Inner guidance groups

Diving Into Life: An Inner Guidance Intensive – Dec 2021

Dec 3 3 days
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At a Glance

Diving into Life is community of spiritual friendship and practice who gather with kindred seekers with a shared dedication to the inner life. Retreats provide companionship, training and support for your spiritual development.

  • Time: 7am-9pm PT
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Format: on Zoom
  • Teacher: Gayan Macher
  • Eligibility: by invitation or application - ages between 30-50
  • Questions? Contact us for questions about registration, eligibility and scholarships.

The group is oriented around the practice of contemplative inquiry, which is the great art of Listening inwardly—listening for guidance to the deepest questions of your heart, for understanding of your life, and discovery of your true self. The practice brings us to a state of intimacy and honesty with our hearts, where, surprisingly, we have often been strangers.  All are welcomed who feel resonance with the Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

The Spirit of Guidance is the light of God. It is like a searchlight…. and when [its] light is thrown upon any aspect of life, we receive a keen insight into it. In the Spirit of Guidance one finds a living God active in the heart of every person.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Gayan weaves inquiry together with the Sufi teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan and traditional practices of meditation and Zikr. Our schedule may be enriched by offerings of music and movement. Retreats are twice per year – once in late Spring and again in the late Fall . The group size is between 15-30 people. Between retreats are optional virtual, half day gatherings to support our practice and maintain our attunement.

The Fruits of Practice

To Feel Fully Alive: We must discover our heart and truly know its joy, sorrow and secret.

To Live with Maturity and Fulfillment:  We must see life as it is and be earnest students of its lessons.

To Align with the Divine Intention:  We must listen with total commitment to the voice of guidance that comes from within.

These purposes are not mere platitudes; they can be developed and made real.

“If there is a kingdom of God to be found anywhere, it is within oneself. And it is, therefore, in the knowledge of self that there lies the fulfillment of life. ”
Hazrat Inayat Khan

What is contemplative inquiry?

The contemplative inquiry process involves sitting in a circle while Gayan works one on one with someone in the silent presence of the group. You take a turn when you are in touch with your “burning question”—your heart-felt desire to explore or understand something more deeply. You may inquire into anything, though frequently it is about something stirring or troubling as these questions often call us most strongly. With Gayan’s support, you deepen contact with the light of knowing within you, learning to hear the voice deeper than incessant thinking.

There is special value in doing inquiry in a group setting. First, the shared experience connects us in true spiritual friendship, which is precious and rare. On the surface our situations are unique, but as we look further, we recognize an underlying unity in our deepest questions. Secondly, witnesses who are practicing being present provide a powerful field of support to the person working. Lastly and most importantly, witnesses benefit by observing how guidance functions.

There are specific qualities we cultivate that are conducive to the revelation of meaning and truth.

It’s unbelievably wonderful to come together, so true and pure, and to witness each other. I love it!

Celine M. (retreat participant)

This work has changed my life profoundly. I feel it has opened a direct pathway to God.

Tara B.

It’s unbelievably wonderful to come together, so true and pure, and to witness each other. I love it!

Celine M.

This has given me a wonderful group of spiritual friends that I treasure. Being present to the work of others is being present to the most sacred moments of my life.

Elana L.

What Gayan brings to the world is a divine gift. Thank you for walking with me, and us, as a spiritual friend and teacher.

Nuria G.

Gayan’s skillfulness, presence and kindness amaze me.

Bryn M.

This retreat, my life changed. Gayan’s gift of guidance is eternal and priceless. I am incredibly grateful to him, this community and this tradition.

Lauren T.
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Gayan Macher

Gayan Macher

Gayan is a companion and guide to those who are called to the courageous path of love. He has practiced and taught the universal Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan his entire adult life. In addition, he has studied Buddhist practice, the Diamond Approach, and psychology, where he explored emerging understandings of the formation of the ego.

Gayan leads group retreats and has guided scores of individual students. He collaborated with Pir Zia Inayat Khan in designing Suluk Academy, and taught at Suluk for eight years. Along with Taj Inayat he created Sufi Retreats, and then New Rain, which became laboratories for the process of awakening and spiritual maturation.

A specialty of his work is leading Inner Guidance Groups, a process in which people learn the art of listening to the voice of truth and understanding coming from within.

Gayan also has a 40-year career as a consultant to executives of organizations, having worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as non-profits of all sizes. Being a confidant to people in positions of significant responsibility has given him a front row seat for the study of leadership and human nature.

Among Gayan’s great loves is music. He plays guitar, and as a singer-song writer has recorded two CDs of original songs.

You can listen to this music here >

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In the library

On Listening
  • Authors: Gayan Macher,
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  • Themes: Spiritual Path, Truth, Witnessing,

If life is to have meaning, if guidance is real and we wish to find it, we must be sincere in our readiness to listen. We must want to hear what is in our hearts, and what has grown silent due to lack of attention.

Creating Sacred Space at Home
  • Authors:
  • |
  • Themes: Spiritual Path,

Here are a few recommendations for how to create sacred space at home. This is especially important for joining Retreats and other programs online.

Tech Recommendations for at-home Retreat
  • Authors:
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  • Themes:

For first-time Hurqalya Center participants, the following are recommendations on how to ensure a technically sound and optimal retreat experience.

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