Abode Village View, Monthly Update – Jun. 2017

Abode Village View, Monthly Update – Jun. 2017

Update from our Executive Director – Al Bellenchia

Dear Friends,


May was a month of contrasts at the Abode, and one that reminded us of the sage counsel of Rumi:  “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”

In May, we welcomed our new Mountain Manager, Josh Ramos, and he and his crew set about preparing the camp for its annual reawakening, shoring up the huts and cabins, removing trees, and beginning to prepare the grounds.  In the midst of that joyous work, one of our longtime community members, Richard Hohlstein, was injured in an accident. He is recovering, and the healing energy of many in the community has been focused on him and his wife Rahima.  We ask that you place him in your healing thoughts and prayers.

During May, we held staff and Board retreats at the Omega Institute, courtesy of a generous contribution of room and board by Omega as part of its Non-Profits Retreats week.  We used this time to forge a better understanding of each other as individuals, discuss future plans, and plan for long-term projects.  The success of Omega in building an internationally renowned organization – from its humble roots at the Abode – was an inspiration for all who attended.

The energy and momentum building at the Abode has been remarked upon by many of our guests and visitors in recent weeks, and we are mindful that our renewal needs constant care and tending.  All are hard at work doing just that.

Our annual Summer Appeal will be kicking off in late June. In advance of that important fundraising activity, we look forward to sharing with our worldwide community several initiatives connected to supporting our mission and vision, and kicking-off the next stage of revitalizing our campus.


“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” – Rumi.


With gratitude,


Update from our Spiritual DirectorNetanel Miles-Yépez

This May, we had the honor of playing host to the Federation of the Message gathering, “River of Guidance,” bringing together leaders and seekers of numerous Inayati Sufi lineages and organizations, including: the Inayati Order International, the Sufi Ruhaniat International, International Sufi Movement, the Sufi Way, the Fraternity of Light, and Sufi Contact. In hosting such gatherings, we hope that all Inayati Sufis the world over will come to consider the Abode a spiritual home and place of inspiration for years to come.

This last month, we also had the pleasure of having Pir Zia teach four wonderful open sessions on the “The Soul Whence and Whither,” a section within the new Message volume, The Inner Life, out of which we have been learning every Thursday in our Message Classes. I will continue these classes this month, teaching on “Communion with God,” “Sufism,” and “Alif: Wisdom and Knowledge” from the Way of Illumination section in The Inner Life.

In June, we will also have two special events. The first is the final session and graduation of the Jabalqa Class of Suluk (June 6–11th), from which several members of our own community will graduate, including—Debra-Sue Cope, Sarfaraz Dawdy, Mariana Nabila Evans, Attar Loreto Messina, Ibrahím Pedriñán, Michael Khaldun Sturm, and Regina Jemila Walther. Suluk is a process of Sufi study that requires a great deal of personal commitment and bravery, so please join me in acknowledging their achievement.

The second big event this month on the Sufi calendar is Season of the Rose, the Inayati Order’s Sufi Summer School. This year, the Season of the Rose faculty will each explore the theme of “Guidance” from a variety of different perspectives. As always, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan will be the lead faculty, supported by Aziza Scott, Khabira Brown, and Himayat Inayati. At the end of the program, on July 3rd, Pir Zia and the Inayati Order will say farewell to the Abode and move to Richmond, Virginia.

Update from our Director of Programs – Ibrahím Pedriñán

June marks a shift at the Abode where we move into hosting lots of other peoples’ programs.  But it’s been lovely having so many familiar faces around and we hope many of you return at the end of June for Season of the Rose, including a blessing of the Abode by Pir Zia and a blessing of Pir Zia by the Abode!

June also marks a little over 3 months of the Abode Ambassadors program, which has seen lots of discounts utilized in the bookstore, in programs, and a lot of new Abode window decals, Abode mugs, and Abode pins are seen around.  Learn more and sign up at www.theabode.org/ambassadors

Our Khidmat Program is growing and gaining more participants, training a new generation in Eco-Sufism, and strengthening the Abode.  If you know folks interested in summer volunteer opportunities, check out www.theabode.org/volunteer.  We are also being joined by a few volunteers returning to our Hands-to-Heart program!  These are varied opportunities and are for those who are familiar with the Abode.

Emily’s post below contains many opportunities for visiting the Abode during June programs.

