Friday, August 7, 2015

The Friday Five

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Here are Friday's questions and here are my ponderings ... I am doing the "five minute speed answer" since this Sabbath day's time is short and very precious (ugh...need to work on slowing week!)
  1. Tell us about a place (retreat center or other getaway spot) that offers especially good hospitality. What makes it so for you?
Santa Sabina Center on the campus of Dominican University in San Rafael, Marin County, California. It is progressive spirituality and Christianity at its best: and incredible hosts, soft spaces, retreats for appealing to the feminine divine. Great bookstore, They have a haybale hermitage you can retreat's a picture I took the last time I was there...

Is there a ritual of renewal that you seek, or that you find especially helpful, while on retreat? (naps, reading, knitting, staring out toward a different landscape…)
Lots of time in silent prayer with others. I know that may sound like an anomaly but this extrovert craves silent prayer in community.  This is a picture taken some years ago at my beloved Mount Calvary Monastery; this particular chapel (as well as the whole monastery) burned down in the Santa Barbara Tea fire some years ago, but this image of the Blessed Virgin was one of the only things the monks were able to save. Holy Virgin of Guadaloupe, pray for us.   

Retreats/getaways often have a way of washing over us with its own gifts, no matter what we may seek from it. Tell us about a time that such a gift made a lasting impression.
The time I sat at the breakfast table with Brother William Brown - we were in silence so no talking, just eating. I sat and sobbed and Brother Will sat with me, in silence. For a long long time. It was balm for my wounded soul. I remember it clearly and always will. 

Imagine that a gift bag was waiting for you on your bed when you checked in for your time of sabbath. What would you like to find in it?
Harney's Paris tea (loose leaf) and some milk, a card saying that a fantastic bodyworker was waiting to give me a massage, and a note from my congregation saying "have the greatest Sabbath rest ever." Oh, and a fully charged camera battery!

Besides a dessert buffet featuring chocolate, what is something you would love to see a retreat/getaway offer that is typically not part of such an experience?
Tea waiting outside my door when I wake up.

Bonus: You’ve been granted a weekend off, and the means of getting away is provided. Where would you like to go?
To Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery outside of Grahamstown, South Africa. I would pray with the brothers, visit the childen and the Isibindi locations, and go practice some photography. Heaven!

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