In Words From A Bear, in celebration of the works and life of writer-poet Navarre Scott Momaday, the author speaks of The Story of Man-Kai-Ee, or The Storm Spirit. “The storm will pass over me,” he declares, “Because it speaks my language.” This is a statement, a spirit of both awareness and protection, an emotional reaction to the elemental experience of being, one that springs forth from Native American myth, ritual and storytelling. “These rites enabled our people to have an existence in the world beyond the senses to perceive,” Momaday explains, “An expression of the truest response to being.” He goes on to reference a Franz Kafka quote on the power of art and reading, on choosing to be disturbed by books “‘That affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone… a book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.’”
This hope for an opening, this search for a sea change within — upheaval, transformation, reconfiguration and renewal — this glance back with an eye toward bounding forward, is what our monthly Ceremonial overnight and other retreats are often about. We performed it with a small healing circle earlier this month and will be doing it again the weekend of September 14th-15th, as well as once a month through the Fall, perhaps best explained in the words of a recent attendee. “The Higher Haven is a hidden Sanctuary. I met up with a friend there for an overnight stay complete with an ancient purification Ceremony. The space and property are absolutely gorgeous, tranquil and idyllic. Leading up to the experience, I was anxious about participating. But I shared that with Paul and he walked me through the entire process so that my anxiety left me and I was able to completely enjoy the experience. I felt renewed and replenished after the weekend. I definitely plan on returning.” Discover what life-sustaining, life-altering experiences await you when you become intimate with nature, yourself and others, turn an inner page, learn storm-speak, and peacefully sit as they roll on Bye.