By Elise Salam
“I love the University. I believe in it,” says Page Zahra Janeff of Austin. Page has walked the Sufi path for over a decade and now re-enters the healing school of the Shadhuliyya Sufi Tariqa for the second time.
“It’s different for me now as a fourth-year Master’s student because it’s more specific.” Page studies Ministry in the UOS Master’s Program, which also offers MAs in Peacemaking and Healing. We’ve covered marriage, the Prophets, death and dying. It’s really profound.”
She finds the accountability and homework assignments helpful in her walking to God. “I need that kind of structure. Your walking after a while gets flat and I felt I needed a tune-up, to be renewed, not just for me but for my husband.” Page says UOS has given them both himma, the Sufi term for motivation, or inspiration.
Page finds that the concepts that the school teaches are helpful at any stage of study. She is the mother of two daughters, and says the school has helped her in both marriage and motherhood. “School can be a pressure cooker–it’s like labor, you have those moments. You’re cleaning your stuff that comes up and you work through it. That’s part of it,” Page says.
The healing school has also helped her with her girls. “I can contain them better, not take it all so personally. I see the bigger picture of what God makes for them.” Page says she’s learned children go through times of constriction and expansion, just like adults.
Page also loves the current location of the school at the Shadhuliyya Sufi Center in Pope Valley, California. “Before it was at a resort, shared with other vacationers. It’s nice now to be in this pristine, natural setting that’s conducive to what we are doing.”
UOS has reunited Page with students she knew previously, as well as introduced her to new ones. “Being with the comraderie of other students is really cool,” she explains, “from meeting other beloveds from other parts of the country, and taking this journey together.”
Page says her experience with UOS has been life changing. “I couldn’t imagine my life if I hadn’t gone to the school, or what kind of person, mother or [spouse] I would be.”
Check the UOS website for the latest updates on the academic programs beginning in 2014.