SufiPaths.net ... serving California's Bay Area, Sonoma County, and the region

heart and wings
image "There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom." -- the Sufi thoughts of Hazrat Inayat Khan

 


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 web site

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ACTIVE BAY AREA TEACHERS

Click on a photo or a name to view any of these teachers' events or info.
Aamil Targow
Aamil Targow
Abdul Shafee Howard Ballinger
Abdul Shafee Ballinger
Aqdas Newmark
Aqdas Newmark
Gayatri Claire Jones
Gayatri Claire Jones
Imam Bilal Hyde
Imam Bilal Hyde
Hadi Reinhertz
Hadi Reinhertz
Mahdiah Jacobs Kahn
Mahdiah Jacobs Kahn
Murshida Mariam Baker
Mariam Baker
Murshida Rabia Ana Perez Chisti
Rabia Ana Perez
Pir Shabda Kahn
Pir Shabda Kahn
Shakina Reinhertz
Shakina Reinhertz
Shams Kariys
Shams Kairys
Taj Inayat
Taj Inayat
Sheikh Tui Wilschinsky
Tui Wilschinsky
Murshid Wali Ali Meyer
Wali Ali Meyer

Links for some of the above teachers (click on the photos above for other links)

  • Aamil Targow is a dance musician, a leader in the Golden Gate Sufi Circle, a singer and the director of the New Sufi Choir from 1994 to 2005. He currently leads zikr from time to time.
  • Gayatri Jones is a singer and a healer, and leads dances monthly at Harbin Hot Springs, quarterly Garden dance circles (see home page) in Graton as well as the East Bay Sufi campout.
  • Sheikh Tui (Tui Wilschinsky PhD) is the long-time primary leader of the Sebastopol Sufi Dances of Universal Peace and travels far and wide to spread the Message. Bio here.
  • Abdul Shafee Howard Ballinger is your webmaster, a dance leader and musician, and participates regularly at Sufi Camps. He leads the bi-monthly Healing Circle in Sebastopol. More about Shafee.
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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 since antiquity.

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 accidents.

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 International
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.
Local branch
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)
The Sufi Ruhaniat International
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 leaders.
Local branch
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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 feedback@sufipaths.net and if reporting a problem, please tell us where in the site you encountered the problem.

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About Your Website Coordinator

Photo of Shafee

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 beings everywhere.

Tremendous gratitude to all the members of our web site team!

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Content: mostly by Shafee. Color art at top: Fatima Lassar. Magic by the World Wide Web.!