My Rockhaven stories are
all about the same...
they tell of a person
tired, scarred, and cynical
who makes the journal
to this humble space.
Here, the body is nourished
with broad watery horizons,
the scent of dew on grass,
soup infused with intention,
and blankets holding the memories
of others that have cried.
Here, the mind is massaged
by tendrils of thoughts that
spark grand imaginations,
consider baffling mysteries,
coax laughter from the gut,
and turn inward for insight.
Here, the soul encounters
the sacred call to awake:
breathe deeply the perfume of peace,
draw warmth from companions,
sing boldly from the heart,
and be now fully alive.
Rockhaven is a state of being
made manifest on this land.
Through communion and ceremony,
and spontaneous surprise,
it beckons us all to be
our truer, richer, better selves.
Greetings, Jan and Diza!
Happy Spring and Happy Easter!
And Blessings on your 10th anniversary of Rockhaven! I am so happy for you and for all the many people
who have shared your ministry and the holy space of creation that surrounds your home! I wish I was closer
to celebrate with you this special moment but at this time I am in Croatia on canonical visitation so I will send
good thoughts to you from a distance!
Thank you for being a place of hospitality, a space that breathes and nurtures and offers hope and compassion to all that step onto this holy ground! I ahve been nurtured here and I am grateful!
Blessings on this jubilee year! Celebrate well this great moment!
The last time I was at Rockhaven (2012), I went with a major agenda. However, the retreat took me in a totally different direction and really surprised me. It wasn't just during the retreat sessions that a lot happened, but also during the "down" times, when we were just talking or when I was reading a magazine in the restroom!
Every moment was significant, awesomely so. I have some great mementos of that special week at Rockhaven, all reminders to live happily and fully each day.
Love and Peace,
Sr. Rebecca White, OSU
Happy Easter and Spring! Soon you will see blossoms at Rockhaven! My experience at Rockhaven was a wild, creative, relational spiritual journey with dream-work... and the outdoors is the icing on the cake. (A one month renewal program in the Summer). Miss you Jan and Diza!
I remember the first time I sat in the sacred meditation space in silence with Diza, Jana, Maco, and a few visitors. I felt such a powerful sense of groundedness. I try to carry that peace and centering with me as I journey through the world. Until I can get back to beautiful Rockhaven again!
Congratulations and Blessings on your 10th!
Love and Earthpeace,
Joyce Rouse, aka Earth Mama
One afternoon as I was trying to explore and develop other skills or talents, I thought of trying to carve from the wood. I went to the barn to look for piece of log. On my way there, I saw a black and shiny skin crawled up on the ground. In my mind, I knew what it was, a big and long black/brown snake. I withdrew my steps and walked backwards and when I was far enough I ran. I met PB,csj and so I told her about the snake. We both returned to the place but the snake was gone. I said to myself, PB might think I was just hallucinating. As I was turning my back I saw on the side of my eye, that big snake crawling up the tree and I called PB pointing at the snake and she said, ohh... that's grand dad! All the animals, living things have something to say to me. Snake has been my symbol of energy, women power from my women ancestors, healing and transformation. I am deeply grateful to Mary Tobias who I had known for her generosity and loving heart. Rockhaven experience has been the source of my own transformation, creativity, beauty,healing and dreams as a human person and as woman. After my Sabbatical in 2001, I visited Rockhaven Ecozoic in 2005 and 2008 and did my retreat with the present staff.
Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary.
In 1994, I was searching for a more spiritual way to live. A friend told me about Rockhaven so I went to visit. Sr. Cristella (now deceased) was there and my friend and I talked quite a while about an upcoming woman's sabbatical in July of that year, the first time Rockhaven had offered that. Because it lasted 1 month, and I didn't think I could get off of work for that long without being fired from my job, I got up to leave, very disappointed. As I was leaving, Tobias and (oh, I've forgotten her companion's name this minute!) came in. Tobias asked me if I was going to join them for the Sabbatical, and I replied "I don't know how I can, without losing my job." She raised her eyebrow and said "Well, sometimes, you just have to follow your bliss." That moment, I knew I had to do so, and signed up. The month introduced me to meditation, along with a multitude of ways to move more deeply into both my soul and the soul of the world. I did some ongoing therapy and later had Tobias as my Spiritual Director until she died. Her picture is on my altar and I feel I receive ongoing support from her. That month felt like a "launch" into the deeper life I knew existed but didn't know how to access. I'd felt "unsupported" most of my life, but from that time I found one support after another. At the time, I was 55 years old, so I want to tell everyone who thinks they've somehow "missed out" that it's never too late to begin a new life. And you will find what you need if you indeed, "Follow your Bliss."
