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Session Description 

The keyword of this session is KNOWING, in the sense of having an awareness and understanding of oneself and others. Using eight archetypes often found on the spiritual/mystical path, we will explore how to recognize these primal life-paths. The art of living is enriched when you understand your archetype, know what your potentials and tendencies are and what your purpose in life may be.

We’ll also look at the differences between archetypes and roles, and whether archetypes are morality-agnostic. For example, what is the positive in the Thief archetype, or the negative in the Worshipper archetype? This understanding can help us to recognize the capacity and limitations of other archetypes and be more accepting, be a more peaceful, open human being.

In the creative play experience, Mystical Theater of Archetypes, Bay area theatre artiest, director and choreographer Bruce Bierman will lead us in “trying on” different archetypes, how to talk the talk andwalk the walk. We’ll see how different archetypes might feel in our bodies, how they would interact, play, quarrel and love. We’ll each choose an archetype and play scenarios with each other to bring the discussions to life.

Series Description

From July to December 2018, Bay Dervish will host monthly evening gatherings at Rudramandir in Berkeley, a 6-session series called “Sufism & the Art of Living.” Each evening will be in two parts: a talk/conversation with space for questions, followed by a creative play experience or “experiential.” The talks will be given by Murshid Kiran Rana; different teachers and artists will lead the experientials.

Sufism is, essentially, a search for and an opening to love, asking us to find our wholeness in our humanness. Associated for a long time with Islam, Sufism is increasingly universal in its expression, embracing many traditions, teachings, lineages and schools.

The phrase “The Art of Living” is a seed idea; its purpose is to help us understand that we can bring grace, style, creativity, authenticity and spirit to how we live. All are welcome. The sessions may be provocative. The experientials may be dreamlike. We will also explore insights and actions that can liberate us, lift us up when we feel incomplete or helpless. There will be time for questions and suggestions for deeper inquiry; those who want to follow-up personally with Murshid Kiran can arrange times to do so.

The creative play experiences, the experientials, are a way for the ideas from the talks and discussion to find a home in your body, in your physical knowing and doing. Each experiential is led by an expert guide and developed jointly with Murshid Kiran and other friends. They will be complete in themselves but could also become the beginning of a whole new journey. 

About Murshid Kiran Rana

Kiran Rana is a mystic, a teacher, a storyteller, and a friend. 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 and was rebirthed in the fire of that experience. In 1981, Kiran moved to California where, for 35 years, he published books on physical and emotional health, dealing with trauma, becoming whole. He also led workshops on poetry and music, often teaching 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. In addition to regular zikr and qawwali gatherings at Bay Dervish, he currently teaches an online webinar called A Taste of Sufism, interacting with participants who range from absolute newcomers to long-time Sufi teachers. 

About Bruce Biermann

Bruce Bierman is an award-winning theater artist, dance/movement educator and faculty member of the Stagebridge Theater Company. As a child, Bruce was entranced by the silent comedy of Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau; their wordless storytelling and deep humanity have had a lasting impact on his own work. After graduating from U.C. Santa Cruz with a degree in Theater Arts, Bruce continued to study with teachers who were pushing the boundaries of dance, movement and ensemble-driven theater, including Anne Bogart, Jerzy Grotowski, and Yoshi Oidi. Today, Bruce’s work as actor/director/playwright and choreographer has been seen in major theaters in Southern California and the Bay Area, and he is also known for introducing students to the rich semi-improvised stock-character world of Commedia dell’arte.

Personal statement:“I would like to tell stories that sear the heart, mind and soul, that open windows to our humanity. I do that in the theater though movement - dance - music. I draw from myth, classic stories, literature and voices from the margin. I love to do community art with youth, elders and the LGBT community, and to explore lost dance traditions.”

Later Event: August 10
Tuning to an Inner Music