The Guild for Spiritual Guidance


Whole-Heart Connection

A Sufi Perspective on Community, Prayer, and Embodiment


The Guild for Spiritual Guidance Graduate Spring Retreat

April 29, 30 and May 1, 2016 


Presenter:  Thea Elijah, LAc,  Master Teacher, Shadhuliyyah Sufi Order


With a world torn apart by deep tensions and divisions, mystics of all faiths are increasingly recognizing the importance of coming together in prayer, and of respectfully listening to and learning from our varied prayer traditions.   When we gather to pray in diverse community, something happens to increase healing, compassion and understanding of each other.  


Sufis claim kinship with all religions that affirm Divine Unity.  Worldly life is seen to be like a wheel, with the Divine Presence emanating from its hub.  From wherever we may stand on the rim of the wheel in our worldly life, there is a “spoke” which leads directly from where we stand to the Holy Presence.  Thus, Sufis recognize that the outward forms of religion may necessarily be different and yet lead to the same Divine Unity at the center.


You are invited to participate in a weekend introduction to whole-heart meditation; a Sufi practice that engages body, mind, spirit and community.  The varieties of different pathways of communion with the Divine will be celebrated and strengthened by core practices that allow us to take our own path deeper, and yet be able to share more fully and comfortably with others.  The strengthening of our commonalities will allow us to be mutually enriched by the exploration of our differences.  Participants in this workshop will go forth with a greater capacity to have open-hearted sharing of our spiritual journeys with people of all sincere faiths.


Thea Elijah is an ordained Muqadam (spiritual teacher) in the Shadhuliyyah Sufi Order.  In all of her work, Thea draws on the heart-centered teachings of Sufi mysticism.  She is the developer of a series of workshops designed to encourage the practice of whole heart connection among many different kinds of people. Her full bio as well as many of her Sufi teachings can be accessed on the Sufi page of her website:  




Retreat Agenda Outline

Please Note:  The Annual Meeting of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance is on Saturday at 1:00 PM.  Your Participation is Strongly Encouraged! 



3:00 – 4:00     Registration and Reception  

4:00 – 4:30     Welcome and Introduction to Weekend and our Speaker

4:30 – 6:00     Speaking and Listening as Prayer Offering - Thea Elijah

6:00 – 6:50     Dinner

7:00 – 8:30     Community Sharing

8:30 – 9:30     Quads

10:00              Entering the Great Silence Together



7:00  – 7:50     Gathered in Silence

7:50  – 8:00     Morning Reading

8:00  – 8:50     Breakfast

9:00  – 9:15     Announcements and Reading

9:15  – 12:00   The Blessings of Inadequacy – Thea Elijah

12:00 –12:50   Lunch

1:00  – 2:30     Annual Meeting of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance

2:30  – 3:00     Break

3:00  – 5:30     Inexhaustible Ministry - Thea Elijah

5:30  – 6:20     Dinner

6:30  – 8:30     Group Activity and Discussion facilitated by Amy Hyatt

8:30  – 9:30     Quads

10:00               Entering the Great Silence Together



7:00  – 7:50      Gathered in Silence

7:50  – 8:00      Morning Reading

8:00  – 8:50      Breakfast

9:00  –10:45     Layers of the Heart – Entering the Unity in Stages – Thea Elijah

10:45–11:00     Break  

11:00–11:45     Worship and Closing Ritual

11:45                 Lunch and Departure


Throughout the weekend there will be time for discussing, exploring and practicing what Thea shares.


For Questions and/or further information please contact Cari Keith by phone at:

201-321-7216 or by email at:   [email protected]


Please Join Us!