Bios

Ellen Ash (Nizam)
Yaqin Joseph Aubert
Tara Inayat Chishti
Imam Salim Chishti
Maria Cristina Fernández
Gayatri Hull
Atayna Diane Austen, LMSW
Regina Jemila Walther
Shakur Don Johnson

Ellen Ash (Nizam)

 

Ellen has been active in the Sufi Order International since 1982 and guiding individual retreats for 15 years.  She offers Alchemical Retreats, Suluk Retreats and Retreats with a focus on all aspects of the natural world.  Ellen aspires to assist you in finding your unique deep inner connection and build capacity to bring that into daily life. She will tailor the retreat to meet your needs.  She is an ordained minister in the Universal Worship, Conductor of healing circles in the Sufi Healing Order, spiritual guide and representative in the Sufi Order. She has coordinated Ziraat over the years and is a certified leader of the Dances of Universal Peace and a Mevelvi Semazen.


 

Yaqin Joseph Aubert

 

Was initiated into the Sufi path by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan in 1972. He is a founding member and former director of the Abode of the Message Sufi community and Mt. Road Children’s School. Yaqin has been guiding individual and group retreats since 1978. He is a storyteller, teacher, and Cherag (minister) in the Universal Worship. He is a mentor in the Suluk Academy, the core esoteric training of the Sufi Order International. The path of light is his heart’s calling.


 

Tara Inayat Chishti

 

Tara has been on this Path of the Heart for 29 years and is a Senior Teacher, Suluk graduate and Mentor, Retreat Guide, Shefayat in the Healing Order and Minister of the Universal Worship. She is currently Co-Representative of the Abode of the Message Sufi Order Center. As a Doctor of Oriental Medicine she brings to the retreat process a desire to help individuals unfold to the reality of their true being and to heal the wounds and blocks that prevent this. Tara does Alchemical, Healing and Suluk retreats and her focus within the retreat is help individuals emerge back into life with renewed commitment, energy, health and wholeness, and most importantly with the knowledge of self that comes only after deep communication with the Divine.


 

Imam Salim Chishti

 

Is the resident Imam at the Abode of the Message. He was born in New York and early in his life entered a spiritual journey that has led him to find his heart’s home in Sufism and Islam. He has been an initiate in the Sufi Order International since 1983. Imam Salim has studied Sharia, Tariqa and Ma’rifa with several leading scholars, and speaks frequently at Sufi, Islamic and interfaith conferences and he is regularly asked to represent Islam in interfaith religious services. Currently he is doing research on Islamic dream interpretation and spiritual healing practices in the Chishti lineage.


 

Maria Cristina Fernández

 

Has been a student of Sufism since 1979, a Retreat Guide, Cheraga (minister in the Universal Worship), and representative for more than 25 years. Cristina was director of the Hope Project in New Delhi, India for two terms, and has worked in different capacities within the SOI, and the Abode of the Message. She holds a BFA, MA ed. and currently teaches Spanish to vivacious high school students. Cristina lives in Hancock, MA with her husband.


 

Gayatri Hull

 

Gayatri Hull has been a retreat guide for many years and offers Healing Retreats, Suluk and Alchemical Retreats. Gayatri works as a certified healing and Raphaelite Work practitioner and spiritual guide in her healing practice in New Lebanon, NY. She is a representative and guide in the SOI and a Shefayat and healer in the Sufi Healing Order. She also is a certified leader of the Dances of Universal Peace and has studied the Mewlevi Turn. She has given vocal concerts and workshops and group retreats on healing and remembrance and sound and the voice of life and Rumi. Retreats offer a sacred instrument to tuning our bodies, hearts and souls, and help us  awaken to the deeper nature of our true being as we return to the home of our soul. As we are present to our hearts we are invited to ask ourselves,’ what is it you plan to do with your one and precious life?”


 

Atayna Diane Austen, LMSW

 

Atayna brings to the retreat process a life-long combined study and practice in the Vedantic (Hindu), Buddhist, Christian, Native American and Sufi paths. She is an initiate of Pir Zia Inayat Khan, graduate of Suluk Academy, and SOI Coordinator. She holds a Masters degree in clinical social work, is a Reiki practitioner, and has completed extensive training in working with dreams.


 

Regina Jemila Walther

 

Regina Jemila Walther is a Raphaelite and EFT healing practitioner and healing retreat guide. She was ordained as a healing minister to assist people in moving gracefully and consciously through life’s transitions. She has been a resident of the Abode for 18 years and lovingly cares for the gardens on the property. She has taught generations of children. Interested in embodiment, she has studied yoga, dances of universal peace and continuum. A retreat is a great blessing that allows one to come into one’s natural rhythm and balance and have time in nature and silence to connect with oneself and the divine.


 

Shakur Don Johnson

 

Shakur has been guiding retreats at the Abode for over 30 years. Shakur uses practices and teachings from Sufism and world traditions to provide a rich basis for taking a retreat. Shakur has been trained in guiding Native American and Ziraat (The Nature and Farming Concentration) retreats. I have been studying Buddhism and offer retreats with this theme. Shakur’s role as a guide is to provide that inner guidance and retreat experience to affect change within ones life.