Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Deva Lands Sanctuary
Today we visited The Deva Lands Sanctuary, a retreat center and small but growing intentional community in Glorieta, New Mexico, just 25 miles north of Santa Fe. Deva Lands offers individual and group retreats in every season of the year, and The Deva Foundation has trained facilitators throughout the world to help others in connecting with their deeper spiritual and emotional selves through specifically designed healing modalities and workshops.
In addition, Deva Lands is the host each summer to Creativity for Peace, a groundbreaking and important summer camp for Palestinian and Israeli girls where creativity is used as a vehicle for co-creating peace and understanding. These girls, who are often separated by literal or virtual walls, would never have the opportunity to connect with one another under "normal" circumstances in the Middle East. Almost 150 girls have come to New Mexico over the last seven years to experience the transformation of working and playing together at Deva Lands, and the project has blossomed into a year-long program where the relationships created during summers in New Mexico are further nurtured and explored. Here are a few photos of art projects by recent campers:
The beauty of the land at Deva Lands is phenomenal. Even at the beginning of spring when snow is falling and the mud is deepening, the loveliness of the land is very evident. There are fruit trees waiting to blossom, a garden to be sown, and rocky vistas to climb. Visiting at this time of year is actually a blessing, in that we get to see northern New Mexico at its "worst", allowing us to eschew our rose-colored glasses and embrace the wind, snow, mud and fickle temperatures which can range from the upper 60s to the teens at night. Despite it all, we are still enchanted.
As for the people of Deva Lands, we were welcomed today with warm smiles, open arms, and the genuine hospitality of community. Being with the people of Deva Lands is kind of like putting on a pair of well-worn shoes---comforting, warm, and easy.
The Santa Fe area is certainly feeling increasingly attractive to us as we meet more and more people of like mind and heart, and we will be spending the next several days acquainting ourselves more deeply with Deva Lands and its kind stewards.