Elias Amidon is the spiritual director (Pir) of the Sufi Way. He has been an initiate of the Sufi Way for the past 44 years, and was appointed as the Pir of the order in 2004 by the previous Pir, Sitara Brutnell. His root teacher in the order was Pir Fazal Inayat-Khan. Pir Elias has also studied with Qadiri Sufis in Morocco, Theravaden Buddhist teachers in Thailand, Native American teachers of the Assemblies of the Morning Star, Christian monks in Syria, Zen teachers of the White Plum Sangha, and contemporary teachers in the Dzogchen tradition.
Elias has lived a multifaceted, engaged life. The son of an artist and a social activist, he has worked as a schoolteacher, carpenter, architect, professor, writer, anthologist, environmental educator, peace activist, wilderness quest guide, and spiritual teacher. He founded, co-founded, or helped to develop several schools: the Heartwood School, the Institute for Deep Ecology, the Boulder Institute for Nature and the Human Spirit, the graduate program in Environmental Leadership at Naropa University, and the Open Path.
Author of the book The Open Path – Recognizing Nondual Awareness, and co-editor of the books Earth Prayers, Life Prayers, and Prayers for a Thousand Years, he has worked for many years in the fields of peace and environmental activism in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and with indigenous tribes in Thailand and Burma on issues of cultural continuity and land rights. He was instrumental in founding the Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil (Abraham's Path), an international project dedicated to helping Middle Eastern countries open a network of cultural routes and walking trails through the region. He continues to travel widely teaching Open Path and other Sufi Way programs.