Connecting in North America

While the Sufi Ruhaniat sisila runs deep into India and Central Asia its founding as a distinct Sufi lineage took place in Northern California in the 1960's and 1970's. Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chishti) made his home in San Francisco where he found mureeds in the seekers flocking to the region and where he brought forth the practice of the Dances of Universal Peace. His home in California is still an active center. There are Sufi Ruhaniat and Dances of Universal Peace circles throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Many communities have their own websites. We've included these, and some regional contacts, for Sufi guides, youth and younger leaders alike. This list is by no means comprehensive! 

Click on the following links to jump to HawaiiCaliforniaPacific NorthwestSouthwestMountain WestMidwestNortheastMid-AtlanticSoutheast and Mexico

Some Regional Centers/Communities in North America  

Sufis Hawaii, holds regular sufi study, Dances, zikr, and Spring and Fall Sufi Camps. 

Ashland Sufi Heart Circle , Ashland, OR has regular Sufi study, Dance meetings and other gatherings. 

Nelson B.C. SRI Community, in and near Nelson, British Colombia there are regular Dance and Zikr gatherings as well as Healing Service and esoteric study.  

Garden of the Heart, Arcata, California, has regular Sufi study, Dance meetings, and zikr. E-mail Sheikh Latif Burdick for information.  

Golden Gate Sufi Circle, Bay Area, California. An excellent web resrouce for the host of Ruhaniat gatherings in the Bay Area!

One Sun San Diego Sufi Circle, San Diego CA, has regular Sufi study and Dance meetings.

Shining Heart Sufi Community, Kansas City and surrounding region, holding Spring and Fall Camps, retreats, zikr, Dances and study.  

Rose Heart Sufi Community, North Carolina/Mid-Atlantic, holds regular Dances, zikr, study, drumming and healing services. 

Northeast Sufi Circle, New England, New York and New Jersey, holds regular sufi study, Dances, zikr, retreats and camps.

Lama Foundation is an ecumenical retreat center and intentional community near Taos, NM that hosts gatherings and retreats throughout the year. It was co-founded by Ruhaniat Murshida Asha Greer and often hosts Ruhaniat gatherings. 

Contacts and Major Events By Region


Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth

Note: Visit the Maui Youth Page for more details on gatherings, guides, and youth on the island of Maui

Murshida Leilah Be (Maui) is an inspired Dance and zikr leader. She lives on beautiful land with forest and waterfalls and an amazing garden. 

Sheikh Bodhi Be (Maui) is holding the concentration of conscious death and dying through his project Doorway Into Light

Khalifa Basira Beardworth (Maui) is a musician, Dance and zikr leader and is the Secretariat for the Sufi Ruhaniat International. 

Major Events

Maui Sufi Camp takes place each Spring and Fall at the breathtaking coastal encampment of Keanae with local and guest teachers. The weeks include zikr, Dances, kirtan, contemplation, meditation, and a lot of deep joy. 

For a list of Youth and Younger Leaders on Maui visit the Maui Youth Page


Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth

Note: Visit the Mendocino Sufi Youth Retreat page for details on the gathering. 

Pir Shabda Khan (Marin County) is the Pir (Spriritual Director) of the Sufi Ruhaniat International. He was an original mureed of Murshid Samuel Lewis. He has been a student of Indian Classical Music since the early 1970's and studied under the master Pandit Pran Nath. You can learn mor about Pir Shabda through his website and through the Lineage page of this site. 

Murshid Wali Ali Meyer (San Francisco) is the head of the Esoteric School of the Sufi Ruhaniat International. He was an original mureed of Murshid Samuel Lewis and served as his esoteric secretary. You can read a biography, view his teaching schedule, and learn more about the Esoteric School on Murshid Wali Ali's homepage.

Murshida Mariam Baker (Marin County) holds the Soul Work concentration for the Sufi Ruhaniat International. She is a scholar, dancer, whirler, and carries deeply a transmission of the divine feminine.


Sheikh Latif Burdick (Humbolt County) leads Dances and Zikr in Arcata, California. He is a musician and carpenter.  

