The Feral-Dervish School

Opportunities to Study 21st-Century Sufi Practice

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.

—attributed to Rumi

Our bodies are star-dust, gathered and animated by an all-pervading life force, informed and illuminated by a timeless, transcendent intelligence that is Love. Some deep part of us always knows this, and the desire to know it fully is the source and ultimate goal of all our longings. The Sufi path of embodied freedom is the promise of the fulfillment of that longing — to fall in love with being alive, not merely exist and die.

You want to live, but do you know how to live?
You are scared of dying — but tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any different from being dead?

—Seneca

Unbeing-dead is not being alive.

—ee cummings

What “falling in love with aliveness” means, you will discover — not through dogma or beliefs, even spiritual beliefs or precepts — but through the beauty of living your human life and awakening/unfolding to the subtle, divine pattern that is uniquely expressed in the world as you.

The world is full of magic things,
patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

—W.B. Yeats

At the end of your life, you either will have lived it, as only a spiritually-free being can live — fearlessly, compassionately, able to dance with the incongruity of the human condition — or you will have a totally-plausible list of reasons why you did not.

The Sufi teacher is both a guide & companion-traveler in this nondual awakening process, engaging your whole life of body, mind, emotions, vocations, relationships, social engagement/social justice, and spirituality. It’s a personal path with targeted practices uniquely prescribed to support each individual’s unique unfolding. There is no predetermined pedagogy — the fewer concepts, the better. What emerges through Sufi inquiry is innate to the subtle divine love, the essence-nature, unfolding in and AS yourself, not something adopted from anyone else.

(For a perspective on what “Sufism” is, go here. For a background on “Universal” Sufism, go here.)


Awakening is a deep level of human freedom, independent of outer life circumstances. Sourcing our felt-identity from a place beyond time/space is a deeply-radical and even political act that has profound implications for all our relationships, our livelihood, our connection to this earth, and the well-being of all.

Sufism, as I teach it, isn’t just about individual awakening; it’s relational. Community is as much a part of the transformational crucible as individual practice and retreat. My purpose is to provide this rich heritage of tested, centuries-old Sufi practice and mentorship in a non-religious form and from a trauma-informed, anti-oppression framework. I uphold an inclusive atmosphere for spiritual seekers to explore liberation through practice and community, based in this ancient path. I believe it is time to jailbreak these ancient teachings from the shackles of patriarchy, symbolism, and secrecy — hence the Feral-Dervish School.

This is a path for those who wish to travel unencumbered while they are becoming free.

If this calls to you, let’s talk.

My qualifications for teaching are that I have walked, stumbled, crawled, and danced the Sufi “way” for the whole of my adult life. I studied under Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan for 27 years until his passing in 2004; he ordained me a lineage-holder in 2001 and I mentored teachers-in-training and developed curriculum for the Ināyati Order for over 17 years.  I now teach independently of any organization.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of me, please check out the rest of this website. There’s plenty of free material, and it will give you a sense of where I am coming from and perhaps whether these teachings and mentorship is for you.

The following is free forever. These are sufficient to travel this path and unfold yourself beautifully, and due to the emphasis on embodiment, compliment other nondual paths. Periodic personal retreat makes it better.

  • weekly classes
  • individual consults/guidance with practices and personal retreats as needed
  • instruction & participation in the Sufi practice of group chant (Zikr) and its music
  • copies of weekly-class readings

If you desire more structure than the moment-to-moment flow that is my usual style, or wish to accelerate your unfoldment, please see the subscription Tiers below.

I am also currently developing a fundamentals course as well as a membership-based “immersion” study group. We hope this will provide study opportunities that complement or offer an alternative to this subscription structure. Stay tuned for updates!

If you are already working with me: From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your presence and support in this. The songs and prayers, laughter and tears that we’ve shared over the years are the sweetest nectar to my soul. Making a difference in your life answers my sense of purpose to a depth that words cannot express. I pray that your days are filled with grace, vitality, and good company.

Finally, profound thanks to Jamila Tran Thomson, who is the instigator of this structure and without whose assistance it would not exist, and to Erika Kawalek, my esteemed editor.

Yā Hū,
Hafizullah

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Tier 1, $10 per month, gives you access to all seminar and workshop recordings and an invitation to our monthly deep-dive tea party! This includes suḥbat (Q+A with Hafizullah & guest teachers) and advanced group practices while we munch on tea and snacks. Most classes & workshops will be via Zoom as well as in-person.
Tier 2, $25 per month, includes everything from Tier 1 plus access to personal guided retreats (1–3 days, up to 4 times per year), and all seminars and group retreats (no door fee for you!) Most events will be over Zoom as well as in-person.
Tier 3, $50 per month, includes everything from Tiers 1&2 plus 1 individual consultation per week (up to 30 minutes) and copies of class readings with my commentary. Most events will be Zoomed as well as in-person.
Tier 4, $75 per month, includes everything from Tiers 1–3 plus mentored study (including practices) of a particular topic in the Teachings (e.g., from https://wahiduddin.net/mv2/index.htm), which might include the loan of some very-expensive and long-out-of-print books. You will receive a personal birthday gift from Hafizullah (maybe a calligraphy), so be sure that we have your address and birthday








One-Time Donations Here is where you can put something in the dervish begging-bowl if you are so-inspired and able, or wish to pay for a personal retreat or custom artwork.