Organizing Institution: The Lantern Initiative
Contact email: [email protected]
Start Date: May 14, 2023 (10:30am)
End Date: May 14, 2023 (6:00pm BST)
Winstanley House Hotel – Leicester – United Kingdom
The Inner Alchemy: Knowledge of Self
A Daylong of Spiritual Teachings, Mindfulness Practices and Devotional Poetry
“In a word, there is nothing closer to you than you. If you do not know yourself, how can you know anything else?
In this daylong retreat, Baraka Blue and Dr. Abdallah Rothman will take us through an exploration of the major themes of Islamic spirituality and psychology drawing especially on al-Ghazali’s Alchemy of Happiness and Rumi’s Masnavi.
You must seek out the truth about yourself: What sort of a thing are you? Where did you come from? Where are you going? Why have you come to this stopping place? For what purpose were you created? What is your happiness and in what does it lie? What is your misery and in what does that lie?”—Ghazali, The Alchemy of Happiness.
You think yourself merely a drop within the ocean, but you are also the entire ocean in a drop.— Rumi, The Masnavi
This daylong will be an exploration of the key terms of Quranic psychology and spirituality and a discussion of the way to self-mastery and self-realization as articulated by the great scholars and mystics of Islam. It will be interspersed throughout with dhikr, meditation, journaling, and conversation. Special consideration will be given to the relevance of these ancient spiritual traditions for our modern world.
What is the nafs (ego/self)? The ruh (spirit)? The qalb (heart)? The ‘aql (intellect)? What are the major diseases of the heart and what are their cures? What practical tools can we implement in our lives to deepen our practice and uncover our true nature? What is the nature of happiness? How can we distinguish between fleeting happiness and that which is everlasting. What is unveiling? What is the path to inner knowing?
Date, time and venue details:
Winstanley House hotel | Hinckley Rd LE3 1HX | Leicester | Sunday 14th May 10.30am-6pm | Arrival and registration: 10.30 -11am | Lunch and refreshments included
Baraka Blue is a poet, musician, author, and teacher from Seattle, Washington. In addition to releasing multiple studio albums, authoring books of poetry, and performing internationally, Baraka Blue is a prolific educator with a master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
He spent a number of years studying with traditional spiritual masters in Africa, Turkey, Asia and the Arab world. He has performed and taught all over the world, including at institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
In 2018, Baraka Blue founded the Rumi Center for Spirituality and the Arts which provides online courses to seekers from anywhere in the world. Baraka Blue has also conducted creative writing workshops for K-12 schools, universities, cultural and religious centers, and various organizations worldwide.
He is the host of the award winning podcast Path & Present, which features conversations on spirituality in the modern world. He lives in Seattle where he is the director of Wasat, an organization that builds community through spirituality, arts and culture, and service.
Dr. Abdallah Rothman is the founder of Shifaa Integrative Counseling and co-founder and Executive Director of the International Association of Islamic Psychology, working at the intersection of Islamic spirituality and mental health practice. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC), licensed in the United States and currently living abroad in the UAE and the UK.
Dr. Abdallah earned an M.A. in Psychology from Antioch University and earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from Kingston University London. He is a student of Professor Malik Badri in Islamic psychology and in addition to his academic training has studied privately with a number of traditional Islamic scholars throughout the Muslim world. Dr. Abdallah’s clinical practice as well as his academic research focus on approaching counseling from within an Islamic paradigm and establishing an indigenous theoretical orientation to human psychology that is grounded in the knowledge of the soul from the Islamic tradition. He publishes on this topic in books and journal articles and gives presentations, leads interactive workshops, and is invited to public speaking engagements at universities and organizations around the world. He is visiting professor of psychology at Zaim University Istanbul, International Islamic University Islamabad, and Al-Neelain University Khartoum and is currently the Principal of Cambridge Muslim College CMC).
Dr. Abdallah has over 15 years’ experience as a counseling psychologist working with individuals, couples families and youth in a variety of settings. His experience with many different styles and methods of therapy, along with his deep, experiential and immersive study of the Islamic spiritual tradition inform his unique integrative approach to counseling. His method combines different techniques, tools and practices that are catered to the unique needs of each client. In addition to traditional Islamic therapeutic mechanisms and approaches, Dr. Abdallah draws on aspects from many other frameworks and methods of therapy such as; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, Art Therapy, and Spiritual Counseling. Thus his approach is adaptive to the needs and context of a given client and emergent, without predetermined one-size-fits-all techniques and methods. Dr. Abdallah trains psychologists, counselors, coaches and healers in his therapeutic approach within the Islamic Psychology Diploma at CMC, and is currently writing a book about it expected to be published in 2024.