Spiritual Centers in Northern New Mexico

Field Trip, (this trip is full and closed to new registration)

Friday, August 23, 2013, 9:00 am–6:00 pm

Monastery of Christ in the DesertMonastery of Christ in the DesertPhotograph by Jason S. OrdazMonastery of Christ in the DesertPhotograph by Jason S. Ordaz

Join us for an intriguing visit and conversation with leaders of two spiritual centers near Abiquiu, New Mexico: Dar al Islam and the Monastery of Christ in the Desert. Both centers are located along the lush Rio Chama, set against the beautiful, multi-colored sandstone of the Colorado Plateau.

Established in 1979, Dar al Islam provides a place for contemplation and spiritual renewal for Muslims. It is dedicated to cultivating greater understanding of Islam among Americans of all faiths in order to build stronger community relationships. You are encouraged to bring your questions about Islam and Muslims and join in a conversation about the Islamic world. You will also have the opportunity to tour the cream-colored, domed mosque and madressa. The adobe mosque and school were designed by worldrenowned Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, and their color and shape make them appear as if they float above and blend into the landscape.

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert was founded in 1964 by Fr. Aelred Wall with monks from the Mount Saviour Monastery in New York, but became an autonomous abbey in 1996. From its beginning, the monastery has followed the Benedictine life without apostolates. The monastery is surrounded by miles of protected wilderness and the high cliff walls of the Rio Chama valley, thus assuring solitude and quiet for the cenobitic life. The chief architect was George Nakashima, a famous Japanese-American woodworker and architect. You will have the opportunity to discuss the Western monastic tradition, visit the refractory and chapel, and listen to the beautiful voices of the monks during “None,” in addition to a walk through the hop yard and a tasting in the Abbey brewery.

Rio Chama WildernessRio Chama WildernessPhotograph by Jason S. Ordaz Rio Chama WildernessPhotograph by Jason S. Ordaz 

Activity Level: Easy, limited walking around the grounds and through the buildings.

Cost (per person): $80, includes roundtrip transportation from SAR, guide honorariums, and a delicious picnic lunch along the scenic Rio Chama.

Trip Registration: To ensure that field trip registration is equitable, SAR will be using a lottery system. Please send your field trip requests (PDF, 54 KB) by mail—postmarked no later than May 3, 2013. Do not send any trip payment with your lottery registration. A drawing will then be held for each trip, and members will be notified of the results by May 9, 2013. Please note that memberships at or above the Galisteo level receive advance registration prior to lottery.

For more information, visit the Field Trips section.

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