40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility®

Welcome to 40 Days

His Holiness Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar, a world renowned Sufi master, directs and guides The Forty Days: Alchemy of Tranquility, which began in 2008. This program fosters emotional balance and deeper understanding of human behavior and spiritual development. It is based on the ancient recognition that psychology, physiology and spiritual experience are interrelated and interconnected dimensions of the whole self. Through workshops and weekend retreats with a team of experienced psychotherapists and educators, the program is designed to help participants learn how to access their hidden wisdom and to use it in daily life. This is the first time in history that the introduction to and preparation for chelleh has been offered publicly, as Shah Nazar Dr. Ali Kianfar had been directed.

40 Days Program

The 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility® program is led by Sufi Masters Seyyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar assisted by a team of experienced psychotherapists and educators. Throughout the ages and across traditions, a practice of forty days has been valued as a concentrated method of self-discovery, and a means of experiencing increased awareness, personal development, and healing. Practitioners move daily, step-by-step, from a limited experience of self to a greater sense of wholeness. This practice results in a state of peace and is known as the “alchemy of tranquility.” The 40 Days: Alchemy of Tranquility program offers a variety of activities including workshops, retreats, practice groups, and individual mentoring. These offerings draw on techniques of ancient wisdom that lead to inner confidence and stability. Guiding principles and practices include:

  • Accessing the wisdom of the heart.
  • Exploring dimensions of the self.
  • Increasing concentration and presence.
  • Harnessing the power of the mind’s influence on personality.
  • Bringing the physical system to a state of equilibrium.
  • Aligning intention and action.

Annual Retreat 2024

40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Annual Retreat:

This weekend retreat will explore the higher reaches of personal human development.  The foundational concept of “Transformation” will be explored from different angles including science, psychology, spirituality, and artistic expression.  Drawing on the Sufi tradition, the stable point of connection or Unity with the absolute essence of Being, of which all manifestation is an expression including our own Self, will be a focus.

Under the guidance of Sufi Masters, Dr. Nahid Angha and Dr. Ali Kianfar, the program this weekend will provide participants with an opportunity to develop their own practice for focused transformation with greater awareness and wisdom.

The retreat will include presentations and dialogue, experiential exercises, as well as music, poetry and movement practices.  This retreat is for those interested in exploring their own potential transformation.  It will also be of value to clinicians in deepening their capacity for presence and supporting clients’ progress.

**9 CE Credits for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs.  See details here.

The 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Program

January 26, 2024, 4pm – January 28, 2024, 1pm PST
Santa Sabina Center
25 Magnolia Avenue San Rafael, CA 94901

Retreat participants will:

        • Learn directly from Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Dr. Ali Kianfar
        • Engage in workshops led by practitioners of psychology, social work, somatics, and education
        • Explore the dimensions of transformation through experiential exercises and conversation
        • Enjoy music, poetry and movement practices
        • Share beautiful organic meals prepared by the Santa Sabina Center
        • Find time to rest in the peace and beauty of the Santa Sabina Center and grounds
        • Create community across faiths, ages and backgrounds

40 Days Team

His Holiness, Shah Nazar Seyyed Ali Kianfar, Ph.D., a world-renowned Sufi master, has been teaching spiritual practices and techniques internationally for over 40 years.  He is co-director of the International Association of Sufism, and founder and director of the 40 Days: Alchemy of Tranquility program. The practical spiritual techniques he uses in each session are based on the ancient wisdom of the prophets and have been used by spiritual masters throughout the ages. Through the 40 Days program, Dr. Kianfar brings spiritual practices of purification together with psychology, recognizing that many of us carry psychological wounds that first must be healed before we can progress on our spiritual journey. “Tranquility is available only by unity of heart and mind.”

Sheikh Salman Baruti, MSW, LCSW, recently completed a 40-year career in Social Work. During that time, he served pregnant teens, teen mothers and fathers, justice-involved youth, medically fragile adults, and adults with severe and persistent mental health challenges, working with diverse populations in three Bay Area counties. Sheikh Salman’s work with teen fathers was recognized nationally and covered in magazines including EsquireJet, and Ebony. During his 30-year career at Alameda County Health Care Services, Sheikh Salman was a lead crisis clinician and a day-treatment program supervisor. He later became a clinic manager, supervising a team of social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. During his time at Alameda County Justice Center, Sheikh Salman began to employ Sufi practices he learned from his teachers, Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. He was known for sharing wisdom stories and words of wisdom from his teachers, and taught many incarcerated youth how to use meditation and breathing techniques to reduce stress. The principles of Sufism taught Sheikh Salman how to remain calm, centered, patient, and compassionate while working with clients whose lives were filled with complex challenges. He is a contributing author to Seasons of Transformation: Narratives on the Sufi Path.

