Mariam Baker is a senior teacher of Sufi Ruhaniat International, a leader in the Dances of Universal Peace since 1974, and a senior teacher of the Mevlevi Order of America. She is the former director of Theater of Healing, and author of Woman as Divine, Tales of the Goddess, a book illuminating the divine feminine.
Mariam focuses on bringing to light the powerful and influential impact that women have had and continue to have in the world’s religions and society. At this crucial time on our planet and in our human family, she emphasizes access to the Womb-am Soul for all of us, emphasizing the Heart of Compassion and Mercy for all Life.
Through her retreats and workshops across the globe, Mariam brings together community and students from a diverse range of ethnicities, nationalities and religions, honoring and exploring the uniqueness of each, while encouraging an emphasis on unity.
Mariam is the Executive Director of the SoulWork Foundation, a StarBirthing initiator, a passionate gardener, and a mother of five. She is a dedicated student of embodied spirituality, which she practices in her daily life. For more information, visit MariamBaker.org.
Photograph: Stephanie Mohan, Creative Portraiture.
Cynthia Dollard, MFA, is an artist, art professor, and community arts organizer. She works in a variety of media, both two- and three-dimensional, and actively seeks creative collaboration whenever possible. Cynthia has participated in the Sufi tradtiion most of her life. This practice has supported her ongoing work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, finding common ground through creative expression.
The artist first learned the medium of batik wax resist, used for the illustrations in this book, at the age of 12. Her painterly style of batik has remained a constant throughout her artistic life, and her work has been displayed at venues across the country.
Cynthia also teaches Qi Gong and Tai Chi. She believes that coordinating breath, body and intention is the key to successful creative endeavors, and she seeks to embody this belief in her daily life. She is the director of a community arts organization that hosts music festivals and other cutural events in her rural mountain community. “When people of all backgrounds find common ground with music, art, and story telling, the world can be transformed.”
The belief in a shared humanity through creative expression is the common element that unifies all of Cynthia’s activities, and is a primary inspiration for this project. To see more of the artist’s work, visit: anytimearts.com.
Photograph: David Basse