Sufism Symposium 2011


The 2011 Sufism Symposium, held at the Dominican University of California, June 11 – 12, was a great success. Our warm thanks to all who participated and to everyone who came to experience a weekend of discussion, music, poetry and workshops on the topic of Heart and Mind. A full report will be forthcoming.

Sufism Symposium 2011

Program

June 11 & 12, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA

Lectures, Workshops, and Music

Saturday Evening Music Performance

taneenTaneen Sufi Music Ensemble sings the love poetry of the great Sufi masters in English translation, making the profound message of unity accessible to all audiences. Since in 1996 these Sufi practioners have shared their meditation-inspired music locally and internationally, in such peace-building venues as the Nobel Peace Institute and Parliament of World’s Religions.

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Schedule

Saturday June 11, 2011

Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University, 9 am to 6 pm

9-9:45 am Opening Prayers and Invocations
David Escobar
Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman
Swami Vedananda
Seido Lee de Barros
Moderator: Nafisa Haji

Opening Statement
Nahid Angha, Ph. D.

9:45-11:00 Panel Discussion
Gul Ashki and Kaan, Topic: Sufi Practice in Everyday Life
Mary Ann D. Fadae. Topic: The Heart of the Matter
Moderator: Prof. Arthur Scott

11:10- 12:30 Panel Discussion
Sonia Leon Gilbert. Topic: Difference between Heart and Mind
Nevit Ergin, MD. Topic: Be a fool of Love than a scholar
Reverend Canon Charles P. Gibbs. Topic: Transformation through Imagination
Moderator: Ali Haji

12:30-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-2:45 Panel Discussion
Abullahi El-Okene . Topic: The Beauty of Pleasurable Submission in Love
Pir Shabda Kahn. Topic: Physicians of the Heart: A Sufi View of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah
Musa Muhaiyaddeen (E. L. Levin). Toipc: Sufism – The Bridge from the Mind to the Heart
Moderator: Leili First

3:00-4:15 Panel Discussion
Nick Yiangou. Topic: The Responsive Heart: Ibn ‘Arabi on Unity and Diversity
Bahman A.K. Shirazi, PhD. Sufi Path of Self-Transformation
Moderator: Habib Glenn Pascall

Final Thoughts: Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar.

5:00-6:00 Sufi Poetry and Music
Sufi Music and Poetry Reading
Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble
Riffat Sultana
Moderator; Safa Ali Michael Newman

Sunday June 12, 2011
Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University, 9 am to 6 pm
The Art of Balance in Spirituality and Psychology — Workshops and Practices

9:00-9:45 Spiritual Competency in the 21st Century
Keynote: David Lufoff, PhD
Moderator: Jamal Granick, MFT, PhD (cand.)

9:45- 10:00 Break

10:00-11:15 Finding the Rhythm Within: The Art of Balance in Spirituality and Psychology
Panel: Pamela Ashkenazy, MS, MFTI, Sarah Hastings, MA, MFTI,
Helge Osterhold, MFT, Ph.D. (cand.), Boe Elizabeth Roberts, MA, MFTI
Moderator: Hameseh Kianfar, Ed. D.

11:15-12:30 Lunch

12:30-1:00: Wit and Wisdom from the Women close to Prophet Muhammad
Speaker: Taman Kahn
Moderator: Amineh Amelia Pryor, MFT, PhD

1:00-2:00: The Logos of Unity: Philosophy and Spiritual Practice in the Sufi Way of Life
Workshop: Olga Louchakova-Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D
Moderator: Jamal Granick MFT, PhD (cand.)

2:00-2:30 Break

2:30-3:30: 40 Days – Alchemy of Tranquility – Synchronizing with the Health
Workshop: Dr. Dawn Brown-Davis, D.O.
Moderator: Katherine Preston, MA, MFT

3:30-4:00 Break

4:00-5:30: 40 Days – Alchemy of Tranquility – Movement and Music
Workshop: Brian Heery, Ph.D, Salima Ginny Patton Matchette, LMFT, Salim George Matchette, LMFT
Moderator: Katherine Preston MA MFT

