Abode Village View – Month of December
From the Executive Director
We have arrived at the cusp of a new decade, so it is entirely appropriate to be especially contemplative this season, and take stock of where we are, what our journey has been and where the future may lead us.
On a macro level, much seems to be wrapped in tumult at present: socially, environmentally, technologically, politically, spiritually and more. It is hard to divine rhythms and patterns from the global currents and crosswinds that we are experiencing. Many experience great angst during times like these, often forgetting in the moment to moment that change is the one great constant of life, and that the means exist to keep moving ourselves forward, in peace and with grace, despite the daily clamor.
The Abode provides a sacred place for finding those means within each of us. Through individual and group retreat, spiritual study and practice, self-care, community, and service, the Abode is a sanctuary in which to find what one seeks. In simple terms: to retreat, rest, and emerge refreshed. This is what the Message offers the world, and what the Abode can hold, at a time that it is sorely needed.
The changes we have made organizationally, and those that are to come, are all aligned with providing sacred hospitality in service to the Message, to a world in need of its wisdom.
Our progress has been considerable and demonstrable.
We have surmounted a number of the challenges that the Abode faced when it became independently managed in 2016. These challenges included a failing operating model, the loss of residents, rental programs and revenues, a lack of trained staff, and a significant maintenance deficit on our historic buildings and grounds.
As we end 2019, the Abode is growing again, with progress made across many fronts. We have rehabilitated our Meditation Hall, painted and rehabilitated buildings, remediated longstanding issues and repurposed structures to provide more services. We have expanded and strengthened partnerships and rededicated ourselves to the spiritual path and vision on which the Abode was founded. Those who visited the Abode in 2019 witnessed this flowering first-hand.
Looking toward 2020, our rental calendar is already largely filled, with both new and returning programs, and both spiritual and secular events. We have created the services, structures, and staffing needed to provide care for more visitors and guests, especially those seeking retreat and R&R, a service area we need to grow and that is vital to achieving sustainability.
As we enter our 45th anniversary year, we are arriving where we need to be to feel more secure about the future. But there is more work to be done. We need more hands and hearts working to assure the future.
We need broader and deeper support during this critical 45th anniversary year to fund the final stages of our revitalization program, and to ensure that the legacy of the founders and those who have followed are passed on to a new generation of Sufis and seekers.
Every member of the Abode community will be called to help in 2020. Every lover of the Abode needs to contribute.
Our time is right now. The world needs what the Abode offers, and we are ready and willing to serve.
We will be counting on you to work alongside us in the days ahead. If you have not already signed on to help, you can do so here.
Wishing us all a season of light and love.
From the Assistant Director of Spiritual Activities and Service
Back in the summer of 2011, I came to the Abode to volunteer in the Khidmat spiritual work-study program, drawn by a love for Sufi music and the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
On one of the first days of the program, I ventured up the mountain for training and orientation as part of the mountain team. I remember walking up the path and feeling as though the mountain held such mystery and potential. There was a palpable sense of historic and potential energy—this was a place where great things had happened and would continue to manifest.
Orientation began, and we covered much of the worldly functional knowledge of running a robust retreat center and programs space. “The pans go here, here’s where we keep the spatulas, this is how to clean the cabins.” One particular sentiment expressed towards the end of the day made a lasting impression. It went something like this:
“We’re not here to disconnect from the world. On the contrary, we’re here to provide service to the world. By holding space for everyone who comes, by supporting them in their inner work, we allow countless beings to process, to grow, and to become whole again. They connect with fellow seekers, with nature, and with their own hearts. They return to the day-to-day life with a new sense of self and greater abilities to navigate the difficulties of life with compassion and harmony.”
Take a moment to visualize this process. There is an energetic flow through the Abode – some beings come with questions, some with excitement, some with burdens, and others simply feel drawn by some unknown inspiration. Many individuals and groups come to contribute their own energy to the sacred space. All come with vessels to fill at the Abode’s energetic well before returning back to the world. That energy flows into their lives, impacting not only the individual but also their entire community.
