2017 Classes & Teachers
The Legacy of Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis
Unfolding the guidance and teachings offered to us with so much beauty and grace and bringing them to our current day understandings.
Shabda Kahn, a direct disciple of the American Sufi Master Murshid Samuel Lewis, has been practicing Sufism since 1969 and in 2001, was appointed Pir (Spiritual Director) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the lineage tracing from Hazrat Inayat Khan and Murshid Samuel Lewis. He is also the Spiritual Guide of the Dances of Universal Peace~ worldwide. Shabda has studied and performed North Indian Classical Vocal Music under the guidance of the late Master Singer, Pandit Pran Nath, since 1972. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan Master, the 12th TaiSitu Rinpoche. Shabda leads retreats and camps in Sufism with an emphasis on the mysticism of breath; the science and art of wazifa and zikr; music; the walking meditations of Murshid Samuel Lewis and opening the heart. He brings gentleness and humor in transmitting the rich lineage of Sufism.
Asha’s class will focus on the HEART CAVE and all the furnishings within it using breath, sensation, meditation and other practices from mystical Sufi traditions
Asha is a senior teacher in the Ruhaniat who teaches meditation, the natural life and the joy of inner freedom.
Jewels from the Life of Murshid Samuel Lewis
Wali Ali Meyer
Actively writing Murshid Sam’s biography as I have been doing with a really nice team of helpers takes us deeply into all the aspects of his life. Certain periods and events are perfect for our focus. In what he experienced, how he handled it, and what can be learned from it lies the theme for the class. Among the various accounts I will give about what I feel and see as jewels for awakening, the class will have a broad approach to the material that includes doing practices Murshid Sam did and learning through his difficulties as well.
A disciple of Murshid Samuel Lewis from 1968. Lived in the Mentorgarten with him as a helper and became his Esoteric Secretary, and initiated by him as a Sheikh. Now a Murshid, Wali Ali is head of the Esoteric School of the Sufi Ruhaniat, Spiritual Director of Khankah SAM, writer of numerous articles such as the history of Sufism in California featuring Murshida Martin and Murshid Sam, editor and co-author of Physicians of the Heart, teacher of Walks and Dances and the Sufi curriculum, as well as a devotee of the laughter of God.
Wali Ali Meyer
WORK in the INVISIBLE WORLD
Khadija Goforth & Emma Durbin
To the Sufi, Love and Work are the same. Moving through daily life, Sufis practice love, putting their heart into every moment, seeking the Divine Presence in every person and event. Yes, we live in challenging times, but every time in history has presented challenges to human unfoldment. In this class we will work with embodied practices of attunement, sound, breath, walk, dyads, Zikr, Dances of Universal Peace and teachings to explore more skillfully fulfilling our purpose.
A traveler of the Sufi Path for 40 years Khadija practices Service and Remembrance. Through Zikr, Dances of Universal Peace, Walking and Whirling Meditations, she endeavors to embody spiritual realization. Khadija serves as a Sufi Ruhaniat Int’l Murshida (sr. teacher), Siraj (sr. minister) and Healing Order Initiator and in 1994 was Semazenbashi/Dance Master at Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi’s tomb in Konya, Turkey. She is a founding member and former longtime board member of Northwest Sufi Camp. A mother and grandmother, Khadija lives and teaches in Seattle, WA and New York, NY.
Emma Durbin has been coming to Sufi Camps for nearly half her life. Her love for sufism began here, at Northwest Sufi camp, when she was nine. She is currently a student at DePaul University in Chicago studying playwriting.
Gathas of the Dharma
Saladin Frank Pelfrey & Alima Jackson
This beautiful teaching poem that has a number of selections printed in Murshid SAM’s book “In the Garden” will be the basis of this class. We will take one of two sections each day, outside in the natural world, and through some discussion and considerable practice we will explore the absolute reality through this Doctrine of No-Doctrine, also spoken of as the Mahamudra. Some sections we will definitely travel include “The Unweaving of Self”, “Right Mindfulness”, “Mindfulness of Spirit”, “Peace”, “Right Environment” and “Heart”. Other sections will be brought in by the desires of the class.
Saladin will also offer:
Last night, full of longing,
asking the wine woman for more,
and then more. Rumi
In the cauldron we gather in the night, leaving thoughts behind. For us our journey is a time for burning; our time is almost completely focused on practice, breath and dissolving. We ask the wine woman for more! All are welcomed.
