Healing Weekend Retreat

Last weekend unexpectedly lead me to places near and far, old and new, all at once. I want to share some of the gifts received as a result of staying open and vulnerable. Meeting with my spiritual director last Saturday unleashed memories and visions that were both beautiful and haunting. It was interesting to witness how thoughts, feelings, and images seemed to ricochet off one another, in imperfect harmony.

The movement of thought is often fluid and in-congruent, organic and non-linear. Considering hope led me to read an email link about a Hope gathering led by Sandy Bloom, a woman I deeply respect who created the Sanctuary movement. I was fortunate to be an intern at the Sanctuary inpatient  unit while pursuing my MSS. I was especially lucky to have some contact with Dr. Sandra Bloom, including interviewing her for a graduate school paper about my internship. This interest in Sanctuary in some ways was triggered by an Insight training I attended in my twenties. While looking back on the Training, the criticism about it being cultish may have been valid. Yet it was a valuable experience, rich with many synchronicities, both beautiful and haunting ( yes, a pattern is emerging here!) One exercise in particular sticks in my mind. It was a meditation on creating a sanctuary. I put a pinball machine in mine and was amazed to discover that one of the assistants had also done so! The word sanctuary was already loaded because as a teen I liked the Sanctuary album by the J Geils Band. You see how this keeps going and going..

wikipedia pub domain

Anyway, I did a meditation with my spiritual director to connect with my sanctuary and I immediately envisioned a tree house. This is striking because I usually need some time before I settle down and get centered. This tree house was bathed in light and covered with ivy and was incredibly cozy and inviting. It was likely triggered in part by a very moving scene in Grey’s Anatomy I had watched just the week before. I also reflected back on the womb-like and mystical allure of caves, especially Crystal Cave that I visited as a child.

I left the meeting invigorated and ready for adventures of the internal kind. The next day I decided to go back to Woodmere Art Museum and get some ” art therapy. ” The visit was fueled by the potency of Saturday’s meditation/stream of consciousness. Here are some images from my visit:

I will leave you with a quote from one of the artists whose work was exhibited:

While the quote is about shining a light on Black History, I think it can also be applied to spiritual growth. I see it taking place within as I follow the threads that originated in my imagination, now taking new form.

tree house images courtesy of wikipedia.org, public domain
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