Sheikha Jilani Esterly (Santa Cruz) is a Ruhaniat guide and healer. She works as a chiropractor as part of a wholisitc medical practice. She recently offered a series of Sufi study classes called Modern Mystics: Ancient Wisdom Remixed for Contemporary Life.  

 Major Events

Mendocino Sufi Camp is celebrating its 38th year this coming summer with the theme Love Stream: Following the Wisdom of Your Heart. It is the main gathering for the Ruhaniat in California and takes place in the beautiful Mendocino Woodlands. 

The Northern California Sufi Sesshin takes place each January near Petaluma, California at the beautiful IONS Center. Youth Scholarships are often available for this week of meditation and Dances of Universal Peace. 

Pacific Northwest (Including British Columbia)

Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth

Note: Visit the Northwest Youth Page for more details on gatherings, guides, and youth in the region.  

Murshida Khadija Goforth (Seattle) leads Dances and zikr in both Seattle and New York City.  

Arifa Byron (Portland) leads Dances and zikr in Portland. She is a musician, singer, and peace educator. 

Khalif Khalil Mark Elliott (Ashland) is the senior guide for the Ashland Heart Sufi Circle.  

Kabir McKinnon (Nelson, B.C.) is one of the guides for the Nelson community. He offers zikr and is part of the Dances of Universal Peace team as well. 

Amira Sara Pelfrey (Seattle) is a younger guide. She is an owner of SoulFood Books in Redmond, a community bookstore and cafe. 

Major Events

Northwest Sufi Camp will celebrate its 36th year this summer. It is the main regional gathering for the Northwest community and includes Sufi practice, zikr, Dances of Universal Peace, and other forms of creative expression Toward the One. 

Younger Leader and Youth Contacts

Tatiana Lakshmi Havill (Portland) is the organizer of the Northwest Sufi Youth Retreat.  


Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth

Sheikha Darvesha McDonald (Gila Wilderness, NM) a Dance and zikr leader who often leads retreats in Mexico and South America.   

Tara Andrea Swierkosz (New Mexico) leads Dances and is deeply connected with the German Youth community as well. 

Major Events

The Lama Foundation hosts a Sufi Sesshin and other Sufi and/or Dance events each summer. 

The Southwest Sufi Community hosts a summer intensive with a focus on sustainability.

Youth and Younger Leaders


Sophia Kristi Rychener (Silver City, NM) lives and works in Silver City and is connected to the Southwest Sufi Community. She is a member of the Sufi Ruhaniat Youth Council.  

Mountain West

Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth

Khalif Saladin Pelfrey (Hamilton, MT & Moscow, ID) is a senior guide with a deep connection to Nature and the concentration of Ziraat. 

Sheikh Munir Peter Reynolds (Corvallis, Montana) is a guide and Dance leader and current director of Dances of Universal Peace International.  

Sara Rain (Colorado) is a guide, and Dance and Zikr leader, and dedicted musician. You can learn more through her website


Younger Leaders and Youth 


Rebecca Welsh (Boulder) is a Dance leader, Zikr leader, therapist and member of the SRI Youth Council. You can learn more about her and her therapy practice through her website.

Rafia Sharon Rebeck (Boulder) leads Dances of Universal Peace in community in Boulder. She is studying to become a therapist. 


Katie Hamida Wiese (Boise, ID) is a writer and member SRI Youth Council.  

Major Events

Wilderness Dance Camp  is a Dances of Universal Peace gatheing that takes place each summer in the magestic landscape of Southern Montana. The community often invites younger leaders as guest teachers for the camp. 


Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth

Note: Visit the Ozarks/Shining Heart Youth Page for more details on gatherings, guides, and youth in the region. 

Mudita Sabato (Kansas City, MO) is a guide in the Sufi Ruhaniat. She leads throughout the region.  

The Madison Sufis facebook page is a gathering place for initiates and friends in the lineages of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the Madison area. It has information about events and regular gatherings in the area.  

Major Events

Ozark Sufi Camp takes place each spring and fall in the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks region of Missouri. This spring the community will be guided by  Khabir Kitz, Allaudin Ottinger, Nuria Sabato, Firdousi Wyrick, Rahimah Sweeney, Hakima Greentree, Buraq Olson, and other local teachers. 