Jamal Lawrence Granick, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist in California and New Mexico. He is student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Dr. Seyyed Ali Kianfar. Dr. Granick is a member of IAS and serves on its Executive Committee, and has participated in many of its programs, including presenting on Sufism and Psychology nationally and internationally. He currently facilitates a monthly Introduction to Sufism meeting online that is open to people who are new to the Sufi path, and coordinates the Beyond Identifications Program, which brings together practitioners from across modalities to explore the spiritual dimensions of healing. Dr. Granick obtained a Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 2011. His doctoral research focused on transpersonal aspects of a therapist’s presence in psychotherapy, and Dr. Granick has taught counseling and psychotherapy at the graduate level in multiple academic settings. He has contributed to Seeds of Transformation: Narratives on the Sufi Path, and a chapter in an upcoming publication on historical Uwaiysi Sufis, and is currently writing a book about presence in psychotherapy. He also holds a fifth degree black belt in Aikido.

Mary Toth Granick, M.Ed, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and maintains a private practice in California and New Mexico. She works with individual adults, couples, adolescents and their families. She also has extensive experience and a background in school-based counseling services. Ms. Toth Granick is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar, and a longtime member of the International Association of Sufism, including serving on the Sufi Women Organization Council and 40 Days Team. She has contributed articles in the Sufi Psychology Forum Newsletter and the journal Sufism: An Inquiry, and has written chapters in Human Self, Volume One: Mind and Seeds of Transformation: Narratives on the Sufi Path. She has also presented her work at the interface of Sufism and Psychology at various retreats in the Bay Area.

Arife Ellen Hammerle, Ph.D. is a senior teacher of the Uwaiysi School of Sufism, guided by Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. Dr. Hammerle is a member of the International Association of Sufism and sits on the Executive Committee for the Institute for Sufi Studies. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She works with clients as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor with the Community Healing Centers, an integrative psychotherapy nonprofit organization, and teaches courses with the Institute for Sufi Studies and 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Program. In addition, Dr. Hammerle is CEO of Catholic Charities in San Francisco, one of the largest, most comprehensive human services agencies in Northern California. She is a published author who has written numerous books and articles on spirituality and psychology, including among others Sufi Grace, Sacred WisdomThe Sacred Journey: Unfolding Self Essence, and Sufi Wisdom: The Collective Words of Sufi Master Nahid Angha, which she compiled.

Jalal Brian Heery, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology and works with individuals as a somatic experiencing practitioner and coach, helping foster resilience and balance, and strengthening an individual’s sense of connection with the source of their own being. Dr. Heery did his doctoral research on “Awakening Spirit in the Body” at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He currently holds a fifth degree black belt in Aikido and has been facilitating weekly online Awareness of Breath and Movement practice under the guidance of Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. Dr. Heery founded the Rocky Valley Aikido Dojo in Menlo Park, California, earlier in his life was a world class gymnast and assistant coach at Stanford University. He offers an experiential somatic component at the 40 Days: Alchemy of Tranquility retreats and has presented at conferences on the intersection of Sufism and Aikido. Dr. Heery also has been teaching mathematics to middle school for over two decades and integrates teaching stories from many wisdom traditions and somatic awareness into the way he works with young people. He contributed an autobiographical essay about his journey into Sufism to Seeds of Transformation: Narratives of the Sufi Path, and has written articles for Sufism: An Inquiry.

George Matchette, MA, LMFT is a retired licensed Marriage Family Therapist with many years of experience working with individuals and couples. He continues to advise other professionals regarding trauma reduction. Mr. Matchette also participates in presenting the 40 Days: Alchemy of Tranquility program. His work with the 40 Days Team includes facilitating the candle meditation that helps to prepare participants for deepening into the retreat. He is also a guitarist/vocalist in Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble. Taneen creates original melodies to accompany the beautiful words of Sufi poetry masters primarily translated by Dr. Nahid Angha. Taneen has performed both locally in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally, including at the Parliament of World Religions Conference in Barcelona, Spain; The Women’s Partnership for Peace in Olso, Norway; and an IAS Sufism Symposium held in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Taneen provides music throughout the 40 Days events, and will perform in Tiburon, CA in June 2024. Mr. Matchette also has written a chapter in the recently published book Seasons of Transformation: Narratives of the Sufi Path.

