Abode Village View, Monthly Update – July 2017
Update from our Board Chair – Nasreen Linda Moayedi
It has been an exciting year of consolidation and rebuilding at the Abode. In preparation for this moment when Pir Zia embarks on his journey to Richmond VA, our Executive Director Al Bellenchia has put into practice many of the Board’s ideals for the Abode, our highest goal being that the Abode vibrantly serve as a sanctuary for seekers to live and learn and practice the message of love, harmony and beauty.
The Inayati Order’s annual Season of the Rose just ended its five-day program, including a separate young adult breakout session. It drew over 100 mureeds and teachers. Many helped wish Pir Zia and his family a fond farewell and send-off, as the caravan departed toward Richmond. Before leaving the Abode, Pir Zia’s last act was to name and bless two buildings that, unlike the other buildings on campus which held names in remembrance of the names of God, were simply referred to as the Meditation Hall (or the “Med Hall”) and the Barn. The new names complement each other and are often invoked together: al Jami’ and al Quddus. The Meditation Hall where we celebrate the Universal worship every Sunday and where programs are taught, now is to be known as al Quddus – signifying the quality of leaving behind everything but the essence. The Barn that we envision in the future could provide a Welcome Center to the Abode, and informal gathering place, in remembrance of a name of God, is to be known as al Jami’ – the one who gathers everything together into a whole of oneness. At the blessing and naming ceremony, a new building sign was unveiled for each.
Over the past number of months, in anticipation of this epochal event for the Abode, we have been working together as a community (Board, staff and community) to craft a new mission statement that captures the Abode’s essence. We sought a description that would call to those who seek a place apart from the everyday world, and that would inspire seekers to come to the Abode to connect more deeply with spirituality, nature and each other.
“The Abode’s mission is to offer all Sufis and seekers a sanctuary for spiritual exploration and community, in harmony with nature, built upon the teachings and practices of universalist, Inayati Sufism. Thus, the Abode is Spiritual in Nature, Universal in Message, and Elemental in Practice.”
Our mission statement is concise and straightforward, and the words were chosen carefully and with deep intention. For an in-depth exploration of the Abode Mission, and how we will seek to realize it, please click here.
I hope we can unite with gratitude for the blessing of this beautiful and luminous place in New Lebanon that we are honored to hold: A place that provides a container for unity and awakening that we call the Abode.
Update from our Executive Director – Al Bellenchia
The first half of 2017 is now in the rearview mirror. We ended the six-month journey towards summer with the Season of the Rose event at the Abode, which culminated in a bittersweet farewell to the Inayati Order and the Inayat-Khan family on July 3. The gathering of friends and family helped to make the send-off a heartfelt one, injecting a sense of optimism for the opportunities that lie ahead, and moderating any loss felt for this closing of an era.
Thus, as of July 4, the Abode is truly standing on its own, charting its own course, and defining its own place in the world. Just like a 40+ year-old adolescent, or a 241 year-old experiment in representational democracy.
Investing in the Future
Building an Abode that lives its ideals is, like all meaningful work, a continuing task. While much remains to be done, we have indeed made progress in creating new paths to the future.
One of the most pressing needs of the Abode is capital. The lack of adequate financial resources has long impacted our ability to correct long-standing issues with our grounds and buildings, and the need to make the campus accessible and flexible for all constituents.
We are excited to announce that we will soon close on a source of low-cost capital to help jump-start some needed improvements. The capital we are accessing is not a donation, nor is it cost-free. Therefore we must use it judiciously to invest in projects that will expand our ability to provide more options and services for programs, residents and spiritual seekers.
Among the exciting projects in our plan are:
- The painting of Razzaq (Rezak) and the rehabilitation of the existing Entrance/Courtyard area (Abode Road One), including grading and accessibility improvements, to provide a more visibly appealing entrance to campus;
- The reconstitution of the Barn (now blessed by Sarafil Bawa as Jami’) into a Welcome and Heritage Center and multi-purpose space for residents — and maybe a café?;
- The repurposing of Inayat Manzil into a community asset for retreat and Sufi study; and
- Investments in external resources to improve our outreach and fundraising capabilities.
Summer Appeal 2017
The Abode 2017 Summer Appeal will kick-off in late July. We must raise sufficient funds to replenish the amounts that we invest in our future. This must be a shared community responsibility and mission for our plans to work.
Our need is to raise at least $100,000. Please get ready to join us to ensure the Abode thrives by investing alongside us to secure its future.
We may seem to be on our own, but we are on this great, new journey together.
