Abode Village View – Month of July

Abode Village View – Month of July

Update from the Executive Director – Al Bellenchia

Dear Friends,


The first half of the year is now behind us, the sun has reached its zenith in the north, and we are busily welcoming guests, staff, volunteers, and programs.

While this point of the year seems shimmering and timeless, time is a confounding thing.  In some ways, time seems to stretch out before us…towards a horizon of infinite possibilities.  In other instances, it acts as our enemy, compressing as if to work against our plans and needs.

It hardly seems a year ago that we were concluding Season of the Rose and waving farewell to the Inayati Order, Pir Zia and his family, and others who followed to Richmond.

It seems inconceivable (Yes, I know what that word means) that only two years ago, the new Abode Board was chartered and that I joined as executive director.

And it was just three years ago, our extended community gathered to celebrate the Abode’s 40th anniversary at a time when the future was very much in question.

Time, as the saying goes, marches on.  Soon it will be time to prepare for the Abode’s 45th anniversary, in 2020.

Planning for that celebration is for another time.  Meanwhile, we are continuing to move forward in developing our long-term sustainability.


  • Rumi’s Café at the Abode is open and hosting events, and is providing local, organic, and delectable fare for guests and community.
  • The Pir Vilayat Center (Inayat Manzil) is being prepared to welcome Wahhab and Batina Sheets as Teachers-In-Residence in August, and to host retreats and spiritual events thereafter.
  • The Sufi Retreat Center at the Abode has agreed to integrate their operation and guides into the Pir Vilayat Center, and be led by Yaqin Aubert. Expanding the number and nature of retreats at the Abode aligns with the vision of the founders, and will help balance our operating activities.
  • Jamelah Zidan has returned as a full-time resident and Assistant Director – Community Life. A radiant being of many talents, she will be working to manage and grow all aspects of community life at the Abode, including volunteers, residents and our extended community.
  • Meredith Basler has joined the staff as a full-time Marketing Assistant, after serving beautifully and indefatigably in that role for the past few months as a volunteer.


Looking ahead, our annual fundraising appeal is in development and will launch soon.  Your contribution to this annual campaign is a critical element of our finances.  More on that to come.

Thank you for all YOU do in support of our mission.


In gratitude,


Update from Programs – Meredith Basler

HuDost in Concert – July 19

Mark your calendars for July 19th! The Neo-Folk-World-Rock Ensemble from Montreal and Kentucky, HuDost will be performing at the Abode in the Quddus Meditation Hall at 7:00 PM. Their music is a rich, eclectic blending of Pop and Rock with traditional Sufi music, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian and Balkan folk music, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, and Folk. Their sound crosses all borders and barriers, taking the listener on a journey they will never forget.


Teachers in Residence – Wahhab & Batina

Wahhab and Batina will be coming to the Abode as Teachers in Residence for the month of August. They will offer four Tuesday evening classes (July 31, August 7, 14, 21), four Thursday evening Message Classes (August 2,9,16, 23), two Saturday morning sessions (August 11 & 25), and two Universal Worship services (August 4 & 18). More information to come!

Update from Rumi’s Cafe at the Abode – Diane Belenchia LaConte

Come see what’s happening at Rumi’s this July!

Rumi’s Café invites all our residents, friends, and visitors to join us for a summer filled with events and wonderful programs this July & August.


Friday Night Jam — 7/13 & 27 from 7-9pm
Just you, your friends and your best tunes — jamming under the stars in the garden!

Monday Game Night — 7/16 & 30 from 6-8pm
Put on your game face! We have great games to share or bring your favorite game to compete with friends.


We are also looking to set up a Trivia Challenge Night and are looking for teams to compete best team wins a prize! Anyone interested? We will have a sign up sheet to form teams in the café! 

Stop and visit us for iced teas and coffees…we are also sampling every Thursday! Taste what’s new and on the menu!

Don’t forget every Monday is Mellow Mondays — all food & snacks are 15% off. Hope to see you soon!

Update from Maintenance Wajid Jackson

Hello, All! We have many fairly major exterior building projects to be hopefully finished by fall: repair of Mughni’s roof, closing in siding on Alim’s west side, the overhang on Razzaq’s east side. This, of course, amidst new projects relating to Rumi’s Cafe, the Pir Vilayat Center, a diesel tank trailer for the Mountain Camp generator, and making sure all small engined implements work or go away. Everything else we will fit in and triage what doesn’t.

We have 30-35 tires that are being moved off property. If you have a size you need or could use email us asap at above with the size you need and we’ll let you know. Especially plentiful is 13, 14, 15 inch wheel sizes. We will ask for a donation-whatever. Some wheels, too!

Abode Weekly Village View

Upcoming Week’s Events

Monday, July 2

– 2:30 pm Culture, Ecology and Regenerative Design with Kevin & Shakur – Razzaq Dining Hall

This is a series involving discussion/presentation, activities, core routines of nature observation, and hands on projects. We’ll focus on eco-literacy, spending time within the thriving ecosystem of the Abode. We’ll observe the patterns of sunlight, water, soil, trees, plants, and mammals on the land and experience the ways they interact, affect, serve, benefit and adjust to each other. We’ll learn and witness some of the evidence of the history of the land and the human communities that have lived here. Then we’ll take a good look at the state of the world. And by using the tools of movements like Permaculture, Regenerative Design, and Culture Repair we’ll look at ways humans can move towards a healthy way of being part of the ecosystem. 


Tuesday, July 3

– 5:00 pm QiGong Class with Wahida – Fattah Family Room

Join Wahida for a simple QiGong class. She will teach basic principles and show how to make up natural routines for your own practice.

– 6:00 pm Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall

– 7:00 pm Philosophy of Spirituality Discussion Group – Razzaq Library


Wednesday, July 4

– 6:00 pm Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall

– Independence Day observed in the U.S.


Thursday, July 5 – Hazrat Inayat Khan’s 136th Birthday

– 6:00 pm Community Dinner – Razzaq Dining Hall

– 7:00 pm Message Class with Yaqin – Razzaq Library

Join Yaqin for an abbreviated form of The Practice of the Symbol. It is Hazrat Inayat Khan’s birthday and since he was Pir Vilayat’s father, one could say he was part of creating the Abode. The class will end with doing zikr, “sweeping away the dust of reactive emotions to reveal what is hidden in the realm of your presence”. 


Sunday, July 8

– 10:00 am Meditation Class – Fattah Family Room

– 11:00 am Universal Worship – Fattah Family Room


Upcoming Programs

HuDost In Concert | July 19
The music of HuDost, the Neo-Folk-World-Rock Ensemble from Montreal and Kentucky, weaves a seamless tapestry of sound that renders tears and laughter in listeners, cultivating the nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts and invoking total celebration.
For more information, visit theabode.org/programs/565


Abode Open House – Kinship | July 27 – 29
Spiritual seekers of all sorts will have the opportunity to tour the campus, learn about the land’s rich history of spiritual community, participate in ecological and spiritual discussion, and more. This is a chance to visit the Abode, meet the community, and experience the many elements of life here.
For more information, visit theabode.org/programs/571


Abode Open House – Sufis & Shakers | August 17-19
Spiritual seekers of all sorts will have the opportunity to tour the campus, learn about the land’s rich history of spiritual community, participate in ecological and spiritual discussion, and more. This is a chance to visit the Abode, meet the community, and experience the many elements of life here.
For more information, visit theabode.org/programs/572


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!