A Diary of a Traditional Sufi Retreat
By Michaela Ozelsel
This first-hand account of a Sufi halvet (forty day retreat) is unique because it combines an autobiographical account of a spiritual education with contemporary research from several disciplines, thus being a bridge between ancient wisdom and scientific investigation.
Michaela Mihriban Ozelsel, born in Germany in 1949, was raised mostly in Turkey. She received her B.A. and M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. from the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. In various European and Asian countries — as well as in the United States — she has received recognition for her work in training professionals in clinical hypnosis, behavior modification and systematic family therapy and in linking these modalities to ancient Sufi healing techniques. Dr. zelsel receives invitations to present at conferences around the world. She is a lecturer in psychology for the University of Maryland, European Division, and is in private practice in Germany.
Because of her multicultural background and her Western scientific training, her Sufi master has designated and then prepared her to be a “bridge” or “translator” — i.e., to provide the service of conveying some of the traditional wisdom of Sufism to the West.
“To my knowledge this is the first book written by a Westerner, who is not only a Muslim, but also a prominent psychologist, to present an account of a traditional Sufi retreat. It is extraordinarily important and to my mind unique. It provides an opening to a new understanding of Sufism and the inner dimensions of Islam. I am extremely grateful and hope this exceptional book will find many readers.” — Dr. Annemarie Schimmel
“This is a superb book. I felt as if I were with Ozelsel in her cell throughout the forty days, journeying with her doubts, cries, and torment in not knowing what was happening in the world outside while feeling the compassionate words of Rumi, Ibn ‘Arabi, and the Qur’an… Forty Days is another book that has beautifully opened the wisdom of an ancient tradition to aid us in transformation.” — Bob Banner, Gnosis
Read an excerpt…