“Start the New Year in Peace” – Women’s Retreat

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Novato, CA

January 5, 2013 (10am-2pm)  

Stay tuned for the next retreat later this spring!

This retreat was a day for contemplation in the company of women. The beginning of a new calendar year is a natural and beneficial time to consider your place in the universe and your relationship to your deepest self.  Every woman has the capacity to develop and to further understand the complexity of her being if she strives to do so.  The space was created for each woman to:

  • locate a still place within
  • explore what they would like to improve, purify, strengthen and create in the new year
  • participate in a peaceful, comfortable and safe community


This year’s group included 18 women of various religious backgrounds, faith traditions, and spiritual paths  from throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area ranging in age from 30ties to 80ties. The theme of the retreat was “Setting Your Intention for the New Year.” Retreat leaders Sheikha Halima Haymaker and Dr. Sarah Hastings Mullin included meditation, poetry, music, movement, words of wisdom, prayers and sharing in the program for the day which also included a homemade vegetarian luncheon. A special rose-scented tea was prepared and served by Munir Hedges. The retreat was sponsored by the Sufi Women Organization and was developed under the guidance of Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Dr. Ali Kianfar.

The women expressed gratitude for the time of peacefulness and for the power and energy of meditating in a circle of women. Many rich conversations took place among the women during breaks and lunch time with new acquaintances made and friendships renewed.  A future Women’s Retreat is planned for the Spring.

Led by Sheikha Halima JoAnn Haymaker and Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph.D.

Sheikha Halima Haymaker is an Uwaiysi Sufi, a student of Seyedeh Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Ali Kianfar, and a board member of the Institute for Sufi Studies. She is also as a fund-raising consultant serving a wide range of non-profit organizations in Northern California.

Sarah Hastings Mullin Ph.d is a member of the International Association of Sufism. She recently graduated from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto. She is a psychological assistant in Berkeley, gaining hours toward licensure. She works specifically with young adults, couples and with families after divorce. Sarah also holds a first-degree black belt in Aikido.


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