Saladin has been actively walking the mystical path for the past 44 years. He finds spiritual expression in the many aspects of this wonderful journey. Holding the Message in his heart as a khalif in the Ruhaniat, teaching classes and workshops, being a khilvat guide, a cherag, healing conductor and a ziraat Experienced Farmer are all part of this expression. Saladin spent several years teaching meditation and pranayama. He has had the deep blessing to study with teachers from many different traditions. He has worked as a psychologist/psychotherapist and osteopathic massage therapist in Moscow, Idaho, (retired) and lives in Hamilton Montana where the woods and mountains are his beloved playground.
Alima Jackson grew up in the NW Sufi community, and realized along the way that if you’re waiting for a lightning bolt to tell you your life’s path, be prepared to wait. All is there, ready to be revealed, but only when you are ready to see it. Alima focuses on balance, and practical skills to help us walk through this life. Alima lives and works in Portland in the administrative field, where she has been fortunate to support organizations she believes in. She has hiked 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (Sierras to Ashland), sings with the Portland Peace Choir, and swing dances.
Saladin Frank Pelfrey
The Divine Child and The Wise One
Quan Yin Williams
We will explore the world and qualities of The Divine Child and the Wise One to see what Divine Qualities are seeking to be born and developed through us in this time in our lives and in the life of the world. Just as a child is not an immature adult, the older person is not a tattered remnant of an adult. There are specific Qualities and Tasks and Opportunities to be developed at all stages! We will use song and dance and images and story and wisdom teachings from the world to deepen our experiences and further our development in the various directions of life.
Quan Yin has been walking the Sufi path for over 40 years. She is a grandmother, a Sheikha in the Ruhaniat lineage, a (mostly retired) pediatrician and psychiatrist (now doing exclusively Soul Work) and lover of travel and study. Her loves are child and adult development, the great mysteries of community and family life, and “illuminating the shadow” in the footsteps of her many teachers, including Moineddin, Atum O’Kane and Saadi. She considers herself a Pilgrim in the journey of life.
Quan Yin Williams
The Art of Building a Warm Sufi Fire
This class will be based on shared practice and sohbet (heart-full conversation). I co-taught a class on gender at NWSC in 2013 with Alison Cohee, and this year I return to continue this conversation. “Act like a lady.” “Walk like a man.” Expressions like these hint at an important and often overlooked truth. Gender is performed; it is not something you are. The gender class is not a class on sex or sexuality. Rather it is a reflection on the nature of human identity. We will explore the art of structuring a welcoming public Sufi practice. If this sounds confusing then you are especially welcomed to join the warm fire of conversation and practice.
Perry Pike leads the Gospel Zikr practice. He is a chaplain who completed his theo/alogical studies at Starr King School for the Ministry where the mission is educating to counter oppression. In recent years this has meant helping host retreats at Khankah SAM in San Francisco – where he welcomed young adults for a Youth Jam, LGBTQIA identified Ruhaniat Sufis for a Rainbow Retreat, and a Queer Muslims of Color to an Urban Dervish Retreat.
About Qahira – I have been on the Sufi path for 10 plus years and have been teaching cultural sensitivity, awareness and anti-oppression workshops, and classes state wide for 25 years. My approach is to be sensitive and truthful. To teach as well as learn thru authentic stories, experiences, understanding, and compassion. My loves are family and Native culture. I enjoy Carving, fishing, gathering, gardening, drumming, music, and loving and enjoying my family.
Dances: SAM’s Seeds to Now
Ahura Grace Henke & Nuria Ginger Lee
Over the 50+ years since Murshid SAM began Sufi Dancing, in San Francisco, the Dances of Universal Peace have grown from about 20 original SAM dances to well over 500 dances and into a worldwide movement. Through the week we will Dance from the roots of this Stream of Blessing up to and including new, original and emerging Dances. We invite all you Lovers of the the Dance to join the circle and all Dance Leaders to join in leading Dances around a daily theme (which will be posted near the Dance Hall). Ahura Grace and Ginger Nuria will facilitate each days offerings. This will not be a Dance Leader Training class, but Ahura Grace and Nuria will be available if you would like to have feedback.
Ahura Grace Henke
Nuria Ginger Lee
Walking with Grace during Challenging Times: Attuning to Khidr (servant of Allah), Letting go into the Unknown
Ananda Mariam Simmons & Arifa Byron
Come Attune to the Divine Wisdom of Khidr (messenger of Allah) through interactive nature walks, meditations, dances and shared stories that will connect us to a greater truth beyond our limited understanding.
