"There is a physical desert, inhabited by a few exceptional men and women who are called to live there; but more importantly, there is an inner desert, into which each one of us must one day venture. It is a void; an empty space for solitude and testing."
"The Desert and the City"
quoted from "The Desert, An Anthology for Lent"
"For you, the desert is not a setting, it is a state of soul."
An anonymous monk
The inner desert is a place of spiritual thirst, an endless expanse that seems devoid of any meaning. When we first encounter this void, we feel afraid and try to fill it with a multitude of distractions. But the loveliness of the redrock desert of the American Southwest teaches us to look for a similar beauty within our own inner desert. When we sit with it in loving acceptance, our thirst for meaning becomes a participation in God's thirst for us. Emptiness of any passively-received spiritual consolation allows our own capacity for creativity to BECOME that consolation instead. And the arid inner expanse turns out to be an echo-chamber in which the never-spoken love-word of the Beloved can be heard in all of its glory.
Photos: Various scenes near Moab, UT, April 23-25, 2016
For Spiritual Direction or Workshops, please visit:http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.