- A conversation in the studio with Sufi practitioner and poet Raphael Block. Born and raised on a kibbutz in Israel to pioneering parents, Raphael grew up playing on the hills of Haifa. Just before turning 9, his family moved to London. Learning English shaped his ear for sound, and the British climate and temperament fashioned his life for the next 25 years. At age 27 he became a student of the great 20th century Sufi mystic Irina Tweedie, author of one of the greatest spiritual autobiographies, Daughter of Fire. After her death, Block eventually moved from London to northern California with his second wife, who was born in San Francisco, to continue his Sufi studies with Tweedie’s successor in the Naqshbandi Sufi Order Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee. After his wife’s death from cancer in 2002, Raphael continued with the work of raising their daughter. Raphael Block’s poetry volumes include Songs From A Small Universe and Spangling Darkness. His latest volume of poetry, Strings of Shining Silence, will be published later in 2016.
Raphael has coped with and learned from a succession of health challenges in recent years, including Chron’s disease, which necessitated several major surgeries. The latest challenge is a recent diagnosis of bone marrow cancer (MDS).
- Raphael Block's website: raphaelblock.com