I have seen the profound before-and-after impact of this process on my own circumstances and those of others. In this spirit, I have returned to the Abode many times over the years to continue learning and to contribute to its mission and vision. I believe we have something profound to offer to the world – a chance for personal and communal healing, connection, ecstatic celebration, and wholeness.
I am excited to share developments on many fronts. In January, we will be opening applications for the 2020 spiritual work-study volunteer season focused on nature connection and Sufi teachings. In this pursuit, we have taken feedback from volunteers, staff, and community members, as well as valuable insights from other spiritual work-study volunteer programs. Please check the Abode website in January for details and to share this opportunity with anyone who might be interested in applying.
We are also actively working to grow the Abode’s individual and group retreat program. In addition to our core Sufi retreats, we are also promoting interfaith retreats for those on other spiritual paths, retreats for those specifically seeking connection with nature, and retreats for artists seeking inspiration from the Abode’s energy and spaces. These are all types of retreats that individuals and groups have taken in the past and responded with enthusiastically positive feedback. We are excited to build on that positivity and spread awareness of these retreats.
Finally, volunteers at the Pir Vilayat Center have been hard at work digitizing and transcribing spoken teachings of Pir Vilayat. Some materials are being added to an offline collection in the Pir Vilayat Center, while others have been made available on our website. More will be added as the project progresses. In the meantime, please visit the following link to access the first two uploads: www.theabode.org/archiveproject/
The Abode is a spiritual home for countless beings and a beacon of light to the world. We wholeheartedly welcome those who wish to take part in enjoying the Abode and supporting our collective mission. Let’s keep building a beautiful world together.
Photos by Jane Feldman
From The Programs Team
Photos by Jane Feldman
From the Mountain
“It was an experience like no other… I have never had such a blessed experience at my own productions before! I’m still riding the vibration of the magic of the mountain, the movement, and all the people connected with it.”
This was a feedback from Sarah Monette, Ecstatic Dance organizer and her first event on the Abode Mountain Camp. It encompasses experiences for many guests and organizers during our 2019 season. The Mountain brought people together, created new connections and nurtured old ones, celebrated the intersection between prayer and play, nourished the land and amplified its Baraka. The experiences we co-created were heart touching for many and its lingering energy is felt by everyone who participated. From the cleansing of Mountain Work Weekend joined by many in the act of servitude, to the balancing of the Matuna (light) by the Mamos from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to better understand land stewardship, to raising of the Kundalini with Aquarian Women’s Leadership Society, to many spiritual purification rituals by hundreds of people supported by the quartz under their feet, to the culmination of a continuous forty eight hour fire tended during HeartFire Festival to welcome the passionate Way of the Heart. This was fulfilled by the efforts of many, many people. Those who attended as participants, organizers, volunteers, staff, community members, or simply in the spirit of seva. Our felt gratitude to those near and far for your contributions and engagements to hold this container. A rising tide lifts all boats. May the tidal wavelengths we collectively generated be gentle, frequent the shore of love, and as we look onto the offing may we be reminded of the many droplets of responsibilities we share as One.
HERE IS A LINK to a handful of pictures out of hundreds to help us remember our 2019 season! Thank You Jane Feldman for preserving these memories for us. You along your work are greatly appreciated: D
Toward The One
( ( ( + ) ) )
YA JAAMI /*\
Upcoming This Week
Wednesday lunches are a free service oriented gathering, community discussion, and chance for all to share what’s happening on about the campus and beyond.
Join us for a Universal Celebration led by María Cristina Fernandez & Yaqin Aubert.
Thursdays December 12th and 19th will be focused on zikr. Zikr is the practice of remembrance of the unity of all life. The class will be led by Yaqin and Khaldun. Khaldun will be adding the wonderful sound of his”hand pan”. Come in person or watch on live stream. The live-stream link will be sent out the day before the class. More information will be sent out soon.