The Passion of the Earth: An Eco-Spiritual Retreat
With Wendy Weiger
May 3 - 5, 2024
We humans—along with every bird, every tree, every living being—are part of a vast web of creation that sustains us all. But we’re unraveling the web. We’ve been spending nature’s wealth as though it had no end.
We who live on Earth today are on a cusp. The choices we make will determine the course of our planet for thousands—even millions—of years to come. What will we choose? Will we join in God’s dance of hope, healing, and new creation? Or will we continue down our current path of destruction?
The Passion of the Earth is a project of artwork and poetry developed by Sister Teresa Jackson and artist Melanie Weidner. Integrating scientific and Biblical understanding of the story of our universe, it guides us on a journey from the creation of the cosmos to our present moment of decision.
We will complement this virtual journey with direct experience of nature, as the prairie and forest awaken to the new life of spring. We’ll practice mindfulness techniques that engage all our senses to deepen our personal connection with the Earth. And we’ll share a mindful hike to the summit of the hill that rises above the monastery, pausing along the way to savor the many miracles of creation that surround us.
Date: Friday May 3 (evening) through Sunday May 5 (midday)
Physical difficulty: Moderate. We are planning to gather for several sessions in the Grotto Chapel, a short walk up the hill behind the monastery. The chapel is open to the outdoors, so its temperature depends upon the weather. Saturday afternoon will conclude with a slow-paced hike of about two and a half hours up to the summit of the hill and back down. We will pause frequently along the way to enjoy nature’s gifts, and we’ll pause for a longer meditation at the top. For anyone who is interested in the retreat, but does not feel able to do the hike, this time could be used to explore the monastery grounds on your own.
What to bring: Sturdy shoes or boots, a hat, a jacket, additional layers of clothing according to the weather prediction, a water bottle, sunscreen. Trekking poles or a walking stick are optional but may make the hike more enjoyable.
Bio: Dr. Wendy Weiger is a former medical researcher who left the halls of academe for the wilds of northern Maine, where she has become deeply involved in environmental advocacy to protect her chosen home. She is the author of Living Every Season: A Mindful Year in the Maine Woods, and is seeking a publisher for her next book, Heaven Beneath Our Feet. Her writing shows the importance of rekindling our intimacy with nature, both for our own health and the health of the Earth. Through her nonprofit, Achor Earth Ways, she offers programs that guide people into deeper, more…
Learn more about Wendy Weiger