The Spiritual Value of a Desert.

December 11, 2023

The Spiritual Value of a Desert.

May 29, 2023

“It’s strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages, because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on. If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self.” ― Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

This exquisite quote articulates why MEA’s two campuses - one in a sea-level peninsula desert (Baja) and one in a high desert at 6,500 feet (Santa Fe) - are located in sacred, arid landscapes. There’s such symbolism in a place of hardship and trial, where individuals are tested in their faith. Overcoming the challenges of the desert can symbolize spiritual growth and transformation. A desert is distilled and unadorned, just like wisdom. And, yet, there’s such a sense of awe in this natural, stark beauty. 

I love that Williams mentions the idea of the desert pilgrimage, as this is true with the Hajj pilgrimage for Islam and the Jainism pilgrimage to the deserts of Rajasthan in India. MEA is definitely more of a movement than a religion, but we appreciate that our two locations are in a desert. However, neither is strictly a traditional desert as our neighborhood in Baja is full of farms and tropical trees, and nearby our Santa Fe campus are the majestic mountains. Hope you’ll make the pilgrimage to visit us soon. 

-Chip

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