Wilderness Dance Camp – August 18-23, 2024

5 Days of Music, Dance & Fellowship
at Camp N-Sid-Sen, Harrison, Idaho

Murshid Allaudin Ottinger

Allaudin was born in Kansas City, Missouri. A lifelong dedication to music, gathering people together and pursuit of the miraculous, led him to a study of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. This in turn led him to find “Sufi Dancing” in the college town of Lawrence, Kansas circa 1976. More experiences in Sufism followed, which led to a deep darshan with Murshid Moineddin Jablonski in the spring of 1978. Later that summer he again had the experience of darshan with Murshid Moineddin at the Mendocino camp. At this camp Allaudin met many of the mureeds of Murshid SAM and one of his music mentors, Hamza El Din.

Knowing now he wanted to take initiation into the Ruhaniat, he went back to San Francisco for the closing of Winterland and to take Bayat with Wali Ali Meyer. He couldn’t find him at that time, but would later. By the way of two dreams, Allaudin found himself taking initiation with Kansas City Center Leader Firdousi Wyrick, who was preparing to move to the Virgin Islands. A short time later Allaudin found himself the leader of the Kansas City Sufi Center. It was 1979, he was 22 years old and he had a burning in his soul that this was important work to continue forward.

In 1980, Allaudin was made a Cherag in the Universal Worship by Murshida Fatima Lassar. With this mantle he has officiated at the marriage of many couples in the Midwest, and across the nation. Throughout the next decade Allaudin led hundreds of Dance and Sufi meetings in Kansas City, worked closely with the Sufi Order Center in Lawrence in sponsoring Pir Vilayat and many other traveling teachers, took teachings with Korean Zen Master Soen Sa Nim and had an intense personal encounter with Sheikh Muzaffer Effendi in Chicago. In 1982 Allaudin along with Midwest dervish brothers and sisters, would begin the still continuing Ozark Sufi Camp, where thousands have learned about the path of Sufism, especially as practiced in the Sufi Ruhaniat International. His career as a traveling musician was blossoming through all these years as he played drums in every kind of ensemble but especially the internationally recognized jazz and world music collective, BCR Band. Allaudin met his life partner Yasmin Scott around this time and a few years later they would produce two beautiful (now adult) children. The whole family had a loving and deep friendship with Murshida Vera Corda through these growing -up years. In 1989 Murshid Wali Ali made Allaudin a Sheikh in the SIRS. Allaudin’s work life includes the field of education, museum exhibit and design, and a 14 year small business love affair with the coffee industry.

These days Allaudin spends a lot of time with an award winning children’s music group, working for an event production group and traveling worldwide for the Sufi work. Three Sufi inspired CDs produced by Allaudin in the last few years include the Two Niles for Imam Bilal Hyde, his own well loved collection of Dances, Zikrs and Tavern Songs called, In The Everywhere and Always and Saladin, the epic poem by Murshid Samuel Lewis, as read by Wali Ali. Current projects include working to make his Kansas City home and land a green oasis in the city.

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Our Guest Leaders

Murshida Darvesha Victoria MacDonald

From a very early age Darvesha was concerned about class inequities and wealth distribution; but in high school, as a result of the death of a beloved parent, she developed a sense of the futility of life as it’s normally lived, and urgently wanted to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. She came to feel that nothing was as important as freedom, but understanding what that actually meant took another 20 years.

She went forth, full of questions and looking for answers. After college, she worked as a photojournalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, idealistically believing in the power of witnessing. But she did not find this to be the witnessing that leads to freedom, so she turned away from her career and began looking for answers within.

She studied Sensory Awareness with Charlotte Selver and lived simply in nature. Eventually her love of the mountains took her to northern India and Nepal to trek in the Himalaya, where she met the Buddha dharma and a rain of blessing.

She stopped hiking 10 miles a day at altitudes of 14,000-18,000 feet, and began sitting in silence for periods of 3 and 4 months. She turned from adventure to service, and from seeking freedom outside, to finding it within. At Kopan Gompa, where she took the Bodhisattva Vows, she made her own internal vow that she would dedicate the rest of her life to sharing her understanding of Interdependence.

After several years of almost continuous sitting meditation, she felt called to movement. She returned to the Bay Area and studied with various dance teachers. She was eventually guided to a Lucid Voice class at the Mentorgarden with Saadi, and then into turning Mandalas in which she could continue her Vipassana self-awareness practice in sound, movement and relationship.

Saadi was often heard to say that, “Sooner or later one has to take a stand.” So she did. Under a full moon, next to SAM’s dargah at Lama, Saadi gave her the name “Darvesha” with its root meaning ‘doorway’. Gradually, over the years, to her great joy, she found that sometimes she can be a doorway for others. She is especially happy when she is able to help open a path for Latin Americans. Close to the earth, in their bodies, passionate, playful, devotional and humble, they have been wonderful teachers to her.

The yearning to experience herself as nature, rather than to regard nature as something outside of herself, has been a driving force of her life. She lives with her partner Ishan das on a piece of land, grand-fathered into the middle of the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. The heart of the land is Allan Springs, and the Little Walnut creek that flows through. Here is where she does her best to make her life and her practice one.

Visit Darvesha’s website: http://darvesha.net

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