Blessings to all!
Update from our Director of Programs – Ibrahím Pedriñán
What a journey these last weeks have been – so many beautiful souls in and out of the Abode!
We recently said goodbye to our Season of the Rose participants, and most pointedly to Pir Zia Inayat-Khan who has embarked on a most thrilling journey to new beginnings in Richmond, Virginia, with his family and The Inayati Order headquarters, including former Abode Director, Jennifer Alia Wittman. There is a large gap in our hearts, Bawa, but we know that your presence, prayers, and love are never absent from the Abode. We pray blessings upon you.
After nearly a year here in various capacities, Emily Collins, most recently Programs Assistant, has completed her time at the Abode and is moving on to new adventures as well. Thanks, Emily, for all your work, your care, your smiles and laughter, and your constant contribution. We pray blessings upon you.
SpiritFire is wrapping their time at the Mountain Camp as their 15th year here at the Abode! We are so grateful for them, for their constancy and love.
And our friends from Non-Violent Communication (NVC) are back again for a week and bringing beauty to the campus with their lovely and important work.
For the future, keep your eyes on the programs calendar with the following opportunities:
July 13 Farm Class with Evan Thaler-Null: Reading the Fields www.theabode.org/programs/310/
July 21 – 23 Abode hosts visiting CE-5 program rental
July 23 New Moon Women’s Circle with Salima www.theabode.org/programs/311
July 28 – 30 Abode Village Visit www.theabode.org/programs/307
And a 2018 Save the Date!
May 6-12, 2018, Retreat with Taj Inayat
The Abode is thrilled to announce that Taj Inayat, former Vice President of the Inayati Order, and long time Sufi teacher and guide, will be leading a small group retreat at the Abode during the second week of May, 2018. Taj has been immersing herself in the teachings of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan for nearly 5o years, and has developed a unique way of enfolding Murshid’s teachings into her work as retreat guide.
Save the Date – May 6-12, 2018 – more details will be forthcoming!
As per usual, the programs office is busy busy, but so grateful for your support, your kind words and feedback, and your presence here at the Abode! Come be with us!
Wings out, hearts up!
Update from our Maintenance Manager – Wajid Jackson
We made a mad stab at our first attempt to be wheel chair accessible this week. Our attempt will inform us, moving forward, of structures and processes we can put in place to serve a greater community.
As I write, we are blessed with a full Mountain Camp program, as well as, a large program on Campus which is testing the efficacy of our total physical container. It’s a beautiful day when all is working well with maybe only minor difficulties!
We will be continuing our improvements and upgrades of the water system, both delivery and effluent, this summer.
Painting a building could happen. What a sign to the Heavens that would be!
I want to put in an ‘Ask’ to the general audience for the donation of a small (or large) pickup truck in good working order to relieve our varied shared hauling needs. Our ‘White Van’, donated long ago, continues to do triple duty of hauling, transporting, and parts and errand runs. It’s had a transmission rebuild and some engine work and at 19 years old may be as old as I am in vehicle years and going strong. Yet, we never know, if you know what I mean!
Abode Weekly Village View
Monday July 10
– 5:00pm Ziraat Full Moon Lodge – Abode Herb Garden
Tuesday July 11
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Razzaq (Rezak) Dining Room
– 7:00pm Traditions Class with Yaqin Aubert – Abode Library
The Tuesday night 7:00 class will continue the theme of magnetism that was started before the Season of the Rose. We started with phyisical and mental magnetism, and then heart magnetism. We will review these and go on to soul and spiritual magnetism. Also, we will repeat the elemental purification breaths as Pir Zia taught them to the four directions. Hope to see you there.
Wednesday July 12
– 7:00pm Healing Class and Circle with Regina Jemila Walther and Nizam Ash – Abode Library
Thursday July 13
– 4:00pm Abode Farm Class – Meets in Courtyard
Hot days and abundant summer harvests. In this mid-season moment we’ll survey the health, productivity, and characteristics of various crops on the farm. Discussing nutrition, pests and disease, harvesting, pruning, and cultivation we’ll get a sense of the various needs and habits of important farm crops and how we choose the varieties we grow. Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors. Open to all experience levels
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Razzaq (Rezak) Dining Room
– Message Class not held on this day.
Sunday March 16
– 11:00am Universal Worship with Nizam – Quddus (Meditation Hall)
– 12:30pm Sunday Brunch – Razzaq (Rezak) Dining Room
Photo 1 by Netanel Miles-Yépez, Photo 2 by Jane Feldman