5:30-6:00 Closing and Chanting
Taneen

Presenter Biographies

David Escobar: Salvadoran born of the indigenous group called the Lenca-Poton. David grew up in the Mission and Excelsior Districts of San Francisco. In addition to a long history of advocating for multi-ethnic communities and mobilizing people to speak out for their rights, David’s numerous contributions include organizing efforts to educate and develop cultural competency as it pertains to indigenous people of the Americas among the social and non-profit service agencies, universities and other learning institutions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1995 as a drug and alcohol counselor for Bay Area Community Resources, David established the first men’s Spanish bilingual drug and alcohol support group in the Marin County Jail. David is the currently works as an Aide to Fourth District Supervisor Steve Kinsey in Marin County. In 1999 David began advocating on behalf of his grandmother’s tribal communities in Central America and is one of the cultural advisors to Three Nations Indian Circle, advisor to the Marin Museum of the American Indian and a current “green advocate” in the Latino-indigenous communities of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman is the Western Regional Director of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation serving twenty-six congregations from the Rockies to the Pacific. She is the Rabbinic co-chair of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and on the executive committee of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Rabbi Litman was the spiritual leader of gay outreach congregations Kol Simcha and Sha’ar Zahav, is an authority on moral education for diverse families, and has consulted with Jewish institutions, the Metropolitan Community Churches, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the National Council of Churches on the subject. She is the editor of the award winning Lifecycles 2: Jewish Women on Scriptural Themes in Contemporary Life.

Swami Vedananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order which is a part of the ancient monastic tradition of India which dates back to the time of the Vedas, before recorded history. In addition to study and spiritual practice, the monks of this order devote themselves to works of service as an effective way to worship of God.

Seido Lee de Barros is a Zen Buddhist Priest and Dharma teacher in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi. Home temple –  Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. Also active with hospice, prison, homeless and interfaith communities

Panel Discussion and Workshop Presenter Biographies

Nahid Angha, Ph. D. is the co-director and co-founder of the IAS, founder of the International Sufi Women Organization, the executive editor of Sufism: An Inquiry, the main representative of the IAS to the United Nations (NGO/DPI), an internationally published scholar, she is one of the major Sufi teachers, scholars, and translators of Sufi literature today, with over fifteen published books. She has lectured throughout the world, at the UN, at the CPWR in Cape Town, and in Barcelona, Spain; at the Smithsonian Institute, Compassion, Germany, Science and Spirituality, Italy, and was invited by the King of Morocco and honoured among the many distinguished Muslim leaders and scholars who gathered for the first annual Shakir World Encounters, an Islamic conference of peace in Marrakech, Morocco. Opening Statement.

Gul Ashki and Kaan are Sufi teachers and they started the search for Truth in their teenage years. Early on they came upon the Transcendental Meditation Program, and practiced that and TM-Siddhi Programs many years for World Peace. They lived in a large TM community and earned degrees from Maharishi International University. Then their quest involved various other Sacred Traditions including Vedanta, Mystical Christianity and Zen Buddhism, culminating in Universal Sufism. They have been sharing the Sufi teachings for the last two decades through the prompting of their beloved teacher late Dr. Lex Hixon/Sheikh Nur al-Jerrahi who appointed them as his successors. While their non-dual wisdom teachings and devotional practices are deeply rooted in Sufism, they universalize these on the shared core principles of human mystic experience. Ashki & Kaan lead monthly Interfaith Sufi Peace Retreats, participate in Interfaith and Trans-traditional Councils, Teleseminars, Conferences and Community Service Groups. Ashki holds a BA in Education, and an MA in Science of Creative Intelligence and Kaan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. They are married and have three children. They currently reside and share Universal Sufism at Unity of Tustin, California: Topic: Sufi Practice in Everyday Life

Nevit Ergin, MD: Some of us are born restless, misfits. Often not satisfied by the comfort of religion, science and philosophy, he lives the life as a homeless home cat. I am one of those restless ones, a misfit who became prey to Mevlana fifty years ago. I found this world in 1928. I have been trying to get rid of it since then, before it gets rid of me. Topic: Be a fool of Love than a scholar

Mary Ann D. Fadae received her Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies from Indiana University. A convert to Islam, Dr. Fadae is a member of the Jerrahi Order. She has taught courses in Arabic, Islam, and the history of Western Civilization and has given numerous talks to academic, church and civic groups. Her dissertation, The Key to Salvation: A Sufi Manual of Invocation (1996) deals with dhikr. Currently she is translating Allah: al-Qasd al-Mujarrad fi Ma`rifat al-Ism al-Mufrad (God: The Pure Goal Concerning Knowledge of the Unique Name) by the 13th-century Shadhili Shaykh Ahmad Ibn `Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari. Topic: The Heart of the Matter.