Salima Ginny Patton Matchette, LMFT received her MA in psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, student of Sufism Psychology, and Music Therapist. Throughout her career, Ms. Matchette has worked extensively with: individuals dealing with issues arising from past trauma and abuse; adults in recovery from addictions/dependencies; people undergoing difficult life transitions; and individuals, couples, and families with relationship issues. Her interest and specialty has revolved around Somatic Psychology, integrating deep awareness of the body’s innate wisdom into the therapeutic work. She also has managed a thriving Music Therapy practice, working therapeutically with home- and facility-bound elderly clients, using vocal and instrumental music as the modality. Ms. Matchette’s autobiographical essay, entitled “The Quest for My Guide,” was published in Seeds of Transformation: Narratives of the Sufi Path. She is also a vocalist/keyboardist in Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble, a department of the International Association of Sufism.

Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D. is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyyed Dr. Ali Kianfar, and a member of the Sufi Women Council and the editorial team for Sufism, An Inquiry. She has a background in affective neuroscience, psychology, physiology, and impact assessment, and consults for universities, schools and organizations designing educational programs and assessment methodologies. She earned a doctorate in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness from the California Institute for Integral Studies, and has held research positions at the University of Minnesota Institute for Child Development, University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing, and Institute of Noetic Sciences in Northern California. Dr. Miller’s dissertation and continuing research focus on the human being as a learner, and the interface of science and spirituality in the cultivation of human potential. She is also co-founder and director of a Bay Area educational nonprofit, and works as a professional editor and a professor of Philosophy and Religion at Dominican University of California.

Sarah Hastings Mullin, Ph.D. is a member of IAS and of the 40 Days Alchemy of Tranquility Program. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and is a clinical psychologist. After working in private practice at the Berkeley Therapy Institute for 10 years, she started an independent private practice in 2021. Her clinical interests include increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, managing anxiety, and existential/transpersonal explorations. Dr. Mullin’s dissertation, “In Search of the True ‘I’: A Heuristic Inquiry into the Lived Experience of Self for Practitioners of Uwaiysi Sufism,” and subsequent publications, have focused on the potential for higher states of self-development and direct knowing as taught by Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. Most recent publications include Practice and Transformation: The Way to Divine Qualities and Characteristics and The Book of Self. Dr. Mullin is on the editorial board of the journal Sufism: An Inquiry and regularly published articles and poetry in this journal. She also holds a second-degree black belt in Aikido.

Katherine Preston, MA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and has been a practicing psychotherapist for over 25 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. Ms. Preston is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism and a member of International Association of Sufism. Ms. Preston serves as moderator for the 40 Days – Alchemy of Tranquility Program. She has contributed articles to the international journal Sufism: An Inquiry and written chapters for publication including Human Self, Volume One: Mind and Inspiration on the Holy Qur’an.

Amineh Amelia Pryor, Ph.D., LMFT, LPCC is a student of Uwaiysi Sufism under the guidance of Sufi Masters Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar. Dr. Pryor has continued as an active member of the International Association of Sufism for nearly three decades, serving on the Executive Committee for of the Institute for Sufi Studies, Sufi Women Organization Council, Beyond Identifications Program, Sufism and Psychology Forum, and 40 Days Program. She holds a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology, with a focus on Sufi Psychology. Dr. Pryor presents at local and international conferences and has published books and articles in the fields of spirituality, psychology, consciousness, and science. Her books include Psychology in Sufism and Sufism: Self, Path and Guide. She has also contributed chapters to Sufi Grace; Seeds of Transformation; Sufi Women: The Journey Towards the Beloved; and Caravan; and has published numerous articles in Sufism: An Inquiry, Sufism and Psychology Newsletter, and Community Healing Centers Newsletter. Dr. Pryor is a founding member of the Community Healing Centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and offers a Sufi Psychology study group on Zoom.

** International Association of Sufism/40 Days: Alchemy of Tranquility Program is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LCSWs, LMFTs, and LEPs, Provider number: 95354. IAS/40 Days maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Continuing Education grievances and request for refunds, disability accommodations, copies of Continuing Education Credit certificates or other records should be directed to 40days@ias.org. For our policies pertaining to these matters, please go to the policies page.