Bios

Ellen Ash (Nizam)
Yaqin Joseph Aubert
Maria Cristina Fernández
Gayatri Hull
Atayna Diane Austen, LMSW
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.


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.


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.