Reverend Canon Charles P. Gibbs: Since 1997, the Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs has served as the founding Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative (www.uri.org), a global interfaith network working for peace, justice and healing through interfaith cooperation, active in 78 countries. An internationally respected speaker and author, Charles is an Episcopal priest, bringing to his ministry a strong commitment to spiritual transformation and work for peace, justice and healing, and an abiding belief in the sacredness of all life on this planet. Topic: Transformation through Imagination

Sonia Leon Gilbert: For thirty-nine years, Sonia Leon Gilbert has been a president of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship and Mosque with fourteen branches in the USA, Canada, England and Sri Lanka. In that time, the study of the Sufi Way, as exemplified by her exalted teacher, M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (ral.) has been her focus and her work. Wisdom gained thereby is included in her many speeches and is her guide to continued enthusiastic engagement in numerous Interfaith Dialogues. She is a regular speaker at Sufi Symposiums and an ardent supporter of Interfaith Endeavors. Author of articles and speeches, she recently contributed a chapter to the book The Revelation of the Breath. Her essay, The Divine Vibration in the Breath – A Song of Life was included for its salient observations on Consciousness. In earlier years, Sonia Leon was a voice graduate of the revered Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her operatic career spanned the concert stage, radio, television, performing with some of the greatest singers of the latter 20th century. From 1986 to 1998 she was the owner of two gem magazines, notably the international publication Lapidary Journal. In addition to these two mineral and jewelry arts magazines, she co-founded a third gem news magazine, Colored Stone, in 1987. Concerns for the spiritual, socio-political and physical environment has also led to a partnership in One Light Pictures LLC, a company involved in documentary film productions. Topic: Difference between Heart and Mind

Tamam Kahn is a teacher in the Sufi Ruhaniat International. She is Senior Editor of “The Sound Journal,” author of Untold: A History of the Wives of Prophet Muhammad. Her travels to sacred sites in Morocco, Syria, Andalusia and India, and her careful research of early Islamic history have informed her attunement to and knowledge of these vital and nearly unknown historical figures. Tamam is married to Pir Shabda Kahn, the spiritual director of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, with outreach in 50 countries. Topic: Guidance from his Wives: Wit and Wisdom from the Women close to Prophet Muhammad

Pir Shabda Kahn began his root training in 1969 under the guidance of the great American Sufi Master, Murshid Samuel Lewis.  Since 2001, Shabda serves as the Pir (lineage holder) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the Sufi lineage tracing back though Murshid Samuel Lewis and Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. In 1972 Shabda met his second great teacher, the late Master Singer, Pandit Pran Nath, and began the daily practice of North Indian classical music in the Kirana style. He now teaches vocal music and performs Raga singing and is the director of the Chisti Sabri School of Music. He worked closely with the great American Mystic Joe Miller. He is also a disciple of the illustrious Tibetan Buddhist Master, the 12th Tai Situpa Rinpoche. Shabda brings warmth, humor, and clarity in his efforts to help seekers on their Path to Awakening and Service. Topic: PHYSICIANS OF THE HEART: A Sufi View of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah

David Katz, MD, born in Wisconsin and graduated in philosophy from Stanford University, is married to Anne Katz, who has also been a student of Sheikh Bawa Muhaiyaddeen since 1976. Dr. Katz is the president of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship, California Branch, and practices as a family physician in Sacramento, California, guided by the healing teachings offered by Sheikh Bawa. Dr. Katz teaches Healing Arts at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. Topic: Silent Poetry , Stillness Dancing

Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar is the co-director and co-founder of the International Association of Sufism, and the executive editor of the journal Sufism: An Inquiry. He is a disciple of Moulana Shah Maghsoud, Master of the Oveysi School of Sufism and founder of the School of Shah Maghsoudi. He began studying Erfan under the guidance and supervision of his Master of Tariq, Moulana Shah Maghsoud, and was appointed by him to teach and lead gatherings. An internationally published author and lecturer, Dr. Kianfar has taught Sufism and Islamic Philosophy throughout the world for over 40 years, with thousands of students around the globe. A few years ago, when the International Association of Sufism sponsored and organized its first conference on Sufism in Sydney, Australia, Dr. Kianfar went there as the keynote speaker. He was also an honorary speaker at a conference in Uzbekistan, organized by the government of Uzbekistan and UNESCO on the topic of Interreligious Dialogue and Peace. At that time, and on many other occasions, he was invited as the sole representative of Sufism amongst other world religious leaders.

