Abode Village View, Monthly Update – Mar. 2017
Update from our Executive Director – Al Bellenchia
We have turned the calendar to March and are proceeding with preparations for the opening of programs season. Ibrahim has updated you on several of the wonderful events on the calendar in the last couple of Village Views, and we hope you will take advantage of the early registration opportunities for these.
With our first Welcome Weekend just around the corner, we are busy with a myriad of chores and initiatives to get the campus in shape. Work days are being scheduled, and our staff is finalizing lists of “to-dos” to be completed with your help on these days. Thanks in advance for your presence at these!
As we gear up to welcome the greater volume of visitors, we will be posting work opportunities for the season in Guest Services, Kitchen, Ecology, Mountain Camp, and Maintenance. Position descriptions and schedules will be ready shortly and we post these for the community to consider before we begin to recruit outside of the Abode.
We will shortly announce the date in late March for our next online “Town Hall” meeting where we will update the community on progress and preview the year ahead. Be on the lookout for details.
Finally, if you have not yet signed up to become an Abode Ambassador, please consider doing so today.
Thank you for all you do for the Abode.
Update from our Spiritual Director – Netanel Miles-Yépez
In the past month, we have continued our work to strengthen the spiritual life of the Abode community. The first step in this endeavor is the instituting of Meditation Hall Vigils, asking individual residents to volunteer to keep the hours of prayer in the Meditation Hall. On February 13th, I spoke at the Abode Community meeting about the vigils, and the next day, a description of them was posted on the message board in Rezak, along with a sign-up sheet. Since then, about four volunteers and myself have been doing our best to cover as many of the hours as possible, and I am very pleased with the effort. In the future, I hope more and more Abode residents and the extended community will participate in holding this sacred responsibility, maintaining the spiritual rhythms of prayer and meditation at the Abode.
In support of the revitalization of the use of the Meditation Hall, on February 23rd, Wajid Jackson, Ibrahím Pedriñán, and myself saw to the installation of the Shajara Sharif, the ‘noble tree’ of Inayati Sufi lineage in the far end of the hall, near the portrait of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. This is an important step in re-dedicating the Meditation Hall to Inayati Sufi spiritual practice, as the recitation of the lineage is a time-honored practice of Sufis, especially before formal sessions of zikr.
Earlier in the month, February 16-19th, I was in Colorado teaching and acting as an ‘Abode Ambassador’ at the “Coming Together” conference hosted by Colorado College, in Colorado Spring, bringing together 110 religion students and students active in chaplaincy offices from 23 colleges around the country. I taught two wonderful sessions on “Sufism: The Religion of Love,” and two more on “The Divine Feminine, Earth-Based Spirituality, and the Elements,” and “The End of Religion.” After the conference, I drove to Boulder with a Colorado murid to lead an evening of zikr and sema at Naropa University. In each of these talks and sessions, I had the opportunity to talk about the Abode as a an ideal place to come and continue study and practice in an Eco-Sufi environment.
Teaching and classes at the Abode of the Message this month have touched on a wide variety of subjects. In our Tuesday Traditions and Message Classes, we have discussed the life of the Prophet Muhammad, love (mahabba) as described in Qushayri’s Risala for Valentine’s Day, the life and teachings of Hasan al-Basri, initiation (bay’ah) as taught by Hazrat Inayat Khan in The Way of Illumination, and the knowledge of self as taught in al-Ghazali’s Alchemy of Happiness.
This coming month, in our Tuesday classes, we will continue exploring teachings, themes, and exemplars from classical Sufism, and in our Thursday classes, aspects of universalist Sufism from the new Message volume, The Inner Life, as Pir Zia has suggested for all Inayati Order centers around the world.
As we prepare to welcome our first group of new khadims later this month, I want to ask everyone who is able to participate in the keeping of the Meditation Hall vigils and to attend classes as regularly as possible, so that our new khadims will enter a strong context of teaching and practice at the Abode of the Message.
Update from our Director of Programs – Ibrahím Pedriñán
Dear Friends of the Abode,
March is coming in like a frozen lion… brrrrrrRawr!! But that is not slowing the Abode down! We’re picking up. Many of you have already signed up for our programs and many of you have saved the dates for some others.
Well, registration is open for:
Emerald Earth – May 5-7
Rasa Shastra – May 12-14
River of Guidance – May 17-21
Save the Dates:
Unity of Religious Ideals Week – April 10-16
The Sacred Art of StoryTelling – April 21-23
Founders Weekend – June 16-19
(And remember, many Abode Ambassadors levels are eligible for programs discounts! Sign up today!)
Many friends and residents of the Abode have contributed to work days, karma yoga, khidmat, or any number of volunteer opportunities.
As part of our monthly rhythm, we are having Village Visits and service will be a component thereof. We invite you to contribute during these Saturday work mornings, from 9a-12:30p. The Saturday dates are:
November 25 (no November Village Visit).
Potluck and Khidmat Meet&Greet Schedule:
Nothing unites a community like food! As the Abode begins a new rhythm with the Khidmat Program, we want to invite you all to participate in a Welcome Potluck and Meet&Greet. Please bring something to share and meet our new khadims!
The dates are:
29 May (also a 5th Monday)
31 July (also a 5th Monday)
30 October (also a 5th Monday)
We will send out reminders for all of these so be on the lookout. And be on the lookout for new programs and ongoing events!
Update from our Kitchen Manager – Evan Young
Thanks to everyone who participated in our very successful work day last month. With a full crew we were able to do a much needed, thorough, deep cleaning of the Rezak basement and start to prepare our dining hall for the upcoming programs season. In the next couple weeks we will be installing some new shelving in our upstairs cooler. We are also very much looking forward to moving into our newly renovated downstairs walk-in, which Wajid has been working so diligently on.
In the next month we will be preparing our spring menus while also working on some fun projects like making our own sauerkraut and pickling some of the carrots, beets and radishes holding out in the cool Abode Farm root cellar (go Larz!). In other news, Donna continues to be a force as a 1-woman bakery, providing the community with wonderful baked goods and her famous homemade jam. Come and enjoy some of her creations at our Sunday brunch (12:30pm), just after Universal Worship service.
Update from our Manager of Ecology – Evan Thaler-Null
Meteorological Spring is here! The sap in the maple trees is running and the birds are singing. Pruning and tree work continue on the Abode campus and vegetable seedlings for the farm will be started this month. Thanks to Nabila for helping put a grant together last week to fund the creation of a large Community Orchard at The Abode — fingers crossed!
Planning for this season’s farming and ecology programming is underway and our honeybees will be arriving in less than a month. The buzz continues as the days get longer!
Abode Weekly Village View
Tuesday March 7th
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Rezak Dining Room
– 7:00pm Traditions Class with Netanel Miles-Yépez – Meditation Hall
“The Knowledge of God” – Using the Sufi classic, Kimiya-yi Sa’adat, the ‘Alchemy of Happiness,’ of Muhammad al-Ghazali (ca.1058-1111), Abode Spiritual Director, Netanel, will discuss the Knowledgeof the God, within and without, according to Sufism.
Thursday March 9th
– 6:00pm Community Dinner – Rezak Dining Room
– 7:00pm Message Class with Netanel Miles-Yépez – Meditation Hall
“Sin and Virtue: Questions and Answers” – Using the new Sufi Message volume, The Inner Life, Abode Spiritual Director, Netanel, will explore the notions of sin and virtue, and other subjects from The Way of Illumination.
Sunday March 12th
– 11:00am Universal Worship with Nizam – Meditation Hall
– 12:30pm Sunday Brunch – Rezak Dining Room