Last weekend, I got the chance to go to a retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico for The Work That Reconnects During Dark Times. It was one of those charmed, once in a lifetime experiences, like being able to take Joanna Macy to the airport with me...showing up at Chimayo on the 206th birthday of the chapel...etc... So many people asked me why "I" would go to this retreat. Joanna's spiritual practice is Engaged Buddhism and much of the inspiration from her work comes from Buddhist philosophy and practice. When I read her book in the fall, this isn't the part of it that I picked up on. I was paying attention to her systems theory evidence for identifying my relationship to the earth differently. I was appreciating her honest assessment of the grim reality of the world's condition. I felt like she had an empowering, loving voice that I needed to hear especially as I saw Trump come to power. Reading "Coming Back to Life" introduced me to the concepts of deep ecology and deep time. And both concepts stuck with me. Deep ecology is present in some way in every religion, and as a Jesus follower I saw it too. Deep Ecology helped me connect a passion I've had since I was kid starting a "Save Our Planet" club and asking for a book called "Environmental Literacy" as a 6th grader, to my eyes opened, heartbroken for the world, adult self. My work with children and families also makes me interested in sharing this kind of stuff with my kids. Anyhow, I was so glad to go. Participate in some of this work. And it was truly inspiring. I wrote and wrote in the evenings, I was in my absolute favorite landscape, I met some amazing people...The pictures are loading in reverse, so here's my trip, kinda backward.
I came to Chimayo also on the feast day of Our Lord of Esquipulas, originally venerated in Guatamala, an original image/figure of "Black Jesus". The discovery of a crucifix of this image and the subsequent miracles is the origin story of El Santuario de Chimayo and it is the most sacred pilgrimage site in the United States. I had always wanted to visit and not only did I visit, I ended up getting to attend a mass where the Los Hermanos Penitentes visited, singing songs original to Northwestern New Mexico, preserved through centuries. I didn't take any pictures near or in the Santuario, just these crosses on a chain link fence as you walk in.
Looking toward the barn I stayed in for the weekend, It was just starting to snow.
Mesa behind the buildings of Ghost Ranch. I found a labyrinth just to the right of the photo. I love a labyrinth and will pretty much walk one anywhere and it's pretty meaningful to me, but this particular surrounding was so amazing!