An Active life in the Community

“No amount of prayer or meditation can do what helping others can do.”
– Meher Baba
Individual members of Sufism Reoriented have used their skills and talents to create and provide a range of services to help others. A few examples:

AID FOR AUTISM

When a member with an autistic child discovered the limited range of support available for those with autism, she created the Foundation for Autism Support and Training – ARCHway. It has grown so successful, the United Nations has granted it “consultative status”. Learn more about ARCHway.

STARTING HOSPICE CARE

Another member, a doctor assisting his patients with end-of-life care, saw the great need for better facilities in his California county and cofounded the Hospice of the East Bay.

COMFORT FOR GRIEVING CHILDREN

One member saw how difficult it is for adults to talk with girls and boys who have lost a beloved family member, friend, or pet. So she wrote Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children. This user-friendly resource helps adults recognize children in mourning and offers age-appropriate words to use and practical ideas to help them grieve and preserve memories of loved ones. Now in its third edition, it has been adopted as a textbook in universities and as a manual for grief counseling and support groups. As one little girl said after attending a grief support group, “I don’t feel so alone anymore.” Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children.

COMBATING DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE

Decades ago a member was inspired by Meher Baba's urgent warnings about the dangers of the emerging widespread use of psychoactive drugs by young people. This member then cofounded the nonprofit Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), which developed and disseminated some of the earliest drug prevention strategies to schools and colleges. PIRE then expanded its focus to tackle a wide range of substance abuse, health, and safety issues. It has completed 180 domestic and international projects addressing many of the most serious threats to human health and safety. Today PIRE is a major U.S. research and consulting organization. Learn more about PIRE.

DEEPENING THE STUDY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

When academic and professional training for psychologists was limited to behavioral and psychodynamic theories, three members created America's first accredited degree programs in consciousness studies to pioneer a focus on the deeper, spiritual qualities of human experience. Learn more at JFK University.

INCREASING LAW ENFORCEMENT EDUCATION

To provide leadership training at every level of law enforcement, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police created the nonprofit Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation (VPCF). However, VPCF was on tenuous financial ground. When a member of Sufism Reoriented joined the Association's board of directors and learned of the situation, he was able to design and implement a recovery plan through the Marketing Committee. The plan increased revenue to a surplus, which provided VPCF the funds needed to eventually expand training and leadership courses and help raise the quality of law enforcement in the state of Virginia. VPCF.

TRAINING DOCTORS IN AFRICA

The African nation of Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. A member of Sufism Reoriented with a PhD in pharmacology, who spoke Swahili, and who had experience managing clinical trials, went there as a volunteer for two years to teach pharmacology to medical students and physicians. AIDS is rampant in Tanzania and the country desperately needs therapies that are inexpensive and easy to administer. So when a German group with a promising AIDS therapy needed someone in Tanzania to manage a clinical trial, the member took on this added responsibility. Incorporating the clinical trial into her curriculum, she also used it to teach the physicians and students important procedures and "best practices" that were unfamiliar to them. Although the results of the study are not yet known, a major benefit to the country has been that Tanzanian medical staff were taught how to manage a clinical trial successfully and will be able to manage their own trials in the future.
“The most practical thing in the world to do is be spiritually-minded.”
– Meher Baba