Village View – May 10
It is nearing mid-May and here in the Northeastern US, the rhythms of Spring are taking hold in fits and starts. Reflecting the uncertain times, perhaps, Spring has been tentative, not quite settling in, as if unsure that it wants to stick around. It has been distinctly un-seasonal.
When I contemplate the present state of the Abode, and our place in this moment and what’s to come, many metaphors, parables and aphorisms come to mind. I will share two that seem particularly apt.
The first is from humorist Will Rogers, and is dubbed “The first law of holes.” It is this:
“When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”
The second is a bit more complex, and is called the Stockdale Paradox. It is best illustrated:
In short, Admiral William Stockdale survived eight years of imprisonment in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. His story, and the origins and applications of the Stockdale Paradox, can be found here: https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/stockdale-paradox-confronting-reality-vital-success
In assessing the best path forward for the Abode, our leadership team has examined a range of options for how to proceed this year. And we have been offered lots of advice, as well. Our decisions will be guided by the two principles noted above: We will not make things worse or take action to simply to be seen as being active; and we will have faith in our future while being realistic about the situation at hand.
This year is, for all practical purposes, lost. Yet, we believe that we are being presented with an opportunity to to address the structural issues that have seemed intractable for years. There is opportunity in the challenge.
To not address these issues while the opportunity exists would be fatal. Many details of what is to come are not immediately visible: they will continue to emerge, as what we are living with evolves. What we do know is that we need to change or we will not survive. We will move forward with optimism, tempered with pragmatism about the changed reality we are in. We will be deliberate and are determined to save what means so much to so many.
We have committed to the goal of ensuring that the Abode survives to open in the Spring of 2021 and to consider all reasonable options for attaining that goal. We have already taken the following steps to ensure that we re-emerge next Spring:
- We have closed for all programs and events in 2020 and placed the Abode in “suspended animation.”
- This is largely a fait accompli as most of our rental events have cancelled, and no one is sure if or when any group events will be possible this year.
- This also means no gatherings, meetings, community meals or worship services. This is the most prudent way to ensure our reserves will last until next Spring. We are informed by the actions of others, like Omega, in this regard.
- We are focusing our financial and managerial resources on restructuring the Abode to create a truly sustainable operation. This will mean getting smaller, and simpler.
- We must accelerate the transition from a resident-centric model to a service-oriented model, and proceed with actions already taken to do so.
- We will retain only a small core of paid staff, aided by volunteers, necessary to maintain facilities and provide operating continuity while we build the future Abode.
- We will emerge smaller, more focused and with a renewed call to serve the Message and all of humanity.
We do not know what comes next. We are refraining from guessing at a time when most is unknowable. We will focus our energies watching and assessing what emerges and how we can lead and serve. We will, for a time, turn within and listen. That is our best practice, and we will apply it to ourselves.
Thank you for your continued love and support.
PS – We are always grateful for donations and if you have the desire and the means, you can do so here: https://theabode.org/donate/
Dear Ingrid, Sarfaraz, et al
45 years ago today, May 8, 1975, 13 idealistic, starry-eyed 20 -somethings gathered in front of the barn to take possession of the Shaker Village to be henceforth called The Abode of the Message. Pir Vilayat had charged us with bringing Spirituality into every day life, (not that we knew what that meant), and making a beautiful world of beautiful people.
Thus began the journey of the Abode, through its many iterations, trials, tribulations, joys, and uplifting times. And always filled with blessings and Grace.
I send deep love and gratitude to all those who are currently guiding and nurturing the Abode, especially in these disastrous times when the Abode’s very livelihood has been usurped. And I pray that the Abode, like the phoenix will rise out of the ashes and be stronger in its rebirth.
The Abode is the home of my Soul.
Love to you,
Presence of Patience & Love | Saturday, May 16 | 9:30 AM
Join the Abode via Zoom on May 16 for meditations reflecting our sacred journey at this stressful and changing time in our world. It is awakening inner guidance and the experience of understanding and peace that comes from within. It is an answer to the call of the soul on the wings of spirit and to reawaken in life with renewed creativity and dedication.
This is a half-day retreat led by Aziza Scott and Yaqin Aubert beginning at 9:30 am and ending at 12:30 pm EDT on May 16. All are welcome to join! Donations to the Abode are appreciated. Please give what you are able, even if that is simply sharing this event with others!
Donations taken through this link.
Universal Worship | Sunday, May 17 | 11:00 AM
Join us for this first Zoom Universal Worship on the theme of “Planting the Seeds of Becoming.”
Given our current global situation; how do we wish to become; what kind of future can we aspire to make? What can we glean from the scriptures to help us? What remains, what needs to be let go off?
Photo by Amy Gaskin
In honor of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Month, the Abode will be sharing quotes and messages from Asian and Pacific Islander Americans of varying faith backgrounds. This week we share a quote from Dagmola Kusho Sakya.
From Dakini Power:
Dagmola Sakya was the first Tibetan woman ever to immigrate to America. Her full title reads Her Eminence Dag-Yum Kusho Sakya, which denotes her high-ranking status as the wife of one of the most eminent masters in the Sakya tradition, Dagchen Rinpoche. However, in the face of her disarming cheerfulness, friends and students quickly do away with the formality and lovingly call her Dagmola. She is one of the very few senior Tibetan ladies who were born in pre-Communist Tibet, but are now recognized as outstanding teachers and live in America. A combination of the most unlikely circumstances enabled Dagmola to become one of the first Tibetan women to teach in the West. Born 1936 in a tiny village in East Tibet, she was the only girl allowed to go to school. Instead of complying with the established system of arranged marriages, Dagchen Rinpoche fought for her hand. After barely escaping the Communist persecution in Tibet with her family, she made a new home in Seattle with her five boys, while holding down a nine-to-five job at a blood bank. Her experience as a working mother of five resonates with many students.