Sufi Psychology Association

Events

Workshops/Conferences

Each academic year, workshops or conferences are held at various universities, and the theme varies. Sufi teaching techniques encompass the linear, intellectual realm, but also focus on the non-linear, emphasizing learning through the use of music, stories, art, poetry, movement, and involvement in direct experience. Participants often comment on the caring atmosphere of beauty, harmony, peace and love and report feeling a sense of connection with their innermost being.

Workshop Facilitators

The workshop facilitators come from various fields, and provide an interesting diversity of perspectives. Facilitators hold advanced degrees and are students of M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi®, School of Islamic Sufism®, presenting under the supervision of Molana Hazrat Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha, Pir Oveyssi.

Past Events

March 29-31, 2019, Conference on Medicine and Religion in Durham, NC

On March 29-31, the Sufi Psychology Association® attended the Conference on Medicine and Religion to present on Sufi Psychology. The audience consisted of physicians, administrators, students, professors, and clergy who learned about Sufi methods to combat and prevent burnout, such as Tamarkoz®. The presentation concluded with a rich discussion about the electromagnetic fields.

March 21-March, 24, 2019, The Society for Humanistic Psychology 12th Annual Conference, Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR

On March 23, 2019, at the Society for Humanistic Psychology’s 12th Annual Conference, the Sufi Psychology Association presented a symposium titled “Sufi Psychology: Using the Way of Love to impact individuals and communities”. The conference was held on the picturesque campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.  More than 25 students and professionals poured into the conference room, with some sitting on the ground as all the seats were filled. They came to hear presentations about Sufism, Sufi Psychology, the heart and the brain. That afternoon a Tamarkoz® workshop was held, and students were able to personally experience some of the benefits of the Sufi meditative practices. At the conclusion of the workshop, the attendees received a red tulip to take with themselves as a symbolic representation of the true love to be discovered within their heart

February 22-24, 2019, Tamarkoz Retreat: Happiness, Sacramento, CA

The Sufi Psychology Association® provided the educational content for a Wayfinders retreat called Happiness. All activities were aimed at evoking the inner joy within the heart, where the soft and tender feeling of love flows. The workshops included harmonizing the energy centers of the body through Movazaneh® exercises; experiencing the soothing power of journaling; reflecting on our blessings and practicing gratitude; creating a happy skit, a game of collaboration and co-operation to bring a smile to everyone; and even having a chance to meet an adorable 9-week old puppy, named Joy! Not surprisingly, each participant was bestowed the seal of a Play Certificate, instantly becoming a member of the society for children of all ages--to walk in the rain, smell the flowers, and wander around... Each night came to an end with the heartfelt experience of Zikr, the remembrance of the Beloved, followed by uplifting visualization exercises, often recalling the playfulness of childhood memories.

January 20, 2019, Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, WI.

The Sufi Psychology Association was invited to present at the Religion, Spirituality, and Behavioral Health Care workshop held at Cardinal Stritch University for their graduate Psychology program. SPA presented a lecture called “Sufi Psychology: Returning the Soul to Psychology” and also participated in an interfaith panel discussion about spirituality and clinical work. Students asked multiple questions about how to utilize Sufi Psychology principles in working with patients and discussed their fears about bringing spirituality into the clinical setting.

August 12-18, 2018 MTO Global Youth Conference, Dallas, TX

The Sufi Psychology Association® presented at the inaugural MTO Global Youth Conference. Topics of presentation were “Sufi Psychology: Mind & Body” and “Women & the Holy Quran: A Sufi Perspective”.

August 9-12, 2018 American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, California

The Sufi Psychology Association® presented a symposium titled “Sufi Psychology: the Science of the Soul” at the 126th Annual American Psychological Association Convention. Audience members were intrigued about the role of the heart in Sufism, and posed questions of Who is the real self? How can I find my true self apart from my role in society? International academic professionals in attendance inquired about how they can obtain Sufi Psychology as part of their academic curriculum. Presenting at the convention was a wonderful experience. Participating in it also provided exciting opportunities to meet with other colleagues in the field.

April 26-29, 2018 Western Psychological Association Annual Conference, Portland, OR.