Sheikhul Islam Alhaj Shah Sufi Syed Mainuddin Ahmed is the direct descendant of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.M). He was named the president of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (coordination body of Sunni Leaders), in 1988.He contributed greatly to encourage Govt. of Bangladesh to observe 12th Rabiul Awal, the birthday of the holy prophet as Eid-E-Miladunnabi at state level. To struggle the movement of Maizbhandari Order he has built an orphanage, Madrasa, School, free clinic and a state of the art Islamic complex at Maizbhandar Darbar Sharif, Chittagong, Bangladesh. He was also acclaimed as the Ambassador for World Peace by the Ghanaian Govt. in 2005.He was also awarded for his countless achievements for Islam by the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina in 2004.He is now Shajjadanshin of the Darbar e Gausul Azam Maizbhandari.An Honorable adviser to the IAS, he is also the Chief Patron of SUFIS (Sufi Unity For International Solidarity). Topic: Sufism and Ecology

Shahzada-e-Gausul Azam Shah Sufi Alhaj Syed Saifuddin Ahmed Al Hasni Wal Hussaini Maizbhandari is the only son of Baba Mainuddin Ahmed Al-Hasani Wal-Hussain. He has participated in countless international seminars and symposiums earning himself great reputation both home & abroad. He is the chairman of Maizbhandar Rahmania Mainia Madrasa, Hefzokhana & Orphanage complex and Madrasha-E-Mainia Darse Nizamia, and the Mainia Foundation which he himself founded for the welfare of the disciples.Under Mainia Foundation, Syed Saifuddin Ahmed has been organizing arsenic free water and tree plantation programs. He has also established a scholarship fund for the poor and destitute. He is currently the President of Anjuman-E-Rahmania Mainia Maizbhandaria. Topic: Sufism and Ecology

Musa Muhaiyaddeen (E. L. Levin) is a direct disciple of the Sufi mystic and teacher Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. He met Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in 1972 and studied with him until Bawa Muhaiyaddeen left his earthly form in 1986. He now shares what he learned during the 14 years he spent at the feet of his venerable teacher. He has traveled to Africa, Europe, Asia and throughout North America speaking on the teachings of Sufism. The International Association of Sufism (IAS) has published his book: On the Road to Infinity, which is a compilation of talks given by him on Sufism in various venues throughout the world. His insights on Sufism are now available online at www.thewitnesswithin.com and are presented in audio, video and print format. He has made numerous trips to Mecca and Medina and has taken hundreds of people with him on the pilgrimage. He is co-president of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship. He is married with 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Toipc: Sufism – The Bridge from the Mind to the Heart

Abullahi El-Okene a student of Shaikh Ahmadu Tijani who studied under Imam Hassan Cisse, Shaikh Tahir Bauchi, Shaikh Ahmad AbulFathi, Shaikh Sherrif Saleh and a host of other Shaikhs of Tariqa Tijaniyya. He hails from Okene in Nigeria, was born on Thursday the 6th of June 1957 and has a PhD in Engineering from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria where he is a tenure Professor. He is currently the Chairman of International Organization of Tijaniyyah Brotherhood (IOTB) and a has Shaikh Ibrahim Abdullahi Nyass as his Role Model. He reads extensively particularly books in Arabic and English on the biography of the Prophet SAW. Topic: The Beauty of Pleasurable Submission in Love.

Bahman A.K. Shirazi, PhD has been affiliated with the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he has studied, taught and worked for nearly three decades. He is also on the faculty of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. His most recent publication is a book chapter on Sufi psychology titled The Sufi Path of Self-Transformation published by Pearson Publications, New Delhi, India.

Nick Yiangou holds a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology and currently works as an IT manager in the software industry in California. He is a director of the United States branch of the Ibn Arabi Society, which promotes the teachings and translations of this great spiritual teacher. He is an ongoing student of the Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education in Scotland, which is based on the principles and teachings of the way of oneness and unification, and previously served on the board of the Beshara Foundation in the US. Topic: The Responsive Heart: Ibn ‘Arabi on Unity and Diversity.

