retreat

Mark Hiskes 09-30-2016
Indypendenz / Shutterstock

Indypendenz / Shutterstock 

Here, nobody stands
for the national anthem.
There’s no debate about
universal healthcare,
no talk of bigger border
walls or who will pay.
Here no one snapchats,
sends selfies or sexts. Google
steals no one’s idle hours.
No political parties here,
no signs to say white
lives matter too: everyone
gets it here. There’s no
NRA, no second amendment,
no bumper-sticker zealots
declaring “if you can read
this you’re in range.”
                                 No,
here at the Pilgrim Home,
just across from the summer
play of a city pool, it’s all
cut-granite reverence
for beloved son, daughter,
dearest husband, moeder,
madre. On this level
expanse no fences
separate black and white,
they enclose. In this green
space the Mexican lies down
with the Dutch, and under
fresh rectangles the refugee
rests with the rich.
                               Here,
old, sleepy spruces cast
long layers of shadow
among the graves. Lilies
and orchids and roses revere
each silent name and date
and the brief dash between—
briefer than an evening walk,
than a child’s splash.

Eboo Patel 03-09-2015

If we are closed to faith language, we may find ourselves burned up and frozen out. 

Rosalie G. Riegle 11-06-2014

Pursuing the Spiritual Roots of Protest. Cascade Books. 

The Editors 12-05-2012

Watch what happens when stink bugs invade the Sojourners editorial retreat.

Ed Spivey Jr. 11-27-2012

What's next, frogs and locusts?

Don Lattin 05-30-2012
RNS photo by Chris Franek

Caught in the rapture - Tai Chi on the pool deck with Al Huang at Esalen Institute. RNS photo by Chris Franek

BIG SUR, Calif. — Perched atop the rugged splendor of the California coast south of Monterey, the Esalen Institute is the mother church for people who call themselves “spiritual but not religious." Over the last five decades, hundreds of thousands of seekers have come to this incubator of East-meets-West spirituality looking for new ways to bring together body, mind, psyche and soul.

But on May 30, as this iconic hot springs spa and retreat center celebrates its 50th birthday, a bitter dispute has broken out over its future. Like the many “seminarians” who come here after losing a spouse or a job, Esalen now faces its own midlife crisis.

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