The Sufi Psychology Association® presented a symposium titled “Applying Islamic Sufism Principles and Practices in Psychotherapy to Help with Stress Management, Burnout, and Fostering Inner Stability“ at the Western Psychological Association’s 98th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. The symposium was attended by 30 mental health professors, therapists, students, and researchers. Attendees expressed interest in Sufi Psychology and learning how to apply Sufi Psychology in their work. They inquired additional information regarding retreats, certification, and resources to learn more about Sufi Psychology.

April 12-15, 2018 Conference on Medicine & Religion, St. Louis, MO

On April 12-15, 2018, the Sufi Psychology Association® (SPA) presented at the 2018 Conference on Medicine and Religion. This annual conference took place at the historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel and was attended by over 200 educators, healthcare providers, and clergymen. SPA had a table displaying publications and presented on topics such as “Returning the Soul to Psychology, an Islamic Sufi Perspective”, “Spiritual Death vs. Biological Death and its Aftermath in Islamic Sufism” and “Holistic Healing: An Islamic Sufi Perspective”. SPA and other attendees discussed religion and healing and ways to collaborate and learn from one another.

April 6-7, 2018, Joy: A Tamarkoz® Workshop, Atlanta, GA

M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Atlanta hosted two SPA Tamarkoz® workshops in Atlanta, Georgia on April 6 – 7, 2018. Over 40 people attended the workshops. The first was held at the M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Atlanta center. For several of the attendees, this was their first introduction to Tamarkoz®. At the end of the session, many of the attendees expressed feeling of rejuvenation and joy. The second session was held at Georgia State University. The event was exclusive to the students and faculty members of university and was initiated and sponsored by the Asian Studies Center at GSU. This was a first-time experience with Tamarkoz® for almost all attendees. At the end of the event, many of the attendees engaged in conversations with the Tamarkoz® instructor and the coordinators. The feedback from this session was also extremely positive and several students expressed interest in attending more workshops.

March 31-April 1, 2018, Tamarkoz® Workshop: Joy!, Vancouver, Canada.

The M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Vancouver Center hosted a series of SPA Tamarkoz® workshops over the weekend of March 31st, 2018. The weekend consisted of three sessions, all with a theme focused on Joy. The attendees, who amounted to over eighty individuals, came from a diverse range of age, religious, and educational backgrounds. Guests showed exceptionally positive responses to the classes, appreciating the tranquil, serene and interactive nature of the workshop, and many showed a keen interest in attending again in the future.

November 5-6, 2017 Unbounded Love: Meditation Workshop, Chicago

The Sufi Psychology Association® hosted a two-part educational meditation workshop for university, college and high school students, as well as university professors. The event was held at M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Chicago/Milwaukee center on Sunday, November 5th, 2017 and at the University of Chicago on Monday, November 6th, 2017. The program educated students on Islamic Sufism through an introduction to the topic, and provided them with life-long tools on how to manage stress, and maintain an overall healthy being through the unique Sufi practices of Tamarkoz® and Zikr. The workshop was attended by about sixty students and professors.

November 2-4, 2017 Illinois Psychological Association’s Annual Convention, Schaumburg, IL

The Sufi Psychology Association® presented at the Illinois Psychological Association’s Annual Convention which was based around the theme “Trauma: Helping our Clients, our Communities and Ourselves”. SPA discussed the utilization of Sufi principles and Sufi Psychotherapy when working with trauma in a symposium titled “Sufi Psychology: Utilizing Islamic Sufism in Working with Trauma”.

Oct 15-17, 2017 Unbounded Love: A Tamarkoz® Workshop, Dallas, TX

M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Dallas hosted a series of SPA Tamarkoz® workshops in Dallas and Frisco, Texas during the three-day period of October 15-17, 2017. On Sunday, October 15, one Youth and two Adult sessions were held at the M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Dallas Center. Close to seventy individuals participated in the workshops, many of whom experienced Tamarkoz® for the first time. On Monday, October 16, per an official request from the Southern Methodist University Religious Studies Department Chair, M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Dallas hosted a dedicated workshop. The professor thanked M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® for the informative and rejuvenating session and referred to the event as "an experience that the students will remember for the rest of their lives." On Tuesday, October 17, another dedicated workshop was held at Brookhaven College in Dallas. The feedback from this session was also extremely positive and several students expressed interest in attending more workshops.