Saturday Evening Music

Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble sings the love poetry of the great Sufi masters in English translation, making the profound message of unity accessible to all audiences. Since in 1996 these Sufi practioners have shared their meditation-inspired music locally and internationally, in such peace-building venues as the Nobel Peace Institute and Parliament of World’s Religions.

Riffat Sultana is the first woman from her family’s musical lineage to
publicly perform in the west. She is the daughter of the late Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, who is universally recognized as the finest Pakistani Classical singer of his time. Riffat’s stunning vocals have been recorded for numerous labels including Ark 21/Universal, Triloka/Mercury, Hearts of Space, City of Tribes, 6 Degrees and XDot25. The group performs a wide variety of traditional and modern materials from Pakistan and India , including Sufi, Geet, Ghazal, Filmi, Qawwali, and Light Classical. Highlighting her performances are her devotional, and ecstaticPakistani Sufi songs to great saints like Shahabaz Qalander and Baba BuleShah. Sure to move your heart and move your feet.

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Sunday June 12, 2011
The Art of Balance in Spirituality and Psychology
Workshops and Practices

Keynote Address
Spiritual Competency in the 21st Century
Spirituality has been ignored and pathologized in psychology for over 100 years. Starting about 10 years ago, a shift started to occur throughout the healthcare field mandating the provision of spiritually sensitive care as a core component of multicultural competency and as a resource for wellness and recovery. How did this change come about and how can spirituality and psychology achieve a balance that respects the imperatives and values of both endeavors?

David Lukoff, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and a licensed psychologist in California. He is author of 80 articles and chapters on spiritual issues and mental health and co-author of the DSM-IV category Religious or Spiritual Problem. He has been an active workshop presenter providing training for psychologists in spiritual competencies in areas such as loss and grief, death and illness, spiritual problems and emergencies internationally. He integrates rhythms from Aikido into his psychotherapy training classes.

Panel and Workshop
Finding the Rhythm Within: The art of balance in spirituality and psychology

The Sufism Psychology Forum will present an inspiring panel workshop to address the central role of cultivating the rhythm of life in the transformative process of an engaged psychology. The presenters will share their perspectives on the nexus between heart and mind as fundamental to their personal growth and clinical work. This panel will present the fresh ideas and practices guiding us to inner wisdom, harmony and healing pathways essential for our sustained unfolding.

Together, panelists and participants will integrate their own engagement with life. The moderator will explore the ground of being within Sufi wisdom teachings through cultivation of the seed of awareness within the heart of unity. This program will reveal the key to the relationship between self and Self leading to peace, happiness, transformation and love.

Sarah Hastings, a member of the International Association of Sufism, is a fifth year clinical psychology graduate student at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. She is presently working on her dissertation, The Mind does not Know I: An Heuristic Inquiry into the Lived Experience of Self for Practitioners of Uwaiysi Sufism. Sarah is also a second year psychotherapy intern at the Berkeley Therapy Institute in Berkeley, CA.

Helge Osterhold, MFT, Ph.D. (cand.) received a master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology and is currently completing his PhD dissertation in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His work is rooted in humanistic-existential, transpersonal and body-oriented psychology as well as years of experience with family constellation work. In addition he draws from over 15 years of his own spiritual practice, with a particular affinity to non-dual and Buddhist traditions. Besides seeing clients in his private psychotherapy practice,  he teaches mindfulness, self-care practices and therapeutic communication to clinicians at UCSF Children’s Hospital and at UCSF School of Medicine. He has also taught Cross-Cultural Psychology in the graduate psychology program of Golden Gate University since 2006.

Boe Elizabeth Roberts, MA, MFTI is a Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in counseling children and young adults.  She works with an integrative theoretical approach, which culminates in the clients Personal Awareness.  Ms. Roberts studied Professional Psychology at John F. Kennedy University where she earned a Masters Degree emphasizing Expressive Art Therapy.  Ms. Roberts has extensive experience with young children, teens and their families. She has specific experience working with children who have divorced parents, been adopted, or are in foster care.  She has also spent many years working with children of addicted parents, children with special needs, eating disorders, body image, and youth struggling with learning disabilities.  Ms. Roberts is passionate about helping others find their joy in life and helping them realize their Dreams.

