Village View – Week of August 30
As we enter September, the rhythms of life that we once took for granted remain disrupted. “Back to school” and “back to work” are neither simple nor straightforward in this time of pandemic and upheaval.
For 45 years, the Abode has been an oasis, a sanctuary, for many seeking to recharge, refresh and reconnect. It has weathered crises and upheavals, thanks to a tenacious embrace of diversity in the pursuit of love, harmony and beauty; the generous spirit of its far-flung community, and the powerful spirit of hope contained in the Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
We have all been affected by the events of 2020, in ways small and profound. More change is likely, as new things emerge. And surely, a different Abode will reopen in the spring of 2021. While different in its operation, it will also be very familiar in its nature.
The Abode will be more focused on serving the needs of a wider community of seekers while holding firmly to our core Sufi teachings and practices. It will be focused on serving a balance of individuals and groups; focused on creating more open spaces for retreat, contemplation, and reflection, and focused more on providing hospitality than residential spaces. Each of these efforts have been works in progress; we are now accelerating them to address the needs that this time demands of us, if we are to be of service to others in need of healing.
Our fundraising campaign for the 45th Anniversary Courtyard Project has crossed the $50,000 threshold. We are more than two-thirds of the way to our $75,000 goal, with an end of our appeal approaching on Labor Day.
The Abode Board has authorized us to begin this transformative project. We will be starting within days, with the goal of completion before the snow flies on Mount Lebanon. Thanks to you, we are together creating a legacy that we can share with others and can hand to the next generation.
If you have not donated, please do so now. If there’s more you can give, we will be even more grateful. If you can enlist others to give, or share our emails and social media posts, it will be so helpful.
In peace and with love.
Meditative Quiescence: Principles and Practices for Achieving the Samadhi of Settling in the Nature of Mind | Thursday, September 3 | 7:00 PM EDT
Achieving mental stability in order to sustain meditative quiescence and tranquility – called shamatha in Buddhism — is an essential prelude to later directly observing and unmasking what Pir Vilayat often described as the hoaxes of the mind.
The experience of the samadhi of quiescence can be imagined as an attentive residing in deep, non-REM dreamless sleep that is accompanied by vivid conscious awareness.
Yet this is not an awareness concentrated upon an object or sensory stimuli. Rather it is a sense of genuine bliss and well-being, which is sustained by mental stability and non-conceptuality that is beyond personal identification with an ego or individual self. Learning to stabilize our concentration and attention in the natural state of mind will also enable lucid dreaming to naturally arise.
On Thursday, September 3, we will investigate what the neurosciences tell us about the brain, mind, and consciousness (and its serious flaws), the correlations between the first three nafs (self) described by Hazrat Inayat Khan and the triune structure of the brain, and the background and importance of Pir Vilayat’s frequent teachings and writings about the Buddhist sattipattanas, the first and second jnanas, and the coarse, subtle and very subtle minds.
A Powerpoint presentation and lecture to define and understand the mind and consciousness will lay the groundwork for the following Thursday class, September 10th, which will be devoted to practicing several forms of Shamatha meditation, one-pointed concentration and vivid attentive awareness for relaxing the mind in its natural state.
Join via Zoom with password: 493634
In honor of National Peace Month, the Abode will be sharing quotes from Nobel Peace Prize laureates. This week we highlight Pakistani education and women’s rights activist, Malala Yousafzai. She is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
As a teeanger, Malala spoke out against the prohibition by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on the education of girls and women. After surviving an assassination attempt at the age of 15 she continues to speak out on the importance of educating girls and women.
This year, Malala graduated from Oxford University where she studied philosophy, politics, and economics. From her website:
“Although a global pandemic meant I spent my final months as a university student in my parents’ house, I’m grateful that I was able to complete my education. After taking time to relax, I am more dedicated than ever to my fight for girls.”
For an in depth look at the life and work of Malala Yousafzai please visit the Malala Fund website used for this small bio.