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.