Oh, my boss (who was an alcoholic) did want to fire me but circumstances prevented that and, in fact, I was named the salesperson of the year while I was at Rockhaven. I'm told he put his hands in the prayer position above his head, when he made the announcement and hummed, "Hmmmm, Judith, can you hear me telling you you're #1??" I retired from that job in 2002. Life is good and getting better.
Thank you, Rockhaven, Tobias and Christella!
HELLO JAN and DIZA,
I DON'T HAVE ANY SPECIFIC REFLECTIONS TO EXPOUND ON BUT THE MEMORIES OF EACH MOMENT, WORKSHOPS, AND ACTIVITY ARE VERY EASY TO RECALL WITH JOY. THE GREAT FLOOD WASMEMORABLE, AS WAS THE SWAYING ARCH ON THAT FIRST WINTRY FRIDAY OF 06.
AS FOR JOE CAMPELL, I STILL REFER TO HIS MOYERS BOOK.
I WILL JUST SAY WE DID GREAT DURING OUR 100-DAY SABBATICAL AND DID IT WELL!
I have had many “small world” experiences in my life and this is one of them.
It was probably in the fall of 2004 that I made the trek from Metro-Detroit to Rockhaven. I had known Jan, Denise and Deza from the Sophia Center at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. Having been well-aware of the birthing process of their plan to purchase Rockhaven, I wanted to support them as their work took root in Missouri. It was wonderful to be able to spend time with them and to experience something of their new life and work.
I had graduated from Holy Names the prior May and was looking for help in determining what I would do with my Masters in Culture and Spirituality. A workshop on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator coupled with the Enneagram to be held at Rockhaven seemed the perfect thing. I was not disappointed. It was a very interesting and self-revealing weekend set in the beautiful surroundings of the land and river around Rockhaven. Information I got from that weekend seminar provided many great starting points as I began to look for the work I was to do, to find my place in Thomas Berry’s “Great Work.”
For a number of years I have been part of a reading group that was started by women from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (If you haven’t studied your geography recently, you may not be aware that Windsor is just across the Detroit River from Detroit.) Many of the women in this group are also members of the Gaia Women of the Great Lakes Basin, women from Ontario and Michigan who sing the songs of Carolyn McDade.
A year ago or so the book group had gathered at the home of one of the readers. I had something to deliver to the leader of the group so I approached her and she introduced me to a new member who was sitting next to her. That woman’s name was Mabel St. Louis, a CSJ Sister from Windsor. We looked at each other and both agreed that we thought we had met somewhere before. Neither had any idea where or when.
As I was concluding my conversation with the person who had introduced us, Mabel asked me whether I was still making my “books.” I looked at her in puzzlement and questioned her as to how she knew about the small books I had been creating for a number of years. She had figured out that she had met me at Rockhaven, many years before. She had been part of the sabbatical program and had participated in the Myers-Briggs/Enneagram workshop. I had brought some of the books with me to give to Jan and Diza and she remembered them.
What a wonderful re-connection Mabel and I made that day, a connection that has resulted in a developing friendship not only with her but also with her sister Pat, who is an artist. I continue to ask myself (and Mabel): What were the odds that we would have met after all those years and, even more so, been able to recognize each other and figure out where our paths have crossed before? Amazing.
I must say that, if you are looking for great people with whom to cross and re-cross paths, Rockhaven is a great place to start. Everyone there is absolutely the best -- people you want to meet and to stay in or return to your life.
Thanks to Jan, Diza and Denise for holding this wonderful place for all of us.
Mary Alice Dooley
Dear Diza, Jan and Maco:
Thank you so very much for extending an evening at Rockhaven to me. I am forever grateful for the time that I spend with your amazing earth ministry. I know that the peace, solitude and pure joy that you all and Rockhaven give to me, affects me deeply and therefore will affect others that I come into contact with. Rockhaven continually renews my strength and vigor.
Blessings and Namaste dearest "free-range sisters"