Creative Change: A Tamarkoz® Retreat for U.C. Berkeley Grad Students

November 11-12, 2017 M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® Sacramento Center Sacramento, California

The M.T.O. Sufi Association® and U.C. Berkeley Graduate Students Assembly held a Tamarkoz® retreat for graduate students on November 11-12, 2017. 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.