Press Release

Explore the diverse Sufi meditative traditions

May 12, 2017

Explore the diverse Sufi meditative traditions

Rothko Chapel’s ‘12 Moments’ series continues with Sufi meditation,

Wednesday, June 7

HOUSTON – May 12, 2017 –  There is a diverse array of meditative traditions within the Sufi tradition – and the Rothko Chapel is offering an opportunity for guests to experience it all firsthand.

At noon on Wednesday, June 7, the nonprofit will be hosting Ryan Makhani and Shaida Adatia. The duo will lead a discussion and meditation, taking participants through diverse Sufi meditative practices from around the world -- featuring traditions from Turkey, Tajikistan, India, Indonesia, Iran and Morocco.

The Chapel is located at 3900 Yupon. The event is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $10.

The meditation, which highlight the ideas of compassion and prayer, will be broken up into three parts.

The first part will focus on poetry and the oral traditions of Mecca in the 7th century, and the second on Islamic music, as it is sung and played in public places or private devotions.

“Since Islam is a multi-ethnic religion, the musical expression of its adherents is vastly diverse,” Rothko Chapel’s public programs and community engagement director Ashley Clemmer said. “The indigenous musical styles of these areas have shaped the devotional music enjoyed by contemporary Muslims.”

The third part of the meditation will center on Dikr, an esoteric form of prayer named for the Quranic word meaning remembrance of Allah or repetition of his name.

Makhani has served as a religious education teacher for Ismaili Muslim youth, focusing on ethics and humanities. Inspired by his students, he founded, which aims to enable young people to be innovative leaders. His teaching centers on mindfulness, self-awareness and servant leadership.

He holds a masters in teaching and a masters in Muslim societies and civilizations from University of London’s Institute of Education and the Institute of Ismaili Studies.

Adatia has more than two decades of experience as a professional educator in Central Africa, Canada and the United States. She works to empower youth around the world through education and plays an active role in Houston’s interfaith community.

Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims are branch of Shia Islam, which is one of the two major branches of Islam. Ismailis can be found in more than 25 countries, mainly in Central and South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

“Together, Ryan and Shaida offer unique insight into the meditative traditions found within Islam,” Clemmer said. “They both do so much work to empower people through education and faith.”

The event is a continuation of Rothko Chapel’s educational meditation series, “12 Moments: Experiencing Spiritual and Faith Traditions.”

Clemmer said the series is designed to offer unique insight and new meditative practices for attendees, while celebrating the diversity of the world’s faith traditions.

“The 12 Moments series pairs the Rothko Chapel’s commitments to spirituality and diversity,” she said. “It’s both educational and uplifting.”

The "12 Moments" series is co-sponsored by Ligmincha Texas Institute, The Jung Center of Houston, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the Rothko Chapel.

For more information about the Rothko Chapel and the full calendar of upcoming programs, workshops and events, visit or call 713-524-9839.


About the Rothko Chapel

The Rothko Chapel is open to the public every day of the year at no charge and successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary. Today it stands as a monument to art, spirituality and human rights. As an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, the Chapel depends on contributions from foundations and individuals to support its mission of creating a space for contemplation and dialogue on important issues.

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