Inner guidance groups

Kashf Inner Guidance Intensive – Aug 2023

Aug 24-27 4 days
  • This is an invite-only program.
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At a Glance

The 3-4 day format includes teachings as well as traditional practices of meditation and zikr. The additional unique element is the contemplative inquiry process.

  • Time: Thursday 5pm - Sunday noon PT
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Format: on Zoom
  • Teacher: Gayan Macher
  • Eligibility: by invitation or application
  • Questions? Contact us for questions about registration, eligibility and scholarships.

Inner Guidance Retreats

The goal of Sufism is to live as real, mature human beings. It is to know who we truly are and to express that realization in our relationships, and in how we navigate through life. Uplifting spiritual experiences, even deep insights, are important but most important is living our daily life in alignment with our realization.

Inner guidance groups practice contemplative inquiry. The practice supports stable spiritual maturity through three primary areas of focus:

  • Purification of the heart and mind.  There are veils that cover the heart and limit the fullness of life. These can be seen, in large part, as defenses and mental patterns formed through life, including reactions to the pain of life. Contemplative inquiry reveals both the veils and the Real beneath them. The process brings us to a state of intimacy and honesty with our own hearts, where surprisingly we have been strangers.
  • Using life’s circumstances as spiritual practice. All that occurs in life is material for wisdom. The greater our capacity for contemplation the more fully we understand and assimilate life’s lessons. Then we are not governed by emotional reactivity. We gain from life and, at the same time, are not at the mercy of its ever-changing conditions. We experience strength, faith and joy that are independent of circumstances.
  • Discovering the voice of guidance within. Contemplative inquiry begins with a question, a desire to understand, or to know the truth. A heartfelt question calls forth a response from within. The great art is in realizing the spirit of guidance that arises in the present moment. It is learning to listen beneath the thinking mind. Connection to guidance brings confidence and self-sufficiency in navigating both inner and outer life.

What Happens in an Inner Guidance Group?

The 3-4 day format includes teachings as well as traditional practices of meditation and zikr. The additional unique element is the contemplative inquiry process. In this process we sit in a circle and 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”: a 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 often call us most strongly.

Our main purpose is not to solve problems but to treat them as material for exploration. We want to come close to their meaning, and to allow their alchemy to work within us. This requires being honest with ourselves and connecting with knowing that comes directly through presence.

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. Inquiry is not intellectual. It is a moment-by-moment encounter with the truth that unerringly speaks to us from within as we learn to listen. Thus, an inquiry group is a laboratory for learning something most valuable in our lives: to be in intimate contact with the guiding spirit that reveals the direction and meaning of our existence.

The Spirit of Guidance is a plant that grows and blossoms when it meets with response and care….. When the light of the Spirit of Guidance is thrown on any aspect of life, we receive keen insight into it. In the Spirit of Guidance one finds a living God active in the heart of every person.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Future Dates: Jan 26-28, 2024 and Jul 26-28, 2024

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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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Program schedule is listed in Pacific-Time. If you need help converting to your local time zone, use


5:00 pm PT
Thursday Opening Session


7:15 - 8am PT
Friday Early Morning Practices
9:00 - 12 noon PT
Friday Morning Session
2:00 - 5:00 pm PT
Friday Afternoon Session
6:15- 8:00 pm PT
Friday Zikr


7:15 - 8am PT
Saturday Early Morning Practices
9:00 - 12 noon PT
Saturday Morning Session
2:00 - 5:00 pm PT
Saturday Afternoon Session
6:15- 8:00 pm PT
Saturday Sohbet


7:15 - 8:00 am PT
Sunday Early Morning Practices
9:00 - 12 noon PT
Sunday Closing Session
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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:
  • |
  • 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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