Meditative Retreat

Posted by: on Sep 17, 2013 | No Comments

Note: The full texts referred to are included below the commentary and photos from the event.

We affirmed to set aside the day, to put down our daily striving, and to remember.

The framework for our Meditative Retreat was contained in readings that Father David shared from poet laureate Mary Oliver, and from Isaiah 58, and Luke 12 (consider the lilies?).

Mary Oliver in her poem The Summer Day talks about what a prayer is. The folks who gathered at the Pine Creek Campground followed her mantra. By that I mean we learned a measure of what it was to pay attention, to kneel in the grass, to be idle and blessed and to stroll through the fields.?

It was a fun day that very intentionally used our experience outdoors in nature to bring about a state of prayer and make us attentive to our relation to creation. Our walking meditation on the trail and conversations around the campfire helped us to answer Oliver’s question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Karen Searle


The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

From The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2008.

Luke 12:22-32

He said to his disciples,?Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you?you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.’

?Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.