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Amidst the late-summer quietude of Mt. Lebanon, Pir Zia will lead a three-day silent journey through the stations of spiritual alchemy, traversing the interior landscapes that stretch from the obscurity of the unexamined life to the “fragrant gold” of the soul’s self-realization, which is the essence of happiness. Meditation, invocation, and sacred music will interlace to evoke ever subtler and vaster domains of being.

We will gather at the Abode of the Message, on the outskirts of the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. Each day’s teaching will take place in the Abode’s Meditation Hall, with time allowed for walking and contemplation in the Abode gardens, and also down adjacent country roads and wooded trails. Three vegetarian meals will be served each day, further supporting our retreat practice.

Space is limited. Please register today. Partial scholarships are available based on need. Please e-mail astana@inayatiorder.org with any questions, and/or to make scholarship requests.

Naima Brown, Vice President of the Inayati Order’s Esoteric School, and Yaqin Aubert, Vice President of the Inayati Order, will assist Pir Zia, providing additional support to retreatants during the three days of the program.


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Friday, August 31

  • Arrivals 2-6 pm
  • Dinner 6-7 pm
  • Orientation w/ Naima & Yaqin 7:30-8:30 pm

Saturday & Sunday, September 1 & 2

  • Morning Attunement w/ Naima or Yaqin 7-8 am
  • Morning Session w/ Bawa 9-10:15 am
  • Tea/Practice Break 10:15-10:45 am
  • Morning Session w/ Bawa 10:45-12 pm
  • Lunch 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Afternoon Session w/ Bawa 2:30-3:45 pm
  • Tea/Practice Break 3:45-4:15 pm
  • Afternoon Session w/ Bawa 4:15-5:30 pm
  • Free Time 5:30-6 pm
  • Dinner 6-7 pm
  • Zikr 7:30-9 pm

Monday, September 3

  • Morning Attunement w/ Naima or Yaqin 7-8 am
  • Morning Session w/ Bawa 9-10:15 am
  • Tea/Practice Break 10:15-10:45 am
  • Morning Session w/ Bawa 10:45-12 pm
  • Lunch 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Departures

*Silence will be observed from the end of the Friday Orientation through to the Morning Tea/Practice Break on Monday.


PIR ZIA INAYAT-KHAN, also known as Sarafil Bawa, is a scholar and teacher of Sufism in the lineage of his grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan. He received his B.A. (Hons) in Persian Literature from the London School of Oriental and African Studies, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University. Pir Zia is president of The Inayati Order and founder of Suluk Academy, a school of contemplative study with branches in the United States and Europe. Now based in Richmond, Virginia, Pir Zia frequently travels. His schedule can be found at www.inayatiorder.org.


NAIMA BROWN is Vice President of the Inayati Order’s Esoteric School in North America. She has worked with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan as a mentor in Suluk Academy consistently since its first class in 2003, and was a loyal student of Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. She is an Inayati Regional Representative in Southern New England and offers classes on meditation and Sufism in the Boston area and online. Khabira also trains leaders in the Inayati Order and is a Retreat Guide and Cheraga (minister) in the Universal Worship. Professionally, she is an educator and works with young children at The Hollow Reed School in Jamaica Plain, MA.


YAQIN JOSEPH AUBERT has been studying Sufism for more than 40 years and is a senior teacher in the Order, as well as the Order’s Vice President. He was a student of Pir Zia’s father, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. Yaqin is a Cherag (minister) in the Universal Worship and has been a teacher in the Suluk Academy. He is a founding member and former director of both the Abode of the Message and the Mountain Road School. Yaqin is a storyteller, retreat guide and leads group retreats and seminars in North America.


Pricing includes tuition, room, and board and three vegetarian meals a day, beginning with Friday dinner and going through to Monday lunch.

  • Single Room $650
  • Medium/Large Cabin $650
  • Shared Room $575
  • Dorm (3+ People) $525
  • Hut $525
  • Tenting $480
  • Commuter $480
  • Young Adult (under 35) Dorm Room $295
  • Young Adult (under 35) Tenting $275
  • Young Adult (under 35) Commuter $275

All housing options are located on the Abode’s Main Campus. Please note that there will be no access to the Abode’s Mountain Retreat Center during this program.


Please register above or by calling our offices in Richmond, Virginia at 518-794-7834, or by emailing astana@inayatiorder.org.


Since there is limited space, for the Silent Retreat over Labor Day weekend we are allowing full refunds, minus a $50 processing fee, up through Friday, August 24th, 2018. Thereafter we will no longer refund tuition or room/board.

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