June 15th, 2015 FindtheDivine
Summer in America: for peace, quiet and meditation, retreats are the way forward – The Guardian
Monday 25 May 2015
For we lovers of cold weather, the hellishly humid east coast summer presents only a handful of truly enticing options: scurrying into air-conditioned movie theaters, hunkering down in the freezing “igloo sauna” at New York’s Spa Castle, or just leaving the country for cooler parts. (Caving, I’ve often thought, is probably another excellent low-temperature summer pastime; the problem is it looks terrifying.)
The alternative is to get a bit more Zen about the heat – and about everything else, actually – at a meditation retreat.
Read more here
December 16th, 2013 FindtheDivine
Season of longing..
Why I need Advent
Nov 26, 2013 by Suzanne Guthrie
On spiritual retreats I often hear people say they love Advent more than Christmas. This does not surprise me, since Christians tend to set apart this season to grow, strengthen and explore the boundaries of the soul.
But I wonder—has the Christian culture lost Advent? Advent’s call to simplicity, poverty of spirit, and conversion makes Christmas wondrous and, finally, comprehensible. But is the problem as simple as putting up the tree too soon?
June 24th, 2013 FindtheDivine
Being Contemplative in the Digital Age: 6 Tips to Nourish Your Prayer Practice by Carole A. Crumley, Senior Program Director, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, for the Huffington Post – 06/20/2013
Prayer is often thought of as speaking to God but prayer doesn’t have to be about speaking. It can be about silence and listening. This practice from the Christian contemplative tradition can serve to help calm the storm of stimuli that is part of living in the digital age.
St. Benedict, a sixth century spiritual leader, advised his monks to “listen with the ear of the heart,” that is, to listen deeply, noticing the many ways God spoke to them in their daily activities as well as through scripture and worship.
There are many ways to pray, many ways to open to God’s living presence and nurture an awareness of the sacred in daily life. Whether you are just beginning on a spiritual path or seeking to deepen your spiritual practice, here are some ways to begin or begin again. More here
January 26th, 2013 FindtheDivine
Join our retreat conversation: Share your retreat experience with us and others.
How did you find your retreat venue, how were the accommodations, the staff, the retreat, what worked and what can be improved.
Let the conversation begin…
July 18th, 2011 gonker
by Christian de la Huerta
Too often we get so captivated by the busyness and hecticness of daily living that we forget to reference our deeper, intuitive selves. TV can be entertaining as well as educational, but it can also be a distraction, deflecting self-reflection. Our relationships with lovers, family, friends and co-workers likewise provide the juice that makes life worth living and the necessary friction out of which growth ensues. Yet, they too can be a diversion from the inner journey, where the potential for maximum fulfillment lies.
The benefits of retreating from our lives, taking the time to pull back, are manifold. Besides relaxation, rest, healing and reconnecting with oneself, the opportunity to go within allows us to gain distance and perspective from the circumstances of our lives. As a result, we encounter the clarity and the direction we have been seeking. Retreats afford the opportunity to reassess the direction our lives are taking, and to make the necessary course corrections.
The word “retreat” comes from the Latin root meaning to “draw back.” In spiritual retreats we withdraw from the “real” world–from surface living–and enter the deeper inner realms. For most of us the inner journey is an adventure that remains vastly uncharted and unexplored.
One of the constants found among most spiritual traditions is the importance of going within. Jesus is said to have said: “the Kingdom of God is within you.” “If human beings knew their own inner secrets, they would never look elsewhere seeking for happiness and peace,” asserts a Sufi master. A well known Wiccan prayer, “The Charge of the Goddess,” ends with: “And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.” The whole thrust of Buddhist or Hindu meditation is to quiet the mind and delve deeper inside.
Retreats, especially those that include time for silence, make possible the temporary quieting of the incessant inner chatter that Buddhists call the “monkey mind.” Our thoughts are like monkeys randomly jumping from branch to branch, and we end up utterly exhausted by the end of the day.
Types of retreats
Among the many types of retreats are meditation, yoga, and breathwork. Retreats can be solitary or in groups, guided or not. Camping for a few days alone in nature could be profoundly centering, healing and inspiring. Most people choose to join more structured settings, where they feel supported by a facilitator and a group of like-minded others, all sharing a similar purpose. Some choose to rent a secluded house or other venue and hire a leader to facilitate their friends or colleagues in a variety of experiences to deepen their connection to themselves and each other.
Generally, participants are then inspired to go without once again, and re-engage the world as integrated human beings making a real difference.
However you do it, please take some time for yourself, retreat, and dive deep into your own inner journey. You’ll be glad you did!
Christian de la Huerta has been a writer, speaker, retreat and group facilitator for the past 19 years. Author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed “Coming out Spiritually,” he is currently working on a new book “The Soul of Power.”
Christian is creator and teacher of several self-development programs focusing on personal growth and awareness, advanced transformational practices, understanding sex and relationships, mechanisms of ego and projection, life purpose, and reclaiming personal power. Retreats, workshops and other events led by Christian are known for their life-changing experience and for their inspiring and transformative exploration of our inner human potential.
More about his work may be found at www.SoulfulPower.com.