human heart. It was borne of the intention of a group of people that came together around Edlín Ortiz Graham—shaykah Amina Teslima al-Yerráhi—that appreciate and are profoundly grateful to Lex Hixon (Sheik Nur al-Anuar 1941-1995), a prominent contemporary Sufi master that dedicated his life to exploring an inclusive, loving worldview. A worldview that affirms the sacredness of our living experience. One that recognizes the integrity, the perfection, of every sacred tradition. One that promotes the appreciation of each of them as part of one unique and precious legacy, shared among all of humanity.
In accordance with these principles, in the year 2000, when we opened our doors with the embrace of Fáriha Fátima al-Yerráhi—current leader of the Orden Sufí Nur-Ashki al-Yerráhi—we had a Consultation Council formed by Lucila Romero, César Makhlouf and a group of people that represented the principal energies of that legacy of universal wisdom, able to offer clarity, strength, and ever-new paths for encounters, appreciative companionship, and service. Subsequently, we were honored as the official seat of the Interreligious Council of Mexico (CIM) and, a short time later, following the visit of Roshi Bernie Glassman, we formed the Mexico Peacemakers’ Circle, in the company of spiritual practitioners that performed social services. In combination with the Institute, its members have carried out a variety of activities, some of them of great relevance. One of the latter was the convening and organization—along with the CIM—of an Interreligious Ceremony on October 5th, 2004, in observance of the International Day of Religious Tolerance, in which H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzyn Gyatso, participated as a special guest. The Institute also brought Rita Herzog (official representative of the Non-Violent Communication Center) to Mexico. Herzog gave training sessions on non-violent communication on more than one occasion at the Institute. Another was the marvelous “On the Paths of Light” project in 2007. Under the direction of Nadira al-Yerráhi, this project took girls and boys aged 5-13, in the company of their parents, on a tour of the houses of prayer of the major sacred traditions present in Mexico.
Similarly, our initiatives as a research center were originally oriented towards developing training courses and educational, cultural, and spiritual projects that contribute meaningfully to the construction of a culture of peace and appreciation of diversity. In 2001, for the first time in Mexico (and perhaps the first time in Latin America), we offered a certification program that allowed students to learn about sacred traditions from the point of view and the experience of their leaders and practitioners. We called it “The Great Sacred Traditions of Humanity” and it included Pre-Hispanic traditions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Five classes of students benefitted from this novel study program that, through direct contact, created favorable conditions for the dismantling of prejudices. Moreover, since 2003, a second level has been added to the certification course. In the modules at this level, the theme of “Enlightenment” according to the visions of these traditions is discussed. Renowned universities in Mexico City and Morelos, as well as other research centers, currently offer similar programs.
In pursuing the objective of seeking and making available paths for personal growth, simultaneous cycles of conferences, workshops, and intensive programs oriented towards the consciousness, care, and healing of the internal universe were held. In this way, as the years have passed, we have brought together a series of valuable, useful, and simple tools that aid in the resolution of conflicts and allow for healing, expression, creativity, and humanitarian values in everyday life. The Listening Circle, reaching consensus through the Socratic Method, Non-Violent Communication, the method of extracting creativity from a working group known as the Leonardo Process, and the Five Energies organizational model, are only a few that we make available.
After eight years of work, study, and reflection, we find ourselves travelling new paths of healing. The Institute was formed in that time as the headquarters of the Consultoría Luz Sistémica. Naturally, our efforts inclined themselves more and more towards providing different therapeutic options that would motivate personal development. Options that would allow for the restoration of the fundamental relations that link us to life, the family, and the social environment. Options that would also contribute to spiritual maturation and abundance. Today, therapists and psychologists of various professional orientations offer specialized attention. With our vision enriched by experience, we saw that in the care and recuperation of emotional, psychological, and spiritual health, the possibility of reaching the abundance and refinement characteristic of the human condition is nourished. As is the possibility of participating in life in a creative, happy, compassionate way, contributing to the elevation of consciousness.
And after twelve years of history, we witnessed a profound renovation and expansion of the structure of the Instituto Luz sobre Luz. The continuous educational programs in the field of systemic therapy that have, with great success, been offered since 2009 in conjunction with Domus-Cudec © (University Extension of the Doctor Emilio Cárdenas University Center), are integrated into the Instituto Luz sobre Luz Center for Systemic Studies.
In November 2012, the Diversity in Oneness Research Center, the Sufi Literature Forum, and the Live the Difference Forum, were presented to the public, representing the maturation of the foundational dream of the Institute. These areas will be oriented towards the oneness of existence and the conscious affirmation of different visions, experiences, and understandings of the world that are woven into the beautiful tapestry of the expression of humanness.
In a parallel way, in support of La casa de todos(Everyone’s house), the Institute’s appreciation for the diversity of sacred universes is maintained through the annual organization of four Interreligious Ceremonies for Peace.
The renewal being described here is firmly supported by a history rich in social service and spiritual expressions. We hope that its fruits are added to the immense and shining current that empowers human existence with increasing liberty and sensitive responsibility.
Endearing visitors blessed this space and made it their home: among others, swami Atmarupananda, roshi Bernie Glassman and his wife Eve Marko, sister Delia Canales, Tibetan monks from the Loseling and Gaden Shartse Monasteries, lama Tenzin Khenrab. They and many other friends, equally important for us, gave us their warmth, their creativity, and their disinterested service in order to support this project of peace and keep it running. To all, we offer our warmest and most sincere recognition and gratitude. Especially to Sheik Nur al-Anuar and Shaykah Fáriha Fátima al-Yerráhi, pillars of light in our heart.
The force driving this new era is rooted, as in each of our previous initiatives, in the desire to serve.
Edlín Ortiz Graham (sheija Amina Teslima al-Yerráhi)
M. Ángela González (Málika al-Yerráhi)