We also just finished our Mountain Service Camp, a gathering of staff, volunteers, and friends, who all worked diligently to open the Mountain Camp and prepare the site for visitors!  Thank you to everyone who helped.  We will also hold a Mountain Service Camp in the fall to close down the mountain and hope you might join us!

We are so hopeful that we can continue to build and grow a volunteer corp who can offer on-going support to the Abode.  We hope YOU can join us!  And if you can’t, do please send us your thoughts, prayers, and blessings as the Abode steps into this new and most glorious stage!

Update from our Programs Assistant – Emily Collins

Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.” -​ ​Pablo Neruda


We invite you to explore our June calendar and register for programs listed below!


June 6-11


Suluk Academy will be finishing their 2 year sojourn June 6-11, with a new mountain program joining us June 9-11.


June 15

Farm Class: Tillage, Planting, and Tending with Evan Thaler-Null

Walking the farm fields in June, we’ll observe many stages of tillage and growth. This is a great time to talk about the process of preparing soil, planting, and tending crops during the season. We’ll discuss how our horse-powered equipment helps us achieve our goals on Abode Farm and how to determine what techniques are appropriate for you.

Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors. Open to all experience levels. Click here to register.


June 17

Pir Vilayat’s Urs

The Inayati Order Center at the Abode will honor Abode founder, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, for his Urs (June 17th) and birthday (June 19).


June 21

New Moon Women’s ​Circle

Dear Women: Here is an opportunity to gather for a safe, sacred, and sharing circle. Salima will lead this circle monthly to provide space for women to be themselves and grow to be their best selves. Gathering around the ideas of Sisterhood, Respect for the earth, and Co-creation, circles will include Guided Meditation, Sharing, Intention Setting Ritual, and more. These Circles are open to all who identify as women.  Followed by tea and goodies. Click here to register.


June 23-25

Abode Village Visit

Village Visits are an entry point committed to answering “What is the Abode, an Eco-Sufi Village?”

These Friday through Sunday immersions involve music and dancing, outdoor exploration, Farm(er)2Table meals, mini albeit meaningful work projects, Sufi studies, engagement with the elements, Universal Worship, and more! Click here to register.


June 25

Eid Al ‘Fitr

​W​e will celebrate Eid Al’Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan​!

Imam Salim ​Chishti ​will lead us in Eid Salat (prayers) ​at 8a in the Meditation Hall followed by​ Universal Worship at 11a led by Tara​ Chishti​.

Imam Salim has also offered to give a talk on Eid to all Abode v​isitors that day.  At 12:30p we will celebrate with Eid brunch. More details to come.


Be sure to save the dates for the following:


August 25-27: The World of Imagination with Eve Ilsen

August 31-September 3: Eco-Sufi Week

September 21: Rosh Hashanah

October 5-9: Abode Weekend

November 10-12: Retreat with Khabira Brown and Aziza Scott

December 29-31: New Year’s Eve Retreat with Aziza Scott

Update from our Manager of Ecology – Evan Thaler-Null

Eggs are in! The chickens are beginning to lay almost 50 eggs each day. They are loving grazing the clover fields around the farm and our incredible team of chicken caretakers has been helping make their lives sweet and simple. It has been a cold and wet start to the growing season but we have lots of crops in the ground and look forward to the heat and sunshine of June to bring forth an abundant harvest the season. In the honeybee world, it is now swarm season and we are anxiously on the lookout for honeybee swarms and keeping a close watch on our neighborhood hives to ensure the bees have adequate space and a healthy queen. Many weeks of planting, tending, weeding, and harvesting to follow, come on by for a visit!

PS. Farm CSA shares are still available! Please find information and sign-up forms at http://abodefarmcsa.com/

Abode Weekly Village View

Tuesday June 6
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Rezak Dining Room
– 7:00pm Traditions Class with Yaqin Aubert – Rezak Library

Wednesday June 7
– 7:00pm Healing Circle and Class with Regina Jemila and Nizam – Rezak Library

Thursday June 8
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Rezak Dining Room
– 7:00pm Message Class with Yaqin Aubert – Meditation Hall
The topic of this Message Class will be “Communion with God” in Way of Illumination.

Sunday June 11
– 11:00am Universal Worship with Nizam Ash – Meditation Hall
– 12:30pm Sunday Brunch – Rezak Dining Room