We here at Anima are committed to affecting, healing and improving our world through our writings and classes, but there is also a level on which people can be engaged and inspired, stirred and processed, not by our words but by the land itself. This can be true in any natural place, where earth and human connect apart from the distractions, superficiality, high speed pace, superficiality and emotional dishonesty of many folks’ normal civilized lives. But it is all the more true in Places of Power, intensely inspirited or energized locations where denial becomes most difficult and truth appears not from the air through earth and self. This is the value of a Wilderness Retreat, and the reason why we continue to offer the opportunity to experience this magical canyon with or without counsel or study.
Retreats at the remote Anima Sanctuary are primitive if comfortable, contributing to real-world engagement with the basic elements of fire/heat, water and food, with our neglected bodies and essential needs, something that many find to be ultimately authentic, rich and rewarding. Sweet evidence of this is found in the following journal entry from our recent Retreat guest Lissie, who together with her friend Ava demonstrated a degree of sensitivity, receptivity and appreciation were no less than wondrous:
My Canyon Retreat
These words written in my journal after my first walk down the canyon.
“I feel such an openness in my heart, as if walls have fallen away, and I have let the river carry away the pain and regret. I cannot say how I will experience my partner when he returns home, but I can recognize the negative reactions that spring up in me uninvited and now, put those aside, and choose love. Fulfillment of self allows flowering. Comparisons, fear, feeling not good enough, these go down the river, which in its constancy can handle the pain and remain clear and beautiful. I too am clear and beautiful. I am a part of this vast openness, and a part of the tiniest grain of sand. I walk in the hoof prints of the elk, I play in the same water as the peccary, the crows, the bear. I bless myself, the centers of energy in my body which connect me to this earth. I respect the language and the processes of my mind, knowing I can leave those at any time and simply be my feet in the cool water, my hand in the warm sand, my eyes watching a butterfly, my ears hearing the buzzing of bees in the flowers and the song of the canyon breeze. At last, I am my heart .”
I cannot express gratitude enough for the joy you brought to our experience at Anima, the wonderful meals, your sharing of wisdom through books given and your love of the land, Loba’s sweet song gathering the tears of the wild woman, and meeting Rhiannon! Will do what I can to tell people about your work. Also, this experience me to be more of an activist in my life. Thank you!
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