Desert As Spiritual Director
As you delight in the details of the wilderness, be attentive to the present moment. Reach out to the expansive horizon and vast canopy of stars and you feel the spiritual presence very near to you. You can be drawn toward new creative expression, new insight and resolution. Learn to stop, hear and see in a new way.
How people engage with sincerity and truth influences their experience. You could say that there is ‘nothing’ in the wilderness. You could see it as a blank slate. Or you could see the journey that a bird or small marsupial or lizard has made, recorded on the surface of the mud or sand, like so much wilderness wanderings. And then you could begin your own journey, released from slavery to whatever ‘should’, ‘ought’ ‘must’ that holds you bound.
Below are two videos that help to explain our philosophy in conversation.
Engage in the wilderness with sincerity and truth.
Walking in the wilderness gets people’s energy flowing, releasing ‘stuck-ness’ and opening them to a renewed relationship with God through the environmental embrace. This walking is physically difficult enough to fully engage the concentration so that the unconscious can be released to shed light on life’s conundrums.
Most people report that they dream vivid, frequent dreams at Koora.
When I ask retreatants how the desert is being their spiritual director, they use phrases like the following to put words on their experiences.
On retreat in the desert, people describe the experience as “being naked”, “being at-one-with God”, as “finding their true selves”, “being able to slough off the false selves as their spirit yields to God”, “free from competition or striving after acceptance, recognition or acclaim”.
The moon setting as the sun rises shows us the still face of echoing, reflected light.
As we ‘be still’ in Light’s presence, we know ourselves as we really are. We can become reflectors of that Light, as our distorted sense of self, purpose, or meaning is restored. When we look at the wilderness with its variety of forms, we see the abundance of life flourishing there, and within us. We are revitalized for return to our work and vocation in the world.
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