Youth and Younger Leaders

The Shining Heart Youth Facebook Page is a good way to connect with youth and younger leaders in the region. 

Kira Harkins (Shawnee, Kansas) is a member of the SRI Youth Council. She is a social worker and grew up in the Shining Heart Community. 

Nur Alia Elizabeth Pfeiffer (Columbia, MO) is a member of the SRI Youth Council. She is studying library science and grew up in the Shining Heart Community. 



Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth 

Murshida Halima Sussman & Murshid Abraham Sussman (Cambridge, MA) focalize community in Massachusetts through Dance, zikr, esoteric study and regular retreats on their beautiful land in rural Massachusetts. Learn more on the Northeast Sufis website

Murshida Khadija Goforth (New York City) splits her time between Seattle and New York where she leads Dance, zikr and offers Dance mentorship.   


Major Events

Northeast Sufi Circle hosts Sufi and Dance camps each summer as well as retreats with visiting guides. Visit their website for details. 

The Abode of the Message in New Lebanon, NY is a retreat center and intentional community founded by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. It is the home of Pir Zia Inayat Khan, the spiritual director of the Sufi Order International. The Abode host retreats and camps throughout the year. 


Youth and Younger Leaders

Maitreya Jon Stevens (Richmond, MA) leads Dances of Universal Peace in New Lebanon, NY and is a member of the SRI Youth Council 

Diana Rose Lyon (New York City) offers a study group each month, is part of the New York Dance circle, and is the co-chair of the SRI Youth Council. 


Senior Guides & Guides working with Youth 

Murshida Asha Greer (Batesville, VA) lives in the beautiful Virginia woods where she paints, offers tea ceremony, meditation, and zikr. Learn more on her website.  

Murshid Hakim Sauluddin Barodofsky (Batesville, VA) is the leader for the Dervish Healing Order, one of the concentrations of the Sufi Ruhaniat. He leads regular Healing Service in Batesville. 

Sheikha Yasmin Haut (Harrisburg, PA) offers Dance and zikr throughout her region. She is often a guest at Northeast Sufi Circle gatherings as well.  

Inayat Tal (Raliegh/Durham, NC) is a member of the the Rose Heart Sufi Community, which holds regular Dances, zikr, study, drumming and healing services. He is a mureed, mentored-Dance leader, drummer for the Dances, and serves on the SRI Technology Committee.  

Youth and Younger Leaders

Mica Whitney (Richmond, VA) is a Dance leader and member of the SRI Youth Council. 


Diana Anahita Kanoy (Near Silver Springs, FL) offers Dances of Universal Peace and Dance gatherings at her beautiful center Dancing Peacock Paradise. She often hosts gatherings with Murshida Leilah Be and Murshid Alauddin Ottinger as guests. 

Jessica Bromby (Sarasota, FL) is a younger Dance leader connected to Rising Tide International and the Habibis, the young folks sufi group in Sarasota.   

Rising Tide International (Sarasota, FL) is a community and center with ongoing esoteric study, Dances, zikr and other gatherings. The community ascribes to Universal Sufism and is deeply connected to the Sufi Order International.  


Mexico has a growing Dances of Universal Peace community and there are also several SRI guides who routinely offer camps and retreats in Mexico. 

Danzas de Paz Universal Guadalajara hosts regular Dance meetings and a yearly camp.

Darvesha McDonald is often a guest teacher at this event. And Abraham and Halima Sussman are to be the guests at their camp this fall. Dance leaders Jorge Arjun Calero from Colombia and Malika Elena Salazar from New York are co-organizers along with local dance leader Jamila Yamina Carillo.   

Yasmin Haut and friends offer a yearly sufi and Dance gathering in the Yucatan.

Mexico Sufi Camp takes place in beautiful Chacala, Nayarit each January at the Mar de Jade retreat center, often with Asha Greer and Atum O'Kane as guest teachers. Organizers Madhura Kaplan and Nurah Judy Garson can be contacted via e-mail.  

The site Danzas de Paz Universal offers resources about the Dances in Spanish, including information on finding the Dances in your region.