2023 Teacher Bios
Ahura Grace Henke
Ahura Grace has been on the Sufi Path since 1982. Her primary teacher is Majida Inayat Nelson. She also studied extensively with Ishaq Jud, Sharif Baba, and Jelaluddin Loras. Her Primary focus has been Zikr, DHO, and she loves Soulwork.
Ahura Grace Henke
Alima Alisa Jackson
Alima Alisa Jackson grew up in the NW Sufi community, and continuously is drawn back to this path which provides more and more opportunity to explore our humanity and divinity. Her current focus is on how to be in the world, but not of it, and how to maintain equilibrium in order to serve and hold what’s needed.
Alima Alisa Jackson
Basira has been a student of sufism for over 45 years. She has been serving as the secretary of Sufi Ruhaniat International since 2009 and works every day in support of the SRI sangha. She lives with her husband Fred in southern Washington near the Columbia River.
Chela has been singing harmonies since her teen years, both spontaneously adding textures in the moment and arranging folk and choral music. She appreciates the wondrous birthright of the human voice: by our speech we communicate with one another; in song and intonation we experience “incarnation” in a radiant sense, the vibration of life expressing itself through our bodies, hearts and voices. Chela has been a musical support to the Dances since 1991, and has led Dances in both Portland and Bend, Oregon.
Chela Sloper (she/her)
Halim was first initiated by Murshid Moineddin in 1974. Named Usman at that time he became intimately involved with sanghas in Portland, Corvallis and Eugene. Halim had part of creating the first NW Sufi Camps. He moved to a Sufi house, Sami Mahal, in San Rafael (California) in 1983 taking hands with the resident Sheikh Vasheest Davenport, who gave him the name Halim. After Vasheest’s death, Halim turned to guidance from Pir Shabda who soon recognized him as Khalif. He has worked closely with Sheikh Ishaq Jud, Murshid(a) Mariam Baker and Murshid Wali Ali, among others.
Being a performing musician since he was 14 and a guitarist for DUP and zikr since late 1973, Halim leads regular classes and zikrs in the Northern California Bay Area.
With his wife, Vakila, their folk-rock duo played at major Northern California festivals and concerts for some years. They both also performed as part of a traditional Pakistani Qawwali band. He is father to three adult daughters and works as a real estate investment broker.
Iman has been trying to walk the Sufi path for over 45 years. Still trying.
I came to the Sufi path like many fellow students: through a friend, my college friend Irene Rokstad, in the early 1970’s.
And as a singer and creator of music finding the teachings of Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan was like hearing my own soul speak: why are people happy or unhappy? Why are humans oblivious to the natural world? What is the best way to be with one another, to create a happy life for ourselves and others?
After initiation with Murshida Qahira Qalbee Fraley, studies in meditation with Pir Vilayat Khan and immersion in Indian Raga, I found an unexpected link with my heart teacher, Pir Moineddin Jablonski, who continues to inspire my life.
I have experienced the NW Sufi Camp as director, Board member and President, and as a staff member. I read the esoteric papers for students for over thirty years and lead classes in astrological walks, public zikr and dance meetings.
Presently my life energy is focused on creating sustainable native plant gardens and on wildlife suport in Birch Bay, Washington, where I am retired from public teaching and immersed in creating the full scale renaturescaping of my community.
MANSUR KREPS • SEATTLE, WA (Sheikh, Sufi Ruhaniat International)
Forty-five years ago Mansur realized that although he had a Princeton theoretical physics PhD and tenure at a prestigious university, academia had become stifling and his marriage was over. He resigned, built a house in the woods, and learned to swim, sing, and dance.
Almost immediately Mansur met his second wife Khadija and Sufi Sheikh Vasheest, who invited him on pilgrimage to India, Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan. He went, was initiated, and upon returning helped start Sami Mahal Sufi Center in San Rafael, CA in 1980. He continued studying Sufism while working first as an electrician and carpenter and later as a renowned FCAS reinsurance actuary.
His Sufi teachers included Pir Moineddin and Murshid Wali Ali. Many other Ruhaniat teachers were influential, including his former students.
Now long retired and celebrating his 85th birthday shortly after camp, Mansur aspires to be a dervish, devoted to God and serving Love. His spiritual path began with the practices of yoga, meditation, and Buddhism and currently emphasize Zikr, Turning, the Dances of Universal Peace, Ecstatic Dance, and the Divine Feminine. A former Mevlevi ateshbaz and NWSC, DUP, and Oneness Project board member, Mansur now serves the Seattle and Northwest Sufi Communities. His current work is focused around the path of Eldering and making it available to all.
Mariam Baker is a senior teacher of Sufi Ruhaniat International, a leader in the Dances of Universal Peace since 1974, and a senior teacher of the Mevlevi Order of America; practitioners of the “Turn.” Mother of five, including two sets of twins, she is a spiritual midwife and energy weaver dedicated to embodied spirituality, especially through the modality of SoulWork. She leads retreats and workshops around the world.
A passionate gardener, a scholar and published author, most recently of Sacred Voices; Stories from the Caravan of Women, Mariam also serves as Executive Director of the SoulWork Foundation.
Murad is a Shafayat (Senior Leader) in the Dervish Healing Order (DHO) and a Sheikh (Senior Leader) in the Ruhaniat.
He has been teaching Sufi healing classes for the last 40 years, merging his knowledge of Sufi healing with Taoism and Qigong. Murad has organized DHO Camps for many years and is the creator of the DHO classes website. He leads zikr, the Healing Zikr and classes on topics that include developing intuition, building and sustaining magnetism, the integrity of our energetic field, and the expansion and development of breath.
In addition to his passion for energetic healing, Murad is a lifelong musician, playing alto saxophone in his spare time.
Hello my name is Nur Mariam. I have been traveling on this revelatory spiritual path for over 40 years from Christianity as a child and teen, to women’s mystery school and pagan rituals in my twenty and thirties, to Universal Sufism and Buddhism currently. The process of discovering and opening to Unity is the Ishq and the Nur of my heart.
Saladin has been actively walking the mystical path for the past 49 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, DHO Initiator 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.
Vakila ter Veld
Vakila was born and raised in the Netherlands as Marjo ter Veld. She immigrated to Canada at age 22. After years of travel she returned to Holland for a while and was introduced to Sufism when she attended the Chamonix Sufi Camp in the French Alps in 1976. She later returned to the US and became a member of Sheikh Vasheest’s zikr circle at Sami Mahal Sufi Center in San Rafael CA and was initiated by him in 1982.
She met Halim (then Usman) Friedman there in 1983. They have a daughter, Khalila.
Together they’ve led many zikrs in the SF Bay Area, at Sufi camps and beyond as well as supporting numerous events musically. Beautiful, melodious zikrs have come into being this way.
Vakila says, “I love singing and sharing zikr, aspiring to a deep ecstatic experience of Love , Harmony and Beauty.”
Vakila ter Veld
Zahir Karuna Moree
Zahir has a lifelong love of music, movement, and rhythm. Zahir seeks to give back to the NW Sufi Camp community even a small part of what he has received, and hopes to be a Root linking the best of our robust past with the great potential of our present, inshallah. Zahir leads Dances regularly in the Pacific Northwest, sharing the Dances as a rich spiritual practice of Healing, Community, and the Arts.
Zahir Karuna Moree
Musicians: Chela Sloper, Chris Henke, Matin Stephen Pierce and Nuria Ginger Lee.