WHO WE ARE:
About Our Local Sufi Orders
There is a very rich Sufi spiritual life in the Bay Area and the North Bay. We are women and men
who find ourselves on a personal spiritual path drawing much of our inspiration and power from the
beings of the Sufi teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan and others in his lineage, including Pir Vilayat
Inayat Khan, Pir Hidayat Inayat Khan, Pir Zia Inayat Khan, Murshid Samuel Lewis and his successors
Pir Moineddin and Pir Shabda. Most of these leaders have lived and taught in the Bay Area at one
time or another, and left their blessing and magnetism here for us to partake.
The delightful message brought by each of these teachers is one of universalism, and most of us
have benefitted from the gifts of a wide variety of teachings and transmissions. Among us are some
who are observant Muslims, but also Sufi Buddhists, devout Christian and Jewish Sufis, Sufi Yogis,
followers of the Goddess, of Shamanism, of the Old Religion, and explorers of the numerous new
paths of human potential that have opened within our culture during the past few decades. We all
share a love for the Truth embodied in the Sufi Message, a devotion to that which lives in the
human heart, and a sense of the unity of the real which underlies all diversity of form.
Our family is not only international
it is multigenerational, with Gen-X
and Gen-Y Sufis
both participating in
gatherings, and creating their own.
Check out the Sufi Youth
ACTIVE BAY AREA TEACHERS
Click on a photo or a name to view any of these teachers' events or info.
Organized Sufi Orders -- Why ??
Really, Sufism is not about organizations, it has to do with the individual's path,
their heart-connection with Being and with one's teacher or guide -- who is part of a chain
of transmission or silsila. As it happens, there are numerous orders of Sufis. Every Sufi
teacher has a teacher (in the body or not), and in this way the Message has been carried forth
After Sufi Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan died, there was confusion about who was to take on the
mantle of his succession. As a result, his lineage exists today in the form of maybe a half-dozen
different sufi orders, carrying different flavors of the same message. I believe there are no
Several of these orders are active in our area. And yes, these orders -- while by their nature
they exist in the subtler planes -- do manifest on the earth-plane, with phone numbers and boards and
budgets and web pages and all that. Seems a contradiction in terms, doesn't it? But the outward
manifestation seems to be necessary to ground and support the inner work.
SOME SUFI ORDERS IN THE LINEAGE OF HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN
(active in the Bay Area of California at the present time)
The Sufi Order is presently headed by Pir Zia Inayat Khan,
grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan and son of the late Pir Vilayat. During the seventies Pir
Vilayat lived and taught in the Bay Area, and today there is a strong Sufi Order presence here.
The International Sufi Movement The
Sufi Movement, headed by Pir Hidayat, the younger son of Hazrat Inayat Khan, by Murshid
Karimbakhsh Witteveen and many other active leaders, is active on Europe as well as in
the US and elsewhere; and is locally focused by Murshida Rabia Ana Perez Chisti.
U.S. Mideast Web Site (Nuria Sabato & friends)
This is the order founded by Murshid Samuel Lewis in about 1970,
headed by Pir Moineddin for 30 years and now by Pir Shabda Kahn. The Ruhaniat holds many Sufi
Camps in Northern Calif and is represented by numerous local
About The Sufipaths.Net Web Site (formerly SufiSonoma.org)
We live in a
'village' so large that natural, daily casual contact does not always keep us connected
with the sisters and brothers with whom we share our passion for a life of discovery and
spiritual unfoldment. This online service project is intended to be a vehicle for
keeping us connected with our extended Sufi and DUP family, by letting each other know of the numerous events
and activities occurring within the Orders of Inayat Khan in our area -- and by
providing access to online materials that may, God willing, support and inspire our
progress on the path of Wisdom, Divine Grace and Love.
Over the years there has been a loose confederation of people on the Sufi paths here
in the North Bay Area. As it happened, in this circle of hearts there was a spontaneous
mix of mureeds of different orders in the Inayati lineage as well as many who were 'none
of the above'. One day in the early 90's, at an informal pot-luck meeting in Sebastopol,
Shafee volunteered to develop a paper newsletter, so we could keep each other informed
about Sufi classes, dance meetings and other events in the area which might interest us
and help support our spiritual growth.
As time went on this newsletter evolved into
a web site, which has served the Sufi community in Sonoma County and the surrounding
area for a number of years.
In 2007 we set the intention of upgrading this site, expanding it and making it more
inclusive of the entire Bay Area as well as the North Bay, and of the entire Inayati
family. With the going live of SufiPaths.net in the winter of 2008 we hoped to
make that vision a reality.
The intention is to cover geographically all the counties that surround San Francisco
Bay and San Pablo Bay, northward to Mendocino and Lake counties. Links are provided on
our Chart of events to other sites covering Santa Cruz,
Humboldt County, and the Sacramento Valley. Generally what we cover are Dances of
Universal Peace and local activities of the Sufi Ruhaniat, the Sufi Order and the Sufi
Movement. When appropriate we cover some other Sufi activities when they are of special
interest and seem likely to attract a lot of us to attend.
There is an email list connected with SufiPaths.net, to notify subscribers of
upcoming events and new content on the website. These emails are sent as needed,
generally every week or two. Click here to
subscribe. We also have an online ride
board for Sufi events in our area.
This site is a work in progress, continually being expanded and improved -- and
naturally there will be unintended consequences and glitches. Please, if you encounter
problems, errors or deficiencies, do take the time to let us know. It will be greatly
appreciated. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
and if reporting a problem, please tell us where in the site you encountered
About Your Website Coordinator
Abdul Shafee Howard Ballinger has been on the path of Universal Sufism, in the
lineage of Hazrat Inayat Khan, since 1973, and with heartfelt gratitude acknowledges the
blessings, transmission and support of the Murshid Saul Barodosky, Pir Vilayat Inayat
Khan, Sheikh Farid Watson, Pir Moineddin, Pir Shabda, Murshida Rabia Ana Perez, Sheikha
Sara Morgan, Murshid Wali Ali and all their guides in turn in the long lineage, as well
many others known and unknown -- the Spirit of Guidance.
Shafee has feels honored to have functioned as 'camp doctor', as healing conductor
within the Sufi healing lineage, as dance leader and camp director, as a musician in the
Sufi community and as a member of the New Sufi Choir over 10 years. Also a happy
computer hobbyist ever since the days of the Timex-Sinclair personal computer, and
enjoys whiling away many a relaxing hour on this project and others like it, hoping only
that it may be a service to the community and ultimately be for the benefit of all
Tremendous gratitude to all the members of our web site team!
Content: mostly by Shafee. Color art at top:
Fatima Lassar. Magic by the World Wide Web.!