Abode Village View – Month of August

Abode Village View – Month of August

Update from the Abode Board – Aimée Brodeur Johnson

Dear Friends,


I have lived at the Abode now for 31 years, and during that time have seen many, many changes, and seen many people come and go. We know that nothing can escape change—everything grows and changes. I am not the same as I was 30 years ago, nor would I want to be. Like the human beings that make up this place, the Abode continues to unfold and grow, seeking to fulfill its mission, to live its purpose. It continues to be my great pleasure to be part of this amazing endeavor as we continue to strive after Pir Vilayat’s vision of “a beautiful world of beautiful people.”


It has been a privilege to be part of this mission by serving on the Board. I think of those words of Pir Vilayat’s, “Dare you have the courage to be who you really are.” I see the Abode daring to become all that it can be. I’m reminded of another oft-repeated phrase of Pir’s, warning of the danger of becoming “sclerosed.” Only through continual growth and by staying open to change can we avoid this pitfall. I occasionally hear nostalgia for “the good old days” and I sometimes find myself missing something about “the way things used to be.” But when I look to what we have accomplished and what we are becoming, I feel such joy and gratitude to see all the blessings of what the Abode has been, what it continues to be, and what it has the power to become in the future.


There is great work to be done and the only time to do it is NOW. We don’t do this work alone. It takes all of us to play our part in service to the Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty which remains at the core of the mission of the Abode. I hope you will all join me in celebrating what the Abode has accomplished in its 44 years and in doing your part for what it will continue to become in the future.


Aimée Brodeur Johnson

Flowers and Barn

Update from the Executive Director – Al Bellenchia

Dear Friends,


“Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mystical of cosmic forces. Love is the primal and universal psychic energy. Love is a sacred reserve of energy; it is like the blood of spiritual evolution.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


We are in a period of great upheaval in our world.  Our work — providing a sanctuary for those seeking to embrace the Message of universality and love — is ever more needed. This is our mission and purpose: In service to the Message, of service to others, and providing service to a world in dire need of a new paradigm of conscious thought and deed.


In the words of Pir Vilayat: “The spiritual ideal…acts as a kind of magic that draws people and carries the promise of success…because we are here for service. If we are here for ourselves it cannot work.”


We have been discussing recently a biblical story of Abraham (Genesis 18: 1-15). In this parable, Abraham rushes to greet and provide hospitality to three strangers heading towards his camp. In his day, and increasingly in ours as well, this was a potentially dangerous act. Nonetheless, by welcoming these visitors with openness, generosity and trust, he welcomed God into his home, his abode. If love is the blood of spiritual evolution, then hospitality is the body through which transformation manifests.


August and September are the height of our season, and we are blessed to have many coming together in service this summer.  This is not an easy task, with two campuses, many acres, and historic (some just plain old) structures to tend to, in addition to the housing and feeding of our visitors and ourselves. However, it is a duty we must greet with collective purpose and willing hearts.


In our team meetings, we have lately been exploring the concept of leadership, specifically servant leadership, where managers’ acts and actions focus on support rather than demand, and recognize that success is a collective effort and the responsibility of all.


In a 1993 letter to the Abode community, Pir Vilayat wrote: …”one is tested in inspiring without falling into the power trips and vanities to which a guru is accepted, while accepting to take responsibility, acknowledging the need to leadership and empowerment….That this is challenging in the extreme is a foregone conclusion, The catch is that each one has to be spiritually inspired and inspiring to each other…Fostering the spiritual dimension of our being, our pursuit of excellence in ourselves hoists one out of the quagmire of mediocrity and low key commonplace.”


In a few weeks’ time, we will be welcoming Pir Zia back to the Abode, where he will hold his traditional Labor Day retreat.  We will be hosting many friends of the Abode, who will come together in prayer and practice, and who help anchor our spiritual inheritance.


Later in September, we will be hosting the first Heartfire Festival, a 3-day celebration of spiritual teaching, music and consciousness.  This celebration is a bridge to our future, and will be a mingling of the past, present and potential. Find out more on the Abode website. Tickets are limited, so please get yours soon!


On Wednesday, August 21, we will be holding an informal summer gathering for community, to be hosted by the Abode Board of Trustees.  Stay tuned for more details, but please circle the date on your calendars.


In service,



Tara Circle Update – Aimée Brodeur Johnson

Come embody the Divinity within!


