What is a Sufi Master Teacher?
I practice Shadhuliyya Sufism, a spiritual path of enlightenment, inner awakening, and spiritual healing which has been passed down directly through the generations since its origins in Morocco in the 1200's. Sufism and psychotherapy both use similar approaches to help individuals mature emotionally and mentally. The Sufi strives to develop the self-responsibility, wisdom and power to face suffering directly, to transform it, and to ultimately create a life of love, truth, and participation which brings peace and healing to oneself and one's world.
Counselors and psychologists employ many sophisticated and effective clinical approaches - CBT, Gestalt, Jungian - to facilitate healing and self-realization. However, my experience is that my Sufi training both includes and transcends each of the many therapeutic techniques I have learned. After almost 20 years, I have no doubt: the spiritual science of Sufism contains the ancient roots and teachings of all effective modern psychotherapy. These same roots can be found as well in other spiritual traditions such as Zen Buddhism, Kabbalah, and the Vedas - and countless others, some of which have no formal name.
Both therapy and Sufism require one to fearlessly confront the truth of oneself, and take responsibility for all of one's experiences - thoughts and emotions; choices and situations. Through striving and effort, one can heal from the past, and work to develop a joyful present self which is fluid yet grounded, wise, and appropriate to each situation. Sufi practitioners experience this process as a journey through ever-deepening levels of the spiritual heart.
Ultimately, Sufism as a metaphysical discipline goes beyond typical therapeutic goals: the Sufi seeks connection with the deepest levels of truth and the most profound dimensions of experience - the Sufi seeks to know the Divine. You are probably familiar with the poems of the Sufi mystic Rumi, whose poetic expressions of love, beauty and transcendence are widely used as touchstones by therapists, healers, artists, and the spiritually inclined throughout the world.
It is said that Sufis are the Masters of Love. Gentleness, integrity, and equality of all human beings are the core values of Sufism. So are peace, mercy, freedom, justice, and truth. I hope, through my humble practice, that I am helping to bring love and healing to each of my clients, and to the earth.
I was made a Sufi Master Teacher in the Shadhuliyya order by Shaykh Muhammad Sa'id al-Jamal ar-Rifa'i as-Shadhuli, head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem.