About Us


Mission Statement

Meditation hall entranceThe mission of the Individual Spiritual Retreats at the Abode of the Message is to offer guided individual retreats to all seekers and to make spiritual teachings from the world’s contemplative traditions accessible to those seeking to enrich their lives by gaining deeper self understanding and to develop understanding and harmony among people of all nations, races, genders, cultures and creeds. The intention of the Sufi Retreat Center is  to foster the ideals of the Sufi Order International, with it’s concentrations of the Healing Order, Ziraat,  Kinship, The esoteric school, and The  Universal Worship, along with  Suluk, and the Abode of the Message, through individual spiritual retreats offered for all the above retreat types available to all seekers.

Full moon, where will you be going from here?
–Into a retreat.
Why do you take a retreat after fullness?
–To make myself an empty vessel in order to be filled again.
– Inayat Khan

The Retreat As A Catalyst For Meaningfulness

The retreat is not an escape from responsibilities or a cure used to alter consciousness. While modulating consciousness helps to develop new perspectives, the focus of the retreat process is to heal, revivify and help one better live in, not away from the world. By self-acceptance and reflection one better sees latent potentialities and ways of manifesting these in life. Wisdom, insight, compassion, mastery and love are but some of these often ignored qualities that are our divine inheritance or  talents. Inner peace and freedom from one’s self-image combined with these talents help create a balance that is conducive of living “in the world” and not being dependent on the world’s conditions for happiness or meaningfulness.

“The inner life consists of two things: action with knowledge and repose with passivity of mind. By accomplishing these two contrary motions, and by keeping balanced in these two opposite directions, one comes to the fullness of life. A person who lives the inner life is as innocent as a child; but at the same time wiser than many clever people put together. All the great saints and sages, the great ones who have liberated humanity, have been as innocent as children and at the same time wiser, much more so than the worldly wise. And what makes this so? It is repose with passiveness. When they stand before God to learn, they unlearn all things that the world has taught them… They do not think of themselves in that moment with any desire to be fulfilled, with any motive to be accomplished, with any expression of their own; but as empty cups, that God may fill their being.”

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Individual Spiritual Retreats at the Abode of the Message

Is it time to reconnect your inner and outer life? Are you at a turning point, deciding on your next step? Looking for healing? Perhaps you want to deepen your attunement and spiritual practice in ways not possible with your hectic daily schedule. All of these are good reasons to consider taking an individual guided retreat. There are, of course, many more! For example, some retreatants come every year for a birthday “tune-up.” The Sufi Retreat Center at the Abode has been offering individual guided retreats for nearly four decades. Some take retreats here year after year, but we also serve many who are new to the retreat process. Some are Sufi Order mureeds (initiates), others have little or no experience with Sufi practices. All are welcome.

We offer a range of retreat types including, but not limited to:

Alchemical Retreat (uses the framework of alchemy to develop the schedule for a spiritual retreat that leads one through the experience of transformation).

Healing and Raphaelite Retreat (emphasizes healing and transformation and combines practices of presence and awakening of the heart with those of integration and healing of the whole being)

Universal Worship Retreat (for those with a special attunement to Universal Worship)

Suluk Retreat (for students of the Suluk Academy study course)

Ziraat Retreat (for members of Ziraat and those interested. Ziraat means “agriculture” and emphasizes the cultivation of the mind heart and the soul connected with the life of the planet.)

We provide a sacred, secluded space for seekers to rest and restore themselves, to turn within and rediscover their source, and to know the deep stillness that is the wellspring of authentic guidance.

Our Location

Located in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains, the Sufi Retreat Center at the Abode of the Message is on the grounds of an old Shaker community in New Lebanon, NY. The Abode of the Message is a spiritual, residential community founded in 1975 by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. The beautiful natural setting of more than 400 acres at the Abode offers a perfect background for a sacred and transformational retreat experience.