Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ah! Spa.

Things have been pretty tense lately. Everywhere you look, so it seems, there's plenty of stress and strain.

What's a good Cafeteria Catholic to do?

Head for a spiritual spa.

Just such a place exists, according to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post.

For more than 40 years, the Cenacle Retreat House in Lantana, FL has offered a place of solace and renewal for more than 10,000 visitors every year.

The article recants the stories of three retreat visitors -- each more enrolling than the next. Patti Mulhall frequently makes the trek from her home in Boca Raton.
"You don't get distracted at the Cenacle," she says. "It's like a spiritual spa. When I leave, I'm refreshed. I'm uplifted."
For Robert Patterson, the Cenacle has provided a spiritual catalyst for a life of recovery.
"The setting is so tranquil. It's filled with peace," Patterson says. "It's absolutely a beautiful place to just have some free time. There have been quite a few times when I just pulled in, walked around, sat down, had a little prayer, a little talk with God.

Patterson describes the place as "just a nice little oasis."

Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

Where do you head when you're in need of a retreat? What do you to to recharge your spiritual batteries?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Paving The Way

An organization called Pave the Way Foundation has designated this weekend as one of unity and prayer. The group is inviting people around the world to spend these days before the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America in prayer.
Please join us in this symbolic cause to bring an end to murder and suicide in religion’s name. These prayers should be offered Friday for the followers of Islam, Saturday for the followers of Judaism, and Sunday for Christians. Followers of all other religions as well as peace-loving Agnostics and Atheists, are encouraged to come together on September 11th to acknowledge the laws of human behavior common to all of the religions as embodied in the Ten Commandments.
In a release issued by PTWF on PRWeb, the group's president, Gary Krupp, issued a call to people of all religions and no religion to participate.
When religion is used as a tool to commit horrific acts of violence, all the world’s religions are desecrated and all people of the world are victimized. It is obvious that governments cannot respond to religious extremists; only the religions themselves can. Only the silent majority of good people, in a unified voice, can bring an end to the terror and death being used as an evil tool in almost every conflict on this planet.
The goal of PTWF is simple: " to enhance the relations between the world’s religions through gestures of good will and thereby embracing their similarities and savoring their differences."


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Meditative Relief

It's taken me a few days to begin to comprehend the devastation on the Gulf Coast. And, I'm only just beginning. My eyes see images that my brain just can't quite absorb. I hear stories that I simply cannot believe. I can't find the words to describe it all. Perhaps there aren't any. The staggering (and increasing) number of victims and their worried families are in my prayers.

Last night, I decided to sit in on a meditation class at my new gym. And, there, in this very public, busy, bustling place, something very spiritual happened. After the dozen or so participants settled onto our mats, the class instructor (who just happens to be the director of this very corporate health club) calmly called our attention. She gave a lovely introduction to the practice we were about to begin, which was steeped in Buddhist tradition. At the end of the intro, she asked the group if we would dedicate this "sitting" to the victims of Katrina. We all nodded. So, we began.

Within moments, I remembered how delightful it can be to get still. With our bodies finally relaxed, we were invited to get "connected to the earth" and become "aware of the present". Deep in the meditation, our lovely instructor asked us to set an intention for the people of the Gulf Coast. I did. We did. And, in that moment, I just know that what this group of people sitting on the floor in a swanky urban gym did somehow, somewhere made a difference to someone. I just know.

As we say prayers, and write checks and give blood and whatever else we're called to do to provide much needed relief, I invite you to get still, get connected to the earth, become aware of the present, and set your intention for these people. You will provide relief. I just know.