Pamela Ashkenazy, MS, MFTI has been working with Community Healing Centers since 2006. She offers individual, couples, and group counseling. Her training and ongoing inquiry focus on transitions and loss. Pamela’s therapeutic approach is rooted in client-centered psychotherapy. She believes that all individuals are inherently capable of accessing self-healing powers given the support that may be needed. Pamela concentrates her expertise to support clients with the issues of: loss. transitions, and self-care and self-healing

Keynote
The Logos of Unity: Philosophy and Spiritual Practice in the Sufi Way of Life

This workshop will address the central role of spiritual practice and hands-on experience of Divine as a source in the historical and present formulation of Sufi philosophy.  Same central role of practice will be true with regard to shaping one’s own understanding of God. Spiritual practice of the Dhikr of the Heart leads to the sequences of experiences known as integrations, culminating in the final integration of integrations (jam’ al-jam’ Arabic). These gatherings are the stations of consciousness where the individual knowledge of a Sufi Gnostic is replaced by God’s self-disclosure. Thus, we have Ibn al-‘Arabi saying that, “The final end and ultimate return of the gnostics … is that the Real is identical with them, while they do not exist.” For a Sufi who enters these stations, the recognition of oneness in multiplicity creates a question regarding what would be the best adab for this station.  We will discuss whether it is right to continue affirming the Oneness of Existence thus becoming a spokes(wo)man of the only One God,  or would it be a more ethical choice to adhere to statements connected with relative existence in the identity as an individual, thus  avoiding an ego-inflation. This question, famously associated with the situation of execution of Hallaj, will become the central focus of this workshop.

Olga Louchakova-Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D., is a spiritual teacher, phenomenological philosopher, medical doctor and neuroscientist. She is the founding Director of the Neurophenomenology Research Center the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Best known for her work on the Spiritual Heart, she was a recent invited main theme speaker on Islamic and Western Phenomenology at the American Philosophical Association and at the Pontifica University in Rome. An active participant in Muslim-Christian dialogue, Olga Louchakova-Schwartz published numerous papers in spirituality, science and philosophy.

40 Days Workshop

In this workshop presenters will discuss the way the mind works and increase our ability to access the inner wisdom found in our hearts to make healthy and positive choices for ourselves. We will focus on the nature and qualities of the mind and of the heart.  The nature and function of the mind is to collect, organize and record the information we receive through our senses. The heart holds the wisdom to determine what is right. We will learn the benefits of practicing with a heart-based focus to align the powerful influence of the ordinary mind with the heart to achieve tranquility and stability.

By focusing within the heart we access wisdom make the best choices for stability and balance. When our own system is in harmony with our heart we are in unity with the divine.

Dr. Dawn Brown-Davis, D.O. is a physician who practices within the mind-body-spirit relationship at the heart of osteopathy. Through hands-on osteopathic care, and biodynamic cranial osteopathy she seeks to optimize the restoration of health and homeostasis by utilizing the body’s innate healing potential; removing obstacles, treating dysfunction and trauma patterns, and guiding her patients to becoming even more self-empowered with the self-healing potency of the Breath of Life.  In addition to her western medical education, Dawn integrates her training in and understanding of subtle Eastern Energetic Sciences, including Pranic Healing, meditation, Yoga, Tai-Chi, and Qi-Gong. As a collegiate athlete, Pilates instructor and basketball skills coach Dr. Brown-Davis has developed a keen sense for the structure and function of the body as an expression of health in the whole person, further enhanced by her training in Spacial Dynamics, the study of movement through space.  Dr. Brown-Davis received a medical degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, and an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Pomona College.

Brian Heery, Ph.D. has been exploring the interstices between the body mind and spirit since his early career as a world class gymnast.  Recently he spent two years training intensively with Kato Sensei a Japanese Aikido master in Japan.  He wrote his dissertation on “Awakening Spirit in the Body” at ITP in 2003.   He is continuing his investigations with Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Dr. Ali Kianfar.

Salima Ginny Patton Matchette, LMFT received her MA in psychology from the CIIS in SF, CA.  She is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, student of Sufism psychology, and music therapist.  Ms. Matchette is director of Essential Therapy Center in Vallejo, CA.  Her therapeutic methods are varied, ranging from short-term practical strategies to developing and strengthening the true Self within in order to live a more congruent, authentic, productive, balanced life, in relationship with self and others.  Ms. Matchette also has a thriving Music Therapy practice in the SF Bay Area, working therapeutically with home- and facility-bound elderly clients, using vocal and instrumental music as the modality.  Ms. Matchette is also a member of Taneen, Sufi Music Ensemble.

