A Taste of Sufism

A P R I L   2 0 1 7   –   J U L Y   2 0 1 8

A Taste of Sufism is an online seminar exploring different strands of Sufi thought and practice from pre-Islamic times to the present day. There will be eleven monthly presentations covering the origins and history of Sufism, its many schools, teachings, personalities, traditions and changes.

Two weeks after each presentation there will be a follow-up discussion and Q&A session. The style will be personal and informal, a wide-ranging journey through a varied landscape. All sessions may be accessed by telephone or Skype.

NOTE: If you miss a session for any reason, you can ask for a recording.

Click HERE to register. Click HERE to go to the Revised Pricing and Discounts

Click HERE to download a printable pdf file of this announcement (two pages)

Click HERE to download a printable pdf file of the Session & Topics schedule or calendar (one page)

Who the program is for

- people who are involved with a Sufi fellowship, school or online group

- people who resonate with Sufism as a message of love and kindness

- people who are inspired by Sufi poetry, music and dance

- people who want to reach a personal deepening of prayer, worship and inquiry



Presentations will generally take place on the third Sunday of the month; discussion and Q&A sessions will be two Sundays later.

Note: the first session - on April 9 - is free but you must sign up for it in advance.
(See information about Registration & Costs below.)

Talks will begin at 9:00 am U.S. Pacific Time (that is 5:00 pm GMT), with adjustments for Daylight Savings. Both the presentations and discussions will run about 60 minutes each.

NOTE: The first talk is on a second Sunday, April 9, because the third Sunday is Easter, and the follow-up conversation will be on April 30. There will be no session in July.

Dates & Topics

1. April 9, 2017    Sufi Origins ... discussion on April 30*
Cultural and spiritual origins; early mystical schools and traditions; the influence of Prophet Mohammed.

2. May 21, 2017    Sufi Forms ... discussion on June 4
The blossoming within Islam; the appearance of the name “Sufi”; the rise of teachers, schools, fellowships, monasteries, lineages, orders, superorders.

3. June 18, 2017    Sufi Content ... discussion on July 2
Concepts, philosophy, psychology, vocabulary, activity; God as Ruler, God as Love: the influence of Rabia al-Adawwiya.

— No sessions in July —

4. Aug. 20, 2017    Sufi Practices ... discussion on Sept. 3
Prayer, concentration and repose; music and movement, theater and story; experientials, tasks and chilla; itinerancy and pilgrimage, self-inquiry and experiment.

5. Sept. 17, 2017    Sufi “Poles” and Polarities ... discussion on Oct. 1
The Great Teachers; disparities and dichotomies; the unity of existence.

6. Oct. 15, 2017    Sufi Memes ... discussion on Oct. 29
The Path of Love, the Way of the Heart, the Divine as The Beloved, the Guide/Teacher as the Friend. Also: the inner life, the glance, surrender, perfection.

7. Nov. 19, 2017    Sufi Values ... discussion on Dec. 3
Wisdom (Sophia), character, the art of personality, doing the beautiful, attunement; the role of women.

8. Dec. 17, 2017    Sufi Disruptors ... discussion on Jan. 7, 2018*
The shamanic heritage; the Malamati and Qalandari; extremists and assassins; Uncle (Mulla, Hodja) Nasruddin; the Hidden Guides.

The rest of the schedule has been altered, please note the new dates:

9. March 25, 2018    Sufi Radiance ... there will be a 1/2-hr. discussion immediately following the session.
Poetry, art, music, dance, storytelling, love epics; creative imagination, the Imaginal.

10. May 13, 2018    Spiritual Liberty ... there will be a 1/2-hr. discussion immediately following the session.
Spiritual Liberty: Inayat Khan and secular Sufism, Universal Sufism, nondual Sufism; social reformers; intersectional spirituality.

11. June 10, 2018    Sufism Today and Tomorrow ... discussion and seimnar wrap on July 1.
Spirit, nature and ecology; the mystic activist; our nature as love, our nature as change.

Recordings will be available to those who have signed-up and paid for the course or that session.

The webinar will be held online at MaestroConference. You can access the presentations by phone or Skype. After you register you will receive a confirmation email with a phone number to call and a PIN that will give you access to the session on Maestro. You will receive reminders from Maestro 24 hours and 2 hours before each session, again with the number to call and your personal PIN. More details for connecting through Skype will be in the registration confirmation.


Registration & Costs


The full seminar costs $125 (if you register by May 15); individual sessions are $20 each. The first session (April 9) is free but you must sign up for it in advance. You can add the rest of the course or individual sessions when you first register or later. Registration after May 15 is $175.

To make the program widely accessible, we are offering two special discounts
if you register by May 15:

      1.  Buy all 10 sessions for $125
      2.  Buy 4 sessions — May, June, August, and September — for $50.00

You can also pay for the full program or multiple sessions in 2 or 3 installments.

Discussion sessions are included in the cost of the talks.

To register, click HERE.




For questions about the program, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For questions about the registration and payment, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Murshid Kiran Rana was born and raised in India. In 1973 he traveled to the West, where he met the Sufi mystic, Fazal Inayat-Khan, and joined his Khankah (residential Sufi community). He spent the first seven years of his Sufi training living and working in close proximity to his teacher.

In 1981, Kiran moved to California, where for 35 years he was a publisher of books on physical and emotional health. He also led workshops on Sufi poetry and music, teaching especially through the Sufi musical form called qawwali. During that time he also became a Murshid (guide) in the Sufi Way, the progressive Sufi order started by Fazal Inayat-Khan.

In 2014, Kiran gave up publishing and devoted himself full-time to the practice and teaching of Sufism. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife, Jeanne, who is a poet and long-term member of the Sufi Way and the Unitarian church. At the Bay Dervish center in Alameda they hold monthly Sufi conversations and gatherings for zikr, qawwali and worship and share approaches to the inner life, creativity and awakening.