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University of Creation Spirituality
Doctor of Ministry Degree/Certificate Program

October, 2004 Intensive
October 24-29 2004

Seminar: Sufi Mysticism and the Mystics ©† - # 60077

Instructor: Ana Perez-Chisti, Ph.D.

Faculty Bio:  Ana is a National Representative for the Sufi Movement International USA. She is a teacher teacher and senior Interfaith Minister for several other Sufi orders as well. She is a member of the Taungpulu Kaba-Aye Buddhist Monastery in Boulder Creek, CA and teaches Vipassana meditation as taught in the Theravadan tradition. She is a trained yogini and martial artist in the areas of Kendo and Karate. Her professional involvement has taken her to India, Somalia South Africa, Nepal and Western Europe serving in Emergency Relief Agencies, Hospice Care Program and Prison Library Projects. Ana teaches seminars around the world on the subjects of the Unity of Spiritual Ideals, The Mystics, Sufism, Vipassana and Engaged Buddhism. 

Course Description:  

This course introduces Sufi Mysticism through the study of the most famous Sufi Mystics from the numerous lineages (Tariqats). The Sufi Mystics whose timeless works we will discover together have inspired generations of people in their quest for Unity with the Divine (Tawhid). The Mystics are: El-Ghazali, Omar Khayyam, Ibn Al’Arabi, Jalaluddin Rumi, Rabia Al’Adwiyya of Basra, Hazrat Babajan of Afghanistan, Khwaja Moineddin Chisti, Mahmud Shabistari, Hazrat Inayat Kahn and Mula Nazrudin. We will study some of the essential writings of these Sufi masters and uncover the direct methodology that arose from their aspirations of heart-mind communication with the Divine.

Sufis have distilled the wisdom traditions from all religious systems and they have been the forerunners of tolerance and unity among religions of the world. Their pluralistic views continue to bring peace in times of conflict, ease in time of suffering, and their methods expediently open the door to the heart. Counter to encyclopedia sources, Sufis have always existed in the world even prior to the mission of Muhammad (SAAwS), yet Sufism became exalted after the rise of Islam.

The Mystical teachings are given to lead the wandering soul onward, stage by stage, until it reaches the desired goal and that is Perfect Union with the Divine Being. The Sufi Master’s experiences, various methods, philosophies and ideals will be explored in this class so that one can become a deeper practitioner of their chosen spiritual path.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide a knowledge base in how Sufis see all creation as the Divine.
  2. To reveal how all visible and invisible beings are an emanation of the Divine.
  3. To perceive how all religions are pathways to the Divine.
  4. To understand that there does not exist good and evil as all are reduced to Unity (Tawhid).
  5. To realize that proper guidance is an essential gift of grace for one who journeys on the spiritual path.
  6. To apply ones concentration and effort toward spiritual practices for ones progressive mystical insight to become a reality.

Learning Activities:

Cognitive 70%

Experiential 30%

Required Reading:

  1. Indries Shah. The Way of the Sufi. London: Arkana Pequin Books, Ltd. (1968), 1974.
  2. Hazrat Inayat Khan. The Sufi Message Vol. III-Education, Rasa Shastra, Character Building, Art of the Personality, Moral Culture. London: Barrie and Rocklieff Barrie Books Ltd. 1971.
  3. William C. Chittick. The Sufi Path of Knowledge. Albany: State University Press of NY. 1989.

Recommended Reading:

  1. Margaret Smith. Rabi’a, the Mystic AD 717-801 and her Fellow Saints of Islam. SF: Cambridge University Press (1928), Rainbow Bridge Press 1977.
  2. Coleman Barks and John Mayne (Trs) The Essential Rumi. SF: Harper Collins, 1994.
  3. Indries Shah. Nazrudin. NY: E.P. Dutton, 1972.
  4. Isma’il al Faruqui and David E. Sopher. Historical Atlas of the Religions of the World. Islam. Delhi Oriential Publishers, 1973.
  5. Mircea Eliade. A History of Religious Ideas-Vol. III-From Muhammad to the Age of Reforms. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.
  6. Sidney Nettleton-Fisher. The Middle East: A History (3rd edition), NY: Alfred A. Knoph, 1979.
  7. Henri Corbin. The History of Islamic Philosophy. London: Islamic Publication for the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 1964, 1978, 1993.
  8. Reynold A. Nicholson. The Mystics of Islam-An Introduction to Sufism. NY: Schocken Books. 1975.
  9. H. J. Witteveen. Universal Sufism. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books1997.
  10. Farid-al-Din Attar. (Tr. A. J. Arberry). Muslim Saints and Mystics. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1966,1973,1976.
  11. Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi. (Tr. Bayrak and Harris). What the Seeker Needs. Vermont: Threshold Press, 1992.
  12. Mir Valiuddin. Contemplative Disciplines of Sufism. London: East-West Publications, 1980.
  13. J. Spencer Triminghasm. The Sufi Orders in Islam. London: Oxford University Press, 1971, 1973.
  14. Javad Nurbakhsh. What the Sufis Say. NY: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications, 1980.
  15. Ruzbihan Baqli. The Unveiling of Secrets. (Tr. Carl W. Ernst) Chapel Hill, NC: Parvardigar Press, 1997.
  16. Abu Bakr al-Kalabadhi. (Tr. A. J. Arberry) The Doctrine of the Sufis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1935, 1977.
  17. Collected Essays. Sufi Women: The Journey Towards the Beloved. San Raphael, CA: The International Association of Sufism, 1998.

Class Schedule:                      Readings and Lecture Series

Monday October 25th 2004 - Introduction

Shah, pages 13-37, The Study of Sufism in the West

Chittick, pages 212-230, Knowing and God’s Self Disclosure

Chittick, pages 147-170, Knowledge and the Knower

Shah, pages 83-89, Al’Arabi

Shah, pages 123-147, The Major Orders:Chisthi/Qahiri

Shah, pages 64-67, Omar Khayyam

Tuesday October 26th 2004

Shah, pages 148-173, The Major Orders: Suhrawardi/Naqshbandi

Shabistari: The Secret Garden (Selections) (Handout)

Shah, pages 55-63, El Ghazali

Quasim, El Ghazali on Islamic Guidance (Handout)

Khan, pages 197-228, Character Building

Wednesday October 27th 2004

Shah, pages 110-119

Barks, Rumi, The Role of Poetry, selections suggested in class lecture

Smith, pages Rabi’a, Devotion, Insight, and Discipline, 1,9,88-110 (Handouts)

Thursday October 28th 2004

Khan, pages 233-262 Moral Culture

Shepard, pages 17-69, Hazrat Babajan (Handout)

Chittick, pages 231-252, Understanding the Qur’an

Friday October 29th 2004

Begg, pages 82-107, Moineddin Chisthi, Sufis in India (Handouts)

Shah, Nazrudin, Humor and the role of the Holy Fool (Handouts)

Questions and Answers/Discussion

Pre-Class Writing Assignment:

No pre-writing assignment required.     

Post-Class Writing Assignment:                   5-15 Pages

The topic for the post-paper will be discussed in class.

©† Fulfills Core required class for Mystics

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