of my Background and History in Islamic/Sufi/Spiritual
and Medical Healing and Education
My personal experience includes over 40 years of spiritual study, world travel and holistic health education.
I was born in San Francisco, California on August 24, 1941. Yes, I'm a Virgo. At the age of seven we moved to a healthier environment on a sheep and clover ranch in the Sacramento valley. That's where I spent my school years. After two years in private school and a year at University of Oregon, I decided to join the Army. I chose Europe and was sent to Germany where I was fortunate enough to travel extensively and learned fluent German.
After leaving the military in February 1964, I returned in Europe and eventually decided to journey through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and stayed for four months in India, traveling from Delhi to Bombay to Calcutta to Katmandu, Nepal and back. I had my twenty-fourth birthday during the annual celebration at the shrine of a great Sufi saint, Hajji Malang Baba, called the father of India, in Kalyan, India, some sixty miles inland from Bombay. Shortly thereafter, I returned to San Francisco where I started my study of spiritual paths, world religions and natural health, including Macrobiotics. It was during that time, in the summer of 1966, that I discovered and accepted Islam and started the path of learning known as Sufism.
I married in Vancouver, BC in 1970, and we traveled to Montreal to spend the summer reading books on Islam and Sufism at the McGill University Library, which was reputed to have the largest library of this kind in the Western Hemisphere. In 1974 we traveled with three other families and our one-year-old daughter to Morocco. We lived in the town of Tetouan for a year and took the bay`at with the `Alawiyya tariqat under the tutelage of Hajj Muhammad Chelaf, who was the muqaddim to the grandson of the Grand Shaykh Ahmed al-`Alawi, who was written about by Martin Lings in "The Sufi Saint of the 20th century".
Shortly thereafter, in December (?) 1974 I had the opportunity to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where I stayed for nearly sixty days, after which I returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and enrolled in a local Community College. Some friends and I rented a house in North Oakland on the Berkeley border where we established an `Alawi zawiyya, taught and performed the daily prayers, Juma`a and regular dhikrs on Thursdays and Sundays. This lasted for eleven months.
It was at that time that I was introduced to the study and practice of homeopathic medicine. I took courses and bought books and soon became an active practitioner and grass roots Holistic Health educator, focusing on Macrobiotic dietetic principles and Homeopathic Medical principles. In 1977 we moved to Eugene, Oregon, where I established the Eugene Center for the Healing Arts, taught Holistic Health Education, and practiced macrobiotic dietetic counseling and Homeopathy. Over the next two years, I published the "Healing Arts", a sixteen page, bimonthly "Journal of Holistic Health Education", which was supported by local advertising and contained articles by myself and various healers on holistic health practices, as well as the Eugene Healing Community Calendar of health classes and seminars.
In 1980 I remarried and moved to some land near San Antonio, Texas, to join with the community and work at the madrasah of Shaykh Fadhlullah Haeri. I was recognized as the Hakim (Islamic Health Consultant) and practiced holistic health education, homeopathy, community counseling and spiritual education. During my residence of ten years in that community I received two scholarships. In 1981-2 I went to Granada, Spain for one year to study Sufi practices at the center of Shaykh `Abdul Qadir As-Sufi al Murabbit and in 1983-4 I went for two years to Pakistan and India, to study Ayurvedic and Islamic medicinal herbs and therapeutic practices. During this time I had the honor of visiting many of the famous shrines and many famous shaykhs and hakims, including Sufi Baraket `Ali. I studied for several months with Shaykh Hakim Gulzar Ahmed Shah, the 94 year old master of four tariqas, and arguably the greatest Hakim of this generation. I also had the honor of meeting and sitting with Murshid AllahYar Khan, master of the Owaisi Naqshbandi Way.
I returned to the community in San Antonio in 1984 to manage "Books on Islam", the mail-order bookstore, and resume community counseling, education and administration. I stayed there for six years, which included a brief (one month) trip to explore China :-). During these years I had the honor of observing and assisting the growth and transformation of some of the finest young men and women I'll ever know, namely, the children (now adults) of that fine community. It was also during that period that my computer skills grew and became professionally valuable.
In late 1989, some members of the community and I moved to Taos, New Mexico, I stayed there as the community health practitioner for almost two years establishing my business as the Taos Computer Company.
In 1991, I left the community in Taos and returned to California where I met and spent two years working and studying with Shaykh Taner Ansari of the Qadiri-Rifa`i Tariqah, during which time I was honored to travel with him to his home in Turkey, and to visit with his Shaykh, Nureddin Ozal, who during our visit passed into the next world leaving Shaykh Taner in charge.
While living in the bay area I remained active in the Sufi community and worked in various computer support positions. I have been a close friend of the American Naqshbandis of Shaykh Nazim Qubrusi and Shaykh Hisham Kabbani since their first visit to the USA well over twenty years ago. I have also spent many months at various times living and working on the premises of the Redwood Mosque, owned by Imam Mahdi Khorasani, in Fairfax, CA.
I met Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal for the first time in the summer of 1993 during his first visit to the U.S.A. Shortly thereafter I took leave of Shaykh Taner to continue my studies with the Shadhiliyyah. Sidi's holy teachings are available through Sidi Muhammad Press at http://www.sufimaster.org.
In the summer of 1998 I moved to the land of the Shadhiliyyah Healing Center to live with a community of professional energy healers. We studied and practiced the latest and most up-to-date healing methods based on understanding the true nature of health and the energetics of disease and emotional disturbances. Our teacher was Dr. Robert (Ibrahim) Jaffe, M.D., who is now a Muqaddim of the Shadhiliyyah Sufi Tariqah of North America. He has an international practice and students in all walks of life. His school has now become the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism, and offers degree courses in various forms of Ministry, Business and Peacemaking.
In August of 1999 I moved to Portland, Oregon where I resided until the summer of 2006, when I traveled to the East Coast. At the invitation of a friend I moved to Carbondale, Illinois, where I am currently residing. I can be reached at 618-698-8001.
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For Newcomers - A Guide and Explanation of my Work