July 24-28, 2017 World Congress for Psychotherapy at UNESCO, Paris, France.

The Sufi Psychology Association® presented four papers at the World Congress for Psychotherapy: Love and Life in 21st Century. Topics included “Sufism: The Science of the Soul”, “The Use of Sufi Teachings Methods in Psychotherapy: Case Studies”, “Reaching Solitude Through Inner Stability Without Abandoning Society”, and “Implications of Tamarkoz® on Spirituality, Positive Emotions, Perceived Stress and Heart Rate”. SPA, jointly with M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® students in Paris, offered a highly-anticipated Tamarkoz® workshop on “Sufism: The Way of Love” followed by a radio interview on the topics of Sufism, Love, Sufi Psychology, and Tamarkoz®. The MTO Sufi Psychology® presentations drew hundreds of attendees from diverse backgrounds, creating an inviting and engaging atmosphere that planted the seed of the heart-centered paradigm of Sufi Psychology at UNESCO. The participants not only had the opportunity to learn about the benefits of Sufi Psychology practices, but they were also able to experience them personally. SPA’s outreach reached its culmination when the Tamarkoz® workshop surpassed its full capacity, motivating the conference organizers to add an additional Tamarkoz® session.

April 27-30, 2017 Western Psychological Association Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA

SPA presented at the Western Psychological Association’s Annual Conference in Sacramento. The symposium presented covered topics pertaining to Sufism, the effects of Tamarkoz®, utilizing Sufi principles in psychological practice, and the role of the heart. Attendees expressed a desire to learn more about Sufism and its practices.

April 7-8, 2017 Division 36 Midyear Conference, The University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, TN.

The Sufi Psychology Association® was invited to present in a symposium called “Spirituality and Health; Research and Case Studies in Spirituality to Promote Human Well-Being” at the American Psychological Association’s Division of Religion and Spirituality midyear conference. The symposium included researchers and faculty from different universities and members of SPA. Topics presented were “The Sufi Practice of Tamarkoz® on Spirituality, Positive Emotions, Perceived Stress and Heart Rate” and “Using Islamic Sufism to Promote Spiritual Practice in Clinical Work”. Attendees remarked on their interest in the presentations and how they’d like to see more about the topics.

October 8, 2016 18th Annual SPA Workshop, Inner Peace, California State University, Sacramento, CA

A day of rest, relaxation and release was enjoyed by those enrolled in the 18th Annual Sufi Psychology Association Workshop: Inner Peace, held in Eureka Hall, CSU, Sacramento on October 8th, 2016. Activities included a presentation on the Power of the Heart by a cardiologist, as well as soothing experiences in Breathing, Movazeneh®, and deep relaxation. Lunch was served under the redwoods, with live music. The afternoon ended with the rhythmic release of the chanting of Sufi zikr.

June 21-24, 2018 Creating Positive Change Annual Tamarkoz Retreat for Young Adults, Sacramento, CA

The Sufi Psychology Association® provided educational workshops and content for the annual Tamarkoz® young adult retreat. Workshops were about cognitive distortions, neuroplasticity, and experiential art projects to name a few. As part of the activities, participants enjoyed an exciting whitewater river rafting experience on the scenic American River. Each evening after soothing guided meditation, participants felt inspired in gathering with zikr sessions, and those with musical instruments played in harmony with them. Movazaneh® and Tamarkoz® workshops provided participants with amazing opportunities to connect with delicate energy and focus on the heart. The retreat was a memorable experience as participants expressed their gratitude, and wish for an even longer retreat.

May 11-13, 2018, Sufi Healing Retreat, Sacramento, CA

The Sufi Psychology Association® provided some of the educational workshops for the healing retreat. This was a unique event as the retreat was based upon the recommended healing and nutritional practices of His Holiness, Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha. Participants of the retreat spent the weekend learning various methods to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. It was an extraordinary weekend for all.

