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Abode of the Message

Last updated: December 28, 2015 (4 months ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Abode of the Message

(New Lebanon, New York, United States)

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1975
  • Start Living Together: 1975
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community.
  • Website address: http://www.theabode.org/
  • Contact Name: Avraham Kyle Maistri, Operations Manager
  • Phone: 518-794-8090 ext. 116
  • Community Address:
    Abode of the Message
    5 Abode Road
    New Lebanon, New York, 12125
    United States

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Abode of the Message is to be a residential spiritual community which strives to collectively embody awakening to the Sufi Message of spiritual liberty and unity of religious ideals brought to the West by Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1910. The guiding principles of the Sufi Message are love, harmony and beauty.

Community Description:

The Abode is a residential spiritual community, vital conference/retreat center, school for esoteric study, home to the executive offices of the Sufi Order International, and home to Flying Deer Nature Center and the Abode Farm CSA.

The mission of the Abode of the Message is to be a residential spiritual community which strives to collectively embody awakening to the Sufi Message of spiritual liberty and unity of religious ideals brought to the West by Hazrat Inayat Khan in 1910. The guiding principles of the Sufi Message are love, harmony and beauty.

It was founded in 1975 by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and a group of over 100 mystical spiritual seekers hoping to create a beautiful world full of beautiful people. The Abode sits on over 300 acres of beautiful land in the foothills of the Berkshires.

There are many ways to be here: through a work-study program, short- or long-term residency, a B&B, personal retreats, attending conferences or classes, and Universal Worship service on Sundays.

About

  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Organization, Resource, or Network, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 300 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 25
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: Multiple stakeholders
  • Additional Comments: The Abode of the Message. Inc. owns the land and is currently controlled by the Sufi Order International board of directors.

    We are in the process of exploring options for a transition to a community owned and run organizational model which could take effect as early as the beginning of 2017.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 20
  • Child Members: 2
  • Non-member Residents: 10
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Contact: 518-794-8095 or see website for info; call for information and reservations. Long-term visitors or residency requires application, which can be found at: http://abodeprograms.org/residence/ or by emailing [email protected]
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process: We are also in the process of re-defining community membership more clearly as any current definition of membership is not commonly agreed upon and held.

    Anyone interested in becoming a resident should be aware of this process.

  • Additional Comments: Members of our community generally pursue the Universal Sufi Message teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. These teachings are oriented toward spiritual liberty and the unity of religious ideals, guided by love, harmony, and beauty. Members make a conscious effort to practice these ideals in daily living.

    All serious seekers are welcome here. We honor the unity of the religious ideals that are held by each religion or tradition. Our Universal Worship has an altar with candles representing all points of view.

    This is a time of great transition for the Abode community and we continue to welcome visitors and short and long term residents during this transition. It is important for those who are interested in living here that membership, decision-making and organizational structuring are currently being examined and shifted toward a community run model, but that we are not at that point yet.

Government

  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments: Currently Pir Zia Inayat Khan, Spiritual head of the Sufi Order International, is our identified leader and the SOINA board of directors is our leadership group.

    However, Pir Zia and the Sufi Order executive offices will be leaving the Abode of the Message, in an amicable parting of ways which we hope will allow all parties to better fulfill their purposes and work in the world.

    We are in the process of exploring a move to a community-run government and ownership model.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 3
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments: There is a fee for becoming a resident, which essential works as a co-housing arrangement but without some decision-making powers over some circumstances in your environment.

    Each resident is required to do three hours a week of Karma Yoga — cooking and cleaning in the communal kitchen.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Library, Workshop, Swimming pond or pool, Large Scale Kitchen, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments: We offer nine weekly communal meals (four dinners, three lunches, a breakfast and a brunch). Most of our meals are vegetarian. We almost always have cheese and eggs available. There is poultry or fish about once a week, but we hold in common the agreement not to cook red meat in our communal kitchen. Much of our produce comes from a CSA on our land which is owned and operated by a local group of young farmers who are not Abode residents.

    Alcohol is allowed on the property and consumed at celebratory gatherings but drunkenness is not permitted and moderation is encouraged.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Sufi
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments: Community members are not required to practice Sufism, but are required to be on a spiritual path in which there is a living teacher and they keep a regular practice.

    That said, if one does not participate in the group spiritual activity here, it tends to create a separation with others in the community. That is not to say one must take initiation, but simply doing group practices together while pursuing a different spiritual path will go a long way for community integration.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Sufi Order International

Keywords

mysticism, sufism, spiritual, love, retreat center, rural, new york, sufi

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.