Amina Meyer is a lifelong student of Sufism, ontology (the study of being), and thought work. She is a teacher of the Walks, a meditation taught by Murshid Samuel Lewis to develop one’s embodied presence, and attune to the “all of it.” Amina has maintained a Qadiri zikr circle for more than a decade. She has also served as a life coach during her 25 years of training in the domain of ontology and spirituality. Amina is a second grade teacher, art teacher, puppeteer, and proud mother of three. She lives in Richmond, California.
Sadaya is a lover of yoga, the Dances of Universal Peace, service to the Beloved, and energy healing of all kinds. She deepened in yoga through a 500-hour yoga teacher training program in India that is deeply rooted in ancient teachings and underpinnings. Yoga practice bestows continual gifts of awe and transcendence, as well as an anytime-ticket home to the body and self. Sadaya delights in teaching weekly. She is also a mentor in the Dances of the Universal Peace, hosts her own monthly dance circle with her accordion, and offers the Dances broadly in service. Passion for the Dances of Universal Peace led her to the Sufi path, where she now serves as a guide. Sadaya is a reiki master, and an advanced certified practitioner of emotional freedom techniques (EFT), which is powerful therapy involving self-applied acupressure. She has the pleasure of teaching energy healing techniques to adults at the county mental health program where she works as an LCSW. Sadaya created her own hybrid practice called “tapping zikr,” which combines EFT tapping with Sufi melodic and chanting zikr, in which we remember all the love and oneness we are awash in, with acupressure as the percussion. She is happily married, and has a daughter and two dogs.
Pir Shabda Kahn
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 twelfth 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.
Mary is one of the many friends in the teaching lineage of Murshid Samuel Lewis and Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Her life’s path, training and love of the Invocation thru classical Sufism in Islam began while living at the Lama Foundation in 1985. She is a dear friend and student of Imam Bilal Hyde and has associations and initiations within the Naqshabandi, Chishti, and Shadhiliyya Sufi tariqahs.
She lives in Denver, and has had the honor of giving bedside care to the dying as a hospice clinician for over 20 years.
Deborah Rae Thomson
Deborah Rae has joyously led the spirit-filled Mendocino Sufi Camp Gospel Choir over the past 35 years. A gifted teacher, director, and composer, she also served as associate director of the Lighthouse Singers of Marin and director of the Unity In Marin Choir. Deborah’s inspired compositions have been recorded by the Lighthouse Singers, the Gospel Music Workshop of America, and the Edwin & Walter Hawkins Love Fellowship Conference.
Gayatri Claire Jones
I first experienced the dances with Amida Harvey, dancing in a field near Glastonbury in England around 1983. That set me on this wonderful, winding path. I am grateful to have been in the right place at the right time. Afterward, I attended many events — dance camps, zikrs, and retreats, some of which were the early Aramaic work with Saadi.
My experiences led me to move to America in 1992, and the first place I came to was Mendocino Sufi Camp! Shortly thereafter, I started leading the Dances of Universal Peace. For around 25 years we had the blessing of a monthly Dance circle in the incredible temple at Harbin Hot Springs, before the fire in 2015. I also had the opportunity to lead at Amma’s Ashram in the Bay Area, by the lake after Darshan. For many years I was the spiritual director of the East Bay Sufi Camp, and I continue to lead zikr and Dances in Sebastopol, California. Last year I returned to my roots — the Sacred Arts Camp in England — and was on staff for Dances and zikr. I have also been practicing forms of personal inner inquiry for many years.
Since that beginning, the Dances, zikr, and other forms of embodied movement have been a great love in my life. I particularly enjoy the simplicity of being together in the unity of our hearts, music, and harmonies. The deepening and arriving at ourselves, the embodiment of prayer; it seems that through these forms there is a deepening exploration of our true nature, experiencing our own inner mysteries and divine connections.
I am so happy to be joining this caravan, and I look forward to dancing, singing, and moving through the moments with you.