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Kabir Helminski — Life & Work
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Kabir Helminski
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Biography of Kabir Helminski

Kabir Helminski is the Co-Director of the Threshold Society (, a non-profit educational foundation that has developed programs that provide a structure for practice and study within Sufism and spiritual psychology. He has translated many volumes of Sufi literature, including many works of Rumi, and is the author of two books on Sufism: Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self and The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation. His most recent book is Love's Ripening: Rumi on the Heart's Journey.

Kabir Helminski contributed the essay “The Contemporary Relevance of Rūmī’s Language of the Soul” to the volume The Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition.

Kabir began the study of Sufism with Suleyman Loras of Konya and was officially recognized as a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order of Sufism in 1990, by the late Celalettin Celebi, Head of the Mevlevi Order.

From 1980 until 1999 he was the director of Threshold Books, one of the foremost publishers of Sufi literature. Between 1994 and 2000 he toured with the whirling dervishes of Turkey, bringing the spiritual culture of the Mevlevis to more than 100,000 people. His books have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Russian, Indonesian, and Turkish. He has an M.A. in transpersonal studies and an honorary Ph.D. in literature from Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey.

For more than thirty years, Mr. Helminski's focus has been developing and sharing a contemporary approach to Islamic concepts and practice, both within the Islamic community and outside of it. In 2001 he was the first Muslim to deliver the prestigious Harold M. Wit Lectures on Spirituality in Contemporary Life at Harvard Divinity School. Helminski lives with his family near Santa Cruz, California, and now focuses on Sufi music, writing, teaching, and developing a program of spiritual education with an international team of scholars. He is the founder and director of the Baraka Institute ( and also a core faculty member of the Spiritual Paths Institute (

Kabir was the music director for the award-winning, PBS-broadcast documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002), produced by Unity Productions Foundation.

In 2009 Kabir was named as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in association with Georgetown University. He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

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