As a Spiritual Director, an ordained Cheraga of the Church of All and a teacher in the Ruhaniat lineage, Ananda Mariam Simmons takes great delight in exploring this path of the Heart with all of her beloved companions on the path Toward the One. Through self-inquiry, meditations, walks, dances and breaths we shall endeavor to “walk with grace” with our selves and each other during our time at camp and, Insh’Allah in our greater community of the world.
Arifa Byron has been walking on the Sufi Path for 30 years, and currently holds the post for the Portland Ruhaniat Circle. As both an academic and a Sufi teacher, Arifa blends the spiritual and political in the shared journey toward a just and inclusive world that promises dignity for all. Arifa holds Hazrat Inayat Khan’s message and the teachings of Murshid Sam deeply in her work to liberate intersectional oppressions, and seeks to embrace radical inclusivity as a breath-by-breath practice. Study with the Ruhaniat, the Mevlevi Order of America, the Rifa’i, the Nur Ashki Jerahi, and the Shadhiliyya orders of Sufism have influenced Arifa’s understanding of devotional practice, and in particular, her leadership of Zikr. Arifa is a professor of Peace and Justice Studies at Portland State University, where she directs the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project.
Ananda Mariam Simmons
Murad Malvin Finkelstein
In the Healing Zikr, Murad combines zikr, Sufi healing, and the essence of qigong to provide all participants the opportunity and ability to have divine healing flow in and through us – to heal ourselves, others and our planet.
In the Healing Zikr class, we will dive deeply into the Healing Zikr.
This will give us ample time for self-healing and to clear, cleanse, balance and strengthen our spiritual centers/chakras.
To heal others, we will charge our hands with the spiritual healing energy of the earth and the divine.
We then allow spiritual healing to flow through us to heal those present and not present, places and groups that need healing and the earth.
We will also learn how to charge water and food with spiritual healing.
May the divine healing love, light and life heal us and flow through us – to heal all beings
Murad Malvin Finkelstein is a senior leader in the Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Dervish Healing Order. He has been an acupuncturist, practitioner of Chinese medicine and qigong teacher in Eugene, Oregon for the past 40 years.
Murad Malvin Finkelstein
2017 Sufi Choir
Zarifah Spain & Wakil David Matthews & Sitara Ariel Bushnell
Zarifah Spain brings over 40 years of voice study, choral singing, and music teaching to her role as camp choir director. Her first encounter with the Sufi Choir in 1975 prompted her move to the SF Bay Area just five years after Murshid SAM’s passing, inspired by the spiritual energy infused in its music. Zarifah eventually sang with the Sufi Choir under Allaudin Mathieu, its founder, director and chief composer, and later participated in recording The Kabir Album with a second incarnation of the group.
Wakil David Matthews has been harmonizing since he joined his first church choir when he was 6 years old! He has enjoyed participating in many of our Sufi camp choirs, as well as singing with choral, chamber, acapella, and jazz groups.
Sitara Ariel Bushnell is a classically trained choral and jazz singer, eager to explore the essence of the individual voice and its divine contribution to unified sound. Her style and offerings are inspired by Hazrat Inayat Khan’s writings on the mysticism of sound, the importance of embodied practice in performance, and the magic that happens when people gather to sing and pray together. Ya Hu!
Sitara Ariel Bushnell
Wakil David Matthews
Ziraat, Emerging from the Chrysalis
Vakil Forest Shomer
Ziraat ‘incubated’ among Inayati Sufis for many decades from its inception in 1926. With encouragement from Pir Moineddin Jablonski, it broadened in scope by association with Permaculture and Deep Ecology during the 1990s. Most recently with impetus from Pir Shabda Kahn, Ziraat is emerging to be less encumbered by outworn structure, and is cross-pollinating with sister Nature Spirituality paths. This class will be an exploration of the dynamic present and the more ‘winged’ future of the Ziraat Activity, looking into practice, ritual, and bioregional interconnection.
Vakil Forest Shomer was for 20 years the Coordinator for Ziraat Activity in the Sufi Ruhaniat International (SRI). In his capacity as an Experienced Farmer in Ziraat, he has maintained a personal practice since 1975 and has brought hundreds of others into the Activity in the United States and abroad. He is a student of the Soulwork method of Hazrat Pir Moineddin Jablonski and serves as a Sufi Soulwork Conductor in SRI. As a full-time professional seedman since 1973, he has produced, bought, sold, given away and traded seeds of nearly 1000 different plant species and varietals, taught over 200 workshops in 8 states and provinces, and in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Canada, and Turkey. He currently owns and operates Inside Passage Seeds and Native Plant Services in Port Townsend, Washington.
Vakil Forest Shomer