George Matchette, LMFT has many years of experience working with individuals and couples.  Mr. Matchette specializes in trauma reduction and core belief transformation using a variety of techniques, including active imagination, energy psychology, and close process work with psyche, body, and spirit.  Mr. Matchette also participates in presenting the Forty Days: Alchemy of Tranquility® Workshop Series designed for individuals interested in exploring the multiple dimensions of self, as well as for psychotherapists interested in methods for addressing these dimensions with clients.  Mr. Matchette has taught courses in psychological theories, couples treatment, and human development for over fifteen years, and currently trains lawyers and mediators in effective communication skills.  Mr. Matchette is a member of the Community Healing Centers and provides psychotherapy at its San Francisco location.  Mr. Matchette also is a member of Taneen, Sufi Music Ensemble, which performs love poetry of the great masters in English translation.

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Moderators and Facilitators

Hamaseh Kianfar, Ed. D., currently works as the Director of Senior Services at Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. Prior to this position, she had been working as a medical case manager for HIV positive women and children. Her passion for the area of HIV/AIDS let her to complete a doctoral dissertation that focused on the role that forgiveness and imagination play in allowing HIV positive women to move forward in their lives in a hopeful and meaningful way. She is also a lifelong member of the International Association of Sufism. (hamasehkianfar.com)

Leili First is a student of Uwaisyi Sufism, and a long-time member of the IAS and SWO. She has given lectures on Sufism at colleges and universities and presented at the Annual Sufism Symposium and Parliament of the World’s Religions. Leili is a member of the program committee of the Building Bridges of Understanding series, a cooperative program between the IAS and Dominican University of California. She has published articles in the internationally-distributed journal, Sufism: An Inquiry, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies.

Jamal Granick, LMFT, Ph.D. (cand.) is a psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area He is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of the Sufi Masters Seyyedeh Nahid Angha, Ph.D. and Shah Nazar Seyyed Ali Ali Kianfar, Ph.D. Jamal is co-director of the Sufism and Psychology Forum, a department of IAS, and a regular presenter at the Alchemy of Tranquility: 40 Days workshops.  He also holds the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Aikido.

Ali Haji is a student of the Uwaisyi School of Sufism under the guidance of Sufi Teachers Seyyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, he has been settled in the United States since 1988. He is a member of the International Association of Sufism and an Executive Committee member of the Institute for Sufi Studies. Ali is an insurance professional with 20 plus year in the insurance industry. He currently works for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company in Novato, CA, as the Vice President of Program Management. He earned his MBA from the Anderson School as UCLA.

Dr. Nafisa Haji is the author of two novels, The Writing on My Forehead and The Sweetness of Tears, both published by HarperCollins. She studied history at the University of California at Berkeley, taught elementary school for many years in inner city Los Angeles, and earned her doctorate in educational leadership, doing research on caring relationships between teachers and students, at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is honored to consider herself a student of Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Seyed Shah Nazar Dr. Ali Kianfar.

Safa Ali Michael Newman is President of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Sufism and Chairperson of IAS’ Executive Committee of the Institute for Sufi Studies. He leads a bi-weekly gathering of Sufis in Marin County, California. He has given lectures on Sufism, Islam, and interfaith issues both locally and nationally including at the Association of Humanistic Psychology Conference. He has authored a book on Uwaiysi Sufism and Islam entitled The Gift of the Robe and co-authored another book on Sufism entitled Sufi Grace -Sacred Wisdom – Heart to Heart.

Habib Glenn Pascall has been a student of Dr. Kianfar and Dr. Angha since the year 2000. Pascall has wide experience as a moderator of programs such as the “Mysticism in the Modern World” series. Pascall is a two-time award winner from the American Society of Professional Journalists. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at four universities, including “The Search for a New Public Philosophy,” which used classic texts from major wisdom traditions. Pascall is co-compiler of “Seasons of the Soul,” a book of daily readings based on Dr. Kianfar’s teachings. Most recently, he compiled “Illumination of the Names,” a book that combines teachings by Sufi masters on the 99 Beautiful Names of God with an introduction based on the teachings of Dr. Kianfar.

