The Abode of the Message warmly welcomes people from all walks of life to join our diverse community on a short-term or permanent basis. Living at the Abode enables you to participate with other spiritual seekers in the continuing evolution of a conscious community.
We balance vibrant social activities with quiet reflection and spiritual study. Residents live in the rooms created by the Shakers about 150 years ago. These rooms are in the main complex called the Lower Campus. The Lower Campus also includes the communal kitchen, the dining room and the meditation hall. Residents can enjoy exploring the 430 acres (1.7 km2) of forest which are part of the Abode’s grounds. Walking up the mountain provides a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. Residents are invited to begin each day with morning prayers and meditations led by a member of our community. Classes and meetings in healing and esoteric studies convene regularly for those who wish to participate. Universal Worship Service, led by ordained clergy called Cherags, is offered each Sunday, followed by a community meal.
The Abode welcomes people of all ages interested in community life and sustainable living to visit on a short-term basis but only people committed to a spiritual path are qualified to be considered for long-term residency. We define commitment to a spiritual path as working with a guide, maintaining a daily personal practice, and participating in the spiritual life of the community.
Categories of Residence
There are three categories of residence at the Abode, and each has its own responsibilities. All three categories include a requirement of three hours per week of Karma Yoga. Residents must also participate in community work days, which occur one Saturday morning per month, when residents join together to complete necessary maintenance tasks and other seasonal projects.
1. Full Fledge Membership: The Abode needs dedicated members who wish to fully participate in all aspects of the life of the community for a period of time. It could be for three months or it could be for twenty years. Our community needs all kinds of people to function: From cooks to gardeners to people interested in forest management, from marketers and writers to carpenters and gardeners. Diversity makes us thrive but a common goal of upholding the message of Love, Harmony and Beauty in a community setting binds us together. Members are expected to pay for room and board, complete roughly three hours of karma yoga per week and participate in one Saturday morning work day each month. Members can participate in community programs with a significant discount, lead community activities such as classes and Dances of Universal Peace, vote on issues and be elected to the Community Council (after living at the Abode for one year). And there is always someone to have meals with!
2. Work Exchange: You can also temporarily live at the Abode in exchange for room and baord in one of our work exchange programs. The Abode welcomes Khidmat (Work-Study) and Hands and Heart participants all year long. We look for about 15 participants in the summer and 8 in the winter to help with the farm, forest mangement, programs, kitchen work, maintenence, and office work (marketing and technology). Participants are chosen for their skills but also for their dedication to spiritual life and ability to function harmoniously in a community setting.
3. Khidmat: You can participate in this Work-Study program that allows for opportunities to study the Sufi path for 10 hours a week and work 25 hours a week in exchange for room and board. At its core, this program is a training in esoteric study and in learning to live everyday life according to the spiritual teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
4. Hands and Heart: You can participate in this Work Exchange program named in honor of our site's Shaker heritage. Put your hands to work and hearts to God within our community. This program is normally reserved for people already on a spiritual path who can offer special skills needed by the Abode. We provide room and board in exchange for 30 hours of work per week.
Living in Community: