I remember listening to Old Testament tales in church as a child about so-and-so going into the desert alone, and I thought of the desert as a horror. I lived in a lush green town, with lovely meals cooked by my mother, and music and dancing and friends. The desert sounded forbidding. The saint would fast and cry out, would have revelations, and it was difficult and lonely and painful. Now I am in the desert. It is harsh, but it is kind. It is full of life. It divests me of my worn personality robes, blows dust at me, and displays a tenderness I had not imagined. The desert—a secret beauty. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Retreat’
What is Papercrete?
It is cement made from water, paper and Portland cement. When dry it is beautiful, practical, hardy, low-cost, green and, though hard work to mix and pour, not rocket science. Its attributes: highly insulative, lightweight, animal-proof, fire resistant (you cannot light it with a blow torch!), and waterproof. Read more
Mid-September. The cold front arrived as promised with a heavy blanket of cloud and sharp rainy winds out of the northwest. I curled under cozy covers all night, intermittently sleeping soundly, but often awake, eyes closed, listening to the wind and rain, safe and warm. Snug in a storm.This is one of the keenest pleasures I’ve ever known. Read more
Work Weekend in August
A fantastic work team—Krys Statho, Ric Miccio, Iscah Paquin, Nathalie Molina, and Karleen Koen—came up the weekend following Summer Movement Monastery to help. Ravenrock is a construction site—messy. The Work Team was fabulously high spirited, hard-working, appreciative, and game. They hauled rocks, mixed and poured papercrete, shoveled colleeche into ruts in the access road—all heavy, dusty jobs but these are the basics at this point. Read more
It is so easy to squander peace, crush it beneath habituated frenzy. Sufi Master Adnan Sarhan often said, “If you are in a state of peace, stay there.” A good reminder. This year, after the Summer Movement Monastery, I am content. I could make a list of reasons why but I know that these happenstances are simply concurrent with a more fundamental experience of self. In Sufi, we talk about maqams—stations. There aren’t many of these but each one is a pole around which the seeker turns, looking, feeling, sorting the unreal self from the Real. Read more
Yes, its a saga.
I began with ideas and a gorgeous, ideal architectural drawing from Dana Bixby. I sent these to five contractors in New Mexico. Two were swamped, one backed away due to conflict of interest, one is still working on an estimate two months later, and one gave me a detailed, transparent estimate which, though fair, was so far out of range that I was very, very demoralized Read more
At the recent Kripalu Intensive, on the last day, Loretta read this stunningly beautiful poem to all of us. It captured our state but took us beyond as well. She has kindly let me share it here.
Under Shiva’s Gaze
Shiva graces our Dancing
As we enter the Great Temple of the Body.
There is a big idea is Sufism known as Nafs. Resistance to practice is entwined there. Nafs, in brief, are self-destruction. More gently put, they are the aspects of self that undermine core soul hungers of Self. They can show up as fear, doubt, or lack of self respect. Read more