Katherine Preston, LMFT licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has been a practicing psychotherapist for over twenty years.  She maintains a private practice in San Francisco and has held many clinical leadership positions overseeing and providing clinical training and supervision for therapeutic services throughout the Bay Area.  Currently she is teaching at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.  Ms. Preston is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism and a member of International Association of Sufism.  She has been a member of the Community Healing Center’s team providing 40 Days, Alchemy of Tranquility workshops as a service to the community for several years.

Arthur Kane Scott: Assistant Professor, History/Social Cultures Studies, Dominican University of California. Professor Scott is Program leader of Cultural Studies and teacher of history for seventeen years at DUOC. Specialty areas include Islam, Native American Studies and World History. He has authored five online courses for University of California, Berkeley Extension, on Islam, US and World History. His current research interest includes a biography of “Cochise: His Time /Culture,” Big History, Sustainability, and articles on politics of the Middle East and Sufism. In 2002, he was voted “Teacher of the Year.” He recently delivered a paper with a Dominican University colleague at Cambridge University (UK) entitled “Big History: The Whole Story for First-Year Students” which appeared in Sufism: An Inquiry. Professor Scott has been a member of the International Association for Sufism for fifteen years and looks upon Shah Nazar Seyyed Ali Kianfar as his spiritual guide /mentor.

40 Days Committee
Salman Baruti, LCSW, is a Senior Psychiatric Social Worker at the Alameda County Child Guidance Clinic. He graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare. For the past 24 years he has worked with incarcerated youth at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center. Mr. Baruti, a student of Uwaiysi Sufism for many years, incorporates Sufi principles and Sufi stories in his work with youth and their families. He is regularly a speaker at the 40 Day, Alchemy of Tranquility workshops.

Mary Toth Granick, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and maintains a private practice with two locations in the Bay Area.  She also has extensive experience and a background in school-based counseling services.  Ms. Toth Granick is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism and a member of the International Association of Sufism.  She has contributed articles in the SPF Newsletter and the journal, Sufism: An Inquiry.  She has also presented her work with Sufism and Psychology at various retreats in the Bay Area.

Jamal Granick, LMFT, Ph.D. (cand.) is a psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area He is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of the Sufi Masters Seyyedeh Nahid Angha, Ph.D. and Shah Nazar Seyyed Ali Ali Kianfar, Ph.D. Jamal is co-director of the Sufism and Psychology Forum, a department of IAS, and a regular presenter at the Alchemy of Tranquility: 40 Days workshops.  He also holds the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Aikido.

Arife Ellen Hammerle, JD, Ph.D., LMFT, is a student of the Uwaiysi School of Sufism, as guided by Sufi Teachers Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali. Kianfar. Dr. Hammerle is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT #32398) who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a psychotherapist with the Community Healing Centers, an integrative psychotherapy non-profit organization. She is a member of the International Association of Sufism and Sufi Women Organization. Dr. Hammerle has taught Psychology, Stress Management and Sufi Courses at the Institute for Sufi Studies and 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Program. She is a published author who has completed research linking psychology and spirituality. Some of her publications include, “Sacred Journey: Unfolding Self Essence” and “Sufi Grace Heart to Heart”.

Katherine Preston, LMFT has been a practicing psychotherapist for over twenty years.  She maintains a private practice in San Francisco and has held many clinical leadership positions overseeing and providing clinical training and supervision for therapeutic services throughout the Bay Area.  Currently she is teaching at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.  Ms. Preston is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism and a member of International Association of Sufism.  She has been a member of the Community Healing Center’s team providing 40 Days, Alchemy of Tranquility workshops as a service to the community for several years.

Amineh Amelia Pryor, Ph.D., LMFT is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. She is a clinical supervisor and psychotherapist at the Community Healing Centers in San Francisco. She presents at local and international conferences and is a published author who has written in the fields of psychology, consciousness, and science. Her books include Psychology in Sufism and Sufi Grace. Dr. Pryor is co-director of the Sufism and Psychology Forum and a presenter and facilitator of the 40 Days – Alchemy of Tranquility® program.

The 2011 Sufism Symposium is presented by the International Association of Sufism in cooperation with Expressions, a program of the Humanities Department of Dominican University of California.

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