Feb 23-25, 2018, Collaboration and Cooperation Retreat, Sacramento, CA

The Sufi Psychology Association® provided the educational content for a Wayfinders retreat called Collaboration and Cooperation. The exercises presented were based upon Professor Nader Angha’s book “Theory “I”” and allowed participants to connect with their inner self, while harmonizing with their peers through a series of collaborative activities in an accepting, loving, and kind environment. Movazeneh® exercises were enjoyed each morning, including several examples of cooperative postures, as well as soothing, activating and energy-balancing postures and movements. Attendees enjoyed lively, physically active cooperative games in which competition caused interference. A focus was on understanding and improving one’s own personal patterns, as well as overcoming fears and learning effective and useful communication skills. Every night, all attendees joined in the circle of Zikr to remember the Beloved, all in harmony with one voice, one movement. Evaluative comments included: "…very relaxing…"; "I was able to quiet my chattering mind and find some peace."; "…truly opened up new windows for me.”; “Tamarkoz brings a sense of purpose and focus to my life.”; ”…being able to attend is a blessing in broad daylight.”

November 11-12, 2017, Creative Change: A Tamarkoz® Retreat for UC Berkeley Graduate Students, Sacramento, CA

The M.T.O. Sufi Association® and U.C. Berkeley Graduate Students Assembly held a Tamarkoz® retreat for graduate students and SPA provided some of the educational content. Eighteen students arrived at the M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® retreat center in Sacramento to get a reprieve from the strain of being a graduate student. The two-day retreat utilized Sufi practices to relieve stress and teach students skills to use in their everyday lives. Attendees learned about Islamic Sufism, practiced Tamarkoz® and experienced Zikr. They attended various workshops where they explored their identity, realigned their priorities towards a more balanced way of life, used deep breathing to dive deeper into their hearts, and tapped into their creativity to express themselves. At the end of the two-day experience, students reported feeling a sense of calm and relaxation and feeling ready to take on the events in their lives, though many expressed not wanting to leave the retreat center's cozy and serene environment.

August 25-27, 2017 Retreat Tamarkoz Retreat: Sound, Music and the Sufi Zikr, Sacramento, CA

SPA presented at this season's Tamarkoz® Retreat at the Sacramento Retreat Center. Participants began to learn and focus on their sense of hearing by listening to a wide range of familiar sounds that were not-so-easy to recognize at first. Everyone then indulged in a music relaxation exercise that evoked diverse emotions and feelings of nostalgia as different kinds of music were played. Each person experimented with their own unique pitch, frequency, and breathing pattern to uncover their true voice. Attendees then joined together in smaller groups to experience toning and harmonization to create a delightful melody without the use of words. The overall experience was further enriched each morning with a beautiful and rejuvenating movement of Movazeneh®, while the evening filled with stillness after harmonious and soothing Sufi zikr.

May 18-21, 2017 Annual Tamarkoz Retreat for Young Adults, Sacramento, CA

SPA presented workshops in this year's annual young adult retreat which was enrolled to maximum capacity. Participants from across North America expressed their experience of joy and relaxation from the ambience upon their arrival at the Sacramento retreat center. Each morning began with Tamarkoz® and Movazaneh® in the tranquil gardens with bird songs and rays of sunlight greeting the participants. Activities that inspired creativity and inner-calm continued throughout the day. As creativity and contentment infused each person, participants found themselves picking up musical instruments, even if they had not touched one in years, and played to their own beautiful melodies. Others joined with their voices to sing Sufi poems and before long, engaged in hours of zikr. A kayaking tour on Lake Natoma led to sightings of the majestic American Bald Eagle. The gourmet, delicious meals and desserts filled participants with delight. The retreat ended with participants expressing their sincere gratitude for the rejuvenation and self-love they gained in their experiences at the retreat.

Nov 4-6, 2016 Annual Silent Tamarkoz Retreat, Sacramento, CA

SPA provided self-discovery workshops for students attending the annual Silent Tamarkoz® retreat at the Sacramento Retreat Houses. It was a real getaway: 40 hours of rest, relaxation, contemplation, delicious food and self-discovery, all in silence... and they loved it! The elements of Movazeneh®, Concentration, Deep Breathing, Relaxation and Visualization were included, as well as Sufi zikr.

“By discovering their inner dimension, human beings will gain permanent knowledge and will be guided by eternal and infinite principles.”

Professor Nader Angha, Theory I : the Unlimited Vision…of Leadership

“Individuals who follow the guidance of the stable center are in a state of equilibrium, in harmony with nature.”

Professor Nader Angha, Theory I : the Unlimited Vision…of Leadership