A retreat in the Utah desert.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.
I will say a little more about the men's retreat this last weekend in Utah. As I mentioned before, my feelings are still very tender, but I want people to know something of my experience. Together with more than 30 other men, I explored issues related to personal healing as a man. So many issues came up for me, and with the support of the other participants, I faced them all. It is very liberating to face one's deepest fear, rage, and shame. When emotional pain leaves the body, an opening of spirit often appears, filled with joy. That was my experience.
I had a lot of anxiety in the days leading up to the retreat. In fact, it was so bad I seriously considered backing out. But then I had a dream:
I dreamed I was flying over something like a barren wilderness or a dry, hostile desert. The jagged, desolate, and sun-scorched terrain stretched as far as the eye could see, but then I arrived at an oasis in the middle of the wilderness. Living water sprang from the ground and nurtured a vibrant, garden-like jungle. It reminded me of a sparkling green-blue jewel, surrounded by empty wasteland.
The Voice spoke to me and said, "Do not be afraid. Your experience at the retreat will be like a fountain of cool water in the midst of a desert."
Ever since I was a child, I was taught to trust my dreams, so I put my anxieties aside and went to Utah.
I can only say the prophecy of my dream came true. We initially arrived with some fear and trepidation, but by the second day, I saw a visible transformation come over everyone present. I saw an abundance of peace, love, and spirit on the faces of all the other men. When I saw it, I said to myself, "This is the oasis. It's an oasis of spirit."
It's even more interesting to note that when I got home, I was looking at the one picture I took near the retreat center (shown at the top of this entry), and I realized we were indeed in the middle of a desert, and a stream flowed through the area creating an island of green vegetation in the middle of the wilderness. On both a physical and spiritual level, that place filled my soul with hope for the journey.