“Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tsu
Ravenrock is the apotheosis of Dunya’s vision of a home for a practicing community as well as an artist mystic retreat. During the annual Movement Monastery, the 160 acre remote high desert property offers its mesmerizing, heart-opening soul. The simple, minimal amenities emphasize clarity and purity. The schedule includes additional retreats as well as periods reserved for seekers’ individual solitary retreat in the Rim Cabin.
We have come to think of retreat as a cushy spa. But Ravenrock was never meant to be a spa.
Passage to Ravenrock: from Dunya’s blog
“The difficulty of approach is something I welcome at Ravenrock. To be left alone to pursue quiet, helping to leave civilization behind or at least keep it at bay (even if we cannot defend against drones or the far-reaching tentacles of cell phone towers.) A slow, arduous land approach expresses the intention of turning away from civilization for a time of retreat. It also forces the traveler to focus on traversing rough seas as in the case of Skellig Michael, a 7th century hermitage off the Irish coast, or a rough road in the case of Ravenrock. The road’s sharp shelf stones that can slice ones tires or take out a oil pan if the driver speeds foolishly along, or in the rainy season, deep slimy mud ruts that mire a driver who has neglected to look up at the sky full of menacing clouds before attempting the ascent. These are the first teachers, the pieces of nature that ask the traveler whether he or she wants to continue. They may be frustrating gatekeepers but once essayed are also protectors.
Austerity and Grandeur
I had been searching for austerity and grandeur, for a place where nature subdued my small miseries, small concerns. A place to wipe me smooth. When I first drove up the switchback with cowboy Ken Ahler, the real estate agent showing me the property, I knew this was right. It shouldn’t be easy to journey to a retreat. The sharp drop at several points along the edge of climbing zigzag dirt road was certain death. This was the first guardian. Then eight miles of slow going that Ken expertly navigated taught me that I’d need a high clearance truck with 4-wheel drive to safely reside here. It looked like a road but behaved in an off-road manner. For the purpose of retreat, it was the second guardian. Before I ever saw the property, the road leading there was going the right way.
We arrived at the land. Ken drove across the flat mesa top. The Sangre de Cristo mountains, named by Spanish Christian pilgrims, hovered purplish on the western horizon. We got out. It was quiet. So quiet. Just the wind singing. We hiked to the Ponderosa forest along the north rim and finally to a tiny camping cabin perched on the south rim with a vast, empty canyon spilling beneath our feet. My soul stopped in her tracks. The land tossed a fire of love into my heart.” Continue reading – Passage to Ravenrock
On 160 acres of high desert terrain in Northeastern New Mexico, seekers engage in rich spiritual practice in the remote quiet of magnificent Ponderosa forest, 100-mile vista of uninhabited canyon, and ancient rock rim. Dunya’s own Sufi training took place in nature retreat and she found the quiet, the purity of the air, and distance from civilization accelerated her development. (More.)
Our Meditation Hall is a 30’X50′ red metal pole barn insulated with papercrete and foam, with a beautifully finished wood floor perfect for movement and whirling. Raw plank ceiling and plastered walls compliment large glass doors on the south and east sides. Water is a rain catchment system with hand pumps. Solar panels provide modest power to charge a sound system for workshops and small devices, but otherwise there is no electrical wiring. This contributes to peaceful environment free of noisy generators and electrical buzz. There are two porches, a stone-floored East Entry made from rocks gathered on the property rim, and a large wood porch on the west with views of Hermit’s Peak. The Outdoor Kitchen and storage shed are off the SE side and a rustic wash yard off the SW corner, Privy Tent roofed with latias, and the Bowers, camping pitches nestled in the close-by juniper woods provide facilities for retreat camping. (More)
‘Croft’ is a Scottish word for a simple domicile without running water or electricity. The Ravenrock Croft, an attached 15 X 25 foot room with papercrete walls, serves as Dunya’s living quarters or guest housing. (More.)
The small camping Rim Cabin is a perfect personal retreat. It perches on the rock rim nestled in a shady grove of Ponderosa pines with an easy descent into the forest. The panoramic cabin windows and deck offer an astonishing canyon view. Metal roof and tanks provide water catchment. (Devices can be powered by a small solar panel set-up, though there is no wifi and cell signal can be erratic.) Cooking is on a propane camp stove. The cabin is available for one to two week personal retreats when Dunya is in residence. (More.)
Building Our Facilities
We are guided by simplicity and need. Sustainability and minimal impact on the land are central to all choices. Because the property is remote, design and construction are unfussy and break-resistant. The Meditation Hall is a metal pole barn insulated with papercrete and foam, with a plywood dance floor, raw wood plank ceiling. Water is a rain catchment system with hand pumps. There are two solar panels and charging battery to charge a sound system for workshops and small devices, but otherwise there is no electrical wiring. (More)
Dancemeditation™ is a program of the Dervish Society of America (DSA), a nonprofit 501-C3 organization helping people realize their potential by honoring their body and its movement ways using evolutionary Sufi Dancemeditation practices.
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