All are invited to come share in our (somewhat) monthly Tara Circle on Sunday, August 25th, from 2 to 3 pm in the Meditation Hall. We invoke the Buddhist Great Mother deity Tara through dance, meditation and prayer, and joyfully connect with our own inner Goddess Tara. Tara has been greatly revered through the centuries by Buddhists worldwide, particularly in Tibet. She is known through many names and forms— as Great Mother, Mother of the Buddhas, Swift Protector, Liberator, a Divine Being of Wisdom, Compassion and Power…


This Buddhist practice of deity yoga is about identifying with a Divine being in order to embody “the essential qualities of the fully awakened experience latent within us. … we focus our attention on such an archetypal image and identify with it in order to arouse the deepest, most profound aspects of our being and bring them into our present reality.” (Lama Thubten Yeshe)


In moving together we celebrate the interconnectedness of us all. I am dedicated to share the gift of this “living” lineage and moving meditation as it has been taught with much support through Prema Dasara and Tara Dhatu. Explore the Realm of the Enlightened Feminine as it reaches across the planet, a quiet revolution of consciousness.


Tara Dhatu is a worldwide non-profit organization formed to protect the integrity of the dance as a vehicle of Liberation. The dance is a full spiritual practice and has been described by H.H. The Dalai Lama as “A true vehicle to enlightenment.”


The gatherings are free and open to all; no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. If you have questions, please call me at 413-358-8203 or email me at aimeeblj@gmail.com


Aimée Brodeur Johnson


A Prayer to the Tara of True Refuge

Beloved Tara, luminous and beautiful,

you adorn your heart

with the mudra of the Triple Gem.

Light from the wheels in your hands,

swirls and dances

to the darkest regions of the universe.

“I am True Refuge,” you say,

“offering all you need to be free.”

This light fills me, streams through me.

I, too, would be True Refuge,

heart huge, vast, limitless.

I offer my self

for the benefit of all beings.


Update from Rumi’s Cafe – Eileen Raab

Rumi’s Cafe hours for the month of August are Friday through Sunday 10-5, closed Sunday from 1230-130. Come get creative at Artists Night every Friday night from 6-8, featuring 15% off everything! Stop by and see our table at the New Lebanon Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 10-2.

Abode Weekly Village View

Upcoming Week’s Events


Monday, August 12

– Lunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm


Tuesday, August 13

– Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall – 6:00 pm


Wednesday, August 14

The Mountain will be closed for a private event from August 14-18.

– Lunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm


Thursday, August 15

– Lunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm

– Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall – 6:00 pm

 Message Class – Quddus Meditation Hall – 7:00 pm


Friday, August 16

– Rumi’s Café Open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

– Arts Night! – Rumi’s Café – 6:00-8:00 pm


Sunday, August 17

– Rumi’s Café Open 10:00 AM-5:00 PM [Closed 12:30-1:30 PM]

– Universal Worship  Quddus Meditation Hall – 11:00 am

– Brunch – Razzaq Dining Hall – 12:30 pm

Upcoming Programs


Ecstatic Dance Northeast Campout | August 23-25 | Join friends atop Shaker Mountain above the Abode to dance your nights away with incredible beats from international DJs and enjoy many more offerings throughout the weekend. Gift yourself some sweet time in nature, in learning, in dance, in meals, in rest, in friendship, in bliss. Reserve your spot at ecstaticnortheast.com today!


Alone with the Alone: A Silent Retreat with Pir Zia | August 30-September 2 | Amidst the late-summer quietude of Mt. Lebanon, Pir Zia will return to the Abode to lead our historic and much loved Inayati Labor Day Retreat. We will be together, yet in silence, for three days transitioning from the end of summer back into the busy life of fall. For more information visit theabode.org/programs/640 or email astana@inayatiorder.org with any questions or scholarship requests


HeartFire Festival: An InterSpiritual Gathering for Conscious Creativity | September 13-15 | In our busy modern society, we long for meaningful experiences, connections, and opportunities to celebrate togetherness. That’s why we are creating a gathering that’s held in a grounded manner, to facilitate deeper connections and authentic transformation. Visit heartfirefest.com for more details and registration!


Rumi: The Way of the Heart with Yuval Ron & TAMIR | September 19 | 7:30 PM | Quddus Meditation Hall | Join internationally renowned composer Yuval Ron and actress/poet TAMIR for an evening of ecstatic poetry, whirling, and the stories of Rumi accompanied by Middle Eastern music and song on the Oud, flute. and Daf performed by the Yuval Ron Ensemble.


The Universal Human with Himayat Inayati | October 4-6 | This three to five day retreat at The Pir Vilayat Center will be an introduction and exploration of al-Insān al-Kāmil, the universal human, a transpersonal archetype activating each of us to manifest as a unique exemplar. The teaching and practice offered by this retreat process will be an exercise of awakening to an inner condition of perfection resting as a pearl awaiting us in our soul. Visit theabode.org/programs/723 for more details and registration.


Please check our calendar and programs pages for an extended look at upcoming events and happenings. We look forward to being with you soon at the Abode!

Relaxing at the Abode