Abode Village View – Month of January
Welcome to 2020, the Abode’s 45th anniversary year!
As we have communicated over the last year, The Abode is being rededicated to sacred hospitality – the idea that by serving visitors, guests, retreatants, and worshippers, we serve the divine in them and in ourselves. The time has come for this message – that we each see the divine in all of us – to resound throughout the world.
We are evolving to adapt to a changing world and changing needs. Our operating plan builds on the progress we have made and is focused on growing as a retreat and spiritual center with sacred hospitality in service of the Message as its mission.
Organizing under these principles allows us to implement and integrate elements of our Vision 2020 Strategic Blueprint:
- A community of service to the Message and to others
- A clear definition of mission, purpose, and policies
- A focused, intentional residential community
- Residency (including volunteers) will be based on service
- We will practice servant leadership as a community. A “team” approach that will create sustainable practices and a caring, supportive environment
Why are these changes needed?
Since the Abode became independently managed in 2016, our community has made tremendous progress. Over the past 3-1/2 years, we have invested time, energy and resources in rehabilitating our campus and building our hospitality capabilities so that sustainable growth could be possible. The best way for the Abode to both realize the vision of the founders, and to secure our future, is to further dedicate ourselves to service to others.
This transition is well underway, and success is taking hold. Over the course of the next year, we will make more needed changes. In early 2020, we will begin working on the next phase of this transition.
- Rental spaces in Razzaq will start to be transitioned to program and retreat spaces.
- Mughni — currently being rehabilitated — will be dedicated to residence and guest space and available for occupancy once renovations are completed in the early Spring.
- Other residential rental spaces will be transitioned over time to house teachers, retreat leaders, and small group retreats.
These changes may raise questions. Let’s address a few.
- Will people still live at the Abode?
- Absolutely. The tradition of living in residence will continue at the Abode.
- Who will live at the Abode?
- The large majority of campus residents are staff, work exchange or volunteers, a trend that began to take hold several years ago. Those providing service to the Abode (retreat leaders, spiritual teachers, instructors and practitioners) will continue to grow.
- What will happen to existing residents?
- While rental residence is being phased out over time, existing rental residents in good standing can continue to live at the Abode. Staff residing at the Abode as part of their duties or compensation will also continue, as will volunteers, work-exchange participants and guests.
- What will happen to the Abode community?
- The Abode community is far-flung…worldwide; not just on campus or local. The greater Abode community is growing, vibrant, and bringing new energy and vision. It is diverse, aligned in providing service, and eager to welcome new and old friends.
- Isn’t this contrary to Pir Vilayat’s vision for the abode?
- No, in fact it more faithfully honors Pir Vilayat’s original concept for the Abode as a retreat center and surrounding community of service. We are, in essence, going “back to the future.”
- Will I still be able to stay at the Abode when I choose?
- The Abode will continue to welcome guests and visitors throughout the year, as space permits. Our goal is to have more space available to accommodate guests.
- How long can I stay at the Abode?
- That will depend on the type of stay you seek and the spaces available. Our guest services team can help you explore the options.
- How do I take retreat at the Abode?
- You can connect with our retreat center by email: [email protected], or phone: 518.794.8095.
- How do I apply to live at the Abode?
- If you are interested in being on staff, providing a practice-based service, or joining our volunteer program, please email: [email protected]
We will be having local community conversations in the coming weeks to share more specifics about the year ahead, and our plans to celebrate the Abode’s 45th anniversary. Stay tuned for dates and updates as we continue to pull ourselves towards the future.
Toward the One
From Gabriel Steadman
Those who have visited the Abode this past year have seen noticeable improvement to its physical appearance. In 2020, we plan on continuing these improvements, particularly as we prepare to celebrate the Abode’s 45th anniversary. These improvements would not have occurred if not for the hard work of our staff, volunteers, residents, friends, administration, and board of trustees. Many thanks to all for your past contributions, as well as your future efforts to improve the Abode and continue its mission! Truly, the Abode is a vessel containing a message and we are her crew.
Less visible is the work that goes on behind the scenes. I can scarcely believe it has been five years since the Abode’s very existence was in question. Many came forward to do what they could to help. Two of those people, Huzur Nawaz German and Nasreen Linda Moayedi, were part of the original Abode Steering Committee, a group tasked by the Inayati Order Board to answer that question about the Abode’s existence. They would later become two of the original five Abode Board of Trustees, Nasreen serving as the first board chair.
This past spring Huzur Nawaz stepped down. More recently Nasreen, our current vice-chair, has also stepped down. We would not have achieved the progress we have made thus far without their hard work, thoughtful guidance, and dedication. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for us. Rest assured both continue to be strong supporters of the Abode and have offered to continue to help when and where they can.
During mine and Vimala’s time living at the Abode we had the tradition when people left to have a gathering at the conclusion of which we would sing Happy Trails. Thus, I say to Nasreen and Huzur Nawaz, and all those others who have left the Abode this last year, and all the years past:
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.
Wednesday, January 15 | 12:30 pm | Razzaq Dining Hall
Wednesday lunches are a free service oriented gathering, community discussion, and a chance to spend time with the Abode’s extended community.
Universal Celebration with Nur Gale
Sunday, January 19 | 11:00 am | Quddus Meditation Hall
Sufi Message Class
Thursday, January 16 | 7:00 pm | Quddus Meditation Hall
Dances of Universal Peace
Sunday, January 19 | 1:30 pm | Quddus Meditation Hall
Join us for movement and chanting to live music using sacred mantras and poetry dedicated to world peace. All are welcomed; no experience in singing or dancing is needed.