SANTA CRUZ SUFI CAMP 2018: TEACHING STAFF / PRESENTERS

ABOUT PIR SHABDA KAHN:

Pir Shabda Kahn, a direct disciple of the American Sufi Master, Murshid Samuel Lewis, has been practicing Sufism since 1969, and since 2001 is the 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.

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ABOUT SHEIKHA JILANI

Dr. Julie Jilani Esterly has been traveling the Sufi path since 1973. All of her great life influences have focused on breath, embodiment, and liberating the natural light inherent in all beings. She functions as a senior guide and Cheraga (minister) for the Sufi Ruhaniat International (SRI), by leading classes, ceremonies, and retreats in the US and abroad. Her contribution was published in the book Caravan: Biographies from the Sufism Symposium. She also serves as a liaison for the SRI Youth Council. A chiropractor for 39 years, her healing practice at One Medicine in Santa Cruz, California helps patients experience their full energy and light. Dr. Esterly is a member of the Sensory Awareness Leaders' Guild and integrates this somatic mindfulness practice into her classes and private sessions. Catalyzed by a profound journey to Egypt, she recently entered a new cycle of life in which interdisciplinary solo and collaborative projects are unfolding. She lives with her husband in the foothills of Santa Cruz and is the mother of a 24 year old daughter.

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ABOUT KIM MOLLOY

Kim Molloy is a Sound Alchemist divinely gifted with Sound and Energy Healing. She integrates and embodies Theta Healing, Reiki, and Angelic healing energies. Crystalline sound flows through seven crystal bowls musically attuned to the chakras. The Crystalline sound embodies pure light vibration that resonates with our etheric light bodies, making them the perfect tool for programming and transmitting specific healing intentions.

Kim channels healing vibrational energies to her clients and provides intuitive Spiritual insight. Each session works to shift energy, expand awareness and break through difficulties. By releasing what no longer serves you and creating new intentions your consciousness will rise and you will begin to open to infinite possibilities and manifestation.


ABOUT ALIMA CHRIS INAYA SELBERG

Come to Laughter Yoga and add to your spiritual toolbox. Cheraga Chris has a background in special education and community health education. She was trained in Laughter Yoga in 2010. She currently leads Laughter Yoga to a variety of age groups; in a variety of settings. She is also an Ordained Sufi Interfaith minister (2011). Sustained Laughter is a stress buster, strengthens the immune system, and can be an aerobic exercise, "internal jogging"; also helps pain management, alleviates asthma and when done in a group is a POSITIVE SOCIAL INTERACTION. We will do this through a variety of laughter exercises that bring joy. Some are used to repattern your response to stress. Come and find out how to “laugh” at those bills, deal with “road rage” and laugh at one's self. Do you know the “power pose”? After the laughter exercises there a meditation to integrate the work -- accompanied by musical instruments (rain stick, bell, chime, drum, etc.) Laughter Yoga is fun, easy and a powerful tool for your spiritual toolbox. World Peace through Laughter!

ABOUT CARAVAN EL NOOR (CARAVAN OF LIGHT)

Caravan El Noor creates and performs devotional chants, songs and dances from various spiritual backgrounds. Inspired by the Universal Sufi tradition, in which all paths to the divine are honored, Caravan El Noor invites audience participation and plays music that transforms the hearts and mind through sacred mantric phrases and sound. The band includes Jihan "Gigi" Amer as lead vocalist and harmonium player, Robert Hanson as vocalist, guitarist, oud and dotar player, and Andrew Foehner on tabla, doumbek, frame drums, djembe and percussion.


JILANI, VANESSA HAFIZA AND GITANJALI
(NOTE: we may add more names & photos later)


ABOUT THE DANCES OF UNIVERSAL PEACE:

"The Dances of Universal Peace and Walking Concentrations are spiritual practice in motion. Drawing on the sacred phrases, scripture, and poetry of the many spiritual traditions of the earth, the Dances blend chant, live music and evocative movement into a living experience of unity, peace and integration. This taste of our true nature - as Universal Peace - opens to the possibility of a deep spiritual revolution within the person." (from dancesofuniversalpeace.org}

Participants join hands forming a circle with the Dance leader and musicians in the center. The leader teaches the sacred phrase, melody, and movements for each Dance and perhaps some context about that particular Dance. Most Dances are only four lines long and repeated many times, so learning is usually quick and easy - within ten minutes dancers are moving, singing, and sharing together. The Dances include themes of peace (both inner and outer), healing (the Earth, individuals, and the global family), and the celebration of life's great Mystery. Dancers focus on the truth contained in the sacred phrase or other text set to music and movement in the Dance. Dancers commonly experience a collective peace, harmony, a sense of solidarity and community, and insight into the underlying universality of all the spiritual traditions of the Earth. A greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures, as well as one's own path or religion, is often gained. The mood of the Dances is infinitely variable, evoking feelings of love, joy, peace, compassion and ecstasy. The focus is on the sacred phrase, which often points to truths about life which cannot be put into words. The dancers' experience flows out in the context of sacred presence to one another and to the group as a whole. An experience of the Unity of the human family with all of Life and a taste of one's essential nature are among the gifts the Dances bring to so many who come in contact with them. dancesofuniversalpeace.org
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ABOUT ZIKR:
Zikr can be translated as Remembrance. On the surface, a moving zikr circle appears much like a very simple Dance of Universal Peace, but its origins are of a traditional ecstatic practice of the Sufis: The Sufi Ceremony of the Remembrance of God. We sing very old sacred phrases in Arabic (e.g. Bismillah - "We begin in the Name of Divine Unity "La illaha illa'llah - "All of Reality is contained within Divine Unity "Hu - "Divine Unity is constantly vibrating into all forms, in all times and places."). This practice is noted for producing strong expansion of consciousness. It was one of the central practices of the Persian poet Rumi, allowing him the divine expansion and insight from which he spoke his inspired poetry. Both beginners and those with experience can gain enormous benefit from zikr. The Sufis frequently refer to Divine Unity as the Friend, and seek an ongoing relationship of extreme intimacy with the Friend.

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ABOUT THE SUFI SESSHIN:
The Sufi Sesshin is a time when we alternate doing Dances with 15-20 minute periods of meditation. This format allows us to go deeper with each dance as we take the energy it generated into our meditation, which in turn allows us to go deeper during the next dance. The Sufi Sesshin will be held at camp on Friday and Sunday afternoon.

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