Online Cherag Training Course
with Azima Lila Forest

Universal Worship

What is a Cherag?

A Cherag is a Sufi Minister; the word means "lamp" in Persian.  When one is ordained as a Cherag, he or she is authorized to conduct the Universal Worship created by Hazrat Inayat Khan, who first brought Sufism to the West, and is legally authorized to conduct weddings and other rites of passage.  A cherag may be called to ministry in any number of ways; perhaps it is the Universal Worship or derivative Services of Universal Peace that calls, or the performance of rites of passage, or chaplaincy work with a hospice program or in a hospital or prison.  Each may design and carry out the ministry that calls one.  It should be noted that most hospitals and prisons require chaplains to have degrees from theological schools or seminaries.  If this is your aspiration, contact me and we can talk about it further.


The Online Cherag Training Course 

This course is designed to prepare candidates for ordination as cherags, or to expand the knowledge and deepen the attunement of those already ordained.  if someone wishes to do the work but is not interested in ordination, he or she is welcome to join the course.  It is a two-year course conducted via a Yahoo listserv.  Assignments are given at the beginning of each month.  Students are required to read, write, engage in spiritual practice, journal, and share with other students on the listserv.


Content of the Course  

The first year focuses on the study of the Universal Worship service, the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan for cherags, and on the religious traditions of the world, one per month.

The second year is intended to develop leadership qualities and presence through working with the breath, spiritual walks, the writings of Murshid Samuel Lewis, the conducting of worship services, and doing an individual retreat of from one to three days.

The Next Course  

The next course will begin on January 2, 2018 and end on December 31, 2019. Students are asked to register in December of 2017.  The first installment of the fee is due before January 1. 


The cost of the course is $250 at the beginning of the first year and $250 at the beginning of the second year, for a total of $500.  Installment payments may be arranged if needed (see below under Registration).

Who May Take the Course  

All initiates in the Inayati orders (Sufi Ruhaniat International, Sufi Order International, International Sufi Movement, Fraternity of Light, Sufi Way) and other inclusive Sufi orders are welcome to participate.  Once you decide to embark on this adventure, please discuss your intentions with your Sufi guide and get his or her blessing to do this work.  This is particularly important if you are connected with an order other than the Ruhaniat.  You would presumably be ordained by someone in your own order, once it has been established by someone in that order that you are ready for ordination.  If you are not yet initiated in a Sufi order, it would be best to find a guide and take initiation before taking this course.  If you will be seeking ordination, that will be a prerequisite.  Please contact me if you wish to discuss any aspect of this issue.


Once you have decided to go forward and have received the blessing of your Sufi guide for this work, you may register by sending an email to me at azima@zianet.com, stating why you wish to take the course, and if you will be seeking ordination.  Please include your mailing address, email address, and phone number, and send a check for $250 before January 1, 2018 to Azima Lila Forest, 410 W San Vicente St, Silver City NM 88061.  Payment can also be made via PayPal to azima@zianet.com. If you need to pay in installments, include in the email how you would like to pay (two semi-annual installments).


You can contact me at azima@zianet.com or 575-574-7805 if you have questions or concerns.