SantaCruzSufiCamp: About

 


SANTA CRUZ SUFI CAMP 2019: TEACHING STAFF / PRESENTERS

SANTA CRUZ SUFI CAMP 2019 CAMP TEACHERS:
Gayan Gregory Long - special guest teacher
Julie Jilani Esterly - spiritual director
Vanessa Hafiza Ragan - Musical Hostess
Gitanjali Lori Rivera - The Power of Remembrance
Karima Terry Forman - Hale, Whole, Healed!
Fehrunnisa & Junayad Moore - Holy Bowling in the Redwoods
Alima Chris Inaya, Laughter Yoga
Kimball Barton, Integrated Movement and Breath

ABOUT GAYAN GREGORY LONG:

Gayan is an internationally acclaimed drummer, composer, educator, and retreat leader. He is a direct disciple of Pir Shabda Kahn in the lineage of Sufi Ruhaniat International, and has been drumming for and leading Dances of Universal Peace for twenty-five years. Gayan has over twenty years of international experience as a retreat leader and teacher. He has led Dances of Universal Peace and offered spiritual teachings at camps in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Canada, Thailand, Switzerland, Russia, and throughout the United States. He has dedicated his life to community building and human potential through music, nature, and spiritual practice. As a musician, he has performed world wide from India to Russia, South America, and the Navajo Nation.

Gayan’s nine trips to Russia culminated in him serving for two years as the spiritual director of the Russian Summer Solstice Dance Camp and inspired the creation of the “Drums for Peace” festival which attracts thousands. For seven years he staffed the Wilderness Dance Camp and served as spiritual director for two years. Gayan co-lead spiritual retreats for over ten years in Jemez Springs New Mexico at the Bodhi Manda Zen Center where his Dances, Zikrs, and drum classes were highlighted offerings. Gayan is one of the founding teaching staff of the annual Sufi Sesshins in Petaluma, California and at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico and has served both programs every year since their inception. He has served on the staff for two Mendocino Sufi Camps. Since 2004 Gayan has regularly lead Dances, taught drumming, and offered teachings at Spring and Fall Sufi Camps on Maui. From 1991 to 2005 Gayan drummed for and led Dances at weekly or biweekly Dance meetings in Fort Collins, Denver, and Boulder, Colorado. Gayan has been drumming for and leading Kirtan since 2000 and has accompanied international leaders Girish, Dave Stringer, David Newman, Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band, and Wah! for their Colorado events. He began his formal meditation studies in 1984 through the Shambhala Training program. He went on to complete Shambhala’s graduate and meditation instructor training programs and was a founding member of the Shambhala Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 1990, Gayan began training with Lakota teachers to lead inipi ceremonies (sweat lodge) and regularly led lodges for seven years. He has appeared on over thirty-five recording projects and has two CDs: Padma Thunder and When Two or More are Gathered. He drums for the electronic band Desert Dwellers for the Live Beyond Experience in Colorado. Before dedicating his life full-time to music and mysticism, Gayan was the the co-founder and executive director an environmental non-profit dedicated to tree planting and community building, for five years and served as the director of the Hakomi Institute.

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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 FEHRUNNISA AND JUNAYAD

Fehrunnisa and Junayad Moore are Level III Advanced students of Tibetan Bowl Sound Healing with their teachers, Diáne Mandle and Karma Sonam Dorje; are lineage- holders of the Sufi tradition; and lead groups on pilgrimages and on treks in the Annapurna region of the Himalayas. "

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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, can be an aerobic exercise, internal jogging, 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 and 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 mediation to integrate the work and it will be accompanied with 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!

JILANI, VANESSA HAFIZA AND GITANJALI
(NOTE: we may add more names, bios & 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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SANTA CRUZ SUFI CAMP 2019
CAMP TEACHERS:
Gayan Gregory Long - special guest teacher
Julie Jilani Esterly - spiritual director
Vanessa Hafiza Ragan - Musical Hostess
Gitanjali Lori Rivera - The Power of Remembrance
Karima Terry Forman - Hale, Whole, Healed!
Fehrunnisa & Junayad Moore - Holy Bowling in the Redwoods
Alima Chris Inaya, Laughter Yoga
Kimball Barton, Integrated Movement and Breath

STAFF BIOS TO FOLLOW SOON